My Top Three Highlights from MarTech Festival

Us Octopedes always welcome the chance to soak up some knowledge, whether that’s through our in-house training sessions or an external event. I recently spent the day at MarTech Festival, a one-day marketing technology festival. The annual event offers marketers a day of networking and talks on a range of interesting topics, from email marketing to social media strategies. (Not to mention some pretty good grub, given it was hosted at street food mega-market Hawker House.)

Here’s my top three takeaways from the day:

The importance of ad targeting and personalisation

A talk by Sandy Ghuman from Sky revealed how you should never underestimate the importance of targeted ads and personalisation. Sky segments its audience into customers and prospects to ensure the right messages are being sent to the right people. Sky does this by utilising its rich data set, including:

  • 1st party data: Sky listens to what its customers are saying in call centres, retail stores, and how they interact e.g. what movies or types of sports customers are watching
  • 2nd party data: Sky forms partnerships with companies like British Gas, which provides a 360 view of the customer and allows Sky to exploit offline data partnerships
  • 3rd party data: Sky uses a Data Management Platform (DMP) to collect and analyse data from their campaigns to create rich data sets and look-alike audiences

So, how does this work in practice? Sky recently ran a campaign which served a radio advert to prospects using real-time data initiatives. Sky was careful not to serve ads to existing customers, which resulted in a big cost saving. The key takeaway from this is that personalisation can result in higher conversions at lower costs – a win-win for any marketer.

“Is  your email strategy s**t?”

Gavin Leugine from DotMailer shared some interesting stats on the state of email marketing in 2018:

  • 66% of brands are not practicing any segmentation
    • Email marketing tip: Make sure you send customers a welcome email with offers or five reasons to stay on your list
  • 37% of brands mix editorial with promo material
    • Email marketing tip: Don’t always sell sell sell – include helpful ‘how-to guides’ or ‘learning from the pros’ content
  • 56% of brands are failing to send abandoned cart emails
    • Email marketing tip: Consider the timing of your emails – one great example is how Asics put together an outfit of clothes left in the basket
  • Only 53% of brands send an after-sales review email
    • Email marketing tip: Pay attention to customer feedback to continue to improve on your service

One success story that Gavin cited was Bulk Powders, who came top of DotMailer’s Hitting the Mark 2018 report for its email campaign. The campaign prioritised personalisation, ensuring Bulk Powders sent out relevant content (including product info, thought leadership, recipe ideas and training tactics) to the right audience. Whether you work in consumer or B2B, we can all take a leaf out of Bulk Powders’ book and make sure emails are personalised appropriately.

The moral of the story here? Your email strategy is key, so make sure it hits the mark. Get the basics down by sending the right message to the right person at the right time.

“Don’t be anti-social”

One word. GDPR. I doubt anyone’s forgotten about the gazillion reminders to opt-in emails that entered our inboxes in May. But with many businesses using email as their key marketing inbound method, where does that leave them?

A talk by Timothy Hughes from Digital Leadership Associates revealed how social media is crucial for supporting your marketing campaigns in a post-GDPR world. Social media is a frictionless way of communicating and a really effective platform for building your brand. Although that does bring with it an added pressure to make sure your social profiles stand up to scrutiny, whether that’s Twitter, LinkedIn or even Facebook, as well as your company page.

Here’s five tips to make your social media channels fly as a B2B business:

  1. Make sure you use keywords within your social posts and content
  2. Consider the personas and audience you’re speaking to on those channels
  3. Make sure all your visuals (like social cards, GIFs and videos) are attractive and align with your company branding
  4. Promote a range of different content formats, including eGuides, infographics, videos, interactive reports and whitepapers
  5. Encourage your sales team to use social media channels like LinkedIn and Twitter to connect, engage, and start conversations with potential prospects

So, there you have it – my top three takeaways from MarTech Festival 2018. It was a great day with some fascinating speakers, where I picked up more than a few tips to bring back to the OG office. Hopefully, I’ll be heading back next year – see you there!