Lea Karam Strata

Strata event tells marketers they must adopt inclusive and diverse content strategies

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Engaging content works best when it goes beyond demographics, but to achieve that today’s savvy event and marcomms professionals must create content that cuts through the digital noise that so many consumers experience. This statement was just one of the many discussed at Sea Containers London last month (June 26) when an invited audience gathered for an exclusive insights event hosted by Strata, the award-winning brand experience agency.

Titled “Unlocking the Future of Content”, the event – comprised of a keynote and panel discussion – examined behavioural science principles, content strategy and messaging.

Strata invited Lea Karam (pictured), a multi-award-winning behavioural scientist and consulting director at Behave, the human insights agency, to deliver a keynote discussing a changing marketing landscape where all the stages – awareness, purchase, discovery, and consideration – can occur simultaneously.

“The marketing funnel and marketing ecosystem have changed,” explained Karam at the Strata event. “It’s not a funnel anymore. It’s a loop. Awareness and action were part of the traditional funnel. At the moment, awareness and purchase and for example, discovery and consideration can happen at the same time. People can know about your event and they can know about your brand. They can know about your purpose before you even speak about it. So it’s really important to know that if you want to speak to a specific audience, you need to get them where they are. You need to get them in their psychological behavioural ecosystem and resonate with them differently.”

According to Karam, revamped digital platforms have disrupted the way we communicate with different markets and changed the behaviour of target audiences. Therefore, event and marcomms professionals must understand behavioural triggers to be authentic.

Karam’s keynote speech focused on the purpose and impact of content in today’s digital ecosystem and discussed the paradox of choice, illustrating how an overload of options can lead to decision paralysis. She also stressed that inclusivity and diversity of thought are essential for creating content that truly connects with key demographics and suggested leveraging influencers and the creator economy to build trust and engagement.

Karam continued: “Skipping audience mapping and community-building homework won’t work. It will only make content strategies fall short. Audience mapping is so important, because if you don’t understand who you’re speaking to, their triggers, and their passion points, you’re going to end up speaking to Ozzy Osborne and King Charles [same age, same gender and part of the same mosaic group] at the same time and create content that would resonate with the whole world. That’s not the point.”

She added: “There’s a lot you can do to find those nuances and connect with people. I recommend leveraging predictive technology but we need to differentiate between generative AI and predictive AI. Generative AI is text-generated ChatGPT and content-generated images and videos. Predictive AI predicts patterns. It predicts behaviours. It’s all the aggregated nuggets of information that we can get to get those nuances. Predictive AI is important because it gives you a real view of your consumers.”

Karam told the audience that effective content strategies require continuous audience insights. Technology is an enabler. However, whilst technology is a great resource that can facilitate engagement, it cannot replace human touch and interaction that drives conversion and decisions and creates trust, Karam warned.

Commenting on the event and Karam’s keynote, Giles Cattle, director of creative, strategy and business development at Strata, said: “Lea’s keynote speech was incredibly insightful. Our guests were blown away by the great examples she shared and were grateful for the takeaways that will help them to develop relatable event and content strategies, with our help of course.

“For example, did you know that 81 per cent of consumers are on the lookout for events recommended by communities or social creators? That’s why it’s paramount to create relevant content that is both diverse and inclusive.”

Cattle continued: “This is our second year hosting these events, allowing our guests to discover new ideas and the latest insight. I am certain that they appreciated this exclusive opportunity to listen, network, and debate the points raised by Lea.

“Brands can’t achieve true engagement without experiences that connect and captivate. For years, we have all been saying how content is king. Therefore, events are the perfect opportunity to foster that culture of belonging that so many audiences crave.”

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