November 13, 2015 ben salmon

Tech Trailblazers at the Festival of Marketing 2015

Festival of Marketing 2015: Tech Trailblazers

I was hosting the Tech Trailblazers session this week at the Festival of Marketing. We had number of fantastic speakers and there was an interesting panel with 4 innovation experts giving their point of view on what innovation is and what it is not!

There were also a number of new start-ups who told their stories and brought to life what is possible with some very interesting technology.

The highlight at the end of the day (purely from a fun point of view) was The TechOff.

festival of marketing techoff

What is the Techoff?

The Tech Off was a blend of crazy wrestling themed antics combined with wicked 5-minute presentations from 3 marketing contenders. The aim was to explore how to innovate, in a ‘battle for the future’ of marketing!

The stage opened with Dan Kirby leading in two wrestlers (before you ask – they are actually real wrestlers – The Fabulous Bakewell Boys!) holding The Tech Off title belt.

festival of marketing techoff

Dan explained the rules to the audience and introduced the three contenders.

Let the battle commence!

festival of marketing techoffFirst up was Scott Morrison ex-Diesel Marketing Director, now founder of The Boom, said marketers need to push the boundaries and take more risk with highly focused agile teams – that he called ‘boom units’. Then you can spend meaningful time exploring innovation, rather than just doing what you’ve always done.





festival of marketing techoffSecond up was Colin Lewis, Marketing Director of British Midland International (BMI)  who encouraged everyone to copy! Surely innovation is copying isn’t it he argued – Elvis, Steve Jobs, Bowie, Picasso all stole from the world. His three rules were to copy, assimilate and finally innovate.







festival of marketing techoffFinally was David Bailey, Creative director UX&D at the BBC, he explored some of the challenges creating a ‘digital first’ BBC – of innovation at scale. His confident presentation (without slides!) talked about both about understanding the needs of the consumer, and looking to unexpected places for ideas. It used to be that the designers were the cool guys, but now it’s the coders. Being open to wider influence will help make better customer experiences.

It then went to a hugely complex voting mechanic, which was powered by the noise in the room. Ok, so it was who ever Dan felt like winning.

And the winner is


So drum roll please . . . . .and the winner was Colin Lewis!

Thank you

To find out more about the TechOff or for future events visit:

Thanks to everyone who attended today, Econsultancy for organising such a fantastic event and Dan Kirby for looking utterly ridiculous!


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