Figaro Digital Winter Marketing Conference Roundup (Part One)

by Shannon Lynn Figaro Digital

Last Thursday saw the much anticipated return of the Figaro Digital Winter Marketing Conference, and it did not disappoint. Under the famed dome of The Magic Circle, marketers from agencies, brands and tech companies joined together to discuss and celebrate all things digital.

With presentations ranging from psychological marketing hacks, to using LinkedIn for social media outreach, it was a diverse and stimulating day. Our Chairperson, Sophie Crosby, summed up the biggest challenge that digital marketers are facing today in her welcome speech, where she pinpointed the increasing need for brand authenticity in order to gain customer loyalty.

Here we take a look at some of the key takeaways.

The Psychology Of Referral Marketing

The key to a successful marketing strategy is preempting the effect it will have on consumer behaviour. Robin Bresnark, Director of Client Success at Buyapowa, outlines seven key psychological principles that power his approach to referral marketing. Referral marketing is an effective way of utilising your customers to generate leads and increase sales. However, he adds, these hacks can be used to inform marketing strategy across the board, not just for referral. For each tip he starts by expanding on the psychological principle, then provides a real world example, before offering practical advice on how this can be implemented in marketing. He illustrates the significance of  The Scarcity Heuristic with an example of the competition provoked by the release of Cabbage Patch Dolls; due to their limited availability, their value increased exponentially. Robin explains how marketers can capitalise on this by setting restrictions on the amount of referrals a customer is allowed. In turn, this will provoke them to refer more people as they don’t want to feel like they are losing out.

He enlightens the audience on how The Norm of Reciprocity and Mere Exposure Theory can be used to enrich their marketing strategy. Robin explains that the basic psychology behind referral marketing is that customers are more willing to do something for you if you’ve done something for them. Additionally, the more that customers are exposed to something the more favourably they will act towards it. To learn more about Robin’s psychologically driven marketing hacks, watch the video of his presentation linked below.

View Robin’s presentation here.

Blood Donation In A Digital World

In the first of the day’s Figaro Digital 21s, Gareth Humphreys, Head of Insight, Strategy and Innovation at NHS Blood and Transplant, delivered a fast paced and high energy presentation about engaging with blood donors in a digital age. He launched into a brief history of NHSBT and their services, detailing the challenges that they are working to overcome. Segmentation and more specific targeting are areas that they are focusing on to help tackle diseases such as Sickle Cell, which requires a specific blood type. In a move towards digital, NHSBT launched a self service portal and app to make the process of giving blood easier for donors. Gareth went on to outline the approach they use on social media; different platform attract different audiences so they need to tailor their outreach accordingly.

He speaks on the importance of the data and research led marketing that is helping them to engage with their hard to reach target audiences. Black, male donors are in high demand and this research combined with insight from their study of econometrics and behavioural science makes their approach to connect with them more effective. Gareth then looks to the future, suggesting some ways in which NHSBT will continue to embrace digital. From voice search, to AI, and even the possibility for blood donations to be taken by robots, it is clear that NHSBT are determined to evolve and adopt innovative digital trends.

View Gareth’s presentation here.

Growth, Change And Value

Stephen Elldred, Co-Founder and MD at Effortless Skin, shared 15 tips for digital success garnered from his career in the ecommerce sector. He subdivided these into three fundamental categories: growth, change and value. Stephen believes that in order for a business to grow, the team need to be visionary and willing to learn and be influenced. It’s important to recruit staff that have an attitude that aligns with the value of the brand, as surrounding yourself with toxic team members can be detrimental to the business. Change is necessary for growth, but the uncertainty involved prevents many people from embracing it. For those in a position of power, sharing your vision is important not only for reasons relating to transparency and trust, but it can often act as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Stephen uses the example of Nokia to show the mortality of success and its quick demise if you fail to be flexible and adapt to digital change. When implementing major changes it is of great importance that your team remain supported, yet challenged.

Finally, Stephen moves on to the ways that companies can add value to their brand. Creating ecosystems around core products and exploiting technology are key ways he suggests to achieve this. Additionally, it is paramount to fail in the right way. Failing can help you find the right approach, but you need to own your mistakes and actively work to fix things. Stephen concludes his presentation with a plea for companies to view things from different perspectives and iterate until you get it right.

View Stephen’s presentation here.

Bringing Open Banking To Life With Bud

Bud is a FinTech company that allows you to manage all your banking and finances on one platform. Their Head of Networks and Partnerships, Alan Walsh, delivered a 21s style presentation on the benefits of open banking. Their financial network enables banks, service providers and customers to interact in one place, allowing for a more personal and relevant experience. Alan explains the three pillars that Bud operates on top of: aggregation, insights and marketplace. Their API network allows for a mutually beneficial relationship between all three parties and will become even more effective the more it is engaged with. Bud will be able to tailor and suggest services as it gets to learn your preferences, ensuring ease of use that will in turn drive customer loyalty. Alan provides an example of their win win business model, with a case study of their partnership with HSBC to create the artha app. Users are provided with a simplified service and banks have more highly engaged customers and the opportunity to gain invaluable insights.

Bill management, utility switching and connected journeys are some of the ways in which Bud uses data to speed up processes. An important journey that they help customers with is home buying, providing multiple touch-points across one network. Bud have managed to create a digital service that uses data to inform their strategy and offer a complete financial package for their customer.

View Alan’s presentation here.

Customer Centric Search

As an agency, Edit are passionate about putting the customer at the centre of search. Stephen Kenwright, Group Growth Manager at Edit, traces Google’s history of search from way back in 2006. He explains the interaction between drivers (TV, social media and display) and facilitators ( SEO, PPC and content) and how PR needs to operate as a combination of the two. The core purpose of SEO should be determined by three factors; will the business make money, do people want it and does Google like it? Stephen analyses whether popular advertising formats are ticking all three of these boxes. Most content is not created in the interest of the customer and marketers need to reevaluate their strategy to put them back at the centre. Videos, reviews and site speed hit all three of these criteria, but the purpose of voice and visual search needs to be re orientated.

Stephen takes inspiration from Steve Jobs by quoting, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology.” One way he suggests doing this is to create a strategy canvas to identify gaps and opportunities. This is an important way to gauge how successful you are in specific areas, particularly in comparison to your competitors. He leaves us with a reminder that Google is always playing catch up and predominantly operates in a reactionary manner to the latest digital search trends that we, as marketers, help create.

View Stephen’s presentation here.

Adjacent Content Marketing; Campaigns Not About What You Do But Why You Do It

TrustedHousesitters wanted to step away from the image of themselves as a travel brand and shift the focus back to pets, who remain at the heart of everything they do. They wanted to maintain links and coverage, but only from relevant angles that situated them as a pet sitting business. Around 25 per cent of pet owners don’t travel and their mission as a brand is to liberate them and provide peace of mind that their pet is being cared for whilst they are away. TrustedHousesitters’ CMO, Jess Stephens, explains how they used pet plaques as part of their adjacent content marketing. They decided to place green plaques on buildings that pets who deserved to be celebrated lived in. This campaign saw great success with relevant coverage by Sky News and Horse & Hound- a publication with high domain authority and site views. Their pet plaques captured the attention of journalists outside of their vertical and increased the reach of their brand.

For TrustedHousesitter’s next campaign, which they have playfully nicknamed their ‘difficult second album’, they will utilise the tips that they have learnt from the creation of pet plaques. Jess ends her presentation with three tips for success in adjacent content marketing; love what your customer loves, be prepared to say no and think outside your verticals for links.

View Jess’ presentation here.