No Laptops…Just Our Brains And A Whiteboard

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Photos by Nick Peacock-Smith

Yesterday, we ventured out of the office to the local WeWork space for a brainstorming day.

The combine forces of the Marketing and Client Services teams sat down and tackled some of the challenges that have come up over the first half of this year. Not only that, but we looked at ways that we could add a little extra to our conferences for our attendees.

Focusing on three key areas, Content, Technology, and Luxury, with the space to think and no laptop distraction, we came up with some fantastic ideas to take our events to the next level.


  • Working with our sales team to help them feel more confident selling from the agenda. We’re planning several content deep-dives, where we explore the latest technology and digital business strategies.
  • We’re also going to trial some new content formats, that we believe will offer unique opportunities for our attendees to get to actually test out new technology.


  • Ideas to get the most out of our onsite technology, including our event app.


  • We asked ourselves how we can better work with our hotel partners to deliver a more luxurious experience for our delegates. Morning Yoga? Spa treatments? Champagne After Hours Party?

We also spent the time walking in our customer’s shoes, which is the only way to identify their needs.

Taking the time to get out of the office gave us the space we needed to work on how to take our events to the next level.

We’re so excited to put the ideas into practice!


Marketer in New York heads to Nashville – the home of country music, and venue of Digital Retail Transformation Assembly

Had a lovely week hanging out in the home of country music, Nashville for the Digital Retail Transformation Assembly.

As my first event for my new company, I was super excited to see what our products look like in real life.

It was fantastic!

IMG_0835I had the chance to also sit down with a marketing hero of mine, Sarah Robb O’Hagan, who has just written a book EXTREMEYOU.

Once the video is edited, I’ll share! 😉

But what was also great was the conversations that delegates were having. There were 7 key trends that the marketers in the room were keen to discuss.

Here’s a rundown:


As the digital retail landscape continues to grow, it is important not to forget the in-store experience for the consumer. Connecting the digital experience into the physical space, by bridging the physical and digital divide. In other words, the Phygital is now an imperative for many retailers.

Retailers are searching for innovative technologies to bridge the digital and physical worlds. There are many new companies out there looking to help retailers merged their digital and physical realms into one.

Leading retailers have invested heavily in physical locations. But today, every business must also invest in delivering a rich online experience.

Today’s consumers are more tech-savvy than ever. They don’t just delight in seamless omnichannel commerce, they expect it. Some enterprise-sized brands forget that shoppers are humans, not just segments. Not only do retailers need to merge the digital and physical, they also need to think human. Companies that succeed in marketing to the individual will thrive, those that don’t are destined to fail.

It can be difficult for large companies to shift quickly. Nobody does it well, and consumers don’t care about your legacy platforms or IT roadmaps. They care about personalized experiences and getting access to the most relevant digital content. Potential customers interact with a brand on multiple channels.


PlaceIQ at Digital Retail Transformation AssemblyWe are “data-reach but knowledge-poor” (Sarah Robb O’Hagan).

The explosion of digital has enabled businesses to gather an extraordinary amount of data. What’s missing is the knowledge on how to use it. Retailers consistently adopt the latest technology but do not take the time to investigate how it adds value for the consumer.

Take location data for example. Mobile means more of today’s brands are empowered to gather in-depth insight into the true customer journey. Innovative brands are embracing location data.

Our sponsor PlaceIQ led an extremely popular workshop during the Digital Retail Transformation Assembly, They were key to emphasize the power of this data if used right. Location data has helped brands to make holistic marketing decisions, which have led to creative marketing plans built on customer behavior.


Storytelling is a huge trend, not only in retail but in marketing across industries. New digital channels have not only provided an unprecedented amount of customer insight but also present a unique opportunity to personalize experiences.

What is vital to remember is that brand purpose is still as relevant as ever, especially when you consider the consumer desire for authenticity.

“The “four P’s” have changed significantly. Not Product, life solutions. Not Price, time/knowledge (privacy could become currency too) have emerged as alternate perhaps more valuable currency. Not Place, but context (access/immediacy), not Promotion, but storytelling/co-creation/trust-building. And the 5th P for People is now personalization.” (Russ Klein)

Understanding and delivering content that really connects with the consumer is critical to marketing strategy. Storytelling is more relevant than ever. There is no debate on who owns a story, only on who has adapted their business in a way that delivers truly integrated and effective real-time experiences. Clients who want this level of integration and simplicity, look to brands who are using data to understand what content they want and deliver authentic stories to engage with.

Unified Brand

Delivering unified brand experiences is heavily linked to the previous trend, Phygital.

Marketers must deliver a unified brand message across multiple channels, including in-store. With digital tools, it is possible to change and deliver messages directly, in a quick way.

At Digital Retail Transformation Assembly, the unified brand session leaders emphasized the importance of authenticity.

Marketing according to the dictionary definition, isn’t authentic. Brands try to position themselves in the best light, omitting the negative and do everything they can to woo consumers. In this age of unprecedented consumer empowerment, where the reality of products and services is just a Google search away.

In today’s marketing landscape, consumers trap brands who fail to be authentic, or as is often the case, fail to unify their brand message.


IMG_0806The definition of mobile is changing, expanding past the apps you have on your phones or tablets. Mobile is about the user, and understanding how their physical environment and digital technology interact.

Leading businesses are getting closer to their end-user by leveraging technology to create contextually relevant and more personalized experiences.


Social media is a vital tool for retailers. It can be used in multiple ways.

Firstly, it’s a listening tool. Social media’s greatest power is that it enables brands to listen, by monitoring their target customers and learning about what they are talking about.

Due to this listening aspect, social media also offers marketers the opportunity to collect in-depth data on their customers. This analysis can impact the direction of a company, ignite future growth, and help stay ahead of competitors.

Social media is a tool of engagement. It really is the first example of conversation marketing, which with chatbots and messaging apps, is becoming more important.


IMG_0794Influencer marketing has made a huge impact in retail.

Americans spend 1.8 hours per day on social networks, which is more time than on personal email and search engines combined. As a result, we’ve become a society whose purchase behavior is heavily influenced by those we choose to connect with online. We’re also a society suffering from ad fatigue, ad fraud, and ad blockers. When people get overwhelmed, they tend to revert back to the things they trust, like human relationships.

In the context of marketing, this gives influencer marketing a major advantage over other digital advertising methods. Following the best practices from leading consumer brands, learn how to harness the power of influence and content consumers trust.

Had an amazing time in Nashville! would highly recommend the city to anyone visiting the USA.

Can’t wait to go back!

“Cloudsourcing” – Crowdsourcing Storm Stella

Like many New Yorkers affected by Storm Stella, I spent the day working from home with the weather playing constantly in the background. New York City missed out on the predicted 24 inches of snow, ending the day with only 7 inches of snowfall recorded in Central Park.

Beyond the images of inches of snow and winds pummeling the Nor’eastern states, something else stood out to me as a marketer of events.

Crowdsourcing the weather. A nickname proposal – “Cloudsourcing”?

(Not to be confused with cloudsourcing relating to cloud providers.)

This was especially noticeable in the New York, as the severity of the weather across the 5 boroughs varied. The storm veered north, so the deep snow missed most of Manhattan and Long Island looked more like a puddle than a winter wonderland.

Storm Stella
A man walks in Central Park as snow falls in New York City, on March 14, 2017. Andrew Kelly—Reuters

By encouraging viewers to share photos on numerous hashtags, meteorologists could provide a more accurate portrait of how the weather was impacting the different states, and the different boroughs.

Crowdsourcing on social media 

The emergence and popularity of social media opened many doors for marketers. One such door was the opportunity to crowdsource.

“Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people.” – Prescient Digital

3 ways crowdsourcing will aid your marketing efforts.

  1. Its customer-centric

Firstly, it puts your customer at the center of your campaign, gathering information directly from them. This helps ensure that you are communicating to your target about topics that matter, in a way that works for them.

People love to get involved and be given the opportunity to express their opinions.

“Letting your target audience get involved is like handing out the mic at a conference.”Jay Baer

  1. Its time-saving

How often has time impacted your marketing activities? Be honest.

Marketers everywhere often say that time is their number 1 challenge. There is never enough time in the day to do as much as we would like. So, imagine if your use crowdsourcing to alleviate some of the pressure. Not only does crowdsourcing provide you with a treasure trove of content to share, it also provides you with a diamond – data.

Using crowdsourcing effectively will provide you key insight into your target customer, which can then be used in customer personas to make smarter marketing decisions in the future.

  1. Its engaging

Crowdsourcing is by its nature engaging. You can directly and authentically engage with target and current customers. This level of engagement helps you as a marketer to encourage your target to invest in your company.

Over recent years, with the rise of consumer-led marketing the need for authenticity has become imperative. Consumers choose brands that they have engaged with, that they feel has delivered them an authentic, personalized experience.

How crowdsourcing changed the Super Bowl Ad Game? 

Let’s take a quick look at the history of Super Bowl commercials. For many a brand marketer, the Super Bowl is the pinnacle of the commercial game. Over its 51-year history, the sporting event has become as synonymous with the commercial competition as it has American football.

Each year, USA Today’s Ad Meter declares the winner of the on-screen competition. This year, KIA won the coveted title with its commercial staring actress and comedienne Melisa McCarthy.

Over the past 50 years, the way marketers leverage these expensive commercial slots has changed. Digital tools have changed the ad game, as marketers look to take their commercials cross-channel using interactive and social channels.

The gold standard of online campaigns is ‘going viral’. This has become the ultimate victory for any social media campaign. Doritos and Frito-Lay used crowdsourcing to achieve this with the “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, which ran for the last time last year.

Using crowdsourcing on social media, the chip makers used their fans to create their Super Bowl commercial. Chip lovers submitted their own ad creative, of which 5 finalists were selected. A judging panel chose the top 2, the ultimate winner being selected by Chip fans. In 2016, the winner of the $1 million grand prize was “Doritos Dogs” by Jacob Chase, which now has over 8 million YouTube views.

This is just one notable example of how crowdsourcing has impacted marketing. Doritos and Frito-Lay created a customer-centric campaign, that encourages their fans to engage with their brand directly. The company also saved their ad creative team time, by outsourcing the design of the commercial.

The convergence of marketing and customer experience

Reblogging as a look back on America’s Customer Festival 2015, as the 2016 edition is tomorrow!

Marketer in New York

Recently, we’ve witnessed a convergence of marketing and experience. Epitomised by experiential marketing, it is great to see marketing come to life. Check out these great examples here – posted by My personal favourite – the “Best Poster in the World” by Carlsberg.

In events, we often forget that our customers’ experience our marketing. Last week, at America’s Customer Festival I was reminded of the importance of customer experience and how closely linked this is to customer service. Melissa Baird,Director of Product and Operations from Bonobos gave a great presentation about on “The store of the future – Leveraging brick and mortar to increase online sales conversion.” Not only has Bonobos revolutionised their in-store experience, they have taken customer service to the next level. This high level of customer service has enabled them to deliver a unique customer experience.

Melissa gave examples of how Bonobos’ ‘marketing ninjas’

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How to grow delegate revenue by 53%

H1 results are in! We have officially grown delegate revenue by 53% – H1 2016 versus H1 2015.

So, how did we do it?

  1. We went back to basics

You got to get the fundamentals right. From there, you can experiment.

Marketing is about communication. Getting your product in front of the right people. So the first step is to ensure that you understand your target and that they are in your database. We revamped our ‘marketing briefs’ to make sure that we as marketers understood our events and who they are for. We then conducted a thorough data audit, and created a data acquisition plan to fill gaps, to also clean our existing data and add more data in our strength areas.

Working with data companies such as Dun & Bradstreet allowed us to target our spend and our efforts.

Next we took a look at the channels we were using. I labour this next point with my team constantly! I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to me when I hear marketers talk about ‘traditional marketing’ versus ‘digital marketing’. They work together. Our marketing campaigns are integrated. The channels we use work together, flow together, evolve together. We time our activities. You might receive something in the mail from us, which is followed up by a targeted email sent to you or social activity around a keyword aimed to get on your twitter newsfeed. What we work towards is communicating a cohesive message on a variety of platforms, giving our customers multiple touch points to talk to us, engage with us. Closing that loop between us and them. Not always achieved – I admit!

First channel to change – our websites. This was a global strategic change that looked to take our website (quite literally) from the stone age into the 21st century. We now have mobile optimised, user friendly and extremely attractive websites. These websites are effectively SEO’s, searchable and targeted to our customers.

Next, we boosted our digital marketing. We used tools such as Evvnt to effectively and efficiently list our events everywhere. Targeted campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn helped boost our website traffic. We have a long way to go to ensure that we are engaging effectively on social media, but we are building strong networks that are beneficial to us and our customers.

Email is a vital tool for any marketer. In this day and age, cutting through the noise of our targets’ inboxes is a challenge. With our significant investment in data, we were naturally keen to nurture; not spam. We worked to tailor our campaigns by job title, industry, geo…etc. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always 100% fool-proof! But, we noted a significant increase in our open and click (up by 4.6%).

This is just a taster of how we have gone back to basics. But despite the brevity, it’s clear how ensuring the fundamentals are done right leads to higher revenue.

  1. Experimenting

Now we have the fundamentals, we can experiment! We can look to the new channels, we can explore new ideas.

For example, content marketing for us has evolved. We see this as a tool of influencer marketing. Shouting out about the influencers, the change agitators appearing at our event, encouraging them to share our event and leverage their networks adds credibility to our products. This is a new area for us and something that I see as the future of our marketing strategies.

We are also experimenting with social media. We have looked to network marketers to employ their tips, their tactics to grow our networks. To position ourselves as thought leaders, to positions our events as the platform to influence industries.

  1. Customer Experience 

At the beginning of the year, I predicted that customer experience would be a huge talking point for event marketers in 2016. Customers experience the event, that’s a given, but they also experience your marketing. They experience every email. An email that is tailored to their needs will deliver a more positive experience than one that doesn’t – in fact, one that doesn’t delivers a negative experience, one that ends with the delete button.

The way customers experience events is also constantly changing. Gone are the days of death by powerpoint. People want to be engaged, they want their opinions heard. Digital platforms have made this possible – and provided yet another opportunity for marketers. The idea, or dream, of creating FOMO.

  1. Aligning Marketing with Sales

Never easy. And in all honesty, we are not yet 100%, 24/7 on the same page. However, what we found worked was demonstrating how marketing can ease the pressure on sales guys. Isn’t it better to have 200 leads handed to you on a plate, then have to go out and find them?

  1. Analytics

Everything in marketing is trackable, measurable. That’s why I love it! It’s a great feeling to go home at the end of the day and be able to pat myself on the back for getting X number of leads or $$$ more revenue.

Of course, with all of our experiments we also had to be focused on data and analysis to ensure what we were doing was working. 

I think marketing’s future success is really in this data driven approach; a customer focus on what they are engaging with.

Beyond these 5, what was key for me as a new leader was to learn to think ahead. To not let the short term objectives overshadow the long term goals. To make time for planning. To think strategically. To think “big picture”. To not let the opinions of other distract me from my goal. This gave me and my team the structure to thrive. The best part – now I get to show off.

The team dynamic was also vital. A lot was asked of my team, beyond the normal boundaries of their job. It involved late nights, long days, exhausting meetings where we tried to convince our internal customers that what we are doing was worth it!

What’s great is we now boast:

  • Increased website sessions by 188%
  • Doubled data
  • Increased leads by 62%
  • Increased delegate revenue by 53%


In pursuit of content, I would walk 37 miles

Marketer in New York

I recently invested in a Fitbit – trying to be a little healthier in my old age. I have a relatively sedentary lifestyle. 9-5, 5 days a week sat in front of a computer screen.

But what about when we are running the events themselves? So, using my Fitbit, I tracked my movements at #HomeDeliveryW last week.

Event organisers are like icebergs – show little on the surface, hide a lot beneath a calm exterior. We are constantly running around like headless chickens, smiling constantly. Turns out at a 3 day event, we walk 37 miles. Even I was shocked. An Exhibition Hall is not always huge. But an event is not a sprint – its a marathon and some!

It was a fantastic event and totally worth the sore feet. My team once again did me proud. At events, we focus on content capture and creation. This year we…

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The results are in – #marketerinnewyork

I’ve been naughty the past few months and have not been blogging! But it has been an extremely busy conference season! 6 months, 12 events, 112,952 new records added to database; 9,518 sales qualified leads…

H1 conference season is finally over and we get a well deserved rest (ish) time before the H2 season kicks off in September.

Coffee in hand, I came to work this morning and realized its my 2 year anniversary in New York! Doesn’t seem possible to have been living here for 2 years. I still catch a glimpse of the Empire State Building and think I’m on vacation 🙂

What I think is even more amazing is what we, the Terrapinn US marketing team have achieved during that time. Having just completed the H1 marketing analysis. It is amazing to be able to say that we have:

  • Increased website sessions by 188%
  • Doubled data
  • Increased leads by 62%
  • Increased delegate revenue by 53% 

(Versus H1 in 2015***)

I’ll be writing more detailed posts into how we did it very soon – so watch this space! Highlight of the year so far has to be the World Orphan Drug Congress USA. Our first 24/7, truly global marketing campaign. Such a thrill to work on such an awesome event for an awesome industry.

For now, I’m off to celebrate with my team 🙂 Coffee on me guys!

Marketing #WODC 2016 – a look back at the our April event for the #raredisease industry in tweets

This year the marketing for the World Orphan Drug Congress USA went truly global. Our marketing campaign kicked off twelve months out! Our fully integrated digital campaign utilized all major marketing channels:

WEBSITE – Our website is fully responsive and updated regularly.
EMAIL MARKETING – We run a sophisticated lead generation and lead nurture campaign to our comprehensive database of over 180,000 people.
DIRECT MARKETING – We mailed (yes that’s snail mail!) a flyer to our top prospects and past customer.
DIGITAL ADVERTISING – Working with a leading digital advertising agency adverts have been placed on Google, the display networks, LinkedIn and Facebook. Re-targeting was used extensively.
INBOUND MARKETING – Our team regularly blog on our community Total Orphan Drugs. Fantastic eBooks were also produced for download and boosted our lead generation.
SOCIAL MARKETING – Blog posts and event alerts are regularly posted to our dedicated twitter feed, facebook page and linkedIn group. And they are posted to relevant 3rd party groups and pages. We now boast over 3,500 social followers!
PRESS AND 3RD PARTY CAMPAIGN – We partnered with over 30 leading press and media. Digital advertising, email blasts and page adverts helped spread the word.
DIRECT SALES – Our dedicated direct sales team ensured that no lead was left unconverted. This all sounds very impressive! But I bet you’d like to know if it all worked?

Yes – it did!

Check out the World Orphan Drug Congress USA 2016 in tweets via @storify >>

In pursuit of content, I would walk 37 miles

I recently invested in a Fitbit – trying to be a little healthier in my old age. I have a relatively sedentary lifestyle. 9-5, 5 days a week sat in front of a computer screen.

But what about when we are running the events themselves? So, using my Fitbit, I tracked my movements at #HomeDeliveryW last week.

Event organisers are like icebergs – show little on the surface, hide a lot beneath a calm exterior. We are constantly running around like headless chickens, smiling constantly. Turns out at a 3 day event, we walk 37 miles. Even I was shocked. An Exhibition Hall is not always huge. But an event is not a sprint – its a marathon and some!

It was a fantastic event and totally worth the sore feet. My team once again did me proud. At events, we focus on content capture and creation. This year we gathered the presentations from our speakers, also captured the audio to produce a podcast summer series and even videoed a few sessions. Our pack of guest bloggers helped us to share the events live onto our blog Total Delivery. As always, twitter was a vital tool for us to create FOMO. On top of this, our fabulous interview crew from Supply Chain Brain helped us to video interview delegates, speakers and sponsors alike. We also had Open Source Fashion onsite, whose podcast is well worth a listen for anyone in retail. They also interviewed many of our attendees!

It is so important to use events as a source of content, a source of industry knowledge and a place to discuss the industry with the industry. Our discussions with our customers have sparked ideas for future Home Delivery Worlds.

That’s not all! All this content helped us to create FOMO and has already given a great boost to the launch of Home Delivery World 2017.

37 miles in 3 days? Wonder whether this will be more or less at #WODC. We’ll find out soon.


How to get 1,500+ attendees at your event

Can’t quite believe that it was a year ago that I wrote “How to get an entire city talking about your event for 2 days.”

Seems impossible to me that I am undertaking the final analysis for the Home Delivery World 2016 marketing campaign. This is a great example of how marketing changes in 1 year.

This year the marketing for the Home Delivery World went truly global. Our marketing campaign kicked off twelve months out! Our fully integrated digital campaign utilized all major marketing channels, details below.

Each year, we produced several marketing pieces that are used throughout the campaign. This includes the event brochure, the sponsorship prospectus, the workshop brochure and the post event report – all of which feature our event partners prominently, encouraging them to share across their networks.


Our fully responsive website is updated regularly and visited by tens-of-thousands of home delivery industry stakeholders. Taking the time to train and understand SEO better has helped push us up the Google rankings.


In this day and age, email is the number 1 communication tool of every marketer. So,
how to stand out from the crowd?

We have had great fun this year experimenting with subject lines, personalized copy, images etc. My favorite subject line has to be, “Fancy Chick’Fil’A?” sent at 11:55am to attract opens from our hungry audience. The copy then went on to talk about all the great local legends that are attending our event this year.

With a huge global database, we target by interest, Geo and job title to ensure our messages get in front of the right people.

3 (2274) Home Delivery World 2016 PPC Ad Pack_320x100


2016 saw Home Delivery World officially enter the “digital age”! By working closely with a digital marketing agency, adwords, PPC and remarketing was successfully used to grow our digital footprint.


It’s easy to get caught up with the latest digital marketing craze! Here at Home Delivery World, we never forget the need to be direct. We use direct targeting and messages in all our marketing, whether it be digital or more traditional like a mailing. In addition to our digital activities we:

  • Mailed (yes that’s snail mail” to our local contacts and past customers
  • The team headed down to Atlanta – Face-to-Face always works best!
  • Organized meet-ups – including one in New York


We love content! We regularly post onto online communities, including our own ‘Total Delivery’. With the the help of our sponsors, we have produced and shared over 30 presentations, 2 eBooks (with a 3rd imminent) and over 60 blogs.


Social Media has proven to be a powerful tool of promotion for us time and time again.

Leveraging our 3.000 strong social network on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter; alongside a targeted Facebook Advertising campaign, has increased the reach of our content, and that of our customers, exponentially.

For 2017, we now have a strong social network to engage with.

Follow us at on #HomeDeliveryW >


Our dedicated sales team ensure no lead is left unconverted! Logging over 60 calls a day, this unprecedented effort has made Home Delivery 2016 the biggest and best yet!


We partnered with over 65 leading press and media. Digital advertising, email blasts and page adverts helped spread the word. Thank to all our partners whose tireless effort and constant support is never forgotten or unappreciated.

In total, over 800 marketing activities have helped to make the 2016 event a record breaker!

  • Mailings
  • Emails
  • Press Releases
  • Blogs
  • EBooks
  • Social Media
  • Flyers at other events
  • Adverts in industry publications
  • Direct sales team
  • Banners & listings
  • Newsletter listings
  • Adwords & remarketing
  • Influencer marketing

There is still time to join the 1,500+ people already signed up. Register for Home Delivery World now >