Digital Marketing Trends 2017 by CX Network

28 07 2017

CX NetworkMy colleagues at CX Network, led by the amazing Zarina de Ruiter, just published their annual Digital Marketing Trends report.



The report outlines 4 key trends:

  1. The brave new world of content marketing – Looking at the increased impact of video and the growing reach of influencers
  2. Customer driven marketing decisions – Experience is everything now!
  3. Data big & small; From actionable insights to changing regulations
  4. The future of Marketing tech – AI, AR, Alexa and more!

It also features an update on GDPR, a case study on social influences, and great tips for staying ahead of all these changes. There’s also insight from multiple marketing experts at Revlon, Westfield,, Bloomsbury Publishing, Duck & Waffle, Jones Day and yours truly. It’s well worth a read You can download your copy of the report at CX Network or click here.


Are you buying clicks?

15 07 2015

I share, therefore I am

9 10 2013

This is the strangest and one of the most interesting videos I’ve seen in a long time. Conceptually I think it has implications for the events business, good and bad. It’s not new that social media is revolutionizing many aspects of marketing and some of the social aspects of life, I’ve blogged about it a few times and a Google search will flood you with information. But this video does a great job of capturing some of the more unique customer level issues.

For the B2B conference marketer:

  • Interactivity at events is more important than ever, but it’s also probably going to become harder to get people to interact.  We must move beyond speed dating into formats that can create in-depth conversations and potential connections between buyers and sellers.
  • The ideal number of people in a break out session may be changing?
  • If you are using social media to promote your event, driving engagement may be linked to the your ability to provide social recognition amongst peers and a deeper role in facilitating peer to peer interaction.
  • B2B online communities around events must drive real long term value and interaction beyond the events. They also need to make sure they provide ways for people to validate their skills in the community.
  • Similarly for events, endorsements and accreditation will become key. Exhibitions should also gamify the experience!

Food for thought – Anyone feeling lonely?

Infographic: Digital Marketing Landscape

24 01 2012 recently published this interesting infographic by Adobe on the Digital Marketing Landscape. You can download it here or view below. Actually there’s to much text to be really called an infographic in my mind, but anyway…Here’s my top take aways:

1 – Tablets are here to stay, we need to adapt the user experience on the web and at the live events to allow a deeper, media rich, highly interactive user experience.

2 – Marketing and the marketers skill set will continue to evolve at a very rapid pace. Change is the only constant.

3 – Marketing will continue to drive innovation. Actually I think the data will, but marketing controls, co-ordinates or interprets much of this data.

4 – Content creation needs to be the foundation of any B2B marketing strategy.

5 – The big data challenge is only going to get worst. Mutliple platforms, mutliple sources of data, with many more variables. Combine this with the need to measure everything and we have a real challenge on our hands.

6 – We need to develop a single view of the customer.  Harder than you think when you take into account the big data challenge.

One thing that I felt was missing from the infographic is the emergence of marketing automation, which to me means the ability to leverage data and customer touch points or interactions into meaningful marketing communications to nurture customers through the sales funnel.  It may be the key to tackling the big data challenge!

The State of B2B Event Marketing

11 01 2012

I believe it’s a great time to be in marketing and in events. Social media, social networking and the internet in general are driving sweeping changes.

So with this in mind I recently watched a webinar on the State of B2B Event Marketing put together by B2B magazine featuring John DiStefano, Research Director at B2B, and Maria Pergolino, Senior Director of Marketing for Marketo. Unfortunately it was more directed at the potential impact of marketing automation rather than the actual state of B2B events, it would have also been nice to get a few big event sponsors on the panel, but it did raise some good points based on some very good scientific research.

According to the research B2B companies invest in 26 events a year, 14 of their own company led events and 12 third-party events, representing 20% of their marketing budget. Interesting this is versus 5% on social media! Even more interesting in terms of driving results, third-party events delivered 61% of all the revenue from events.

Not surprisingly, the three top goals for B2B companies with their events is lead generation, customer engagement and branding. As a result of the focus on lead generation, the measurement of those leads through the corporate sales funnels is becoming even more important. This is where more marketing automation can kick in.

But more importantly for professional B2B event organizes, we must ensure we are delivering the right level of leads and are driving customer engagement for sponsors through our events. Even more importantly, we need to recognize this new focus on measurement and help our sponsors (or partners) gain more intelligence through the process. As sponsorship revenues become more and more important to third-party event organizers so to does ensuring we exceed their expectations.

I think this means third-party organizers also need to consider more changes:

Creating products that may be designed for sponsors customers at various levels of the sales funnel. Segmenting or streaming events to allow customers at different stages of the buying cycle to have different information and different interactions with sponsors. Creating mini events for existing customers vs new leads. Crafting the content to help drive new engagements or up/cross sell existing customers into deeper engagements. Also providing pre and post event opportunities for enhanced networking both online and off.

From a marketing point of view it may also mean crafting different messages or content marketing to the various stages of the vendors buying cycle. And as always tailoring those messages to different channels.

It also means (capturing and) providing more data to our sponsors, pre and post event. More information on who is attending, why, what they hope to get out of the event, what their budgets are etc. and then helping sponsors with the measurement and tracking of these leads post event. Providing the data and utilizing our social networks to make sure we continue the engagement for sponsors post event will mean more return sponsors.

How do you measure the success of your event?

11 12 2011

Measuring success is critical to any endeavor, without knowing the goal you won’t know when you get there.

The goals for an event can be varied but often include a certain number of people in the room, the quality of the people, the number of meetings or sales that take place with sponsors/delegates or client testimonials post event (and sometimes a profit for the organizer). All these things seem easy enough to measure but what if your goal was to create ideas worth spreading? or to help create the next Facebook? or to drive engagement of a new product? or develop a ‘back room’ or ‘online’ conversation around the event that would last beyond the two days in a conference room? how would you measure success?

I like to keep an eye on how innovative event companies use the web and events to spread their ideas. One of the best I have seen in long time was Le Web, an eclectic web conference in Paris. Following the event on-line was very easy through any number of feeds and Fisheye Analytics posted this great breakdown on their blog including some great charts representing how much of the content was shared. It’s a great post and well worth the quick read.

I was intrigued by a couple of things from Le Web and the Fish Analytics post; namely could success be defined by  Clicks and Sharing of stories,  and how would you use the knowledge of the top sharers or the source of the sharing to transform your marketing next time. Also worth considering if the conversation will continue post event and help promote or drive attendance to next year or simply help share the ideas of the event.

I think it will do both of those things for many reasons. Le Web provided loads of cool content and ways to share it. They used video, images and cartoons all shared though Google+, Twitter, fotopedia, flipboard, flickr, Youtube, and face book often sparking and feeding the conversation themselves. Here’s a link to my favorite piece of content from the event, even though it didn’t get shared that much, I like the take-aways around the image from Live Sketching, a cartoon of Karl. They also created their own radio station and streamed the event on their own website.

The Fisheye blog post states they got over 35,000 views of their related content and another 66,000 plus retweets.

If your goal is to share ideas beyond just your conference room and drive change, the combination of social media and remarkable content can make a big difference!

eBook: Mastering The Basics of Social Media (from the team behind Click Egypt)

22 09 2011

The IQPC team behind Click Egypt, the online and digital marketing summit have put together this great Introduction to the basics of Social Media success ebook.

It includes the basic steps to get started: Management buy in, resourcing, growing bigger ears, focus, engage, learn, measure and teamwork. As well as some great tips on the major social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Plus some links to some cool tools you can use to simplify, organise and monitor your social network presence (and they are all free!).

It also includes this great quote from Scott Cook at Intuit, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is”. Which I think highlights how control of the messaging, if ever there was any, has really changed with social media and the depth of change that will be ultimately required within organizations if they really want to use social media in their communication mix.

You can see some of the amazing speakers (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Vodaphone, Sony, P&G, Kraft, Nestle, Expedia and more) and read more about the event at or follow @socialmarketME. If you are in Egypt and interested in Online Marketing and Social Media this is a great place to start!