On 6 March, Megan attended the first day of Marketing Week Live 18 at Olympia West, London, held in conjunction with Marketing Week and Econsultancy. The event is an annual feature in the diary for all marketers with a focus on enhancing capabilities and knowledge on today’s ever-changing trends and techniques, whilst learning from key solution providers across the entire spectrum of the marketing mix. Throughout the day there were a wide range of talks and exhibitions ranging from customer experience, data and analytics, strategy, and digital hosted by key thought leaders within the industry alongside companies showcasing recent successes and breakthroughs. Whilst the topics varied, there was a consistent theme throughout the day of everything coming back to content and how this is distributed across a multitude of platforms. Whether it is activated through influencers, highlighted in video show reels, tweeted about on social media, or part of the wider branding and storytelling, getting the core content correct is where all great campaigns begin. The Science of Reading Applying science to marketing, Nick Mason from Turtl explained how the status quo of creating content with large blocks of text and a solitary image is leading to content which isn’t engaging to readers and is rarely memorable. He stated that as up to 90% of brain power is spent on visual activity, humans crave visual stimulation whilst interpreting content as it is more natural for the neural networks within the brain. From his research, he has found that retention increases from 10% to 65% when images are used to compliment text. It was also discovered that content with visuals was 43% better at being persuasive, a huge variance that could see the difference between hitting sales and conversion targets or not. Mason did caution however that whilst adding visuals is beneficial, the brain is also highly effective at spotting stock or irrelevant imagery and filters these out when absorbing content making it less impactful, so it must therefore be planned in line with text for imagery to work best. His recommendation was to select an appropriate image that supports the text for every 350 words written. Storytelling in a hyperconnected world An oft overlooked area of branding relates to the storytelling world that a brand creates and lives by. Hosted by Brian Cooper and Ed Woodcock from skin, body and hair care company Aesop, the focus was on understanding the purpose of crafting a narrative full of brand stories to reach consumers in the right place, at the right time, and ultimately lead to commercial success. With consumers being hyper connected and hyper empowered, Cooper and Woodcock stated that brands then have a choice of either interrupting the lives of those they wish to target, pulling them out of their activity to focus on a message, or, to craft messages that are placed where the consumers are likely to stumble across them and further seek out brand information. In order to be sought after, brands need to work at creating entertainment or utility that helps the consumer. They advise though that when planning content, the story has to be where everything begins, the channel, activation or publication will be secondary and depend on the messages portrayed for how best it could be distributed. Focusing on this journey of producing content therefore allows the way the story is told to become a bigger feature instead of what is told, a key part of creating an ongoing narrative. With content playing a huge role in attracting, converting and maintaining customers, we at Custard are excited to put these learnings in to practice for each of our clients and drive further conversations around building up the stories and messages that support each company. To find out how Custard can help promote your business, get in touch.