Figaro Digital Summer Conference 2015 Round-up Part 2

by Jessica Ramesh

Insight and highlights from the Figaro Digital July 2015 Marketing Conference.

Think Global, Target Local: The Micro-World of Marketing
Alex Simonson – VP Campaign Management & Analytics EMEA, SDL

“There’s a lot of data out there. Delivering a five-star customer experience can be a bit of a balancing act—part of it is art and part of it is science.”

Going from macro- to micro-marketing is all about harnessing the power of data and automation, says Alex Simonson at SDL. Each individual has their own requirements and benchmarks of good user experience, so delivering unique micro-moments that are instant and digestible is a case of producing actionable insights from the data at hand. This means that, contrary to tradition, marketers need to be empowered to work with data rather than relying on other departments. Rather than trying to grasp and analyse the entire mass of data, though, it’s important to just identify the key bits that are needed for excellent customer engagement. 


“It’s about creating a marketing data playground, producing actionable insights that can go towards delivering highly relevant micro-moments for the user,” says Alex. But getting down to the micro level comes with its own pitfalls that marketers need to respect: “If you use data that you know about people incorrectly, you end up with a voyeur experience. It’s intrusive.” 

Advanced AdWords Strategies 
Gareth Morgan – Managing Director, Liberty Marketing

“If you’re not using these, you’re missing out.”

There are plenty of new and innovative features of PPC that marketers can take advantage of to advance their AdWords strategy. Gareth Morgan at Liberty Marketing reminds delegates that AdWords has changed significantly over the past years, so brands need to start thinking differently about how they’re targeting people. For ecommerce businesses, Google Shopping can provide high ROI as users clicking on the ad are most likely quite far down the buying path already. The service now also has promotions and benchmarking figures so that you can compare your performance with competitors.

Local inventory ads allow you to decide whether you want the user to go in-store or buy online, so you can invest budget intelligently into the respective areas. Bid adjustments allow you to optimise how budget is spent depending on location, device type and time. Shoppable TrueView, which involves inserting products into the YouTube ad so that users can click whilst watching and be taken to the store page to purchase the product they have just seen in the video, is an area to watch. With 64 per cent of consumers having referenced YouTube as the most influential channel when making a purchasing decision, it’s time to look at incorporating video into your PPC strategy. Gareth also discussed Lightbox ads, Gmail promotions, remarketing for display, remarketing lists for search ads, ad customisers and ad extensions.

Ice Bucket Challenge – How to Fan the Flames
Claire McArthur – Head of Communications & Digital, MND Association

“Check your platforms. If you suddenly had an increase of traffic to your website, would it stand up?”

Over the last three years, MND Association have built up their social and digital activity and, in 2014, #IceBucketChallenge provided an unpredicted boost. The challenge was started by US baseball player Pete Frates, who wanted to simulate the sensations of MND with ice. It was brought to the UK by British volunteers, and MND engaged high-profile relationships and pushed media coverage to “fan the flames”. The challenge was segmented across different audiences, with companies like TopShop and Tesco taking part. As a result, 553 new direct debits were set up (the organisation usually sees 20 across an average month). But there are negatives that come with going viral, one of which was that challenger organisation Macmillan Cancer Support also started using the #IceBucketChallenge trend. Overall, though, more than £7m was raised. Claire’s advice: check that your platforms could cope with a sudden influx of traffic, and make sure you’ve got people trained to do media coverage.

Context is the Future of Email
Jenna Tiffany – Digital Marketing Strategist, Communicator

“This could actually be a reality for email today.”


Achieving a personal one-on-one connection with a customer is not as easy as it once was. “Technology has changed how we communicate. We can now have multiple conversations on multiple platforms all at the same time, without even leaving our bedrooms,” says Jenna Tiffany at Communicator. With the rise of email opens on mobile, the consumer’s path to purchase has become increasingly complex. Yet only five per cent of companies extensively personalise their email campaigns.

“Stop and think about that email that you send every week on a Monday—what value does that actually add to your recipients? If it doesn’t, then question why you send it.” Using contextual data and contextual marketing will make you think strategically about your customer’s experiences and journeys, as well as the content you create. Here are Jenna’s three key steps to integrating context into your email marketing: place the customer at the heart of your strategy. Focus on understanding the customer journey, otherwise you’ll be unable to truly personalise it. And don’t let data frighten you.

Talking UP – Engaging a Fanbase That’s Probably Smarter Than You
Zaid Al-Zaidy – CEO, McCann London, and Sailesh Jani – Global Business Director, M:United (McCann’s dedicated Microsoft team)

“This is not a niche market. This is something that’s alive and well, and in our daily lives right now.”


Zaid Al-Zaidy at McCann London and Sailesh Jani at M:United took delegates through their Hunt the Signal campaign for the launch of Xbox’s Halo 5. An interactive campaign centred on an augmented reality game, Hunt the Signal gained 300 million impressions, with 16,000 entrants from 173 countries. The objective: to insert fans into the narrative of their game in the real world, online and on mobile, whet their appetite for the forthcoming product launch, and extend the product experience beyond the product itself. “This is not just a product for these people, this is the universe in which they live. You can actually make your fans work really hard to get involved in your idea.”

The campaign was also a move to redefine how the gaming market is thought of. Contrary to assumption, it’s not a niche. It’s monetarily bigger than Hollywood. And with 20 per cent of gamers being responsible for 80 per cent of gaming spend, the experience brands offer to their dedicated fans is more important than ever. Zaid and Sailesh’s advice: take notice of your dedicated supporters. “In most categories, be it fashion, beauty or motoring, there are these super fans out there and, if you can engage them, it could spark real interest and excitement for your brand.” 

Read the Figaro Digital July 2015 Marketing Conference Round-up Part 1

Read the Figaro Digital July 2015 Marketing Conference Round-up Part 3

Read the Figaro Digital July 2015 Marketing Conference Round-up Part 4

Written by Estelle Hakner