Digital Marketing Conference 26 November 2015: Round-up Pt 1

by Jessica Ramesh

From social businesses grounded in community to the lessons established brands can take from start-ups, here’s a quick round-up of things we learned at Figaro Digital’s November 2015 marketing conference

Hitting the Mark – Examples of Email Marketing Best Practice
Skip Fidura, Client Services Director at dotmailer

“Think big but start small,” says Skip Fidura at dotmailer, who outlined some of the challenges facing email marketers. If you’re struggling to expand your email lists a simple (and non-intrusive) pop-up collecting email addresses is an effective starting point. Anticipate your customers’ needs: if you have an FAQ page, ensure it answer the questions people are actually asking. Use an abandon browse email to capture unanswered questions. “Find the one thing you can affect today, or this week,” says Skip. “Scale quickly and don’t forget to optimise.”

Watch Skip’s presentation in full here.

Commercial Aims and Social Gains: ‘Twickets’ – A Case Study in Social Innovation
Pete McGarr, Managing Director at Tempero

Twickets is a fan-to-fan ticket exchange set up by Richard Davies in response to touts taking tickets out of circulation and re-selling them at inflated prices. The service enables fans to buy and sell tickets for gigs and events at face value or less. Initially launched on Twitter, 300,000 people now use the app, which has grown entirely through word of mouth and enjoys the support of artists as diverse as One Direction and Wilco Johnson. For Pete McGarr at Tempero, businesses like this, which have their roots in online communities indicate that “the social business dream is still alive.” The key, he says, is to identify what’s important to both your brand and its community. It’s common ground that entitles brands to be active within that community and to their tell their stories. “Take positive action against a social issue as part of your brand marketing mix. It inspires people within your company and gives you a shared purpose to connect with people around you.”

Watch Pete’s presentation in full here.

Measuring Content Marketing
Stephen Kenwright, Director of Search at Branded3
Jack Cornwall, Senior SEO Specialist at Sky

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 80 per cent of marketers plan to produce more content in 2016. But more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Before cranking out new content, Stephen Kenwright at Branded3 advises re-examining existing material, undertaking a site audit and observing some SEO rules of thumb. Use 301 redirects to get rid of old content and direct users to new pages. Keep content above the fold – not just for visibility, but because Google’s ‘Top Heavy’ algorithm downgrades pages loaded with top-of-page ads. Link to external websites and other relevant content. This discourages users from bouncing back to Google when they leave your site. And make sure your trust signals are available on every page for users that might be unfamiliar with your brand or website.

Watch Stephen and Jack’s presentation in full here.

Four Simple Rules For Designing Better Emails
Danielle Woolley, Customer Success Manager at Adestra

Danielle Woolley at Adestra advises keeping email design clean, elegant and simple. iPhone and Android differ in how they support responsive coding, so look at reporting to discover which devices users are opening on and design accordingly. Email can be a challenging medium for designers, but Danielle advises embracing the limitations and finding creative ways to overcome them. Finally, she says, uphold the brand across the entire journey. Consumers are quick to pick up on elements that don’t look or feel quite right.

Watch Danielle’s presentation in full here.

How To Walk The Virtual Shopfloor – CEOs on Social

Nicola Green, Director of Communications & Reputation at Telefonica O2 UK

Ronan Dunne is CEO at Telefonica O2 UK. He’s also a dedicated presence on social media with over 28,000 followers on Twitter. Nicola Green, Director of Communications & Reputation, explained the value to the organisation of a socially active CEO who’s able to talk to customers, staff and emphasise the brand’s credibility. “Empower your top leaders to get on social, and encourage them regularly,” she says. “Make sure they’re open and honest themselves.”

Watch Nicola’s presentation in full here.

The Brand Benefits of Being Reactive
Paul Hunter, SEO Account Coordinator at Liberty Marketing

Social media is all about the moment – and reacting to it. Paul Hunter at Liberty Marketing explained how brands can adopt a ‘pro-reactive’ approach to content and be prepared for opportunities before they arise. Paul also highlighted some of the risks: a hasty attempt to hitch your brand to the wrong hashtag can have disastrous consequences. The key is to be prepared, credible and creative. “Reactive content can be great for brand exposure, PR and SEO,” says Paul. “It doesn’t just have to take place on social and people react most when emotions are involved.”

Watch Paul’s presentation in full here.

Case Study: This Girl Can

Kate Dale, Head of Brand and Digital Strategy at Sport England

Successful social campaigns need to articulate the existing concerns of a target audience – something Sport England achieved spectacularly with its This Girl Can campaign. Designed to get women active, it generated 34 million views, reached a combined social community of over 469,000 and generated a raft of mainstream media coverage. Pivotal to its success, says Kate Dale, has been a mix of empathy and authenticity that enabled the campaign to gather momentum naturally and provided ample opportunity for supporters to get involved and contribute their own content.

Watch Kate’s presentation in full here.

From Start-up to Series: A Thorough Marketing Test & Learn
Depesh Mandalia, Head of Marketing at Lost My Name

Lost My Name is an innovative publisher of personalised children’s books and the company’s enjoyed significant success since it was launched by three friends in 2012. ‘Storytelling’ may be one of marketing’s most ubiquitous buzzwords, but for Head of Marketing Depesh Mandalia, Lost My Name is a technology company that uses algorithms and localisation data to create a literally unique product: the stories are inspired by the letters of each child’s name and the books are printed on demand. Central to the marketing strategy has been Facebook, which allowed the brand to sell its products direct to consumers. “Be obsessive about learning about your target audience on Facebook,” says Depesh. As a growth specialist with extensive start-up experience, he outlines further strategies for maxing development. Be prepared to fail fast and often. Take controlled risks for controlled losses. Go with your MVP (minimum viable product) and iterate over time. Don’t make assumptions about your audience; keep researching them. Finally, “Stretch but don’t snap.” Be as ambitious as you possibly can while still delivering the product or service you believe in.

Watch Depesh’s presentation in full here.

Learning From Start-ups To Deliver Customer-driven Digital Transformation
Mary Harper, Head of Customer and Digital Marketing at Standard Life

As digital gains momentum, large organisations are looking at what they can learn from start-up culture. Mary Harper explains how Standard Life looked to Spotify and incubators such as TechCube, CodeBase and Digg for inspiration. Hackathons and disruption strategies may not be the sort of tactics we associate with established brands in the financial services sector, but it’s new thinking that drives new business. (Interestingly, a significant proportion of Standard Life’s audience is made up of mobile-first millennials as they embark on their working lives.) Mary’s advice for marketers working in large brands where new initiatives can be hard to implement is to break down the inter-departmental barriers. Make use of partners with specialist knowledge. No business exists in a vacuum so look at cultural and other factors that might influence users’ attitudes and behaviour. And don’t be afraid of disruption – even if it means rethinking your own team.

Watch Mary’s presentation in full here.

Compiled by Estelle Hakner and Jon Fortgang