• Emily Malone

9 things we learned at Marketing Week Live 2019

Last Thursday I was up at the absolutely hideous hour or 4am to head down to London for Marketing Week Live – or as I more accurately called it, ‘Marketing Wednesday and Thursday Live’ – catchy, no?

Taking place at Olympia, MWLive is a free two-day event that provides practical, hands-on advice from some of the most respected leaders in Marketing. I couldn’t make the Wednesday talks due to our Women in Tech event taking priority, but managed to head down on Thursday to learn some new and exciting marketing insights. And here they are.

The importance of events marketing

It turns out that events marketing is only getting more preferable as time goes by. Why? Well, according to the Events Marketing Association, people are increasingly looking to live events in order to filter through the information overload online. There’s just too much out there and it’s hard to know what’s worth investing time in!

Plus, did you know that Gen Z are statistically the loneliest generation? Once I learned this, I just wanted to go and give my little cousin a big hug! But I suppose events are a way for people to connect face-to-face with others and build their network, lessening that loneliness a little.

It’s not all sad though, as neuroscience states — gaining information through experiences like events actually helps create stronger memories. Plus, with events, you have the ability to scale them up through social media. And before you say anything, thanks to modern technology, it’s way easier to prove events return-on-investment!

We need to rebuild the trust in ads

Trust in advertising is very low at the moment. As mentioned above, we’ve got an information overload on our hands and we need to clean up our content, folks!

In Keith Weed’s ‘A Life in Marketing’ interview, he seemed to mostly be concerned with the rate at which digital marketing is bombarding consumers with advertising content. It’s counter-intuitive, he says, and isn’t good for your brand. People can now adblock and skip ads whenever they like now, anyway.

Keith says it’s time to rebuild the trust in advertising by reducing bombardment and excessive frequency. He also mentioned this…

40% of women can’t identify themselves in TV ads

I can’t believe some brands still haven’t grasped this, so apologies if I’m coming across as a bit fed up, but removing stereotypes is not only a moral issue, it’s an economic one too. These outdated stereotypes aren’t relevant anymore, and we’re quickly losing interest in brands that don’t have the emotional intelligence to realise that.

Mobile phones are turning us into monsters

Thanks to mobile phones, we’re consuming media on a much more personal scale. But unfortunately, it’s also turning us into impatient, entitled MONSTERS. Unlike when we run the hot tap for a bit while running a bath, we have absolutely no tolerance for slow-loading pages, videos, images.

Great marketing is about how well you embrace and lead change

Thomas Barta states that instead of thinking “I must work harder so I can be more influential”, you should think “I must become more influential so all my hard work pays off.” He says that no one will give you credit for hard work; what you get credit for is how relevant you are.

In Thomas’ talk, we learned that change leadership skills account for 55% of business impact. To be more influential and to lead change, you need to be able to convince your colleagues like you convince your customers.

Your most important marketing tool is your people

Micky Denehy taught me that half (HALF!) of marketers don’t receive the digital marketing training they need to do the job, or to even help them keep up with new trends. In fact, 54% of marketers believe their lack of skills is holding back the adoption of new tech and 86% of marketer training is being decided by people who aren’t marketers.

The result? We currently have a critical skills gap. There’s a lack of marketing training in the industry, and even marketing university degrees can’t even keep up with the new marketing skills needed today. This means people aren’t being trained in the things they need to do as a modern marketer. He concluded that we need to invest in training for our people; training and development need to be at the heart of marketing.

Biodegradable pens are now a thing

The barrel of these pens are made of a PLA-based bioplastic, which is a biodegradable material derived from renewable and non-finite raw sugar cane. This is perfect for companies like us who are striving to find more alternatives to plastic made from fossil fuels. We’re ordering ours right now…


People are actually 3D printing their face onto things to mimic face-to-face experiences

… what? Exactly.


I wish I were this dog


Overall it was a thought-provoking, information-packed day that ended in me feeling pretty inspired on the train ride back to Nottingham. I also gathered more swag than ever before; I’ll never need to purchase another notebook or pen again!

My advice for next year? It’s a free event so, obviously, all the marketers in the UK descend onto the event in vast numbers… meaning the people-to-chair-ratio was very off. Get to the talks early or risk the chance of not getting a seat and standing at the back, squinting at the screens and straining to hear anything.