My Highlights From This Year’s TFM&A Show

Technology for Marketing and Advertising 2015.

I’ve just returned from our second day at TFM&A 2015. Want to know what we got up to? Read on.

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First stop, the Tech of Today and Tomorrow Theatre where Keynote Speaker, Dave Chaffey, CEO and founder of SmartInsights.com talked about how we should be ‘Managing Digital Marketing’.

Chaffey noted how it’s now “26 years since Tim Berners Lee developed the web.” And yet: research clearly shows businesses struggle to get to grips with the fast-evolving digital world.

Digital prophet Mary Meekers had pinpointed 2014 as the tipping point where mobile traffic would eclipse that of desktop PCs and Chaffey said she had probably been proved right. “We’ve now past the tipping point of mobile.”

Mobile first? Not so fast..

A Comscore study showed that focusing too much on mobile to the detriment of the desktop experience was a particular folly in retail; it’s a simplification. People who use smartphones only are in a minority; most people are multichannel and a third are even PC-only when it comes to retail. “If you’ve degraded the desktop experience,” warned Chaffey, then you’ll suffer.

Strategy and planning

Does your organisation have a clearly defined strategy? Half don’t, revealed Chaffey – think of the wastage, the waste of resources, the lack of vision resulting from its absence.

When asked what they felt most deficient in those polled, most commonly cited the tracking and measurement of interactions and data. “Although digital is the most measurable medium ever,” said Chaffey, “we’re not exploiting all this data – and volume is one reason. They also often lack the time or skills.”

Social media backlash

Moving on to a comparison of various channels Chaffey wondered whether many businesses were “spending enough on mobile targeting? Maybe not.” It might be as old as the internet itself but the humble email is still the top marketing channel.

By contrast the much more fashionable medium social media is subject to something of a “backlash – perhaps we concentrate too much on it. “In most businesses it [accounts for] less than 5% [of leads]. Search and affiliate can drive much more.” Social media, revealed Chaffey, has actually declined as a contribution to sales in the last two years. Customer acquisition via email, meanwhile, has quadrupled in four.

Enabling the Data Driven Organisation

Second stop, Marketing University 2 where speaker Terry Hogan (not Wogan, Hogan) from Golden Orb, focused his talk around enabling the data-driven organisation.

What is the data-driven organisation? Where everyone who has to take a decision as part of their job has access to tools and data to make the best possible decisions.

Many companies like to think that they are data-driven – and, of course, all businesses are, to the extent that they look at their sales reports to understand how they are performing. However, there is a vast gulf between companies for whom data is an integral part of the way they conduct their business and those who merely use data to monitor their performance.

Terry examined the strategies for enabling data to inform all aspects of the business, including identifying and removing roadblocks, breaking down silos and empowering employees with the necessary tools to take full advantage of all the company’s data to take the best possible decisions.

Terry highlighted the 6 key silos which require breaking down:

  1. Silo problem – different systems are used within different departments to utilise / produce data
  2. Gatekeeper problem – there is usually one particular department which an employee must go to, to authorise the use of data; this makes for a time-consuming ordeal
  3. Excel problem – excel is a spreadsheet, not a database and so is not an ideal repository for company data
  4. IT problem – data is not owned by the IT department, it is owned by the business; IT departments should support not control data
  5. Parallel universe problem – different departments create different forecasts, there is no relation between them
  6. The promised land problem – don’t delay, computers won’t solve anything. Think through the issues and produce clarity over them

By breaking down these silos, Terry argued you can achieve a truly data-driven organisation.

How to Master Metrics

Third and final stop, Marketing University 3, where Ray Coppinger from Marketo talked about how to master your metrics.

So, your click-through rates are off the charts and you’re often heard bragging about how incredible your webinar attendance numbers are. The question: do you know how those programs are impacting your bottom line? Are you confident that you’re interpreting your data correctly? If not, you can’t justify spending the money of those programs in the future and you may be dooming their future success.

Ray highlighted where, oh so often metrics go wrong:

  • Vanity metrics – look and sound good but don’t measure impact or revenue
  • Activity metrics – focus on what you do instead of what results and impact you have on generating revenue or pipeline
  • Cost metrics – in terms of cost and spending instead of results and outcomes

He went onto explain the right metrics we should be utilising,

  • Revenue cycle (funnel) metrics – referring to Tofu, Mofu and Bofu (top, middle and bottom phases of the funnel)
  • Program performance metrics – highly useful but often difficult due to multiple touch points and multiple influencers being present

That’s my day in a nutshell! TFM&A 2015 was definitely a worthwhile event for us at Klaxon! If you visited on one or both of the events days, tell us what you learnt in the comments section below.