Are you buying clicks?

15 07 2015


The Zone of Seduction

13 11 2011

Martin Lindstrom, the author of “Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy” had a great article in Time last week, entitled Zones of Seduction – How supermarkets turn shoppers into horders.

In the article Lindstrom visited what can best be described as laboratory for testing consumers reactions to various marketing strategies in a supermarket environment.  In the lab they created a “speed-bump” area designed to have the consumer spend 45 more seconds in one section leading to a 73% increase in spend. The speed-bump section had higher quality, slightly bumpy flooring that made you slow down, and some different signage. They also tested smaller carts, placing limits on the number of product and removing the dollar sign, all of which lead to a sevenfold increase in sales.

Makes you think…

A more relevant application for conferences might be the zone of referral… or the zone of group bookings… or the zone of conversion…

Does your website or communication piece help funnel people to conversion, group bookings or referrals. To often the messaging is left to the last minute and speaks to the masses rather than tailoring it to the zone of seduction. Creating landing pages for certain customers more prone to group bookings, or emails aimed specifically at certain niches within your customer profile are all very important tools that should be tested and can improve results. Better still creating additional content that creates a pathway from a complete stranger to a customer will improve your marketing results. Have you mapped out your zone of seduction?

Infographic – Digital marketing trends in the Middle East from IQPC Dubai

13 03 2011

Very cool infographic created by the IQPC marketing team behind Click, shows some great insight into the impact digital marketing is having in the region and where marketers are focusing.

Click 5.0 The digital marketing event for the middle east

The greatest online marketing campaign ever…

30 07 2010

Well that depends on how you measure success?

Fast Company is searching for 2010’s most influential person online and getting tonnes of links and traffic in the process, no doubt they are also aiming to drive sales for the next issue. It looks to be a great marketing campaign.

They recently published this great article on “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” vs “The Most Interesting Man in the World”. The article outlines how Mr.Dos Equiis is driving sales up 26% while Mr Old Spice has had a questionable impact (& smell); there has also been some buzz about the accuracy of the numbers but my point is, it’s about how you define success.

I can name plenty of other campaigns of a similar ilk and they all have a common thread for me, they are engaging and mainly content driven.  

But in the age of content marketing if you go by these basic rules or these better ones (published by Ann Hadley here):

  • Engage directly with customers (or would-be customers)
  • Communicate with personality, empathy and real emotion
  • Create value
  • And also: Have a little fun

Then how do you measure success? Like Covey said start with the end in mind, so that has to be revenue, we all want it right? Sorry to be one to say it, but how many followers, or RT’s, or fans, doesn’t matter if you can’t pay the bills. Remember “The best job in the world” competition that generated millions of hits, applicants and PR exposure. But apparently tourism numbers were down in 2009.

 Get excited about new marketing channels and promotion, but don’t lose sight of the goal.

A New Marketing “Train” map

29 07 2010

B2B Contact Marketing in the UK created this great marketing map using the London underground as the inspiration. It’s a great way to map out the modern landscape of marketing; even though it uses trains, it’s exceptionally well done and gives anyone from expert to novice great insight into the challenges and opportunities for modern marketers.

The main lines on the map:

Advertising – For me this is the dying channel, maybe that’s why it’s in blood red. It’s a communication “corridor” that’s becoming less and less relevant, it includes a couple of great quotes “Each of us sees over 3,800 advertising messages a day”. People are not passive consumers of marketing messages any more; they are seekers of high quality relevant information, participants in conversations and electors of what they consider to be competent authority. Its these characteristics that are at odds with traditional “interruption” advertising methods. Maybe this is the line that has the constant breakdowns.

Database – I really like that this “line” is a closed loop and central, in a data driven world it has to be at the heart of any effective marketing organization. It also means it touches every other line, modern marketing is even more data driven than before, the measure is moving from traditional DM metrics to include more and more online metrics, but I believe you need to start by measuring everything and then honing on what are the key metrics, all with out taking your eye off the prize – profit (Money in the Bank). There’s also a marked shift away from valuing the sheer size of your database towards the quality and depth of information in it.

Direct – Covers it all really, I think this channel is being overshadowed by some of the more popular trendy digital channels, which are all part of direct marketing in a pull marketing world.

Digital – Talk about being web centric, this line cuts right through the middle of town! I like how it talks about the different digital channels without really focusing on some of the actual sites, facebook, twitter etc, which I am sure over time will change…. Has anyone ever heard of QQ, Xaonei or Kaixin01? I hope this is a hi-speed train line?

Event – Obviously a personal favorite, I’d add an IQPC station. Event marketers take note – this line crosses digital and database lines twice, begins its journey by moving away from advertising and finishes with a second crossing of the relationship line. There’s a message about how you fit and where your focus should be!

Relationship – A black line for the dark arts, most of the things on this line have two things in common. They are becoming ever more important parts of the B2B space and they very difficult to accurately measure or gauge their true impact. I like how conferences, social media and networking are all so close. Measuring awareness is becoming an increasing challenge.

Anything missing? Not much…

My only real criticism would be where are the customers? I would have made the customer or audience central to the whole thing, maybe the hub in the middle between Google, Social Media and Blogging. I think before you do anything you need to have well defined buyer personas, and a solid message that matches your audiences world view (step 1). Maybe “customers” should be the main hub on the relationship line or the direct line, it’s in there, the demographics stop is in there, I would have just made it more defined.

Content marketing? Maybe change the contract publishing station on the Advertising line or drop it into digital… But for me it’s really all about the intersections, and particularly for conferences, I think the intersections are crucial to your events integrated multi channel marketing plan.

But just for fun and in honor of being in NY for the summer, I decided to apply the same thing to NY Subway system, here’s my poor mans effort:

Grand Central Station = The internet, the heart of all modern marketing. This is a web centric train map.

 Social Media is the N, Q, R and W line, crossing the whole island…

 The A, C, E line is my Event line crossing with other multiple stops. Making it fully integrated into the marketing mix.

The 4,5 and 6 Train are the digital lines. Connecting grand central and most of the other lines.

The 1, 2 and 3 train is the Advertising line, cutting right through Times Square Station, renamed Advertising Central or Billboard Station.

Path Train or the LIRR = Direct Mail line… It’s a separate system, kind of connected, and kind of old, slow, rusty etc, it still works but we all know we won’t be riding the train for much longer.

Great map, there must have been some great debates whilst putting it together – Thanks to B2B Contact Marketing for creating and sharing it. The modern landscape is difficult to navigate – Anyone got another map?

(Special thanks to Emma, unofficial Nomad Editor, for some big contributions to this post!)

A picture is worth a thousand words

2 06 2010

HubSpot recently created this great post on 22 social media diagrams.

The guy’s over at also did a great post on visualization. Which reminded me of this crazy site on Nonsensical Infographics, and my favorite visual thesaurus by Thinkmap. I’m a visual type of person.

All of which lead me to this very cool tool from Wordle (Thanks to visualize my blog:

The above image shows in a glance where I have been and where I need to go with this blog. It’s a powerful image for me, even though it’s  stuffed with words. It tells me where my focus has been topic wise, and leads me to question if I am focusing on the right things. It’s also great tool for quickly checking if you have your keywords right on a website. I love it.

All of this just shows the power of images, I don’t think we use them enough!

Most conference brochures or event websites often do a poor job of using images. Conferences are all about that physical contact, the fast paced interaction between people, buyers, sellers and thought leaders sharing ideas and doing business, and an image is the perfect way to express it. Even from an agenda point of view, many conferences struggle to clearly convey the key focus of the event, what better way to do this than tag cloud?

The Social Media Challenge for IQPC

11 04 2010

You would think social media would come easy for a conference company, at the end of the day we are in the business of networking and information sharing…right? Don’t get me wrong, we have some amazing marketers at IQPC, who are doing some amazing things in social media and online marketing in general. But it’s not easy… nothing worth doing ever is!

The challenge is not doing it, it’s when to do it, it’s how to do it, it’s who should do it, it’s how often do you do it, it’s who should measure it, it’s how to measure it, it’s how to cost it, it’s how can my event become an overnight viral web sensation…… It’s a BIG question. And let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water here!  We have to find ways to integrate this new ‘conversation’ into the customers’ experience.

Seth Godin put it nicely in his blog post, Magic beans, TV and the web, which I have pinned on my wall, which says:

Marketing online takes too much measurement, patience, creativity, technical knowledge, flexibility, speed and authenticity. It requires too much thinking and not enough going out for dinner with clients.

I also believe as Drucker once said,  “Managers may believe that industry structures are ordained by the good Lord, but they can – and often do change over night”. The Conference business is changing, Marketing is changing… and the process of change is never easy, especially with complex business models.  Just look at this great post on the notion of complex business models and change by Clay Shirky, it’s a long post, but well worth the journey.

For IQPC, we have started tackling this challenge in multiple ways:

  • Launching our own online communities, like;,, and others. We have staffed these teams with online marketing specialists and  industry knowledge.
  • We have also started hiring more specialised skill sets in search, analytics, content creation, and web development
  • We also work with numerous external solution providers
  • We are active on lots of existing social networks in our key topic areas
  • We share lot’s of information and case studies, frantically, like a torrent of information sharing
  • We listen, we watch, we learn, we practice…. repeat.

The goals for us is to “Add more value than you can capture“, expanding the customer experience beyond the conference to offer a blended learning and networking experience that helps our delegates and sponsors exceed their objectives.

It’s a lofty goal, but the progress to date has been phenomenal. “The Future is here it’s just not evenly distributed”.