Before I went to the Adobe Summit a couple of weeks ago, I was wracking my brains trying to work out the connection between several of the keynote speakers and digital marketing. The line-up included marketing chiefs from some of the world’s top brands; it wasn’t difficult to figure out why they were on the agenda. However three names stuck out. Colin Farrell. Heston Blumenthal. Davina McCall. What would their take on the state of digital marketing be?
All three of them made some interesting points about creativity, technology, and being relevant to one’s audience. However, Heston’s talk really stuck out for me when reflecting on where digital marketing is going.
Heston’s ethos throughout his career has been about innovating his food to constantly deliver an outstanding experience for the customer. One of the most famous dishes at his restaurant, The Fat Duck, is called ‘Sound of the Sea’. Diners get a mixed seafood dish, served on top of a glass-topped box filled with sand. It’s accompanied by headphones that play the sounds of the sea – calling gulls and the rush of the tide. Through this, multiple senses are used in a complimentary way to create a great experience. There’s a clear comparison between this and what Adobe were saying about the future of digital marketing. Swap senses for channels, and you’ve got yourself a metaphor for how effective cross channel marketing works.
There’s also science behind all of Heston’s methods, and this forms the basis for his ‘molecular gastronomy’. To get the result he wants, Heston will use information and data to influence the development of his recipes. For example, tradition might tell us to sear meat to keep the juices in, but what is that based on? For Heston, the chemistry behind it doesn’t add up. As marketing professionals, it should resonate that doing things the way that they’ve always been done isn’t always the best way, especially as the world around us changes. We should be taking grasp of the data that technology has put at our fingertips and using it to inform our actions.
Heston’s restaurants are at the luxury end of the market, but any brand could take lessons from him when looking at its offering from the customer’s perspective. Let’s not forget that this is the man who managed to sell snail porridge to his customers. The takeaway I got from the Adobe Summit was that by using creativity and science together, brands can create a memorable, relevant experience that will delight the customer, and inspire them too. In a world where customers are demanding to be wowed, this has never been more important.