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19 October 2012

A roundup of a4uexpo performance marketing conference

Rachel Hawkes, account director, Elemental By Rachel Hawkes

a4uexpo London logoWe spent Tuesday and Wednesday out of the office and attending performance marketing conference a4uexpo.  Thank you to the organisers for ensuring there was fast, free Wi-Fi throughout the venue, which enabled us to work remotely whilst making the most of everything the event had to offer… which was lots!

On Tuesday, I blogged about our highlights for Day One of a4uexpo, so it’s only fitting I summarise Day Two.

I was looking forward to the “For Blog’s Sake – Don’t You Know I Add Value” session at 9:30am, and it wasn’t quite as I expected.  Which is totally my own fault, as I should have read the session description and not just the headline!  The session, given by Edwyn McFarlane (@edwyn123) at Affiliate Window was very interesting though.  It was about the influence on sales that premium bloggers have that isn’t directly linked to a sale, so are they therefore not being re-numerated according to sales they do generate / influence?

Straight up after the blog session was, “Turbo-Charging your SEO Strategy & Link Building Strategy” with Patrick Altoft (@patrickaltoft) from Branded3 and Jon Quinton (@jonquinton1) from SEOgadget.  Lots of tips and tricks in this session both Patrick and Jon, from getting your meta data right, making sure you have a good mix of links from sites that have medium to high page rank scores (which is going to be more valuable than having a million links from sites that score 0!), and how to pull a site to look for duplicate content, caching problems and so on (they recommend Screaming Frog).

My favourite session of the day was just before lunch, “Engaging Facebook through EDGErank, Content Optimisation and Killer Apps.”  The speakers were Martin Belam (@currybet) from Emblem, Kelvin Newman (@kelvinnewman) from Site Visibility and Jeremy Waite (@JeremyWaite) at Adobe.  For those that weren’t already familiar with EDGErank, or  wanting to understand it better, Kelvin broke it down in a really legible and interesting way.  

Jeremy, who recently left Facebook’s largest advertising agency took us through some very interesting Facebook statistics – such as 66% of users follow less than five brands and only 16% of users will see a brands content.  He then talked about BT’s Facebook and TV campaign, where users were able to help choose the journey of the TV ad’s stars through Facebook voting.  Whilst deemed to be an incredibly successful campaign, Jeremy questions whether all as is meets the eye.  Now the campaign is over, BT activity and fan engagement on the page have dropped considerably… so if they weren’t able to leverage that reach following the end of the campaign – how successful was it really?

Whilst the whole session was very interesting, the highlight for me was hearing from Martin Belam of Emblem.  Before starting his own consultancy, Martin worked at The Guardian and was the man behind the paper’s move onto Facebook.  Martin took us through the whole lifecycle of The Guardian Facebook app up to now, and how and why it has been as successful as it’s been in reaching the under 25’s – a market The Guardian wanted to reach but struggled too.  

During lunch, there was a panel session, “Social’s Big Performance Battle” with digital marketer Auke Boersma (@MrBoardsma), Vikki Chowney (@vikkichowney) from tmw, Tim Jessop (@UKtesco) from Tesco, Simon Baptist (@simon_baptist) from 330 Lines and Tina Judic (@tinajudic) from Found who moderated.  Auke gave us a statistic just released from Forrester, that social media contributes almost nothing (approximately 1%) to sales.

I’ve yet to read the research from Forrester, but I would be very interested to know the exact context for this, because it seems incredibly shortsighted.  Perhaps if it was, 1% of direct social channel to shopping basket clicks, but there is a long tail sales funnel here that’s surely not been considered.  As consumers, we don’t always make up our mind to buy something instantly (depending upon the product or service), we consider the purchase, shop around, ask for opinions and insights from our peers and so on.  Then, there are consumers that will physically go into a store to purchase, either by intent or when they happen to be out and see that item.  Something we will need to come back to in a future blog post I am sure.

After lunch, the keynote session was delivered by Dr Mike Baxter, managing director at Sales Loqiq.  Mike’s presentation was truly interesting as he rounded up the theme from all of the sessions over the two days.  Mike talked about how personalisation is the key to performance marketing, and how 90% of sales are lost when customers are given too much choice.  This is a really interesting idea, Mike elaborated that choice puts customers into “decision paralysis” and that marketers should endeavour to narrow the choice down in order to force a sales decision.  He also suggested we should, “try and influence the criteria with which someone makes a decision rather than influence the decision itself.”

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend any of the afternoon sessions.  But overall, my two days at a4uexpo were incredibly interesting and I have to praise the organisers for doing a stellar job.  The events and all of the many sessions ran very smoothly and delegates seemed to be enjoying themselves and interacting with exhibitors.

a4uexpo London 2012 banner graphic

a4uexpo London 2012 banner graphic

Image credit: a4uexpo website

Categories: Social media, Marketing, Events

Tags: a4uexpo, EDGErank, Facebook, conference, event, marketing event, performance marketing, affiliate marketing, publishing, advertising, legal, blogs, Blogging, tips, tools, social media

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