Attending Promax is an opportunity to reconnect with wider creative ideas from all levels of our industry. I’ve had the pleasure of attending a few of the conferences and always leave with a refreshed mindset brimming with ideas. This year was no different.
Two days of talks with ranging topics as diverse as how pissing people off is the way forward, appointments with a Brief Doctor and let’s not forget the guide to grafting in our craft whilst being daft with Gavin Strange. I particularly enjoyed Gavin’s high energy off-beat presentation, as it was the last of the day and energy is always waning by that point. Gavin came in like a bolt of lightning and entranced myself and my team for the duration of his talk about chasing as much creative in your work and life as possible, overcoming apathy and narrowing your sights on success. He was just one of many inspirational figures sharing their knowledge and experience with the crowd over the two-day event.
Here are some of my top take-aways from Promax Europe 2019:
One Netflix to rule them all – by far the most talked about subject of the whole conference, Netflix is still the company everyone is chasing. There were discussions about how their online brand is influencing every other OTT service provider, and focus was on just how well they manage to dominate in the mindset of audiences the world over. The big question wasn’t “how can we catch-up with Netflix” but rather “what comes after Netflix as we know it now?” – which of course is what Netflix must be thinking and working toward themselves. The bottom-line is that Netflix has succeeded by being bold and brave, they believed in the streaming system and they played their chips right. Let’s hope we can catch just a bit of that formula ourselves.
A brand should be useful, relevant and entertaining – a brilliant session from Katrina Dodd of Contagious gave some biblical 10-step clarity on just how to get your brand noticed in todays crowded market. A nice TV spot just isn’t enough to crack it anymore, people are so media saturated that you need to present them with more compelling materials to make a difference. That has to do with offering something only you are uniquely positioned to do, and focusing on giving more of it. Be generous with your offerings and don’t always ask “what’s in it for us”, sometimes it’s more important and effective to ask “hey, what’s in it for them?”.
Another wonderful idea was investing a percentage of production budget into experimentation – a concept of “Failing Forward Fast” in a bid to be optimistically curious and learning successes and failures quickly and effectively.
A final note from the talk and perhaps most appropriate – we should be prioritising experience over innovation. Innovations may lead to brief success and PR boosts but it should always be focusing on improving the customer experience. Technology should serve creativity, not the other way around.
Marketing and creative should hug more – a simple message from The Brief Doctor Tim Hughes who laid out the framework for the simple steps of briefing creative teams from marketers. A brief only needs three questions answered – Who? What? and Why?
Who are you targeting? Be clear about one specific audience type and one specific time, you can’t please everyone always.
What are you selling? Focus on what is special about the product and why the potential audience will benefit from it. What makes the product stand out from the crowd.
Why are you doing this? Be honest, there’s no shame in saying you’re doing this to beat a competitor or make money or change a course. Your creative team need the full picture and dancing around them to try and save face won’t accomplish anything. If you are honest from the get-go you’re far more likely to overcome obstacles and succeed.