This week we attended MADFest. Similar to our own principles, MADFest is all about truly connecting with the audience by offering the most inspiring content and discussing the most relevant topics.
With such a vast array of sponsors, there were plenty of exhibitors to showcase new platforms and technologies, with artificial intelligence playing a major role in a number of new technologies as a way to improve insights and help users to develop better strategies.
An amazing assortment of speakers across four stages shared a mix of stories, experiences, findings and suggestions on consumer behaviour, disruption, personal and professional growth stories, and how these should all be key considerations for brands in order to be as effective as possible.
Have patience to see growth in the customer experience
One talking point was daring to be different. This drew a comparison to the Marketing Society’s ‘Bravest’ conference that we sponsored last week, encouraging us to be brave, break from the norm and pursue a course of action when you truly believe it’s the right path to follow (even if it is met with some resistance initially).
Huib van Bockel, Founder of Tenzing, shared his story of perseverance and patience when starting a business, understanding that seeds can take time to grow. Even then, they may still take time to blossom into what we know they can ultimately be. He was talking not just about the growing popularity, sales and stockists of Tenzing, but also about gradually improving the company’s reach and social media footprint, knowing that it needs to be better, and taking time and seeking counsel on the right way to do this.
Every detail counts towards the customer experience
Shamil Thakrar, Co-Founder of Dishoom, shared how maintaining quality, culture and history at the heart of a brand translates into a great customer experience. His key to success isn’t just the granular detail Dishoom includes in every restaurant design and campaign, but also a focus on team experience, or TX as he refers to it. Of course, the team is passionate and great at what they do. But if the work environment is also great, you can create a brilliant team experience which then naturally translates into the customer experience.
Give everyone equal opportunities
The ‘My Digital Hero’ segment on the Emerging Tech + Innovation stage included talks from Peter Markey, Chief Marketing Officer at TSB Bank; Jimmy Leach, Editor in Chief at the Huffington Post; and our Founder and CEO Tamara Littleton. Tamara talked about her own digital hero (her former boss, Ian Jindal), and it struck me how important it is to consider who our personal heroes are, beyond the big celebrity names. Who are the people who have affected us on a personal level, or who’ve affected our immediate community, and what can we learn from them?
She also talked about her own passion and commitment to diversity and equality within the industry and broadening out what real inclusion means, to include things like age and diversity of thought. Ten percent of employees at The Social Element are aged over 50, for example; the company has a 300+ multicultural global workforce; and Tamara is an industry figure for LGBTQ+ rights. She urged all brands to not just be aware of the importance of diversity and inclusion, but to take real action and include underrepresented people in the workforce at all levels; and to inspire people to be themselves so that they can contribute uniquely both professionally and to society as a whole.
Overall, MadFest was inspiring, fun and educational. Similarly to Bravest, we were encouraged to keep pushing forward, innovating and engaging with people. And the overriding message for me was that by keeping true to your brand’s story, you will always deliver an amazing experience for your audience.