It's all about the audience, not the keywords!
In the glorious surroundings of the RSA, London, we opened the debate to find the most effective ways to uncover new customers online in today’s ever-evolving market.
We kicked off with David Lloyd from Google laying out the current landscape - discussing the move towards mobile as a research, and increasingly, a conversion device. He also laid out Google's expansion from being a search business towards being a media offering that leads the “see” and “think” part of the consumer’s journey towards conversion. The key takeaway? 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years, so if you are not taking data VERY seriously you're going to miss out in just a few years time.
Next up the team from Heal’s and Periscopix explained how a retail business that has a myriad of challenges to overcome online (from a fragmented and long conversion cycle through to IT and budget restrictions) has made significant improvements to its use of paid search, using audience targeting and RLSA’s, as well as positive and negative bid adjustments.
After coffee we watched as Julia Elliott Brown, CEO of Upper Street, quizzed the leaders of our four largest search agencies on how to extract the maximum value from an online marketing budget. Fascinating to watch the interchange (and disagreements) as the straight-talking Pete Robins from agenda21 took on the short-termism that retailers display, whilst Stuart McLennan from iProspect pitched the use of Paid Social Media hard - in a very compelling way!
Scott Davidson (standing in for Steven Marritt) from LivingSocial provided the experts' view about their online challenges they are faced with. You were left a gasp as he raced through a journey on online marketing companies are only just starting. No wonder the business is thriving as they strive to maintain their “urgency spark” despite being a properly large enterprise nowadays!
Finally, Gavin Williams from eNova proved the Maverick in the room by bringing our focus back to fixing business issues in multichannel retail in both a pragmatic and creative manner. He offered a reminder that on too many occasions nowadays technology gets in the way of the “personal touch”, and that's when it comes to the world of luxury - identifying your best customers and looking after them is the ONLY place to start.
All in all - a morning where the challenge of acquiring and converting new customers was pushed to the top of everyone’s agenda, and if our note-taking audience was anything to go by the content was exceptional.