Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend (what I would consider to be) the digital marketing event of the year; The Interactive Minds Digital Summit (#IMDS19) in Melbourne. It had been a while since I had the opportunity to geek out with fellow digital marketing enthusiasts, so needless to say, I was excited.
In fact, this is how excited I was:
Whenever I’ve not had the opportunity to attend a conference, I’ve always loved being able to read up on the quick re-caps provided by attendees. So if you’re just like me, wishing someone would re-cap the key highlights just for you – you’re in luck!
Here are my hard and fast list of key insights and takeaways from the day:
Here are my hard and fast list of key insights and takeaways from the day:
✨Cathy Tanimura, Sr. Director of Analytics & Data Science (Strava, USA) talked about setting “northern star” lag metrics to keep your teams focused, allowing align your lead metrics to. If you have no idea what in the hell I’m talking about, just know that ‘LAG’ indicators are focused on outcomes, while LEAD metrics provide context for how we are tracking towards those outcomes. Think conversions (lag) vs. clicks (lead).
Also, if this data stuff is all a bit too much of a head scratcher, stay tuned for a fun free resource I’ve developed for marketers to use to help with their objective and KPI setting in this space (coming soon).
✨ Cathy also talked to the importance of understanding the metrics surrounding our understanding of the customer journey (namely, path to purchase length). Considering how each channel plays a part in shifting behaviour from “undecided” to “decided” and actively deciding on an appropriate attribution model (i.e. how much “credit” each channel should get for its place in influencing the customer along the journey). Optimising only for “first” and “last “click” actions will likely only ever see you capitalising on “bottom of funnel” leads (who were probably already warmed up in the first place).
✨Cathy shared some fantastic examples of using data to fuel storytelling, create genuine connections and capture hearts and minds. She talked to the value and importance of managing data with both a scientific and artistic lens – concluding that the true value of the data we acquire comes from our ability to make sense of it to fuel product improvements and facilitate genuine connections between our brand and our customers.
✨ Olivia Dickinson, Digital & Communications Marketing Manager of ChobaniAU is a woman after my own heart. Her approach to facilitating the best creative outcomes from her team is one I adopt myself and have seen, first-hand, the benefits of. She spoke to “hybrid brainstorming”; where we encourage our teams to brainstorm first alone and then share their individual thoughts via a round-table. Not only does this ensure that everyone “has a fair go” (rather than the loudest in the room drowning out the quieter personalities) but it typically allows for a larger overall volume of ideas and perspectives to be shared.
✨ Olivia also encouraged us to “crush our assumptions” if we want to “cut through” the clutter with our communications. She encouraged us to consider keeping one eye on what’s trending outside of our industries and to be fast and nimble in responding to pop-culture references and trends. Overall, her message was completely aligned to my value set; break down barriers, fail fast and well.. “just do it”.
✨ The brilliant boys from OMG (Online Marketing Guru’s), Safwan Chowdhury and Mez Homayunfard gave us some clear tactical takeaways for improving our search marketing: Get your website structure right, paying particular focus content topics and how you will categorise your products/services in groups. Ensure your URL structure includes these keywords and do all that you can to get upwards of >1900 words on every page of your website (I know, I know, but hey – that’s what the data says Google ranks for)! After all, Google’s robots (crawlers) can’t see your pretty website, but it reads all your file names and text. Don’t let this get in the way of your UX though – in fact, the boys recommend utilising “accordion” content boxes (i.e. boxes that show and hide content on click) so you can achieve the balance between both worlds.
✨Dale Brander, Director of Stacked Content talked all things content repurposing (a topic I’m obsessed with) and took us through a case study for maximising output from your video content investment (a topic I’ve spoken about before). His approach is to think big and start with getting really clever and strategic with what you will capture when your video and suggests crafting multiple narratives before you start shooting. i.e. while you are getting the CEO on camera, what else could we get from him at the same time? Perhaps a quick “intro” video welcoming new staff? Then he walked through how he managed to get over 100 content pieces (video content, audio grabs, b-roll cut up for social and more) all from that initial investment.
This is an approach I take with every video I produce for the many brands I have worked with and can highly recommend both Chad Twentyman of Electric Street (Melbourne) and Rob Garwood of Firme Agency (Brisbane/Gold Coast) as top of the range video producers I’ve worked with to achieve this. So if you’re looking for a video producer who “gets it” and will work with you in partnership to achieve your goals, definitely give one of those boys a call.
✨ Ursula Ringham, Head of Global Influencer Marketing at SAP (USA) shared her top tips on influencer marketing – Ursula’s keynote was jam packed full of takeaways but the key ones for me were as follows;
- Start at home, ask your employees to start representing you online and don’t be afraid to capture the CEO doing a belly dance on a boomerang! People love to see people in powerful positions “get real”. It makes them feel a little more human and accessible, in turn, humanising your brand.
- It’s all about the power of partnership. Cultivate a close-knit circle of influencers who you can partner with and work with ongoing. Ongoing influence and consistency with their audiences will drive a greater return than any “one hit wonder”.
- Let go of control. Let your influencers tell your story through THEIR lens. After all, their audience is influenced by their language and opinions. If you’re unsure about whether they will represent your brand the way you want them to, don’t engage them. Influencer marketing is just like dating, we can’t date someone and then expect to change them.
✨ Within the first 5 minutes of Jody Hart, Director of Marketing and Digital at TafeQLDbeing on stage, I wrote at the top of my page “She’s fantastic.” and passed the note to the person sitting next to me (as if I was sharing notes in high school). Jody fearlessly shared the trials and triumphs she faced conducting digital transformation in her business. She gave a clear framework for not only the strategic thinking that went behind the digital project itself (the challenges that they faced and the outcomes they hoped to achieve), but for how she and her team on-boarded stakeholders and kept them engaged throughout the change. Her key message: we must invest in our professional relationships significantly if we have any hope of achieving success. For it’s within the team work and experiences cross-functionality in our organisations that give us the customer insights we need to effect meaningful change. Plus, we require their advocacy first to achieve an effective rollout. After all, why would our customers adopt something new from us if the business isn’t behind it?
✨James McDonald, Director of Audience Group jumped up to second Cathy’s insights on capitalising on “warm” vs. “cool” leads in our funnel ♂️making the case “against” AI. Concluding that through constant optimisation and iterations of highly targeted data sets, we may miss out on key segments whose behaviour we may have had more of an opportunity to change. He used the example: Say he and a friend were both interested in purchasing a new BMW. His friend may have had a 70% propensity to buy while his propensity to buy was only 30%. If BMW were to target James’ friend; who is to say he wouldn’t have made the purchase anyway? Was there an opportunity to influence James’ behaviour and drive an additional sale from the budget that was expended on this campaign? An answer we’ll only receive through testing and learning of course, but a great question to be asking ourselves and James gave us the permission slip to expand our targeting and widen our test cases (James is also a bloody funny guy – and who wouldn’t trust a funny guy?)
✨ Bec Thexton, Customer Content Lead at MeBank walked us through some cracking content marketing examples and the process she went through to onboard her stakeholders. Her message, along with Olivia’s is to just get on with it! Immerse yourself in the latest trends (she recommended TrendHunter and The Hustle), test, report on what worked and what didn’t and don’t be afraid to fail!
✨ The final point I’ll mention is firmly implanted in my mind courtesy of Mo Bhargava of Big4 Holiday Parks of Australia. An insightful and extremely ‘meta’ chat about the future of technology and its impact on humanity. Mo gave two fantastic examples, offering a lens from which to view the rate of change in our world. One of his daughters had attempted to “swipe” the TV while another tried (with some great effort) to speak to the iPad (or any device) as “Alexa”. Mo also talked to how we as consumers have shifted our perception of value; now focusing on time and convenience (services) over tangible products. We’re prepared to pay for things that are easier and will save us time.
I wonder, could this be a by-product of being so wired to the instant-gratification our phones give us? Providing us with that little hit of dopamine every time we tap tap tap on the screen? Have we become so impatient, our expectations are now to have full personalisation and control over our world? We want what we want, when we want it (often instantly). What impact does this have on our mental health and should marketers be trying to shift to meet these changing needs? Or do we all (as citizens in the same cohort that is humanity) have a responsibility to pioneer a new, healthier and more balanced world?
Who will be heading to next year’s #IMDS20 ?
Did you like where this came from? Head on over to LinkedIn where I share highlights from my digital marketing adventures. From wrap-ups of events I attend to strategic trends I’m seeing and weighing in on digital trending topics. Come say hi! I promise I don’t bite.
This post was originally published on LinkedIn.