Prolific North Live was a one day expo which included a top notch education programme and an exhibition space where some of the leading North West digital agencies showcased their work. We were exhibiting and met some fantastic companies; and with an hourly Return bingo session, a great day was had by all!
I was also asked to speak at the event. The slots were 15 minutes long so I really had to rack my brains on how to give the best value in a short session. One thing I did know was that I wasn't going to bore everyone with a ton of PowerPoint slides saying how great we are with a big fat pitch at the end. So my presentation was born...
No Slides, No Bullshit. And No Pitch
It was a conversational collection of the biggest things I am seeing in digital at the moment.
When it comes to digital, there are so many choices. Which channel to use? Which platform to use? Which agency to use? Which keyword to focus on? Which.... well, you get the picture. I believe the right question to ask is: "What is the smallest thing we can do which will make the biggest difference?" That's right, look at what you are trying to achieve and then start making small actions to get you there. Keep looking for learnings and keep testing. This iterative approach tied to a strong outcome will produce the best results.
It's not your competitors you should worry about. It's disruption
Most of the companies we work with come to us because they want to increase their market share. This is the right reason to work with an agency, but it can miss the bigger issue. When you look at the larger picture, it has often not been a competitor that has caused a market to change, it has been a change in technology or business model: Easyjet. Uber. Airbnb. Internet Banking. Home Delivery etc. They have all fundamentally changed how an industry works. If you are not looking at this strategically and regularly it could end up being too late!
As a strategic agency, strategy forms the beginning of every project we undertake, but for some time now we allow some thinking time and research dedicated to disruption. Where may it occur? How we can protect ourselves? And most excitingly, how can we disrupt an industry?
Buying starts right at the top of the funnel
Marketing at the bottom of the funnel (i.e. when someone is ready to buy) is the most expensive place to play. Paid search costs a fortune and it's hyper competitive down there. If you are strapped for budget, you will have to work harder by starting to build your brand while people are just doing their research. B2B marketers with super long sales cycles should already be used to this, but it can work for eCommerce as well. Focus on creating some assets which people will swap their details for to build your email marketing list and start building your relationships early.
I was very touched to receive some lovely Twitter feedback from my session and will hopefully be invited back to speak next year.