On the 27th and 28th of September, Why Media attended the annual Technology for Marketing Event 2016 at London Olympia, the capital’s prestigious corporate event venue, The largest UK event for consumer technology. The two day event showcased over 100 exhibitors - the widest range at any UK event, 8 keynote speeches from those leading the way in marketing and technology, the opportunity to network with over 8,000 other senior marketers as well as 5 conference theatres giving practical tips and insights in topics such as social media, email marketing, search, content marketing and analytics.
A hot talking point for the day that seemed to emerge again and again was on the subject of search and email marketing. Speakers such as Kelvin Newman, Danielle Wooley and Mike Rogers gave insight on a number of topics such as improving your organic search rankings, optimising your quality score and generating high quality conversions on Google Adwords, personalising and future proofing your email marketing strategy and maximising recipient engagement with exceptional content. As the digital marketing world evolves constantly and hot trends come and go on a daily basis it has become apparent that email is the digital marketing platform that is here to stay. However, a shocking 49% of companies say their email marketing strategy is basic or non existent. Another interesting argument raised across various presentations was the idea of segmentation of databases based on the consumer’s stage in the buying lifecycle. Sending the same “blanket” email to an entire database isn’t going to generate return on investment or results. Every customer has different needs, wants, use of the product and brand knowledge and expects you to know what they desire when they desire it. In a day where email inboxes are 28% fuller and 64% of recipients will open an email based on the subject line alone it becomes paramount to not only personalise your email marketing but also to segment and tailor your content to the particular interests of your audience in order to stand out.
Another central topic that stood out was the next generation of social advocacy, a discussion led by Graham Compton, Director at Business Edge Technologies. In particular what was highlighted was employee advocacy; enabling employees to become business representatives on social media. A key fundamental issue highlighted was the fact that ? of the B2B buying cycle happens online before potential customers even engage with a brand. The question raised was how do we influence these potential leads if we don’t even though who they are. The answer is employee advocacy. 92% of people will trust a recommendation from a peer or “real person” before making a purchase decision. These days, simply retweeting content isn’t enough. Employees should be encouraged to act as brand ambassadors for your company and publish real content regarding your company from their personal Linkedin or Twitter accounts. Employees should be allowed a certain degree of freedom and personalisation in their content while constantly maintaining a clear, consistent message and correct information. It has be proven that content shared by social advocates on Linkedin regarding a company will receive two times higher click through rate than regular content published by the company itself. Word of mouth can be defined as the most valuable form of marketing so it becomes paramount for marketers to master social advocacy in order to excel.
A final point that stood out was the theory that the future of e-commerce lies in messaging, a seminar given by Dr Kevin Collins, CTO of Xtremepush. Over 80 billion messages are sent every day from mobile devices yet conversions still occur ten times less than on a desktop device with over ? of retail sales still occurring on desktop over mobile. What is the missing key feature to strike the right multichannel balance for e-commerce? The answer; messaging. Mobile shopping lacks the customer experience of a desktop and the ability for the consumer to truly understand the product. It comes the time to humanise shopping and create real conversation with a consumer through messaging. Predictions for future technology include introduction of “chat” features to help a customer find exactly what they are looking for and§§§ even the introduction of live video streams to give a customer real live insight into their shopping surroundings without even leaving their home. This will not only increase mobile conversion rates but also create a user experience never seen before in the digital age. Certainly a theory to keep your eyes peeled for!
Overall, Technology for Marketing 2016 was an insightful event filled with thought provoking theories from key speakers as well as innovative and forward thinking exhibitors. Rachael Drenovac, Digital Marketing Account Manager at Why Media says “After attending the event for just one day It is evident now more than ever that the future of marketing is certainly digital. I’ve gained valuable insight and expertise on future trends that I can incorporate into my own role at Why Media. I will certainly be in attendance again next year”.