Brandwave’s NetworkB: First Digital Seminar A Success

Following their first fully digital seminar – webinar – Dan Macaulay summarises the takeaway points and reviews the success of the first instalment of Brandwave’s NetworkB.


NetworkB Goes Digital – A Webinar To Remember

With the latest instalment in their NetworkB series done and dusted, Brandwave Founder, Dan Macaulay looks back on their first fully digital iteration and the key take-outs from the event…

‘Change, adapt, evolve’ – that has been their mantra since the effects of Coronavirus first began to adversely affect their industry. When the world is changing fast, you must pivot your business fast. Or to quote the ever-inspirational Key Accounts Director, Ollie Robinson “The key to success is to be more speedboat than oil tanker” and it was during their first Coronavirus pivot meeting that the concept of a fully digital NetworkB event was first conceived.

For Dan, he welcomed this opportunity with open arms. While he loves presenting live at conferences and events, there are always restrictions in terms of geography and diversity of attendees. The idea of bringing all of their friends and clients from all sports industries, from all around the world together is what digital events are all about.

The theme of their first digital NetworkB was ‘No Rules Marketing – The Game Changers Playbook’. Essentially how the most innovative brands of the world are using minimum investment to gain maximum return in their marketing. It’s a theme that Dan has had a lot of fun presenting on recently but this time, he was lucky enough to be joined by one of the star players that he regularly case studies – Tom Reding, Director of Digital Engagement and eCommerce at BrewDog.

With 114 x marketing managers in attendance from sports industries as diverse as F1 to football, the pressure was on to deliver some fresh content that challenged the conventional marketing theory and inspired all attendees to look at their own marketing strategy in new ways. Here are a few of Dan’s key take-outs:

Who are the Game Changers?
The Game Changers are some of the world’s most innovative brands that have literally redefined the word marketing as we know it. They spend a fraction of what their competitors spend on marketing and yet, they experience massive increases in sales and pretty much exponential growth. In all situations across all channels, they do the exact opposite of what traditional marketing theory dictates, they do the opposite of what their competitors do, and they do the opposite of what you would expect them to do. In the current situation that we’re all facing, Dan reckons there has never been a more relevant time to look at these brands to see what we can all learn.

You can’t read the label from inside the jar
The sports industry is notoriously insular. Most of us who are in it grew up in it and will never leave. As a result, there is not a lot of diversity in terms of marketing strategy, creative or channels. To find best in class, we must look not towards our competitors but outside of our industry to other industries who are truly best in class.

NetworkB Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking
Game Changers aim to acquire as much of a new audience as possible while spending as little as possible. These brands often have a tiny percentage of their competitors’ budgets and brand equity and yet, get 1000s x times more ROI, reach, and engagement on their marketing activities. The typical growth hacker often focuses on finding smarter, low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing, e.g. using social media, viral marketing and even technical ‘hack’ or coding methods to grow audiences.

Advertising For PR
Traditional advertising spreads budget over different channels – out of home, print, and digital. The budget is then spread over the season or the year. The key word here is ‘spread’. You get lots of breath but very little depth and traction. Game Changers do the exact opposite to the conventional. These brands pool all their smaller budget into one space. The space that is the most high-profile. These adverts will often run only once but will cause headlines and get audiences talking about them online – therefore essentially creating ‘free PR’ for the brand.

Proactive/ Reactive
Game Changers don’t work from a marketing plan. They flip traditional PR on its head – instead of trying to create a story about their brand. They seek out what’s already a story and piggy-back on the interest in that. What is hottest story this week – current affairs, celebrity, politics, religion. What is the public, search engines, and media all talking about? They adapt their brand’s creative to reflect.

Speed Is Your Friend
Game changers such as BrewDog move fast. They are willing to take risks and they are not concerned about upsetting the status quo. They actively attract controversy and they want to be different. They can turn product and marketing around in a matter of a day to reflect changes in their external environment.

Lastly, Dan would like to thank his team at Brandwave and everyone who attended their first fully digital NetworkB. This event represented their own attempt to pivot fast, going from conception to event delivery in less than a week. Brandwave were overwhelmed both the quality and quantity of attendees and the positive feedback that was received post-event.

There will be more news on additional digital NetworkB events coming up very soon… watch this space!

 -By Dan Macaulay


On the cover: Laura Hemming, skate coach at Graystone Action Sports. Photo: Chris Chatt.


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