Adam Nickson is Head of Marketing Communications at Groupe Renault in the UK and calls himself an “accidental marketer” and an “accidental car guy” due to the series of events that have helped build his career. During our conversation, Adam outlined his Shiny New Object as a series of concepts – a 5-step marketing detox plan for 2021.

When Adam was growing up, his dream career was forensic science. He became a marketer when his grades didn’t allow him to pursue this, but he kept the interest in knowing how to get under people’s skin in his new role. This interest has driven his work ethos ever since and it comes across in his 5-step marketing detox plan for 2021, his Shiny New Object.

Before speaking about how he’s approaching 2021, I asked Adam what were his favourite marketing books and he shared his love of Bob Hoffman’s Marketers Are From Mars, Consumers Are From New Jersey. This series of inside stories about how marketers work and how they can become disconnected from the end consumer also hits home when we talk about the marketing detox plan, part of which is reconnecting with consumers.

Adam’s Shiny New Object, therefore, comes from a combination of experience and personal conviction, topped with the current climate of general “down in the dumps” attitude. For the first time on our podcast, we have a listicle. Firstly, Adam suggests that brands should be exciting: “Try to make people have an emotion… rather than a digital moment.”

In 2021, we should all “focus on creativity and ideas rather than just channels” in order to get closer to consumers. Secondly, brands should create experiences for people who have been starved of reasons to get out of the house during the pandemic. Adam is asking how we can establish connections with people on a human level, and letting that drive brands’ marketing efforts.

The next two steps are all about the rational, non-emotional side of marketing. Brands should focus on clarity and look to make customers’ lives simpler and easier, without disrupting customer journeys with things that customers don’t actually want such as pop-ups asking them to sign up to newsletters when they’re trying to complete an online purchase. Furthermore, brands should be more useful, trying to make the best use of tools they have at their disposal such as digital channels. This is an area where Renault are using digital communication to make up for their on-site premises being closed, for example.

For the final point on Adam’s 5-step plan, he believes we all need to consider then anti-social in social media. There are contrasting extremes in the attitudes one finds in social media communication and Adam thinks that brands that focus on spreading positivity, while aligning it to their brand values, will have a lot to gain in 2021. 

For more about the marketing detox, as well as Adam’s favourite marketing tips and stories, check out the full podcast episode here.

Tom Ollerton is the Founder of Automated Creative. Subscribe to the ‘Shiny New Object’ Podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube and Soundcloud.