Two days, 2300 visitors and 100 lectures. Earlier this month, the largest Marketing Insights Event (MIE) of the Netherlands took place for the 17th time. With a focus on insights and growth, the speakers were able to captivate and engage the audience. On behalf of Yellow Communications I was present on the second day of this event. I would like to share my experiences and the key learnings with you!

The day was kicked off by Joeri van den Bergh with the session Ignore or Ignite in the Kinepolis cinema. With appealing examples he taught us the most important ways to influence the next generation:

  • Personalize – Did you know that Generation Z attaches much more value to tailor-made and personalized communication than previous generations?
  • Evangelize – The new generation of consumers attaches much greater value to corporate social responsibility, especially when it comes to environmental and animal welfare.
  • Humanize – There is a major shift from trust in brands to trust in people.
  • Fetishize – Interesting development: Generation Z is largely willing to pay more for exclusivity and prefers experience to products.

It is therefore important to focus on personalized marketing and communication, in which social awareness is central, where we choose a human and transparent approach and tie the target group to us with exclusive and surprising special products and experiences. (To prepare you even better, I would like to challenge you to look a little further into the crystal ball. Generation Alpha (born after 2010) is already on the doorstep and requires yet another completely new communication approach!).

Then it was time for the session Excell in ‘what’ and ‘how’ by Jan van Bodegom. As a surgeon, he founded the first fully specialised breast cancer hospital. Inspired by Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle and his conviction that care is about the patient, the hospital was designed with, by and for patients. This resulted in an unprecedented high patient appreciation (9.7). A beautiful and inspiring example that can be used to encourage conversations outside the healthcare sector. Even with companies or consumers as a target group, it is possible to enter into dialogue and improve the quality of your services with, by and for your target group. After all: “People don’t buy what you do, but why you do it”. When will you start the conversation?

To achieve real success, this is not enough. How do you prevent yourself from chasing after all the developments? In the session Futureproof marketing: a matter of (in)direction Rob Beltman of the Jaarbeurs taught us to focus on the organisation of marketing. Most important learning point? Marketing is too important to leave to the marketing department alone. I fully agree with that: the real power of marketing only becomes visible when it is supported internally and the employees are such fans that they want to present themselves as ambassadors.

To learn more about this, I joined the Employee Advocacy session: your colleagues are the best marketeers by Edwin Vlems. He shares my opinion: internal employees are the best marketeers! And no: that does not mean that they should advertise your organisation, product or service. It’s all about sharing knowledge and claiming the position as an expert. Employees who share their knowledge (on a regular basis) not only show what expertise your organisation has to offer, but also how you can apply it for (potential) customers. And the great thing is: there is never too much content! Although many topics have already been touched upon, it is always possible to create new, unique content with your own examples and experiences within your organisation, with which you can inspire others.

And talking about inspiration…. with his presentation on the foundation of The Avocado Show, Ron Simpson was able to visibly inspire and motivate the entire (cinema) auditorium. After all, it is fascinating to see how an idea accelerates, becomes viral and becomes a successful brand with a huge number of fans. Everything is thought of. The combination of products and colours enables The Avocado Show to offer “Instagram on a plate” at their restaurant. If you then think back to the characteristics of Generation Z, you will understand that they are on exactly the right path to create eternal fans. Bravo(cado)!

The day ended with the keynote War for Attention by Jeroen Jonker Roelants of Marktplaats (eBay). Nowadays, we absorb as much information daily as the average person in 1901 would have consumed throughout their entire life. With that in mind, you will understand that (sincere) attention is becoming increasingly valuable, but also increasingly rare. What do you have to do to get the sincere attention of your target group? But also: how do you ensure that you take the time yourself to give sincere attention (to your customers, colleagues and relations for example)? A subject we reflect on daily at Yellow Communications. Because we believe that communication is always about attention, connection and sincere interest.

In my opinion, the beautiful insights and inspiring lessons of MIE 2019 will help us win the War for Attention. We are all set for it!

Written by Naomi van Duin, Communication Manager at Yellow Communications

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