More than 1,500 industry professionals from Belgium and beyond attended this year’s virtual UBA Trends Day
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Organised annually by UBA Belgium, UBA Trends Day is the biggest marketing industry event in Belgium which puts a spotlight on the latest trends in marketing, consumer insights, technology and media and inspires brands to go to the next level.
UBA partnered with Procurios and event agency DDMC to transform the conference into a virtual event, which featured a wide range to talks, workshops and Q&A sessions, as well as engaging breaks in the form of quizzes, exercises and a guided meditation sessions.
Here are some of the key trends identified by the event’s diverse line-up of Belgian and international speakers:
- Living in the 4D Matrix: On trends in strategy, Swedish economist and author Kjell Nordstrom said that a four-dimensional matrix will set the scene for the business and marketing landscape of the future: 1 - climate change; 2 - ‘civilizational capitalism’ – or capitalism with a strong dialect; 3 - the rise of megacities; and 4 - extensive digitalization that would set monopolies and algorithms free. He emphasised that ‘silent knowledge’ – tacit knowledge that can’t digitized and requires proximity – will be the key for future business strategies to succeed.
- Convergence of physical and virtual worlds: On consumer trends, journalist and innovations and insights expert David Mattin highlighted four consumer expectations for the months and years to come: 1 - Virtual P2P mentorship and expertise, in response to the ‘end of the office’; 2 - Sustainability, in response to the rise of more mindful consumerism; 3 - Truth communities and tools, in response to a fractious world and the rise of ‘deepfakes’; and 4 - Meaningful experiences in the ‘metaverse’, in response to the rapid shift to virtual worlds.
- Direct to Avatar: On trends in technology, futurist and emerging technologist expert Cathy Hackl looked at how technologies of the past and present have enabled the evolution of digital identity. She said that marketing in the future will likely shift to serving ‘virtual humans’ through B2R2C (Business to Robots to Consumer) and D2A (Direct to Avatar).
- ‘Slow is the new Fast’: On trends in marketing, author and marketer Ann Handley emphasised that despite all these emerging technologies, the most successful companies in 2020 have been those taking their foot off the accelerator and putting on the brakes on their marketing. She highlighted the importance of long-term growth over short-term gain, by building relationships, trust and affinity with people over time.
- In-housing is the new agency model? On trends in client-agency relations, Simon Martin, Chief Executive of OLIVER agency, he presented how the traditional agencies have experienced rapid disruption with the onset of Covid-19. He outlined how companies can future-proof their businesses by giving agencies a place in-house right next to their marketing departments. According to Simon, in-house agencies can strike the balance between creative quality, agility and cost-savings and give rise to a much-needed new client-agency relationship.
Attendees have access to all recorded presentations as well as reports and relevant content on UBA Trends Day event platform until 18 October.