On the move: digital marketing

ILN was recently invited to speak at a Digital Marketing Masterclass for the Leisure and Travel industries. Hosted in the stylish Century club on Shaftesbury Avenue, the event was attended by, amongst others, Rocco Forte Hotels, the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the Natural History Museum and Virgin Atlantic.

11 Dec 2014

by William Roche

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 The first speaker was Nick Cochrane, Mobile Solutions Specialist at Barclays, whose topic was mobile payments. Despite the proliferation of smart phones and tablets in modern society, and now being able to receive a 4G connection on top of Everest, mobile payment systems by and large provide an unsatisfactory experience.

Nick cited reasons such as overly complex input methods and security trust issues. To tackle such issues, the industry requires optimised payment options and a global acceptance of digital tickets and receipts. Putting these elements together should show an exponential growth in mobile commerce.

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Next up was Michael Wrigley, Chief Marketing Officer of EngageSciences. He immediately got the audience’s attention with the bold statement that the popularity of social channels for marketing is falling rapidly with more emphasis on company-generated sites and apps featuring user-generated content with campaigns across multiple social platforms.

The simple fact is that consumers trust other consumers more than marketing information put forward by a brand. This calls for greater administration of user review sites such as trip advisor, where some less reputable users are brandishing the threat of bad reviews to get concessions from restaurants and hotels. It’s a despicable practice that needs to be stamped out.

Rob Thurner, a managing partner at digital agency Burn the Sky, then explained how many forward-thinking companies are now focusing on a mobile-first marketing strategy. Taxi companies Uber and Hailo have focused their business models on attracting all their custom through their mobile apps.

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Another company employing a very successful mobile campaign is Starbucks. Through it’s pay-by-mobile app, you can scan to pay while earning stars in the My Starbucks Rewards programme. In the United States, Starbucks is currently enjoying 14% revenue from mobile alone.

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In the next presentation, Lisa Barnard, ILN’s Chief Executive, talked about the importance of content and the communications experience in igniting purchase intention. She described how this content can manifest itself in different ways and at different stages of the purchasing cycle, which is why having a content marketing strategy in place is so important.

Power imagery, video and brand storytelling were also discussed as well as opportunities for the co-creation of content through partnerships – demonstrated by ILN’s client  Maille and its collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces, River Cottage and Taste of London.

We then heard from Sophie Rayers, Director of Marketing at Brightcove, a digital marketing company utilising the power of video, that the average attention span of an adult viewing a typical text-based webpage is 8%. Providing video content on a page equates to a 75% increase in conversion rates.

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The key points raised by the guest speakers were as follows:

• An emphasis on the user experience on mobile

• Ease of use

• User Generated Content is more trusted than curated content and brands

• An emphasis on rich content such as video to capture and hold user attention

• Analysis shows a move away from social channels for marketing purposes back towards company-driven websites and apps

• Websites will benefit hugely from a greater focus on the UX (User Experience) and UGC, which lends authenticity to content

• User engagement needs to be maintained past the point of sale.

The guest speakers then answered questions from a rapt audience and elaborated on their presentations.

Some of the questions included:

• What is the difference in the suggested approach to mobile content as opposed to desktop content?

• What is the best way to handle brand heritage alongside engagement of new clients?

• How do small companies and start-ups mitigate the cost of expensive media such as video?

• How do you handle the management of dispersed content?

• How do you ensure you avoid creating content for content sake?

Concluding the masterclass was Antony Robbins, Head of Communications at the Museum of London. He revealed how the museum has used both web and mobile technology to engage with the youth of today, to provide a richer user experience for its visitors and to create its fantastic Augmented Reality app that brings history to life on the streets of London.

This was an enthralling presentation and a wonderful conclusion to a stimulating session.

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