A friend of mine sent me the link over Whatsapp: RD Summit 2022, a marketing and sales-focused summit that had taken a two-year pause after COVID-19. As an accountant, it wasn’t really something I knew a lot about, but I sent the link to our CEO, Rik, anyway.
Within an hour, Rik responded: go for it, Maria. People from ICOM are saying it’s a must if you’re in Brazil.
That settled it, then. I was going.
Getting there was a different matter altogether. This was the first event I was attending representing my company, and I didn’t know what to expect: marketing, sales, Metaverse, all of these are not my area, but I was pleasantly surprised.
First of all, I was expecting to be very lost, but after I saw three or four speakers I realised that it was not the case: regardless of your background, the speakers were really knowledgeable about all the subjects, so I was never lost. Another thing I really liked was about how much it focused on emotions – everything, from the talk on Google to the talk on the Metaverse, was based on peoples’ emotions, people’s feelings, and how to make your work environment healthier than it is at the moment. It was so much about how to take care of your people, and about how you can’t be the best agency if you don’t start looking for your well-being.
There was so much to focus on, you could get overwhelmed very easily, but here are a few highlights of my favourites.
What makes up the brands that we love?
This talk was held by Beatriz, a writer and founder of a creative company called Bits to Brands, and it was all about how the brands we love are made. As Beatrice said, every company wants to create a brand that people love, but not every one will manage. She had this good analogy about a brand being like a marriage: ideally, they’ll stay with you for the rest of your life, and you can sell your product for the rest of their life. For example, brands that you remember from being young which have followed you into adulthood are brands that are loved: everything is connected to people’s feelings.
She also paid a lot of attention to the idea of a community. Brazilian marketing thinks of communities as more important, almost, than a singular consumer in general. She also made it a point to say that brands needed to have a different target community on every social media in relation to that brand – so when you create something for a brand, you have to think about where it goes on which social media.
What to do with good people
This was one of the speeches I chose to attend because another speech was all fully booked, but it was easily one of my favourites. The topic was sales through innovation, led by Rodrigo Galvão of Oracle Latin America, but the last thing that he spoke about was sales: he mostly spoke about people, and how improving the working environment in their company actually tripled sales in the process.
What he said was that many people believe that if they don’t have good people working in the company, they would not manage to run a successful business. Oracle wanted to support their people and keep them working for them, so they made sure to give them all the support they needed to stay: they invested a lot in education and inclusion, focused on hiring people based on whether they fit in the company culture, and their recruitment process is entirely blind – the CV is only there as a guide.
Some of those people even went on to open their own business under Oracle.
What Google Doesn’t Tell You
Of all the speeches I attended, I think this one was the most different from what I know about marketing, so I was very interested to see what I could learn from it. Basically, the talk was about Google Analytics and how they’ve changed over the past two years, and about how every brand needs 3-5 main words only to be on top of Google Search. Additionally, he spoke about creating content specifically for mobile and to answer ‘why’, as most content should answer a question.
I didn’t quite understand the whole point of this one, but it was interesting to see a different side of marketing that I was not really familiar with – and the speaker for this speech, Erich Casagrande, the marketing manager lead of SEMRush Brazil, was very knowledgeable about the topic and could explain it to people who were not.
The Future Consumer
This one was led by Mirela Dufrayer of WGSM, one of the leading marketing projection firms. I found this one extremely interesting for what we do at Switch, and what we’re all experiencing because of COVID-19. Basically, this talk was about the future consumer of 2024 and onwards, and talks about how the behaviour changes that we’ve been through in the past two years were originally anticipated to take 20 years to come around, but because of COVID-19, we’re now seeing changes that we had not thought of before. People are burned out and can’t really take the amount of work they have now, and multitasking is reaching the end of the road. There is also too much information available for people to focus on, and all the time you spend trying to please everybody is going to become difficult to continue.
The customer is going to be more direct in the future, and even technology might slow down a little bit because of it. I can see what they’re saying very well, as we definitely see it even at Switch.
Product Trials before Marketing
This was chaired by Luciana Teles, from AXUR Brazil, so it might have been Brazil-specific – however, I think the value is applicable to every country. Basically, this speech talked about client experience – but not client experience only when it comes to people buying your products, but also to trialling your product in a market. The idea is that you trial the product first before you actually market it, and this will lead to better customer experiences.
At Switch, I am not really on the marketing side of things, and so going to a marketing summit was very nerve-wracking for me as a representative of the company – but I was really surprised how accessible and how interesting it was, and how much I learned from it.