Ok, let’s get the elephant out of the room – it’s been a challenging week, not just for marketing, but for communities, businesses and society in general.

But humans are adept at adapting. We find a path through the challenges we face. So in the spirit of giving people something to look forward to, we’ve announced the first few speakers for MAD//Picnic at the Beach on 9 July at London City Beach.

This year’s theme is ‘ACTION!’ and we’ll be asking some of the industry’s top global and growth brands to share how they are changing, evolving and innovating to solve current challenges and realise future opportunities.

We’re super excited to confirm three awesome CMOs from three diverse businesses:

1. Gary Bramall, CMO, Zoopla

Gary Bramall, Zoopla’s CMO, has led an overhaul of the property price comparison site’s marketing strategy and drive to inject more emotion into its advertising.

As a business focused on enabling people to make the important life choice of finding a home, Zoopla has placed more emphasis on using advertising to communicate its product purpose and change consumer behaviour.

Zoopla has also significantly beefed up its in-house team and recruited a content team charged with connecting data and insight.

Many of these challenges will be familiar to marketers and it will be fascinating to hear how Zoopla is connecting the dots between emotional engagement and behavioural change.

2. Abba Newbury, CMO, Habito

We continue the property theme with Abba Newbury, who was hired by online mortgage broker Habito in 2017. Habito’s TV, digital, print and outdoor ads use bold, provocative and sometimes controversial creative to communicate the company’s ‘Hell or Habito’ motto. 

Habito has partnered with ‘provocative creative’ agency Uncommon, who were this week named ‘Independent Agency of the Year’ by Campaign, to deliver striking ads that get noticed.

Abba’s not someone who minces her words and describes most digital advertising as “rubbish”. She laments a lack of bravery among clients and has called for the industry to recognise that it has an attention problem (an issue addressed this week at the first Attention Council meeting).

3. Steve Axe, Group CMO, Nomad Foods

Ok, the humble fish finger might be just behind kombucha, jackfruit and Impossible Burgers in the trendy food chart, but the iconic British Bird’s Eye fish finger has stood the test of time (and will probably be fuelling many marketing folk during these WFH times).

The man with the marketing purse strings for brands like Birds Eye, Aunt Bessie’s and Goodfella’s pizza is Nomad Foods Group CMO Steve Axe. 

Nomad clocks up around £2bn sales per year and has a significant media budget to help this frozen food giant hit its numbers. 

For a big global advertiser like Nomad, network agencies continue to be a crucial piece of the marketing puzzle. But in the quest for agencies to diversify beyond traditional media planning and buying, some have been more successful than others.

Steve is eager to see agency partners develop “breakthrough media strategies” that focus on the mid to long-term and provide a competitive media advantage.

Faced with the continued explosion of channels, it’ll be fascinating to see how major global advertisers like Nomad adapt their strategies in-line with changes to the media, consumer and agency landscapes.

Get yourself down to MAD//Picnic on 9 July to hear these three awesome CMOs call for industry action. Click here for tickets.