Westminster, London – Last week a few team members from InVentiv were attendees at the In2Summit Conference held at the Ham Yard Hotel near Piccadilly. This was an EMEA focused event concentrating on leading marketers and communicators from across all business sectors. We heard from Facebook, Unilever, HSBC the FT and our very own Duncan Arbour, SVP of Innovation, who gave a talk in his usual exuberant way, which I have to say was very well received.

The key messages:

For me, the thing that resonated most was around the importance of influencers to consumers. Consumers don’t want to hear from brands, they want to hear from brand influencers. Now think of that from a healthcare perspective. Patients want to hear from other patients regarding products rather than directly from drug companies. It’s increasingly hard for marketers and communicators to control their brands online, because digital landscapes trust a ‘super users’’ messaging more.

Someone argued influencers are the journalists of the day. This makes sense again, in healthcare. The cancer survivor can tell a better story about cancer than someone from the Daily Mail.

Other points that made sense in relation to influencers:

They can’t be bought in the way you use to be able to buy articles or support through the old media forms. Also, marketers need to stop thinking about success in terms of short bursts, rather an ‘always on’ long term view needs to be considered. Success in the long term can be as simple as telling stories, amplifying these messages and driving consumers to make a transaction

A ton of recent PR disasters were also covered, from Pepsi, United Airlines, Doves ‘body shape’ bottles and the recent McDonalds ad with the poor child whose father had recently died. Google and cringe in your own time.

Why This Matters:

As we continue to watch trends evolve over time it is always great to hear from our inVentiv partners covering events and trendspotting around the globe. Several key findings in Jocks report above point to trends we are following this year helping us shape and evolve what customers are expecting around the world which translates into helping brands understand how to tweak tactics and planning.

AuthorJock McEwan – an inVentiv Health Digital Strategy Lead in our London offices.

About the Author:

As Strategist of Innovation, Drew is charged daily with championing innovative thinking and doing. Drew is part of a global team that leads new innovative ideas that attract different advocates among existing and potential brands that are shared across all agency partners. Drew is backed by over 16 years of brand, sales and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies such as Progressive and Nationwide Insurance as well as Founder & President of his own healthcare insurance agency for 6 years. Most recently Drew was part of the agency team that launched Briviact for UCB, Foundation Medicine as well as key roles with Eli Lilly Oncology and Johnson & Johnson.