We are back with part two of the Figaro Digital Marketing Summit roundup, bringing you the second half of presentations from our jam-packed schedule. A wide range of topics were discussed on the day and our speakers introduced some intriguing new angles and perspectives on the latest trends in digital marketing. Subjects ranged from CX initiatives, video marketing strategy, viewability and SEO. If you missed our summit, you can catch up by reading part one of the roundup here, and you can now buy tickets to our next big event. The Figaro Digital Marketing Conference is taking place on 6 December 2018 at The Royal College of Physicians, Regent Park.
In a recent report by dotmailer, it was revealed that only 53 per cent of brands send an after-sales review email and a staggering 50 per cent still don’t send abandoned basket messages. More shockingly still, two thirds of brands are not practicing any segmentation. These statistics help confirm that the presentation’s attention grabbing title is indeed correct and that a lot of email strategies are lagging far behind current trends. Digital Strategist, Gavin Laugenie brings it back to basics in his presentation, giving practical examples of how strategy can easily be adapted.
He highlights the importance of sending a welcome email to new customers and details the key features they should include. Incentives to return, more information on the brand, and an invite to share some personal details in a survey are all elements that marketers should be adding to their welcome email. The data gathered from these surveys should be put to work, being used to increase the personalisation and relevancy of emails. Being able to mix compelling editorial features with promotional content is a skill that every email marketer should aspire to have. Gavin demonstrates that by having a combination of these two elements, the sales technique becomes less aggressive and blatant. Customers respond better to interesting and subtle email campaigns that don’t hit them over the head with the company’s desperation to sell, sell, sell! Likewise, abandoned cart emails don’t need to be pushy, humour often works well to encourage the customer back to the site. Gavin left marketers with this crucial piece of advice: email strategy is all about right message, right person, right time, and right context.
View Gavin’s presentation here.
Using the right tone and language in marketing campaigns is critical to ensure success. People have different motivations and emotional drives, and it is key for marketers to be able to figure them out, and personalise their campaigns accordingly. Tom Howes, Corporate Sales Director at Persado, explains why creative optimisation is still a blind spot. The primary reasons for this are bias, difficulty in measuring success and time limitations. Regardless, it is still possible to create content that connects with consumers and drives results. Being able to pinpoint the emotional response that a campaign should evoke is essential.
Language loaded with fear and guilt is a fallback for marketers who wish to pressurise their audience into purchasing. However, they are the lowest performing emotions and the focus should be on delivering campaigns that are encouraging, and incite pride and trust towards a brand. Persado saw an opportunity to help companies tailor-make emotionally relevant content which will elicit the best response from their target audience. They are able to test 1,000s of permutations using AI, calculating the best combination for campaigns.
View Tom’s presentation here.
Taking a more theoretical approach to video marketing, Jon Mowat, Managing Director at Hurricane, centered his presentation around making emotional connections with consumers. By creating a powerful brand story, marketers will be able to impact the behaviour of their customers. Jon primarily focussed on how this can be achieved on mobile devices. Statistics show that adults check their phone every 7.5 minutes and 37 per cent check their smartphone if there is a break in conversation. Jon proposes that this addiction to our mobile phones can be attributed to the fact that they act as a “dopamine pump”. Additionally, the Ganglion cells in human eyes react when part of the scene in front is moving, which is why content created for smartphones is more effective when it includes moving images. Therefore, video is naturally one of the best formats to advertise on mobile devices.
Jon explains that phones have become an extension of personal self, meaning that consumers often consider the content that they view on them as already theirs. A study by Brasel and Gips in 2014 revealed that people who buy things on touch devices are willing to pay a higher price. The presentation also highlights that as humans we have the urge to apply narrative to everything, to help us understand what we are seeing. Video marketers can take advantage of this human craving for narrative by already embedding a story within the content. Neurotransmitters and hormones are released when consumers have an emotional reaction to content containing a story. This in turn makes them more likely to form a connection with the brand, and buy the product. Including humorous elements within content can again increase the likelihood of purchase, as the endorphins that laughter produce are mood boosting. Jon concluded his presentation by revealing that emotional drivers can be incorporated into the most unlikely of product marketing. Marketers need to pinpoint the emotional motivations of their customers, so they can apply these at different parts of the marketing sales funnel and implement accurate KPIs.
View Jon’s presentation here.
The definitions and standards of viewability are flexible and inconclusive, meaning there is often confusion about the targets marketers should be reaching. The MRC calculated that 50 per cent of the ad should be visible for one second to constitute viewability, but only three per cent agree with this definition. It is clear that as Nick King, Managing Director at Exponential, suggests viewability does need a health check.
So, how do we start to rectify these misconceptions about viewability? Nick explains about the work they are doing at Exponential to redraw the guidelines. Their key aims are to target the right audience, with the right impact and delivery. This means that the goal is not to increase viewability as whole, but to focus on increasing it for those who are most likely to be potential customers. They have introduced new formats that have seen a 22 per cent improvement in ad visibility, as well as doubling the average viewing time. Their video ad service, VDX Connect, drives higher ROIs than standard banners as they “merge the impact and influence of video with performance algorithms to deliver results.” Nick outlines his three main takeaways on viewability; don’t view it as an arbitrary stand alone metric, tailor it’s standards to the needs of the brand, and test and learn.
View Nick’s presentation here.
SEO is constantly fluctuating, and with Google regularly changing their requirements, it makes it a tricky strategy to nail. Malcolm Slade, Head of Technical SEO at Epiphany, charts the journey of SEO and shares his views on how marketers should be reacting to it. He starts with 2003, highlighting the ease with which marketers could move up SERPs by simply flooding their content with keywords and links. Next, he moves onto SEO in 2012, when Google updated their infrastructure and made things a lot trickier for marketers with their frequent updates. These changes meant that websites needed to be not only technically sound, but have content that contained high DA links and the organic inclusion of keywords. 2016 saw further shifts, with an increased pressure placed on relevancy and credibility.
Malcolm then brings us swiftly back to the present day and all the new challenges that SEO is facing, primarily the Core Algorithm Update. Google is now on the cusp of determining whether a website is actually good or not. For marketers, this means an increased urgency on providing quality across the board and having an unwavering focus on the user. The first step to do this is to truly know the user and their needs. Everything is now a considered purchase, so it is essential to have strong content which reflects the product, or service. However, marketers’ primary concern should not be rankings, but being able to satisfy the user. Malcolm reveals that users judge a website within five seconds, so making a great first impression is vital to ensure that they stick around. By tailoring a brand to be user-orientated, it will attract customers and naturally improve SEO.
View Malcolm’s presentation here.
Customers are expecting more and more from brands, meaning that the experience provided by companies needs to be altered. In a recent survey, 64 per cent of consumers and 80 per cent of business buyers said they expect companies to respond to and interact with them in real time. 75 per cent of business buyers expect companies to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions even before they initiate contact. With 73 per cent saying that they would switch brands if the experience provided wasn’t consistent, it is clear that services need to become immediate and more anticipatory. Joseph Sursock, Senior Vice President at Course5 Intelligence, outlines five accelerators for Customer Experience (CX) initiatives.
He believes that including video in your marketing strategy is vital as it is “the easiest and most comprehensive way to showcase a product or service on a Mobile.” Understanding the customer journey is essential as marketers can map their processes and gain insight into how they interact with brands. From there, they need to establish touchpoints that will be beneficial at each stage of the customer’s journey. Consumers are often more willing to share personal details with a brand if they feel that their needs are being catered for. This will allow for more targeted marketing. In his presentation, Joseph indicates that another key way to improve CX is to use appropriate customer metrics. He also feels that it is worthwhile for companies to invest in CX simulation so they can collect data on the habits of their customers. Collating data is key and should be made a company habit. Joseph ends his presentation by sharing five bonus accelerators which you will be able to hear about in the video linked below.
Watch Joseph’s presentation here.