Marketing Week Live 2018 Recap
First off, one of the great things about this conference is that it is free to attend, and comes with its own app!
At least a week before attending, fire up the app and look through the different talks, then create your own schedule (with reminders) right there in the app.
My plan was to attend the following:
- Creating true business impact with Social Media in 2018
- Marketer’s toolkit – fostering loyalty in the age of promiscuity
- Marketer’s toolkit – Demonstrating the effectiveness of content marketing
- Blurring the lines between Digital and Print Marketing: an Omni-channel approach
- Marketer’s toolkit – The principles of personalisation
- Bring your brand to life with the power of promotional products
I tend not to commit myself to too many talks each day otherwise you find yourself running between the stages and not getting the chance to enjoy the atmosphere, talk to the different vendors or stop to drink some coffee! As well, the seats tend to fill up at least 20 minutes before each talk so you need to ensure you plan enough time to move between stages and get seated.
I also made the decision to drive this year, as last year I had so many goodie bags as well as my coat and handbag, that I was exhausted by the time I made it home – especially as there were no seats at the train station, or on the train. Parking at Kensington Olympia is a little steep, so if you can car pool with someone I’d recommend it. Fortunately for me, my company kindly agreed to cover the cost of my attendance, and as the tickets were free I didn’t feel too bad about the parking charges.
Highlights of Marketing Week Live
Although there were no free cupcakes this year, I loved the alcopops from Trustpilot, and I thought that YouGov had a great stand! (I won a T-shirt)
There were a lot of stands of people I hadn’t heard of before, and others that I had heard of but never used. YouGov and Trustpilot had purpose built stands which are always so much more impressive than the standard builds.
Every talk I attended (bar one) were well though out, full of strategies that could be easily implemented, and above all – inspiring. My favourite talk has to be the one put on by eConsultancy regarding a new marketing theory: M3.
You might notice it wasn’t in the list of talks I had hoped to attend, this was because I was attending the “Blurring the lines between Digital and Print Marketing” talk and it was very obvious that the speaker didn’t intend to provide any insight into how the results they were bragging about had been achieved, but were instead using the opportunity to pitch their business. After 10 minutes I gave up and wondered away and noticed the M3 talk was 10 minutes from starting and still had seats available.
Throughout the entire event, it was really made clear that “Digital” is not a strategy. It shouldn’t be in your job title and if you only know “digital” skills you should really be looking to diversify. Digital is a tactic, and should be considered as such. Those who don’t understand digital, need to pick it up quickly – no longer is it acceptable to have separate roles for digital and traditional marketing.
This has been something I have been trying to explain for years. I have allowed companies to label me as “digital” but I have made it clear that I do not consider only Digital methods when putting together a strategy. Digital on its own, will neverbe as successful as an omnichannel approach – and for those only using traditional marketing without digital, how are you able to ignore the benefits of digital?
Who did I speak to at the event?
As always the vendors were really doing their best to show us marketers what they could do. Last year the Trustpilot stand had free gelato which was perfect in the heat of the conference – but they scanned our attendance badges and not much else, which I fed-back when called post-event. This year they handed out alcopops. The first day I was at least asked if I was using reviews as part of my strategy, the second the only question they asked was which flavour alcopop I wanted.
This year, highlights included:
- Fluid Branding – the person I spoke to really took the time to go through what items would best suit my business needs and discussed price points and samples with me. Other branding companies at the event simply gave me a brochure or some freebies (Thanks for the coffee cup Brand and Deliver – used it this morning instead of a paper cup!).
- Brandality – I lucked out by speaking to someone whose speciality was my area of interest. There was a lot of positivity and I really like their concept.
- DotMailer – As always, the plush dog is a massive pull. I was honest about wantingit for my dog, she loves her Meerkats and DogMailer toys and keeps them in excellent condition. I shared some of the issues I was having with my current email provider (Hubspot) and was pleased that not only was this issue not a problem with DotMailer, but they also used their data to allow additional segmentation.
- Adestra – Someone who I had heard of before but never investigated. They provided some great case studies which I’m looking forward to reading. Interestingly they use Hubspot themselves but not for their email marketing as they use their own system.
- VueTV – one of the first people I spoke to on day one, who were happy to show me samples of their amazing concept – videos that you can post!
- Wizu – A chatbot tool for surveys. An interesting concept and very important for me personally as I needed information on Chatbots for my current assignment on Digital Strategy for CIM.
- FreshMinds – they were technically at the Insight half of the show, but they very kindly allowed me to take a VR headset sample even though I was upfront about wanting it for my CIM assignment and had no intention of purchasing it for work.
- LeadForensics – great idea for anyone in B2B, although I would want to know more about whether GDPR will affect them. Essentially you generate leads from website visits through reverse IP tracking.
What did I learn from the event?
If nothing else, I love attending Marketing Week Live to remind myself that there are other marketers out there just as passionate about marketing as I am. One of my favourite talks last year was hosted by the IDM and highlighted the variety of skills employers expect marketers to have (accountancy, graphic design, and interestingly – the ability to translate tech talk). This year I was hoping to learn more about VR, Big Data, and Chatbots – specifically for the assignment I’m working on for the CIM Level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing.
The personalisation talk from Conversant provided a lot of insight into the concept of better personas and better personalisation. It was also great to see a real life application of the Gartner Hype Cycle.
I was able to attend talks on personalisation from Big Data and speak to exhibitors offering Chatbots and VR – so that counts as a real win as far as I’m concerned.
Tim Fidgeon’s talk was excellent again this year, but as always he races through. Note taking is hard when he moves so quickly, so I resorted to taking pictures and adding notes in OneNote. I’m hoping we get the presentations for the talks – last year only some of the talks provided presentations afterwards.
I learned about ways to get company backing for marketing efforts, the areas in which we should be focusing on, and about the changing career paths for marketing professionals. It also hit home the struggle for people wanting to break in to marketing – something I experienced at the start of my career which seems to have only gotten worse.
I have always been passionate about sharing my marketing knowledge and helping others into the field, but I think more needs to be done. I will be looking for a way to take on an apprentice in the next year so that I can do my part in helping people become marketers, and help the marketing industry to evolve.
I also learned about the “Modern Marketing Model” (M3) and fully intend to embrace this model going forward, both academically and in practice. I would recommend that you read the report and look to see how you too can adopt this new model.
Will I attend next year?
I’d like to, but there are no guarantees that I will be able to. It was touch and go as to whether I could attend this year as my company had an event the same day that I was expected to attend. It was only because of my need to research for the CIM course that I insisted on being allowed to go.
I think it is an incredibly valuable event – and any one who can get a day or two off work for continued professional development, should definitely go. And let’s be honest – I love the freebies. I’m a real stationary hoarder so I love the notebooks that people hand out (I got four this year!).
Those with larger teams should really consider sending their whole team, as being able to divide and conquer (attend multiple sessions individually and then share the notes at the end of the day) is the way to make the best of the event. I wish I could have attended more of the talks, but I am very glad I drove (despite sat nav issues) as hauling all my goodies got tiring very quickly, so it was nice to be able to drop them off at the car during the lunch break.