August 7, 2018

Figaro Digital Summer Marketing Conference Roundup (Part Three)

By Caity Dalby, Content Manager, at Figaro Digital

Continuing where we left off in part two of the Figaro Digital Summer Marketing Conference roundup, here is part three where we look back at a varied selection of the day’s sessions to remind you of some of the key highlights and takeaways from the conference: ranging from Creative AI to mass personalisation.

Millennial Loyalty: Fact Or Fiction?

It is widely known that Millenials are killing everything. Okay, maybe that is a little strong but it is not far off from the general consensus that the digitally savvy Millennial consumer is disloyal and destroying some fundamental belief or way of doing things that underpins everything the generations before have done. This is nowhere more apparent than within the digital marketing industry, where it is absolutely necessary to completely understand your different audiences and what makes them tick. But in the industry there is still a tenancy to generalise or mistakenly attribute qualities to entire sections of people, meaning Millennials are often mistaken as disloyal, but does this say more about us as marketers than it does about them as consumers? Millennials have been the focus of much marketing scrutiny, however in his session Georgios Chiotis, Marketing Director at Generator Hostels, explored a new loyalty view of this valuable and often misunderstood generation.

One of the primary behaviours that digitally savvy Millennials perform when booking accommodation for their holidays is to scour the internet and other travel agencies; they use these comparison websites as search engines. Gone are the days of customers googling ‘best hotel in Barcelona’, Millennials catapult their own customer journey to another level and without influence from brands. And unlike other sections of your customer base, they cross check at least ten different online resources and 24 per cent of them checking online reviews before settling on a purchase. And ultimately, it you ask Millennials what they think about their own generation: 70 per cent of them consider their generation less loyal than other generations, more than 65 per cent of them say they have jumped ship from one company to another, and, when it comes to hospitality, 81 per cent of them think they’re not loyal to a specific brand. But what does the data show? In actual fact, 86 per cent of Millennials join loyalty schemes and participate in rewards programmes – more so than the previous generations. These two very differing views on Millennials’ loyalty to brands highlight a wider problem in our current understanding of what loyalty is, and how this is changing. Millennials, it is more and more apparent, are staunchly loyal when there is a reason to be loyal, namely: exclusivity, a mobile-first approach with a loyalty app, and a commitment to social responsibility. Watch the rest of Georgios’ presentation to find out how to redefine our understanding of brand loyalty and how to make the most of your loyal Millennial consumers.

View Georgios’ presentation here.

Creative Is Dead, Long Live Cre-AI-tive

In the digital marketing industry the future is now and creativity is dead; in its place is cre-AI-tivity. Shocking as it sounds Maria Flores Portillo, General Manager at Persado, revealed in her Figaro Digital 21’s presentation how, with the help of creative AI, you can optimise your cre-AI-tive output and make every customer interaction meaningful. The industry reaction to AI is often one of concern or worry at a possible loss of creativity within digital marketing – a lack of humanity – but Maria was quick to quash those worries and show the delegates how AI can actually help in your creative process. Ultimately making your creative output more human and personal. Marketers have two main levers: the first is media buying and targeting, how to find that right person at the right time to buy a products, and secondly is how to speak to these people in the most effective way, which is creative effectiveness. The majority of the industry, for the last two decades, have been focusing on hyper segmentation and personalisation which has resulted in GDPR and ad-fraud. On the other hand, there is very little technology focused on the creative side and maintaining accountability for creative effectiveness. As Maria pointed out, no one has fired someone because their subject lines were missing the mark and leaving money on the table, precisely due to this lack of accountability and inability to measure the effectiveness of our creative output.

Maria put forward a number of compelling arguments as to why we would want machines to take an active role in the creative process: the first being that machines have no ego and can breakaway from human bias to provide truthful results to tests. Secondly, and a seemingly obvious but nonetheless important point, machines are simply faster at processing data than humans. Machines bring efficiency and effectiveness to the table, they are not only better at doing things but they can do better things. AI powered technology, when used in marketing, can tag over a million words and can give you access to what Maria calls Unlimited Knowledge. This break from how your brain understands and constructs language within creative gives you infinite creative possibilities. Maria used a real-life example of how creative, AI-driven hyper-personalisation can allow brands to speak to individual consumers on a more human, and effective, way. Watch the rest of Maria’s presentation for further insights into how cre-AI-tivity can transform the way you think about your creative process and interact with consumers.

View Maria’s presentation here.

Human-Driven Personalisation Doesn’t Scale…But AI Can

What marketer wouldn’t want better personalisation for their customers? Unfortunately, most companies are using human personalisation that simply can’t deliver on the promise of mass personalisation. Andy Phillips, Communications Director at Emarsys speaks about how marketers can use AI to deliver on these promises. In his presentation, Andy looks at the closing gap between the readiness of AI marketing solutions to execute on campaigns, and the readiness of marketers to adopt such technology. If you want to compete in today’s crowded business landscape and differentiate yourself, you must understand this gap and create your own AIM roadmap.

Currently marketers use segmentation or nano-segmentation to deliver personalised content, but this isn’t true personalisation, and Emarsys argue that segmentation is dying. Consumers want to be treated like an individual; targeting on the right device at the right time with the right time with the right content will make your customers far more likely to act on your campaign. Even if they choose not to, this type of targeting will make the customers perception of your brand more positive because you are delivering relevant content that they really want to see- when and how they want to see it. Most marketeers are not data algorithm experts, AI can take on this mass data analysis so the human element can focus on strategy and content. To get true one-to one personalisation, marketers must abandon a human driven approach and adopt hype free AI marketing to use email as a foundation for omni-channel excellence. Watch the rest of Andy’s presentation to find out how AI  can take the burden off marketeers so that they can focus on the creative side of marketing. Are you ready for AI?

View Andy’s presentation here.

Marketing Strategies To Thrive In The Post-GDPR Era

So GDPR happened – I just lost half my database! What should I do next? In this quick-fire presentation, Andrew Howe, Director of Digital Marketing Services at Mapp Digital, provided the delegates with some practical tips to takeaway with them following the advent of GDPR. But how bad actually is it? Nobody quite knows the impact GDPR will have and there have been no major prosecutions, so everyone is simply waiting to see how the law is going to be interpreted. Post-GDPR there has been a 16 per cent global drop in the number of emails sends, but in Europe specifically there has been a drop in emails sends of up to 55 per cent. So where do we go from here? With the opportunity to dramatically reduce the number of emails coming into their inbox that the huge amount of re-permissioning emails gave customers, how do we re-build our email distribution lists to counter the dropping rates?

First things first, it’s important to remember that if someone has opted in to begin, or continue, receiving your emails then their inbox will be significantly less cluttered. You have a great opportunity to maximise and optimise your position within that inbox. You need to learn to do more with less: make those inboxes you do reach absolutely count. By going through case studies like Toast, Virgin Money, and more,  Andrew revealed his tips for how to engage with customers post-GDPR and how to create a valuable relationship with them moving forwards.

View Andrew’s presentation here.

Reach Your True (Email) Potential

Every year Econsultancy conduct an Email Marketing Industry Census, and yet again in 2018 email is the top channel for ROI with it scoring 30 per cent for excellent, 44 percent for very good, and only 21 per cent for average. Whats more, those of us who are using more advanced techniques such as automation and personalisation are much more likely to report and excellent or good ROI, yet few leverage its full potential. With new technologies aplenty, how do we separate the essential from the distractions? For example, responsive design and mobile optimisation is absolutely paramount to the success of modern email campaigns: 60-70 per cent of opens are happening on mobiles. But with only two per cent of marketers suggesting they are advanced within mobile, it seems that brands have a lot of catching up top do within the email marketing industry. Additionally, when it comes to the seemingly easy to implement advanced feature of personalisation (something that customers now demand and expect in communications from brands) an alarming amount of companies suggested that they were in the early stages of implementing personalisation in their email campaigns.

With 15 years experience in email Dani Woolley, Head of Customer Success at Adestra Ltd, shared case studies, tips, and advice with the delegates and revealed what’s really important when building an email strategy that performs. Delving into the world of ‘first-person marketing’, Dani looked at how to implement it to achieve success in personalised email. The primary challenges email marketers face are: the problems with integrating their data, their lack of resources or time, no knowing where to focus, a lack of appropriate technology, and finally not having a developed set of processes and rules. Watch the rest of Dani’s presentation where she explores the concept of brand engagement, and gets to the crux of how to identify the kind of personalisation customers actually want and value. How can you ensure your email strategy sits in line with your business objectives and truly reflects your brand goals, watch to find out?

View Dani’s presentation here.

Email Is Not Just For Narcissists

In this fun quick-fire presentation, Sheri Allen, CRM Manager Häfele, took the delegates through some quick tips so they, and you, can win at email personalisation. Working at Häfele, a B2B kitchens supplier, you often forget that whilst you are selling to another business there is still a person on the other end of the email buying your product. It is paramount to remember then when  undertaking these mass-marketing exercises everyday. Sheri’s tips were practical for both B2C and B2B environments, and will help you get more data from your subscribers without being creepy and get more from the data you already have. Who thinks customers are a bunch of needy, selfish, whiny, narcissistic jerks? As Sheri points out, no-one believes that and no-one should, as customers are just busy people who know what they like and businesses (and definitely marketers) need them. They are just like us and expect highly tailored messaging from the brands they choose to interact with.

Sheri’s top email tips for the delegates are to: make sure you brighten up your customers inbox with your email, make sure you thank them for choosing to interact with you, not sell something in every email and keep providing friendly content, implement an abandoned basket programme, or be transparent with your customers about your mistakes. The primary takeaway from Sheri’s presentation was that you just need to be careful with the data customers give you; clean up your data, set it alongside customer behaviour, and find a middle-ground of customer insight that heightens your personalisation without being too creepy. Watch Sheri’s Figaro Digital 21’s presentation (21 slides, 21 seconds per slide) to learn how to improve your email acquisition tactics, segment your audience, and use dynamic content to get your email super-personalised to grow your revenue.

View Sheri’s presentation here.

Read parts one and two of the Figaro Digital Summer Marketing Conference Roundup! All of the presentation videos can be found here.

In the meantime, why not check out our events calendar for details of more fantastic thought-leadership events to help your business get to the next level.

Continue the conversation on Twitter at @Figaro_Digital.

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By Caity Dalby, Content Manager, at Figaro Digital