Figaro Digital Summer Marketing Conference Roundup (Part Two)

by Caity Dalby, Content Manager, Figaro Digital

Continuing where we left off in part one of the Figaro Digital Summer Marketing Conference roundup, here is part two 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 referral marketing to the rise of programmatic audio.

Using Word Of Mouth And Trust Marketing To Build Brand Engagement

Beginning on a slightly gloomier note, Simon Dring, Head of Client Success at Mention Me, looked at the Trust Barometer report run by Edelman every year where they survey the levels of trust around society in institutions around the UK and they paint a pretty negative picture of the levels of trust in brands within the UK. Customers and consumers are increasingly likely to distrust brands (46 per cent), 69 per cent distrust advertising, 37 per cent trust brands less than they used to, and 43 per cent trust advertising less than they used to. This is just one indication – of many – of why trust and relevance are so essential to building a brand. As Simon says, “marketing and ecommerce runs on the magic dust of trust” and this is becoming more and more evident within the industry. But most importantly to remember, Simon suggests, is that trust takes time to build – it takes various touchpoints  to really connect with a customer and garner trust between them and your brand, which is an expensive endeavour to engage in. So the two main things you can do to improve this trust are: seeking to delight your customer at every turn and recruiting new customers who are already predisposed to liking and trusting your brand – referral is a fantastic way to do this.

In his quickfire Figaro Digital 21s presentation Simon unearthed the four secrets of successful referral marketing: being remarkable, asking, more importantly asking nicely, and doing your homework. These trust marketing techniques are why brands like Uber and Airbnb have been so successful and why Mention Me have over 300 clients. Simon continued his presentation with a little A/B testing audience participation and by sharing case studies of brands who’ve used word of mouth to build brand engagement – and the different A/B tests conducted by Mention Me to optimise these referral schemes – he showcased why trust marketing is so incredibly important and valuable in a marketeers toolkit. Watch Simon’s presentation to find out how valuable customers gained through refer-a-friend marketing channels actually are.

View Simon’s presentation here.

How To Make Best Friend(s) In Social Media Platforms

Utilising social media within your digital marketing strategy isn’t as hard as you think it is. Danny Denhard, Director of Marketing at JustGiving, suggested in his presentation at the Conference that we are now the anytime, anywhere generation. By looking at the social media landscape, he revealed to the delegates that collectively we are becoming less social and more tribal – we are beginning to lean towards a more insular and messaging focused digital social interaction rather than a public and open social sharing. Over 450 million people now use WhatsApp’s new status feature and there are over 100 billion message sent across Facebook Messengers daily – cementing the move towards dark social and messaging apps. However, regardless of this trend, Facebook currently has 2.196 billion monthly users and Instagram have just hit the one billion mark – up 200 million since last September. So, with 30 billion engagements on these two platforms alone this year (January to June) they are still some of the most useful and profitable channels. This is because humans are curious creatures, and social media is the perfect way of peering through someone’s window with little risk of being caught. Additionally, like moths and sea turtles, we are also attracted to bright colours which has led to an engineered addiction to mobile screens and scrolling newsfeeds. The stimulation they deliver is just too powerful to disregard.

In his presentation, Danny outlined key information and statistics regarding the internet’s top social media platforms and how consumers use them. For example, he revealed that 85 percent of British teens use Youtube, 72 per cent use Instagram, and 69 per cent use Snapchat, whilst usage of Facebook and Twitter is down amongst teens to just to 51 and 32 per cent respectively. Alongside the tactics to try across social media platforms, Danny’s presentation was packed full of actionable takeaways including a list of the current Facebook algorithm priorities in order of importance and stats concerning the new battleground of live video chats offered by various platforms. Watch the rest of Danny’s presentation to learn how to turn social media algorithmic feeds and filtering from a frenemy to a friend, and make sure you are optimising your social media strategy to leverage features and products to build on top of limited likes and comments.

View Danny’s presentation here.

How Innovative AI took Virgin Holidays Email Marketing To New Heights

AI is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, buzzword in digital marketing at the moment and there are a lot of aspects of it that are misrepresented. It isn’t a machine or robot that will invade humanity and steal our jobs, but rather a system dedicated to a particular task that will assist or take over a specific part of that task. Which is why in this presentation Nat Johnson, Head of Sales at Phrasee, cut the bullshit and reminded the delegates that AI is not a catch-all for marketing solutions. You shouldn’t buy AI technology just to have it if you don’t know what problem you are fixing with it, or if there’s even a problem in the first place. By walking the delegates through problem identification and displaying how to build a case for using AI to create solutions, Nat revealed how to be a veritable Einstein when it comes to AI:  “if I had one hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.”

Phrasee is a digital marketing agency and technology company who makes use of AI to generate marketing language that can be applied in various channels – email subject lines, Facebook ads, push notifications, and SMS. AI lends itself really well to generating this kind of short-form marketing copy with brand guidelines, brand tone of voice, and audience persona applied to generate language within those parameters. Within this process Phrasee focus on two primary aspects: natural language generation and deep machine learning. It is about taking gut instinct and personal bias out of language creation and actually applying data and science through artificial intelligence. Using real life examples to showcase these two features of marketing and language generation AI, Nat revealed to the delegates how you can determine actual AI from buzzword BS like the top brands: Virgin Holidays, Domino’s, ebay, and Gumtree. And remember, AI is much less likely to involve a robot crashing into your office than it is a plethora of spreadsheets, data, and graphs.

View Nat’s presentation here.

The Rise Of Programmatic Audio

Digital Audio – audio consumed on a connected device – has been one of the fastest growing areas over the last few years with the three main areas within digital audio being radio streaming, music streaming, and podcasts (one quarter of the UK population now listening to podcasts). Radio is one of the more traditional media that hasn’t declined in recent years, and this is primarily due to the accessibility of digital and mobile radio buoying it’s popularity. With 25 million people listening to digital audio in the UK which will rise to 31 million or more by 2020, and with the rise of screenless devices in the home, Digital Audio now has an integral position on the marketing plan.

DAX is the largest commercial digital audio platform worldwide and has pioneered programmatic audio using first party data to ensure the service is audience led. Greg West, Head of Programmatic at Global Media and Entertainment, took the delegates through DAX’s journey over the last 4 years and what’s next for the innovative service. Digital audio is the third most used thing on a mobile – digital audio apps account for 19 per cent of of app time – and, as Greg asserts, should be a part of your mobile strategy as it is a format advertisers can trust as it is brand safe, there is no fraud, there’s virtually no ad blocking, and the listen through rate is an incredible 93 per cent. With campaign results from RBS and Zoopla suggesting five times the amount of site conversions, compared to a regular campaign, and O2’s programmatically served mobile audio campaign syncing with store locations resulting in two per cent of those exposed to the advertising within the geo-fenced area going into an O2 store (compared to an industry average of 0.04 per cent for display), it is fair to say that audio may very well be the future. Watch Greg’s presentation to find out more about how second person data and insight IDs are used to measure and optimise the functionality of DAX, progrommatic audio, and the campaigns brand’s utilise this service for.

View Greg’s presentation here.

Maximising Ecommerce Conversion With Targeted Marketing

Conversion is a top priority for any ecommerce business. But should it always be your most important metric? In her presentation Janis Thomas, UK Marketing Director at Birchbox, revealed Birchbox’s approach to conversion and how they define and target their audience to maximise it. One of the most important factors in Brichbox’s brand ethos is their absolute dedication to their target audience, this is not the make-up mad woman who is comfortable walking into any shop comfortable with all on offer and able to choose exactly what she needs. These are the women targeted by today’s prestige beauty retailers and represents only 20 per cent of the population.

Birchbox has a dramatically different approach and target an audience they have dubbed the ‘Beauty Majority’ – a woman that represents 70 per cent of the population, likes to look her best, but doesn’t have the time, inclination, or knowledge, to walk into a shop and purchasing something they have no experience with. She is the loyal customer that will have been buying the same foundation for years, not necessarily due to brand or product loyalty, but out of a lack of confidence and this means, Janis suggests, that she dramatically under spends within the sector. This is something that brichbox have absolutely capitalised upon by developing themselves into an online monthly subscription service that sends its subscribers a box of four to five selected samples of makeup, or other beauty related products. By targeting the ‘Beauty Majority’ with a subscription box of trail sizes of luxury beauty products and incentivising her to purchase full-sizes of the products, Birchbox are helping to grow the whole beauty eco-system.

It’s one thing knowing your target audience inside and out, but brands, products, and services don’t market themselves and Janis revealed that whilst Birchbox were incredibly good at bottom-of-the-funnel marketing activities (offers, messaging, and conversion) they didn’t really do anything else and that needed to change. Having done extensive research, Janis realised that the company’s main barrier to growth was a lack of awareness and this led to a move towards a focus on awareness and engagement, using opt in emails and retargeting. Additionally, in the last couple of years influencer marketing and the use of micro-celebrities in marketing campaigns has boomed and no where is this more apparent than in the beauty industry. Janis suggested to the delegates that whilst working with affiliates and influencers doesn’t necessarily drive a huge volume of subscriptions for Birchbox, they are however more often than not the first point of contact in a consumer’s journey to purchase. Whether it is days, weeks, or months later these consumers are much more likely to complete a purchase. Watch Janis’ presentation for more practical tips on how to maximise ecommerce conversion with targeted marketing and how using persuasion techniques such as reciprocity, commitment, social proof, and scarcity can turbocharge your conversion rates.

View Janis’ presentation here.

Read part one 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.