Marketing must be 'human' in world of 'unprecendented change'

Marketing must be 'human' in world of 'unprecendented change'

Consumers are looking to brands to tell stories in ways that feel "modern, connected and personal" in a world that is going through an "unprecedented state of change", Julia Kenyon, director of brand and content marketing of BBC Worldwide has said.

Speaking at The Bookseller’s Marketing and Publicity Conference at Milton Court in London on Tuesday (13th June), Kenyon told delegates that companies need to be “much more emotional and human” in the way they tell stories.

"We’ve been thinking about the world we operate in and it’s clearly changed a lot in the last 60 years", Kenyon said. "Thinking about what’s happened recently, all the terrible things that have happened, all the joyful things, the latest election… The way that the world is operating is really in an unprecedented state of change. With so much information, we’re absolutely bombarded with a deluge from every corner of the world. And it’s not all good, a lot of it is very bad. There’s this real mix of the incredibly serious and incredibly trivial. We’re seeing this real tension between generations, which looking back over my history books we haven’t seen since 1968. It’s something that’s really prescient, that’s incredibly powerful in the world. For people, its really hard for people to choose what to focus on."

She added: "We have got really important stories to tell and it's increasingly more important for us to tell those stories in a way that feels modern, connected, and personal. There is a new generation of audiences looking for engagement in a very different world."

Anna Rafferty, director of digital marketing at BBC worldwide, added that companies should be thinking about "marketing with purpose", and for brands to "really bond with their target audience" through shared needs and goals. 

"It's about getting out of the specific product, talking about what it means to people, and making it feel authentic” she said.

The pair discussed the brand campaign for BBC documentary series "Planet Earth", saying that the marketing teams used TV, online, radio, consumer products and live experiences to connect with audiences as well as new platform such as Youtube, Snapchat and V Sauce. "What’s more important now is about being in the right place and being in right company, that way you earn the trust and connect with audiences in the right spaces", Rafferty said.

Kenyon added that marketing is getting “a lot harder now”, with all the different platforms that are available meaning that resources and budgets are having to “stretch further”.