NZ Marketing Summit 2017 (NZMS)

Digital & Social | Brand & Content | Tech & Experiential


Author: Lena Taylor

23 Sep 2016

2016 NZ Marketing Summit Highlights: LEGO, Uber, Maccas and all things great.

Author: Lena Taylor

14 Sep 2016

What a day in marketing heaven. With 30+ phenomenal international and local speakers and inspiring stories, it’s almost impossible to take in all the invaluable information being launched at you. Agile marketing. Convergence of functions. That dreaded word millennials. However, I will attempt to summarise my top highlights of the mammoth event that was the 2016 NZ Marketing Summit.

INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTE: How many marketing technology vendors are there today? With the rapid evolution of marketing tech, the answer has gone from 150 to an overwhelming 3500 in the last 5 years. Scott Brinker (USA), Editor of, explains that marketing and software development are now starting to share similar characteristics. In the same way marketing managers use media, messages and mechanisms to create CX in marketing, product managers use UI, data and code to create UX with software. Brinker also mentioned that while we are told to innovate through experimentation, exploration, failing fast, questioning assumptions and speed, we are also told to have scalability which seems to have the opposite attributes. Standardisation, exploitation, “fail not”, leveraging assumptions, and having dependability. Acquiring a scalable foundation but still retaining the the ability to innovate is key. Remember: the core to failure is the reaction of the failure, not the failure itself. Be the 10x (or the 100x!) marketer.

INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTE: Everything is awesome .. when it comes to marketing for LEGO Group. Head of Marketing (Australia & NZ) from one of the largest toy empires in the world, Troy Taylor emphasised that the 84 year old brand has constantly been required to reinvent itself to keep up with the changing marketplace. Part of their 4 Promises includes that 25% of their profit supports children’s charities around the world. Impressive! Taylor articulated that the fans own the brand and they look to children to help with their innovation. The main challenges are the many laws and regulations around marketing to children, and that social media is generally unnecessary when marketing to them. But children aren’t the only target market. AFOLs (adult fans of LEGO), TFOLs (teenage fans of LEGO) and LUGs (LEGO user group) are also co-creators of some of their products. And yes, the LEGO movie had a mighty 20% increase in their sales.

DIGITAL & CONTENT: How can we use social, data and mobile to connect at a more human level in this digitally tech heavy industry? Oliver Lynch, Head of Brand and Marketing at Westpac, exhibited how to create immersive experiences by utilising social media in new ways to reach your customers with their new app, CashNav. To avoid the “where did my money go?!” moments that we are all familiar with, the app manages your money and spending in a new and useful way, demonstrating that Westpac understands customer needs.

“You can talk about yourself or you can get someone else to talk about you”. These were the words of Dani Revell, Managing Director of We Are Anthology, when discussing the impact that quality content can have for your social media marketing. It is a necessity to understand who is going to read it and why. Where are they in the sales funnel? Emotion is also a vital part of the digital marketing process. Of course, if you are using the likes of social influencers in your campaigns, correctly identifying the genuine benefits that the influencers gain from your product/service is absolutely crucial. Millennials can see inauthenticity from a million Kardashians away.

BRAND & CUSTOMER: If you haven’t heard of the McWhopper campaign then you’re probably living under a social media rock. The internationally acclaimed, Cannes Lions award winning piece of marketing art was a proposal from Burger King to combine the iconic burgers the Whopper and the Big Mac for International Peace Day. Josh Moore and Jono Key revealed that this genius idea from Y&R NZ originated from Burger King wanting to increase brand perception and purchase consideration as it had been declining over time. And when the SVP Global Brand Manager of Burger King (Fernando Machado) starts his email reply saying “I F**CKING LOVE THE IDEA” then you know it’s got to be a good one. Although McDonald’s ruined the buzz and didn’t jump on board (as expected), 8.9 million earned media impressions later, the McWhopper Proposal earned $204 million worth of media online, 10,000+ YouTube reviews of the burger, went #1 trending on Facebook and Twitter and most importantly, there was a 40% spike in International Peace Day awareness. Have you tried the McWhopper yet?

Also fighting against the trend of health, fitness and well-being, Jo Mitchell (Director of Marketing, McDonald’s Restaurants NZ) unarguably notes that “it’s a love or hate relationship you have with McDonald’s but it’s always there whenever you need it”. Customers are more empowered than ever with diverse dining experiences on every street corner, so McDonald’s NZ wanted to take the global brand on a kiwi road trip with the Create Your Taste campaign and turn their back on traditional media. Although taking a risky approach for the brand that everybody loves to hate, McDonald’s NZ asked for everyone’s honest, “tell-all” opinion on the campaign and the response was excellent. Putting customers at the heart of their engagement strategy and delivering the right content at the right time for the right people was revolutionary for McDonald’s, shifting overall brand perceptions and increasing market share by 14%.

DATA & TECH: “Tell me something new about my company”. What do you specifically want? To best extract actionable insights from your customer data, Pieta Brown, Chief Analytics Officer – Lab350 from Loyalty NZ Ltd, defines the framework you need to follow: alignment, context, relevance, specificity, novelty and clarity. If there is 3% more sales from February to March, is that an interesting insight? The fact that there are more days in March than February would suggest not. If something is happening, why is it happening? Get clear on your questions as generic questions will lead to generic answers, and write a hypothesis, measure and valuate. The value is in the data and what you are trying to achieve.

EVENTS & EXPERIENTIAL: Taxis don’t have the most exciting branding in the world however one company has taken over this entire industry, dominating 450+ cities and 73 countries – Uber. Andy Bowie, Marketing Manager for Uber NZ, tells us the 6 year old brand took only 5 years to hit 1 billion rides, but more incredibly, only another 6 months after that to hit 2 billion rides! How? The concept of the company was purely inspired by a need: people had places to go, and there were an oversupply of empty cars with no one driving them. But, satisfying one need is not enough for a customer to repurchase anymore. Millennials know the power that big businesses have and care about them making a difference in a way that is valuable to them. Hence, Uber Kittens for SPCA, the Red Cross clothing drive, their collaboration with Eat My Lunch, and not to mention Uber Ice Cream! With Uber Eats (food deliveries from your favourite restaurants) in Melbourne and Sydney currently and the launch of autonomous Uber vehicles in Pittsburgh this week, the company is taking innovation and scalability to the next level.

INTERNATIONAL KEYNOTE: Choice, choice and so much more choice. Andrea Thomas (USA), Professor of Marketing & Director of Marketing Lab at University of Utah, states that it is unacceptable to only be transactional as you need to create a relationship between the customer and the brand now more than ever before. 95% of a purchase decision happens in the unconscious mind and most consumers don’t see most of the choices given to them as a coping mechanism for efficient decision making. So how is your brand going to stand out amongst the rest? With more options, people feel like they are going to make a mistake and with less differentiation between the 29 varieties of chicken soup in front of you, this adds to the confusion! As Steve Jobs said, “it isn’t the consumers job to know what they want”. Therefore, be relevant, understand how your customer is using your brand, always authentically address an issue and confess to being wrong, and have a response to the reaction of what you need to change and how to take action.


  • Be global, but stay local. The NZ branches of McDonald’s, Uber and LEGO Group all collaborate with local organisations and charities to ensure they are properly engaging with their customers. What’s the next campaign you’re going to do that will benefit the community that you’re a part of?
  • The days of one person being in one market is now gone. Now there is one person in many markets (e.g. mum, boss, wife, foodie, friend), and content needs to be delivered in the right way at the right time to connect with consumers.
  • Actions must follow the words and talk. Be consistent and authentic, and keep the customer at the heart of your strategy.

Written by Lena Taylor, Marketing Executive at Conferenz. Full credit for #NZMS – 2016 New Zealand Marketing Summit, 8 September, SKYCITY Convention Centre, Auckland.

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