The Year of Engagement and Empowerment: TFM&A 2015 Highlights

Event Marketing


What do you get if you cross a host of the most innovative marketing technology companies, a herd of Europe’s marketing thought leaders and a pack of knowledge-hungry marketers? Well, based on our experience over the last few days, it would look a lot like the TFM&A event (standing for ‘Technology for Marketing & Advertising’). Held at the impressive Olympia Conference Centre in London, this event was energizing, exciting and empowering for attendees. So, I’d like to share some of the key highlights and takeaways:

Mind your Tone (of Voice)

The content marketing innovator that is Doug Kessler, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Velocity, drew a huge crowd to his keynote on tone of voice, or more specifically mastering it. Doug’s opening outlined how tone of voice is the most ignored and under-valued aspects of content marketing.

“$100k worth of content in a bland, unfocused, confused voice might only make $10-20k worth of impact. And $100K worth of content with a powerful voice can make a million dollar noise” proposed Kessler. His session was entertaining but also practical as it concluded with ten tips for mastering tone of voice, one of which was to ‘fire your good writers’! The audience was entertained, informed and most of all had plenty to think about!

Adapt, Don’t Respond

One of the UK’s most respected digital marketing thought leaders, Dr. Dave Chaffey, kicked-off day two with a compelling and data-rich keynote. His presentation ranged from the need for adaptive websites, to the state of digital marketing. Chaffey referenced Lufthansa’s site, which adapts itself based on where the customer is, be that at home, in the airport, or elsewhere—pretty smart stuff.

He then covered data from his comprehensive report on the state of digital marketing. One of the points that he shared was almost unbelievable—half of the marketers that responded to his survey didn’t have a defined digital marketing strategy. “Although digital is the most measurable medium ever,” said the speaker, “we’re not exploiting all this data—and volume is one reason. Marketers also often lack the time or skills.”

Ask the Right Question

In the final keynote, Kjersten Moody, VP of Information & Analytics at Unilever, lifted the lid on how the Fast Moving Consumer Goods behemoth approached data-driven marketing. She outlined the 4 key pillars on which their approach rests, which includes a data ecosystem made up of thousands of individual data sources, an information gateway where end users access this ecosystem, a data science group, and global operations.

Moody went on to share Unilever’s focus on the importance of asking the right question. In a world of data abundance, this makes a lot of sense. “A question like ‘how is my brand performing’ is a useless question…” said Moody. Questions need to be specific, pointed, and grounded in the business reality,” explained Moody. And who could argue with that?

The Power of Visual Story Telling

Finally, another key takeaway for us at TFM&A was the power of visual story telling. At our booth, we employed a scribe to visualise the story of some of the key presentations at the event. The reaction of booth visitors and passers-by was incredible, as was the feedback on social. It certainly reaffirmed for us the importance of visual storytelling–we have our thinking caps on now for how we can use this to enrich our other live events.

Were you at TFM&A? What were your thoughts? Or, if you couldn’t attend, what idea from the keynotes do you think is most compelling or relevant to your organization? I’d love to hear what you think–please leave a comment below!