Raahil Chopra
Apr 08, 2016

Goafest 2016: 'We are feeling machines that think' - Tara Marsh

The global head of content for Wunderman was speaking on day two of the festival

Goafest 2016: 'We are feeling machines that think' - Tara Marsh
Speaking on day two of Goafest 2016, Tara Marsh, global head of content, Wunderman, urged advertisers to stop interrupting and start engaging viewers instead. 
Contrasting rational decisions and emotional, she said, "As marketers we assume that customers evaluate options and choose the most rational one. But we as consumers consistently make decisions that we regret, because we are actually not rational. We are not thinking machines, we are feeling machines that think. We need to move our money from what brands care about to what consumers care about."
Culture as a strategy
Marsh then touched upon culture and how it should be used a strategy. 
Citing an example of work done by her agency, for the beer brand from Peru, Cusqueña, she explained the creation of a billboard through textile work.

She then spoke about storytelling and how it's not a new concept. She said, "The concept of storytelling isn't new. In 1895 John Deere, published a magazine called The Furrow. It had content about farming, and it's still doing well, selling to two million people worldwide."
Content marketing
Touching upon content marketing, the speaker noted that people were already good at traditional digital marketing, but with technology coming in, she contended that things would be different. 
"40 per cent of the people under 30 are using ad blockers on their computers. According to Google, 56 per cent of display ads may not be seen by humans. So, the bar has been raised. So, you can't interrupt, and you need to start engaging. Content marketing has to get people to get their users to choose to spend time with them, be relevant and provide value. The competition isn't other brands, it is ordinary, awful, amazing, everyday life. We need to provide values by information, education, inspiration, education, utility and experience," she explained.
She noted that it was no longer sufficient only to give the right information, and that the emphasis is on how. She cited a video for Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch that provided the information and education, followed by how an ad by Droga5 for Under Armour provided inspiration (below).

She added, "Visual communication is very important. On Facebook, posts that have an image are more likely to be shared and engaged with. Emojis are important too. In 2015, the Face with tears of joy (emoji) was the Oxford Dictionary's word of the year."
The importance of data  
Marsh went on to explain that great content comes from great collaboration. 
With the example of the TV series House of Cards and Netflix, she underlined the importance of data. "House of Cards is the most streamed content in the US and 40 other countries. Netflix took the rights for the whole series without a pilot. It made ten different cuts of the trailer, each geared towards different audiences depending on what they saw of the show previously. That was only done with the help of data," she said.
The speaker wrapped up her talk with another example of use of data for a campaign. 

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