Eden Advertising Blog

What We Learned at DX3 2020, Canada’s Largest Retail, Marketing, and Technology Event

Like last year’s two-day DX3 Retail, Marketing, and Technology conference in Toronto, I was once again greeted by Promobot, an autonomous robot designed for business and marketing purposes.

…But that’s where the similarities to last year’s event ended. The retail, marketing, and technology landscape is vastly different today than it was 12 months ago. This was apparent in the talks hosted by marketers, CEOs, CMOs, CROs, and other people with abbreviated titles from leading worldwide brands.

While the event was cut short due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the Eden Advertising team (re: this lowly copywriter) nevertheless gleaned some valuable, thought-provoking insights to share with you.

The Complexity of Simplicity

Kevin Andrews, Director of Control Brand Marketing for Loblaw Companies Limited, spearheaded a revamped ‘No Name’ brand campaign. No Name is a white label that’s been a part of the grocer’s history for 50 years.


Known best for its distinct yellow and black packaging and straight-to-the-point ad copy, Andrews touched on points that made the latest ‘No Name’ brand campaign successful. He discussed many areas of his campaign – KPIs, identifying the target consumer, brand perceptions, social media advertising – these were some of the more interesting points:

  • The importance of revisiting a brand’s target market and their perception of your brand. For example, with No Name being a household name for 50 years, a stigma grew alongside the brand – a stigma of cheapness, which leads buyers to believe that No Name products are lower quality’. By analyzing and understanding these newfound perceptions of the brand, Andrews and his team could craft messaging that would address these concerns and re-educate a new audience of potential consumers.
  • As the name of the talk suggests, Andrews believes that the simplest route is usually the best one. As marketers, our job is to dilute convoluted messaging to its simplest form, making it easy for consumers to understand what we’re trying to say. With so many messages we can convey, exercising restraint is a powerful tool to create intrigue.
  • Finally, he’s grateful that the people he works with were willing to take risks on this campaign. Without that trust from his superiors, this wildly successful No Name brand campaign would’ve died in the boardroom.



You might also like…Insights from the Traffic & Conversion Summit, the Largest Marketing Event in North America

Retail with a Story


Mohamed Fakih, CEO of Paramount Fine Foods, and Monika Deol, Founder and President of STELLAR Beauty, gave a 30-minute presentation on their experience running a large retail chain. A few takeaways:

  • Fakih says the only way a company can survive in today’s landscape is focusing on 4 P’s: Planet, People, Purpose, and Profit.
    • With topics like global warming, and most recently, COVID-19, at the forefront of politics and news feeds, today’s workforce prefers being a part of a company that’s committed to social responsibility and making the planet a better place.
    • They hire the right people. A company is nothing more than the people that are hired to represent the brand and provide customer service. It’s always a good idea to hire people smarter than you, too!
    • A company needs a purpose. Employees want to work for a company that they’re proud of, so a company needs a greater purpose than simply making money or meeting investors’ demands.
    • If a business owner takes care of these 3 P’s, the 4th (and probably most important to you!) – profit – will follow.
  • Deol discussed the biggest regret she made with her line of beauty products – trying to grow in other spaces she’s not a leader in. Her flagship products made her business, and looking back, she regrets not just fully investing in that specialty, rather than diluting budgets to try and compete in other areas of the uber-competitive beauty industry.
  • Fakih ended the talk with inspiring words for up-and-coming entrepreneurs
    • Always have a mentor you can learn from.
    • Don’t be afraid to go for it. If you’re a six-figure CEO, that job will always be around – be bold and take risks in your career!
    • Be humble, philanthropic, and give others the same opportunities afforded to you once you’ve made it!

Marketing BS: Understanding What Really Works in Marketing

Ed Nevraumont, Former CMO & CRO of General Assembly, and author of Marketing BS, briefly talked about all the bulls…tuff that’s in marketing, and some quick things marketers overlook that are so simple and effective, they forget about them since they’re ‘boring’.

  • He says that the perception of marketing is that it’s BS – showing statistics, marketers were actually the second-least trusted profession in America. Luckily, us marketers ranked ahead of used car salesmen.
  • Nevraumont made a distinction – marketing isn’t BS, it’s just filled with BS.
  • He cites researcher Alex Bavelas as the reason people don’t trust marketing: we inundate consumers, or clients hiring us for marketing services, with so much esoteric mumbo-jumbo, that it’s hard to trust anything. He quotes Bavelas: “The more complex the delusions are, the more likely they are to convince the second subject.”
  • Finally, he recommends two things that’ll improve a business immediately: Calling customers back in a timely fashion, and improving site speed (improving site speed was the fastest way to enhance SEO of a site – it can be seen in as little as one month!).

These were just a handful of the insights I gained at DX3 Canada 2020. Unfortunately, Day 2 was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns, which have since heightened in Toronto and around the world.

As a member of the digital marketing industry, I feel grateful that I have the ability to work from home, still have a job, and can help my agency’s clients stay afloat during these difficult times. Remember, we’re all in this together!

For the latest news and trends in digital marketing and all things advertising, be sure to bookmark the Eden blog for new insights every month!