Published: 02 April 2015 ‘We are the Architects of Choice’ - that was one of the strongest messages to emerge from the latest Digital in Kent conference that took place in Maidstone on 19th March. A host of speakers from the region’s leading agencies, including our Paul Stephen of Sagittarius, plus leading experts from further afield provided a day packed with valuable marketing advice and insights.  

More specifically the enthusiastic audience of attendees learnt that Digital Marketing is ‘All About People’ and driven by data which then leads to insights. In particular the different speakers during the day showed that:  

In digital we should do marketing first and technology second Data will be everything and everywhere Know your audience; think about how they think  

Let’s look first at the role of data in digital marketing. Thomas Power explained how The Internet of Things (IoT), whilst not specifically a digital marketing technique, is an interesting example of how big data is developing and what the future holds. His talk also signalled how there could be new commercial opportunities for websites that can gather and market user data, what with the demand for this information from the big four; GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon).  

IoT is more symbolic of the role of Big Data and how data from different sources can be combined and overlaid to tell a wider story.  This was a theme echoed by Rod Ledworthy of Google who gave practical examples of how tools like Google Trends can be used to interrogate data to gain insights into your audience’s activity.  

The purpose of all this data and analysis was reinforced by Luke Quilter of Sleeping Giant Media who focused on the Who then What. Think about the Who, the audience, who you want to target; then on the What, the techniques you’ll use to reach them, rather than rushing to use some marketing techniques just because we can.  

Careful selection of marketing techniques was advice also echoed by Warren Knight, who showed how to use social media effectively but again with a strong focus on who your audience is – and what social media networks they inhabit.  

Moving on from where to find your audience, Allister Frost of Wild Orange Media explored different ways to exploit how your audience thinks. His talk on the psychology behind digital marketing identified some fascinating techniques to test.  

One idea that struck me was the principle of scarcity and the possibility that an ecommerce site may in fact sell more by offering less. Fewer products, with some careful use of Amazon or airline style scarcity value (only xx left in stock so order now, or xx left at this price) could generate more overall sales than a large, complex site with too much product choice.  

This also raises the possibility of using website personalisation to show a reduced product range to first time visitors to help get the initial sale then a wider or different product range to returning visitors after their first purchase.  It was also great to hear someone advocating the value of A/B testing of calls to action, sign up processes and conversion funnels, from features as simple as the wording or colour of a button.  

As Allister perfectly put it, we are the architects of choice. We have the power to influence and engage with our audience based on meaningful data and insights but also what type of audience we are speaking to – digital marketing may use new and innovative techniques and provide access to endless data but ultimately it’s still all about people.  

The numerous speakers shared a wide range of new and useful tools but here is our round up of the most useful: Digital In Kent Awesome Tools to Check Out

Josh Whiten

Digital Marketing Director


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