Last Thursday, Figaro Digital were joined by digital marketers interested in search at The Hospital Club, Covent Garden, for an informative afternoon of presentations and networking. Industry experts shared their insights and answered questions, covering the latest trends in paid search and SEO. Here, we take a look at the key takeaways from the #FigDigSearch seminar.
Rob Walk, Founding Partner of Digital Innovation Group, kicked things off for us by discussing the importance of identifying gaps between supply and demand in the market, as these gaps are possible content opportunities. He explained the process used by Digital Innovation Group’s search intelligence tool, which undertakes persona research, allocates keywords to each stage of the user journey, identifies the most likely user journey to purchase, and develops content propositions to match with content opportunities. Henry Barshevsky, Head of Strategy at DanDan Digital Ltd, followed and delved into marketing automation and AI. He suggested that the prominence of AI in marketing solutions is due to the fact that “computing power is still growing exponentially”. As computing power grows, so will costs. Marketers will need to be re-educated, companies will have to cope with ongoing changes, and new roles and professions will be created such as “AI experts”. Henry broke down a Black Friday retail campaign to demonstrate how A/B split testing has become an unfeasible way to optimise, giving way instead to AI data-driven decision making methods.
View Rob and Henry’s presentation here.
Ian Harries, Founder and CEO of Search Laboratory, opened by stating that yes, 2018 will be the year attribution comes of age. He explained that “attribution is the science of assigning credit to the marketing touchpoints that a customer was exposed to prior to their purchase” and that “things are changing. The technology is now becoming readily available, and cheap, if not free”. Ian explored the benefits of attribution by describing an example of a retail outlet that runs a fairly successful PPC campaign, followed by a less successful display campaign, which ends up costing the company. When comparing the two, the shop may feel inclined to stop the display advertising as it didn’t return a profit. As Ian pointed out, a data-driven attribution model would show you the two campaigns should be run simultaneously, as display advertising will improve your PPC figures. Ian also gave tips on how to prepare for Google’s exciting new products, Attribution and Attribution 360, by auditing your Analytics and making sure it’s reporting correctly, and by properly tagging up your METs (modelling event types).
View Ian’s presentation here.
Sam Silverwood-Cope, Co-Founder and CMO of Pi Datametrics, took to the stage to describe how search is about so much more than just positions, rankings, and traffic, and that more needs to be investigated, including the competitor landscape and share of voice. Sam used the beauty and fashion retail industries to illustrate why customer trends should be used as customer research data. Trends are discovered by looking at search volume, and the data is made more useful by establishing the commercial value of the searches. Future trends can then be predicted by spotting and analysing patterns, meaning companies can put measures in place to prepare for surges in popularity of certain products. Same went on to show that customer intent trends should be used in strategies across your digital team, including PPC, content, and social media, and explained the Pi Datametrics “plan, influence, peak, repeat” approach. He closed the presentation by advocating the integration of customer data with additional data sets to get a more accurate view of customer intent, and highlighted the importance of bringing customer search data to the forefront of your digital marketing strategies.
View Sam’s presentation here.
To bring the seminar to an end, Sam Roberts, Digital Marketing Consultant at Liberty Marketing, told us to brace ourselves for 2018. “CMOs find it difficult to prove their value in the C-Suite”, which is “a scary proposition for anyone in marketing if the person who sits at the top is not getting the right information to communicate the effectivity of your work”. He explored problems with the marketing value chain: reports not being financially driven and not showing a monetary summary, and the inaccuracies of channel attribution, producing cost and return projections that aren’t viable. Sam encouraged digital marketers to track business goals – traffic, impressions, rankings or session time aren’t usually the end goal, so marketers shouldn’t focus on these tangibles when doing their reporting – instead, you need to know what effect these metrics have on the bottom line. He also touched on Google Attribution, and went through B2B and e-commerce examples of attribution modelling. Sam concluded by highlighting how to solve the problems with the value chain he had pointed out earlier, and to start planning now for your next important period.
View Sam’s presentation here.