Brands should get back-to-basics and embrace the classical principles of marketing if they want to drive sustainable growth, says Cheryl Calverley, Eve Sleep’s CEO.

Speaking at MAD//Anywhere last week, Calverley told attendees that “the classic principles of marketing and what makes people buy things haven’t changed.  Consumers and human brains don’t change that quickly.”

Calverley, who joined the DTC mattress brand in 2018, said: “I managed to walk into a business that had done the impossible and managed to break marketing.

“The best typing to do is take a step back and look at the business from the perspective of the classical 5 P’s marketing theory. What used to work in advertising didn't’ work any more, Our share of voice had dropped dramatically. Our competitors were outspending us,” said Calverley. 

Faced by worrying financial results in 2018, Calverley embarked on a marketing-driven turnaround strategy. Yesterday Eve Sleep announced 2020 results that were ‘six months ahead of plan’ and ‘ahead of twice raised expectations’. Revenue was up 6% to £25.2m - despite cutting marketing spend by 49% on the previous year.

Whilst Calverley’s immediate priority was to get Eve Sleep’s house in order, she said scale-up brands must act today to ensure long-term objectives are met: “The future is only ever now. If you don’t build for the future now, you never will. Ask yourself is what I’m doing setting us for a very different business in 2-3 years?"

"Choose your investments so they are long-term and sustainable and make sure the engine is building and ever improving.”

Attended by over 3,000 global marketing leaders, MAD//Anywhere featured 147 speakers over two days including Ogilvy Vice-chair Rory Sutherland,  Ben & Jerry’s Head of Activism Rebecca Baron, Dishoom Co-founder Shamil Thakrar and Walgreens Futures Director Marni Allen. Sessions are available to watch on-demand on the MAD//Fest YouTube channel.