Hello, Big Cat intern Vikki here! This is my round-up of the talks and conferences I attended at my first Marketing Week Live event in London on Wednesday 25th June. It was difficult to narrow it down, but here I will focus on three key insights that I hope you’ll find as interesting and useful as I did.

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  1. Content marketing is here to stay

Content marketing is the phrase on every marketer’s lips right now. In fact, Gaz Battersby, Creative Director at Epiphany, described content marketing as the ‘electricity’ powering the industry.

Content marketing means ‘creating quality branded editorial content across all media channels and platforms to deliver engaging relationships, consumer value and measurable success for brands.’ This ‘content’ can be almost anything – articles or blog posts you’ve written or curated from around the web (think Buzzfeed); photos, infographics, memes, videos – basically anything you’d enjoy reading/watching/listening to on your lunch hour.

Buzzfeed 100 Most Important Cat Photos of All Time
Content marketing at its finest

Content marketing is already huge – those using content marketing spend 70% of their budget on it. We’re also starting to see the lines blur between content marketing and other disciplines such as SEO and PR. The unstoppable rise of content marketing means that the challenge is to create content that stands out from the crowd and truly engages the audience. The days of the hastily-written ‘Top 10’ lists and thinly-disguised sales pieces are over – what matters now is figuring out what will make your audience laugh, cry or share it with all their friends.

Big Cat Says:

Creating engaging content is something that’s very important to us Big Cats. In fact, we are in the process of launching our MD Anthony Tattum’s content marketing eBook so stay so tuned for the next installment.


  1. A great campaign is evidence-led

In an inspiring conference entitled ‘Campaigns that Drive Behavioural Change,’ Alexia Clifford, Deputy Director of Marketing for Public Health England, and Jane Asscher, Founding Partner at 23red, shared the process behind some of their most recent, hugely successful public health campaigns.

What stood out for me was how every campaign was evidence-led. For example, the January 2014 Change4Life Smart Swaps healthy eating campaign was based on consumer research that revealed:

  • Showing visually what’s lurking in food motivates change
  • People don’t want to swap. But they will make an easy, like-for-like swap
  • Swaps made repeatedly over time embed faster
  • Long term change requires maintenance

Public Health England built their campaign around these insights – here is how they did it:

Sugar Cubes Public Health England Smart Swaps
There are 8 cubes of sugar in a can of fizzy drink!

  • Powerful visuals showed the nasties lurking in our snacks
  • A free app provided healthy recipe ideas, shopping lists and reminders
  • In-store prompts encouraged shoppers to think about what they were putting in their baskets
  • 4 weeks’ email and text message support helped subscribers to stick with their healthy new lifestyle

As a result of this evidence-led approach, Smart Swaps was the most effective Change4Life campaign ever, with over 1 million app downloads, 1.9 million sign-ups and 250,000 social followers. Most importantly – people stuck with it!

Big Cat says:

Research is at the heart of what we do and underpins every single one of our campaigns. It is great to see Public Health England putting research first and we have no doubt that this approach contributes to their incredible results.


  1. Brand should feel like your best friends

To round off the afternoon, Sarah Mansfield, UK & Ireland Media Director for Unilever, took part in a Q&A session. The theme of the session was how brands should feel like your best ‘friends’ – for example, Dove is the older sister that gives you confidence and Knorr is the culinary expert you can always turn to for a great recipe. These friendships are the key to earning your customers’ trust and loyalty for the long-term.

Ben and Jerrys Pug Pinterest
A gem from Ben & Jerry’s Pinterest

Mansfield also advised brands not to spread themselves too thinly on social media and to choose their platforms carefully. For example, Ben & Jerry’s has taken Pinterest by storm with its mouth-watering ice-cream pin boards and Vo5 has created a series of Hollyoaks hair tutorials for YouTube (both great examples of content marketing, by the way!). By focusing on a small number of carefully-chosen platforms, your social media activity is likely to have a more powerful impact than if it were spread across ten irrelevant ones.

Big Cat Says:

At Big Cat we help our clients to develop relationships with their audiences and are proud to have worked with Birmingham Children’s Hospital to develop a digital strategy promoting and sharing their life-changing work. As part of this strategy, we helped BCH to find their social media voice and show the online community what a special place the hospital is! Read more.

Overall, Marketing Week Live 2014 was a great opportunity to hear from the best in the business – I’m already looking forward to going back next year!

Posted by: LucyBigCat on