As keynote speaker, Harendra Kapur, who's Head of Writing at Velocity, closed the show with an energetic, engaging and potty-mouthed intro into having skin in the game.
The concept was coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, whose book of that title proposes that to taking measurable risk helps with commercial efficiency, risk management and aids understanding of the thing. Harry said the book is great but not to look into the author as it's bad news, but I couldn't find anything on that, so colour me intrigued.
However, he opened his talk by making me live my worst nightmare. Telling me I had impostor syndrome because I am an impostor.
Most people who are responsible for marketing are a selling a product or service they don't have or use. How many people who sell insurance actually have experience of life insurance, let alone life insurance with that particular company.
We can't all buy the things we're supposed to market and bump off a family member to see what the process is like. But what we can do is when we're presenting ideas, especially risky ones, that we do it too.
Harry gave the example of the architects whose buildings fell killing the owner were sentenced to death. If there were such consequences for marketers or copywriters, our output would be very different.
Harry cited a few examples, one was the Lambda School for coders. They pay their students a living wage to train, then take a cut of their earnings. Literally investing, and having faith in, their workforce. It's then up to the school to make sure their education levels are top-notch in order to make their money back.
It's safe to say most companies are risk-averse, but if they took that leap and used the products, methods and services they're selling, they would have skin in the game and marketing would be a hell of a lot easier.