Inside Scoop – iStrategy Global Digital Media Conference
So, it’s 3am and I have finally caught up on all the missed emails from today and finished my networking obligations. It’s time to share with you, as promised, the inside scoop on what was covered in day 1 of iStrategy Melbourne – Global Digital Media Conference (www.istrategyconference.com). Forgive me if the content is a little dry, for these are my own personal notes – uncut, unedited and yours to benefit from!
Some big names from big organisations delivered the content for the day. We heard from:
Matthew Nixon – Director, Digital Marketing, Coca-Cola Ancil
Billy Tucker – CEO and founder, Cudo
Nicholas Chu – GM Australia and New Zealand, Expedia
Greg Savage – Global CEO, Firebrand Talent Search
Nick Baker – Executive GM, Tourism Australia
Michael Twomey – Head of Engagement Strategy, Silverpop
Tom Skotidas – Director, Skotidas
Matt Hehman – Director of Sales, Facebook Australia and New Zealand
Here is what I managed to gather from each of these great speakers:
Unlike direct advertising, social media is a chance to get potential clients/customers to connect with you, warm to your brand and convert to a sale over time. Traditional media relies on converting them instantly, so if you miss them on your first point of contact, they’re gone.
If you can build a good fanbase, you will have a passionate and loyal audience who live and breathe your brand.
One of keys to viral growth in social media is using the right tool. Blanket messages across platforms (ie. the same message posted to Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin) is not utilising each platform and audience to its full potential. Your messages should be tailored for each specific platform and for the audience that will be reached.
Marketing has changed since the introduction of social media. No longer is it a one-way communication (a blast type approach). It is now a two-way conversation and we rely on feedback from, and interactions with the target audience, to respond to and tailor future messages. That’s why we marketers can no longer have long lunches – there is always something to do, someone to respond to – a conversation about our brand, taking place in real time. Social media provides a chance to participate in and influence those conversations.
A brand is the sum of all conversations about it. To ignore social media is to ignore those conversations. A huge missed opportunity.
Social media should not be the only type of marketing you use. It should be part of your overall marketing mix – chances are, your followers are engaging with your brand on a number of levels, not just social. So, you need to communicate in each of those spaces as well.
Data is the new black! What does this mean? Digital marketing provides campaign measurability and insights into brand followers. Brands who really power ahead are going to be the ones who find ways to gather as much data as possible and tailor their activities based on this. There exist an array of exciting opportunities to tailor messages based on the target’s individual likes/dislikes, demographics, location, preferred time and method of contact… and plenty more. They key is to find acceptable ways to gather this data, both actively and passively and then use it to customise your campaigns, making them more relevant to the individual and therefore more likely to generate response.
Having the right conversation, with the right content, delivered via the right channel is key to communicating with an audience that spans a number of demographics.
‘Mobile’ is definitely the where digital marketing needs is heading in coming years. The number of users visiting sites using mobile devices is growing at an astronomical rate and will soon overtake the number of users browsing with desktop computers. Design and marketing efforts that start targeting mobile devices are set to power ahead in the future.
A great example of the potential that is possible if a proactive approach is taken to data collection and mobile technology such as location services: Nicolas Chu from Expedia, the world largest online travel company, explained how they are able to contact their customer via push notifications to their mobile device in the event of a flight cancellation. While the customer is on his/her way to the airport, Expedia can push information about available alternative flights with links to book online. The customer can then book and pay for a suitable flight on their mobile device prior to arriving at the airport, thus avoiding the chaos and queues that would await if trying to book in person when they arrived. Expedia then takes this to the next level, taking into account the amount of time until the customer’s next flight and suggesting activities/events in the local area that the customer can do to pass time. Location services, customer profiling and mobile technology open up a whole array of personalised marketing, offering the potential to be more relevant to the customer and have greater levels of engagement. Aside from the immediate commercial benefit to the Expedia, the level of service to the user is so much more useful and the brand value is increased immensely.
Overall, some great things were learned today. I’m really excited about where digital marketing is heading and looking forward to implementing a whole bunch of new ideas in our own marketing efforts and also those that we deliver for our clients – so many options to gain a competitive edge.
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