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:

Phygital

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.

Data

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

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.

Mobile

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

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.

Influencers

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!

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Creating FOMO – LIVE from #WODC

Only 1 week until the 2016 edition!

Marketer in New York

As event marketers, we aim to create buzz around our events. This should not be limited to pre-event. My tip for creating buzz is to play on the sociocultural phenomenon of FOMO.

“FOMO – anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.”– Google search

One way to achieve FOMO is to use the event itself. Events and tradeshows have long been proven to be a great marketing platform. As the event organisers we can take advantage of our own events by changing mindset and seeing the event as a marketing asset – a promotional channel for us as well as our clients.

Firstly, an event is a great source of knowledge. As a B2B event marketer, the events I look after act as my window into the industries in which I work. It is the best opportunity…

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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.

 

#stemcellsusa LIVE (ish) is coming soon

It is pretty hard to believe that event season is once again here! It seems like yesterday that we had just wrapped up with a very successful Trading Show Chicago before the summer break.

But here we are – September is here which means that it is time to create some FOMO. So #stemcellsusa LIVE (ish) is coming soon (tomorrow)!

Keep up to date with Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress USA by checking out #stemcellsusa or following me or Total BioPharma on twitter.

Creating FOMO – LIVE from #WODC

As event marketers, we aim to create buzz around our events. This should not be limited to pre-event. My tip for creating buzz is to play on the sociocultural phenomenon of FOMO.

“FOMO – anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.” – Google search

One way to achieve FOMO is to use the event itself. Events and tradeshows have long been proven to be a great marketing platform. As the event organisers we can take advantage of our own events by changing mindset and seeing the event as a marketing asset – a promotional channel for us as well as our clients.

Firstly, an event is a great source of knowledge. As a B2B event marketer, the events I look after act as my window into the industries in which I work. It is the best opportunity I have to learn industry trends from the experts themselves! This knowledge becomes content – content for blogs, for tweets, for LinkedIn posts…and even future conference agendas.

Secondly, the event gathers your customers in one place. It is our opportunity to speak to our customers directly, to get feedback, to understand their needs better. Use your customers to create FOMO – a tweet from a conference speaker will be more effective than a tweet from the conference organiser. In other words, FOMO is the result of great Word-of-Mouth marketing.

By changing our mindset, we successfully created FOMO this week at #WODC USA – the largest orphan drug conference and expo. We achieved this by blogging LIVE and tweeting regularly. We also encouraged our customers to join in by sending them the # information before the event, adding #WODC onto the onsite printed and digital materials. Check out our conference #hashtag here > #WODC Take particular note of those who wished they had been there 😉

Here are a few highlights from the event twitter feed:

FOMO 1

FOMO 2

FOMO 3

My FOMO tips:

  • See your event as a marketing asset
  • Use your customers. Word-of-Mouth marketing is the most effective channel you have in your toolkit
  • Make your hashtag short, simple, relevant and unforgettable. Minimal characters mean that your customers have more characters to shout out about your event. Making it impossible to forget ensures then when your customers get the urge to tweet, they will and they will information about you.

The orphan drug and rare disease industry are incredibly active across social media, which made the marketing’s teams job that bit easier! Another advantage of FOMO is that it gives your marketing campaign for the following year’s event a head start. The industry already knows that this is an event not to be missed!

Thank you to all our tweeters – our sponsors, speakers, delegates and partners. And not forgetting my awesome marketing team. Enjoyed an amazing three days in Washington D.C…see you in 2016!