An Opinion Piece: Inta Buša

I recently talked to some company’s marketing manager who said he has been working at marketing industry for 20 years now and that he “knows everything”. So basically any other information, sharing experiences or ideas are not meant for him. I could not figure out better reply to that as “Well, that is interesting”. In my opinion that kind of arrogance or unwillingness to learn something new in marketing industry can cost very expensive, literally.

Therefore, I am glad that there is such an event as Riga Marketing Week “LOOP”, which brings together professionals of marketing and public relations field in order to discuss the current market segment, to hear local and international specialists as well as to share experiences and stories with other professionals. In my opinion, the situation when someone thinks that he “knows everything” is both – undesirable and impossible. But if someone actually feels that way - there are two options – changing profession or digging deeper. You have to be able professionally found something worthwhile and inspirational for yourself. For that reason I totally agree with Albert Einstein who once said: “The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know”. Respectively, there is always a place for growth. This year “LOOP” covered a fairly wide range of topics, but I want to share with, in my opinion, strongest conclusions.

Consumer shopping habits are changing. One of the factors that indicate that is recent study’s result that shows that 25% of all US stores will close in next four years, so it is clear that online shopping will get even more popular. At the same time live-stream sales will become more popular, which makes me smile a bit as it reminds me those teleshopping channels that I usually want to turn off as soon as possible. In general shopping more and more often will become as entertainment – a process that can meet consumer needs and at the same time inspire and give some kind of emotional fulfilment.

The second topic is about brands. Typically in all fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) there is wide range of offerings. With the availability of information and ever-expanding consumer expertise, there is a desire to “enjoy”. A consumer is looking and will increasingly seek to do that not only for good products, but also for stories – about the brand, the origin of the product and its authenticity. Consumers will have a desire for something unique and special one. This trend will reduce the market share of products that have an unclear brand and its value.

Finally, I want to talk about storytelling. It is not just about the content of the story, but more often of how it is told. On the second day of “LOOP”, R. Williams, in my opinion, completely satisfied everyone with a good jazz and rhetorical question: “Have you ever felt butterfly on your arm?” That was the only lecture I did’t use my phone to check work e-mails. His final thesis summarizes five core competencies that should describe a well-told story: inclusive, true, emotional, creative, and engaging. After the event already talking with other marketing week visitors, it become clear that everyone have different opinion. However, there was certainly at least one valuable lesson for everyone. I believe, we should not be arrogant and to assume that we "know everything", but we should become more true against others and ourselves and share our experience with each other in order to develop a marketing segment in Latvia.