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The Digital Marketing Web Forum Virtual: 16-17 Sept. 2020 – Day 2 Recap

The second day of the Virtual Digital Marketing Web Forum was just as inspiring and plentiful in marketing insights as the first one. 

With 17 sessions in total, covering a wide range of topics including Consumer Behavior Modeling, Leadership Attitude in Times of Crisis, Ready-to-Apply SEO tactics,  Digital Experimentation, The Importance of Data in the Digital Marketing World and many more, we’ve covered below the top presentations that you should definitely catch up with. 

If you wish to directly navigate to a topic of your liking, please use the table of contents below:

SEO Tactics to Implement tonight – Lukasz Zelenzy – SEO Expert & Consultant, SEO.London

Lukasz Zelenzy is a renowned SEO expert and speaker at a number of industry events. He managed to give a brief overview of the essentials steps a digital marketing campaign should focus on during his 20-minute presentation. 

Lucasz first explained how defining ‘the online user’s intent’ could better serve you to fine tune your keyword research. 

According to him the top 4 steps colored in green in the funnel above are the key ones that a digital marketer should focus on and ‘fight for’ in his campaigns.  

Lucasz takes the liberty to modify Simon Sinek’s ‘Golden Circle’ of ‘What’-‘How’-‘Why’ to the SEO environment and comes up with the following graph: 

Lucasz holds the presumption that one should always start by asking ‘How’ when looking for a solution when conducting a keyword research campaign. He gave as an example Hubspot sharing that over 10% of the keywords that bring traffic to their site are a ‘How’-type of kws. Similar example is Shopify with almost 10% of the traffic-driving keywords consisting of questions starting with ’How’, then ‘What’, and finally ‘Why’.

Lucasz stresses out the importance of selecting keywords with fine monthly Search Volume and average keyword difficulty to optimize and compete in Google Search Result Pages.  

Given that inbound links are among the top ranking signals for search engines, especially Google, Lucasz shares the importance of monitoring one’s business mentions. He shares an interesting insight that one could easily catch up with some inbound links if he is to analyze that company’s online mentions as well as the backlinks to the given business’ social media accounts. 

His tip is to try to convert those unlinked mentions into real inbound links and to try to convince those blog owners who have linked to your business social media accounts to change the link to your company website instead. 

Lucasz lists some tips on page speed optimization as well. In order to boost the site loading speed he advises to: 

  • remove share buttons from the site (e.g. Facebook and Twitter share buttons); 
  • remove external scripts you don’t need – (e.g. Hotjar or Disquss);
  • enable GZip;
  • use Autoptimize suit;
  • install Shortpixel suit;
  • install Perfmatters.io;
  • install Speedkit (optiona);

Finally Lucasz expresses his opinion on the subdomains vs subfolders dispute. He shares his experience with clients’ work that moving a company blog from a subdomain to a folder in the root domain results in the site traffic skyrocketing in a matter of a few weeks.  

How to Ensure You, Your Business and Your Team Come out of Covid19 Stronger – Dr Geraint Evans, drgeraintevans.com

 Dr. Geraint Evans is a Marketing Consultant who attempts to help companies find a better way to communicate with their target audience in the pandemic environment. 

He gives some pretty illustrative examples of how brands reinvent their communication strategy risking years of client-shaping to go all to waste just in order to stay up-to-date in this critical time: 

One of those proactive decisions is KFC’s slogan amendment due to the fact that it “doesn’t quite fit in the age of Covid-19.”

Going a step further would result in great innovation and creativity. Redefining your services as well as your marketing message is what will give you competitive advantage in the end: 

Enhancing Digital Experience through Experimentation – Narayan Keshavan, Dell Technologies

Narayan Keshavan is Head of Digital Analytics at Dell Technologies. His session leitmotif reads: 

“Focus on the user and all else will follow”

As Narayan explains: “A great idea can come from anywhere”:

Whether you adopt a qualitative data gathering approach, a quantitative or a combination of the two, you already have a strong head start at the constant race of attracting new customers and finding a way to keep them satisfied. 

As it is with all groundbreaking inventions you have to come up with a hypothesis first, then test it and analyze the performance. The principles of an effective experimentation strategy Narayan sums up in the following graph: 

It is important to test your hypothesis in order not to fall for common misconceptions. Narayan gives a fine example of how wrong a subjective opinion may be and how critical its effect may be on the success of the whole marketing campaign. 

Blindly following the belief that “Less is more” Narayan and his team decided to remove the excessive info on Dell’s cart page in order to enjoy higher conversions. Nevertheless, the reduced clutter turn out to have no effect on revenue. 

After some deeper analysis Narayan’s team realized that after the cart page redesign their customers were now exposed to the links to edit the products and thus have second thoughts on their purchase. 

Narayan advises to always try to concentrate on the big picture. Often people might not click on the element you track, but they can still convert. 

Benchmarking against competitor’s practices also is not the best way to do things. According to Narayan every website is unique and marketers should stay away from ‘benchmarking trap’. 

As the key takeaway from his session I’d like to share Narayan’s excellent advice: 

“Don’t lean on your idea. Don’t try to prove your idea. Instead, test to see your results.”

 “You Talkin’ To Me?” – How Brands Can Align to Today’s Changing Customer Behaviors – Graham Forsyth, Khoros

Graham Forsyth is the Marketing Director at Khoros. He builds up his presentation on the idea that marketers should:

“follow their ‘script’ but sometimes should act upon faith”

 Graham comments on the emergency of adopting an emotional intelligent communication approach in times of crisis.  Brands are able to dictate moods as long as they keep an ongoing open communication with their target audience: 

The important thing to remember, however, is that customers prefer to talk to the company when they are ready. They want to control the conversation. That’s why, Graham explains, that we should not select the communication channel, but should let the customers lead the way instead. You need to listen to where your customers are and what they are asking for. 

Once you’ve polished the communication process you should strive to create a sense of community, Graham encourages. Try to connect your audience with your company. Especially in times of crisis, “customer’s interaction with the company can trigger an immediate and lingering effect on his or her sense of trust and loyalty. “

How to master this communication challenge? Graham gives a fine walkthrough of this challenge: 

Data is sexy (no, seriously) – Frank Brooks, Dotdigital

Frank Brooks is a Global Demand Generation Manager at dotdigital and in his virtual DMWF session he insists on the idea that if you don’t rely on quality data, your marketing strategy will suffer and so will the end results of your campaign. 

Frank urges marketers to stop acting on instinct and base their actions on real data instead. As he explains: 

“Data, Technology and Strategy are the Holy Trinity of Customer Loyalty. Nail these elements and you’ll be well on your way to transforming your subscribers into life-long advocates”

Frank refers to the RFM model to assess customer value where Recency, Frequency and Monetary are the three main aspects one is to analyze when looking up a client profile. Those work pretty well when you are to segment your target audience and to consider how to approach each separate group of those. 

For instance you could choose to award Champions and ignore the lowest scores in order not to lose valuable time. 

Frank encourages marketers to deliver custom messages to each segment. Creating the right message for the right person and communicating it at the right time via the right channels is what makeс that message heard, properly assimilated, remembered, and acted upon.

Consumer Behaviour Modelling: Understanding the “Why” Using Social & News Media Analytics – Pamela Mitto, Coca Cola

Pamela Mittoo is Manager Strategic Insights & Technical Consumer Research at the Coca-Cola Company. In her case study presentation we can delve deep into the latest high tech trends and namely see how AI can help us understand Customer Behavior. 

The main question Pamela’s team asked when hitting off their Consumer Intelligence project was: 

How does consumer behavior manifest in beverage conversations?”

Via the Nebase Quid technology Pamela shares that they managed to actually analyze the language of their target audience on Social Media. They were able to get into the nuances.

As Pamela puts it: 

“The best way to understand behavior is to listen how customers talk about it themselves”

And that’s what they did – they listened to their customers worldwide. They gathered info on customer’s motivations, perceptions, and experiences. The AI was monitoring everything their target audience would say and do: their thoughts, behaviors, interactions and furthermore were trying to detect and display patterns for better insight. 

Training the AI to understand the language in all its nuances led to fascinating results. Taking into account the context added another level of fine tuning to the algorithm. 

Gradually natural groupings began to shape up and Pamela’s team was already able to discern behavior segments: 

They realized that understanding mood and emotion provided additional context. Tone really matters in communication and so they accounted for it in their thorough customer research.  

Based on the sentiment analysis Pamela was able to:

  • Draw conclusions on what their products perceived disadvantages were;
  • Discern the differences in each customer persona they’ve accounted for; 
  • Define the right path for innovation. 

Consumer Engagement in an Omnichannel World – Oshiya Savur, Revlon

As VP of Revlon Oshiya frames the omnichannel customer hierarchy in a quiet detailed yet compact form:

Her advice is to set a clear goal for each channel (as per her guidance one is to assign no more than 3 roles per channel). 

If one is to take Amazon for example, he can assign:

  • An object to tackle:
    • Equity;
    • Scale;
    • Profit;
  • A differentiator:
    • Discover;
    • Experience;
    • Media value;
  • Long-term goal:
    • Growth.

The same exercise one is to repeat with each media channel in mind. 

In Revlon’s case those would be: B&M stores, eRetail, Pure Players, DTC, Wholesalers/Distributors. 

As it comes to marketing communication, Oshiya insists on the importance of drafting: 

  • Core message – that is to be consistently shared throughout every media asset (owned, earned and paid); 
  • Secondary message – reserved for medias where the target customer is expected to spend more than 3 minutes of his time; 
  • Tertiary message – especially designed to be published on Medias where the customer is expected to lean in and read through content at leisure. 

Oshiya recreates the common saying “Content is king” through the prism of the extensive marketing perspective, ending up with a fine definition of the realm of customer communication: 

“Content is king. Context is queen. Engagement & purchase is kingdom.”

Why Post-Pandemic Marketing Needs To Be Smart And Empathetic – Oisin Lunny, oisinlunny.com 

Oisin Lunny is an award-winning marketer, a Professor of UX Driven Business at Barcelona Technology School, and was named the #5 most engaged marketer in the UK by LinkedIn.

Oisin’s presentation strikes with exceptionally creative and to-the point guidelines on how to adapt your marketing efforts to your target audience when they act under the stressful and exhaustive impact of the COVID pandemic. 

The first and foremost thing that Oisin draws our attention to is that we as marketers should recognize that our clients’ surge capacity has been depleted and that they feel awful. 

In this regard we should make it a priority to help them first. Or to put it more clearly – we should take into account the human factors:

As a starting point we should definitely concentrate on showing empathy in our client communication. According to Oisin we should attempt to walk in their shoes. We should develop solutions that will adequately address their latest needs, especially under the current unique situation. 

Oisin explains that we are to establish connection with our customers and base that connection on emotions:

“People are not creatures of logic, but creatures of emotions.”

Oisin further elaborates how it is essential to escalate your empathy a lever above towards reaching compassion:

and thus boost client’s engagement. 

Moving from empathy to compassion, Oizin explains, is really an evolution of UX design. Compassion has the intent to make an effort to change one’s situation. Compassion is all about the final outcome. 

Oising stresses out the importance of actively listening to our customers in order to realize what they are actual needs are. An improvised Maslow’s hierarchy of needs graph that would go over basic psychographic segmentation reads: 

However, with time one’s needs change, especially if we are to refer to the rapid tech evolution. So we must stay up-to-date with our client’s needs and predispositions in order to be able to effectively connect with them and influence subtly their brand engagement.  

How You Can Be a More Inclusive Marketer (& Why It Matters) – Crystal McDaniels, Duke Energy

Crystal is Senior Marketing Strategy & Insights Manager at Duke Energy. Her presentation is fine lesson on diversity and inclusion work.

Keeping in mind the ethical impact of one business is essential to the current multifaceted market, Crystal explains. Inclusion is taking your marketing one step further and trying to make everyone heard and represented. 

Whether we talk about sexuality, gender, sexuality, age, religion, ethnicity, disability, language, geographic roots; socioeconomic status, or educational background – it is the diversity that we as marketers should embrace and attempt to reach out to with equal recognition and attention. 

Are Your Assumptions about Your Customer Limiting Your Success? – Janis Thomas, Look Fabulous Forever

Janis Thomas is Ecommerce & Marketing Director at Look Fabulous Forever. Her presentation focuses on how understanding your customers could help you leverage that insight to produce products and service that meet their needs. 

In order for a marketer to have a fair share of data to base his strategy on, he should collect various types of data: 

Janis insists on relying on actual research than basing your marketing plan on pure assumptions. Ask directly your customers:

  • Why did they buy? How?
  • What do they like and dislike about you?
  • What are their interests? Media habits?

Turn to your potential customers Janis advises, and ask them: 

  • What’s stopping them?
  • What do they need to be convinced?

As all marketers know defining the target segments is your number one step in drafting a working brand promo campaign. Go a step further and draft buying personas based on your audience segmentation results. This will help you understand who are your target customers as people and how can you connect with them emotionally. 

Janis would call one of the personas she’s developed for Look Fabulous Forever, Sara. She recommends asking questions like: 

  • Is this the right thing for Sara?
  • What would Sara think?
  • What is Sara’s daily schedule/routine?
  • How much time Sara takes to prepare for work?

Of course considering customers’ needs is the rule number one when you aim at offering high quality products and services. A key takeaway is that customer experience is a competitive advantage worth acknowledging: 

Virtual Workshop: Easily Conduct Competitive Research and Win More Business – Jimmy Newson, NYMA

Jimmy is Marketing Director at NYMA. He carefully walks us through the intricacies of conducting a competitor research and growing one’s business on new markets via establishing prosperous partnerships. 

First he tackles the four distinct competitor types one may face in his company expansion process: 

  • Direct competitors;
  • Potential competitors – targeting the same type of customers but operating in different geographical area; 
  • Indirect competitors – operating in the same business category but offering alternative product. (They tend to satisfy the same need as you do.);
  • Future competitors – could possibly invade your market in near future; 
  • Replacement competitors – offer an alternative to your product or service (e.g. pizza vs frozen pizza from the groceries shop).

As there are two main business growth paths: 

  • Broaden product range; 
  • Expand to new geographical area.

Jimmy advises to first explore the market demand for the products and services you offer. 

Then you are to pay attention to the competitors and namely if there is enough demand for both your competitors and your business. 

In order to make the transition smoother and quicker as well as stable throughout time Jimmy recommends establishing co-marketing and affiliate partnerships. When researching for possible opportunities you are to watch out for: 

Your main action steps towards selecting the best prospect for your partnership endeavor would be: 

  • Making a list of the potential partners; 
  • Researching their website traffic;
  • Reviewing their social media and other online assets. 

Jimmy points out that it’s best to choose the partner that could bring you highest conversions. Hence you should carefully check for audience overlap with the given prospect. 

Reskilling/Upskilling for the New Normal (Now or Regret Later) – Isabella Wang, NYMA

Isabela is Operations Director at the New York Marketing Association. She wraps up how often an economic recession leads to a huge technological surge. Just like it is the case with the current COVID pandemic. 

As she points out COVID-19 stimulates super digitalization in education, government, healthcare, finance, and enables technological era. 

This radical transformation results in:

  • Ecommerce replacing the physical channels of sales; 
  • In-person communication shifts to video conferencing;
  • Amazon robot delivery; 
  • Self-checkings at hospitals, restaurants, and supermarkets;
  • Increased demand and supply of remote working opportunities; 
  • E-learning;
  • Virtual diagnosis.

According to Microsoft the cloud services experience 775% spike in demand during the pandemic. 

At this highly dynamic background the search for specific type of professionals has risen significantly: 

Isabela quotes Darwin to make her point on how essential it is to up-skill in order to stay relevant to the latest needs of the market: 

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. “

Discovery Commerce: The Future of Shopping – Ian Simmons, e-commerce FB

Ian is Head of Industry at eCommerceFacebook. He shares that at Facebook they’ve built a tool to maximize Discover Commerce, creating better shopping experience for people and businesses.

As Ian puts it Discovery Commerce takes the personalization marketing effort to the next level. 

“The products are finding people”

That’s the key feature of the Discovery Commerce. Based on content Facebook users have already engaged with they are being offered complementary products and services. 

The example Ian uses to illustrate this accomplishment is the following: if one has searched for skiis, Facebook starts drawing to his attention content on winter and ski equipment as jackets, pants, gaggles, helmet, ets.

“For shoppers it feels serendipitous and delightful”

Transform Your Behaviours, Presence and Impact as a Leader In the Digital Age Amid Crisi –  Sangbreeta Moitra, Sangbreetamoitra.com

Sangbreeta is a TEDx award-winning speaker. She reveals that in order for you to excel at your marketing communication efforts you need to first take time to know yourself well and to define what type of relationship and engagement you want to build with your customers. 

The successful brands, explains Sangbreeta, create a strong feeling for how people want to feel for themselves:

“The connection with the customer lies in the emotion”

 

Nevyana

by Nevyana