Brands have been warned against making marketing campaigns and messages too complex.

According to Gav Thompson, Interim Chief Marketing Officer at C&C Group, launching a brand with a revolutionary business model can be a “pretty complex affair.”

However, he said this makes it all the more important for it to have simple and straightforward focus.

Recalling his experience at Giffgaff, he said all its thinking was driven by one word – mutually.

“And this became the test we applied to every decision we made,” Mr Thompson commented.

“Most of us are grappling with increased complexity in our markets these days, but that just means we need to work harder to boil things down.”

Mr Thompson went on to point out that the companies he has worked for in the past have all been “passionate innovators.”

This, he said, means he was exposed to new technologies before they moved into the mainstream and became a “huge believer” in embracing modern developments.

However, he stressed that this does not mean he is willing to simply follow fads.

“I hate it when marketers pursue technology for the sake of it rather than as part of a coherent commercial strategy,” Mr Thompson said.

“Give me a big brand idea first, driven by consumer insight, and then we can talk tech.”

Indeed, Mr Thompson stressed that any marketing activities must start and end with their customers.

“My first boss at O2 was Cath Keers, arguably the founder of the brand,” he revealed.

“She taught me that nothing else matters apart from what your customers think.”

Mr Thompson acknowledged that having a strong focus on this area might seem fairly obvious and a matter of common sense.

However, he stated that it is not always commonplace, as many companies fail to grasp and act upon it.

This, he argued, is “at the heart of most business problems” as too many organisations are instead too focused on internal politics, stakeholders and products.

“All of these are important, of course, but if you take your eye off the most important prize of all, you’ve had it,” Mr Thompson insisted.

He went on to stress that a key attribute for marketers is self-belief, as there will be times when they feel they have a good idea on how to promote a product or service and others strongly disagree.

Mr Thompson said there have been occasions in his career when he has been forced to back his instincts and persuade his colleagues to “go on a limb.”

As a result, he is keen to encourage young marketers to “go with their gut feelings” if they feel strongly about something.

“If you don’t back yourself, why should others support you? Be a bit disruptive,” he said.

Big brand ideas trump tech every time CampaignLive