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Stuart O'Brien

eTailing Summit – Last places up for grabs!

There are just four weeks to go until your peers from some of the biggest names in eCommerce attend the eTailing Summit.

If you’d like to join them and get your strategy in place for 2020 and beyond, act now! We have just three complimentary guest passes left – so register today!

The eTailing Summit takes place on February 11th at the Hilton London Canary Wharf. There you can meet with suppliers based on your own individual requirements and upcoming projects. No hard sell and no time wasted guaranteed.

Plus, take time to attend our seminar sessions to give you new insights and tips for ecommerce in the 2020s.

Your ticket is free, but register today to ensure you join other leading names in the UK ecommerce scene.

Online visibility is more than Google search: ignoring other platforms is losing you sales

The number of consumers heading to the internet as the first step on their purchasing journey is growing at a rapid rate. In fact, with over half of UK consumers preferring searching online than browsing a physical store, it’s easy to see why brands are utilising search engine optimisation (SEO) for comprehensive online visibility.  

Holding 92% of the global market share, Google is the natural choice when implementing an SEO strategy. However, taking a linear approach to your online visibility with Google alone is losing you sales. 

Jimmy McCann, Head of Digital Strategy at Search Laboratory is here to explain why you need to take a holistic approach to your integrated digital strategy to ensure 360 online visibility for your brand… 

The importance of organic, paid and multi-channelled advertising

If recalling the last time you purchased an item without searching it online beforehand seems like a distant memory, you’re not alone;  82% of all smartphone users say they consult their phones on purchases before they make them in store. In addition to searching on Google, consumers may look at reviews, marketplaces and social media to gauge whether a brand and its product is trustworthy.

It is therefore important for businesses to create a multi-channel strategy, rather than focus their entire marketing efforts on Google. 

Widening your brand’s reach by appearing in multiple channels is a crucial step that will allow you to reach prospects at more touchpoints in their customer buyer journey, increasing the likelihood of making a sale. 

There are various platforms that offer paid and organic methods to reach your target audience. Not all will be valuable to your business; using an appropriate attribution model along with carrying out an analysis of your customers and target audience will help to identify which channels you should start with.

Paid media is a great way of reaching your exact audience. Paid search on Google is invaluable, but there are other platforms that your business needs to take advantage of to get in front of consumers at different stages of the customer buyer journey:

A good digital strategy should have paid and organic activity across multiple channels, with each channel’s activity integrating with the overall strategy.

Scaling your brand internationally

For enterprises looking to expand their brand into international markets, understanding the local search landscape is crucial, and often requires going beyond the precincts of Google. 

The search engine’s market share varies internationally, which means an international SEO strategy needs to encompass other search engines.

For example, Bing’s presence in America far outweighs its UK presence, which took 33% of the market share in 2017. Whereas Yandex is prevalent in Russia, and Baidu is the market leader in China. 

In order to successfully expand into new markets, you will need to combine mother tongue knowledge of the local culture with digital marketing expertise. This will ensure that your strategy is localised successfully, avoiding any pitfalls of simply translating your brand. 

Set up an appropriate attribution model for your business needs

A customer will come in contact with your brand across multiple channels before finally converting. Using attribution models will help you to identify which touchpoints are most valuable in the customer journey. Google has multiple attribution models available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Setting up the appropriate model will help you to identify which channels to focus on in your digital marketing strategy.  

Building online visibility is a multi-faceted and often a time-consuming process but an integral part of growing your business, sales figures and customer retention rates. Your approach to digital marketing should remain a ‘work-in-progress’ and be constantly adapted to improve results. More importantly, your online visibility should span across different platforms and follow a paid and organic advertising strategy, which will ensure you remain market leaders and grow online revenue. 

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Strange – 20 years of digital

By Strange

2020 marks the 20th anniversary of digital agency Strange, making it one of the longest established specialist agencies in the South of England.

Much has changed in the digital world since Strange began designing and building customised websites from its Bournemouth base in 2000. Now with a second office in Bristol, the agency has become one of the region’s leading providers of digital marketing services, with the main focus on giving businesses a competitive edge by delivering better digital performance.

Today, the focus is on ‘best in class’ CMS and ecommerce websites along with a full range of digital marketing services. As a result, the agency has become a specialist in the open source systems Drupal, Magento and WordPress as well as platforms such as Shopify and Spryker. Digital marketing services include PPC, social media, display, affiliate, SEO, CRM and email marketing, as well as conversion rate optimisation, analytics and tracking.

 “Clients appreciate that what we offer is better digital marketing” explained Paul Honey, Managing Director of Strange. “They know that ‘good’ just isn’t good enough, and understand that ‘the best’ is often unrealistic given budget constraints.”

Clients include companies and non-profits from a wide range of sectors, with Merlin Entertainments, Animal, Amnesty International, Brittany Ferries, Fujifilm and Merlin Entertainments among many others. Strange has also picked up some major awards along the way such as winning the Marketing Excellence in Travel and Tourism award for Merlin (Masterclassing), and Integrated Campaign of the Year for Brittany Ferries (Gold Winner, Chartered Institute of Marketing Travel Awards).

Director and Founder Jonathan Boston said: “Things have certainly changed in the past 20 years with the rise of open source platforms, social media and digital marketing. But no matter how our environment has changed, our team has remained focused on giving clients real value and that will always stay the same.”

Read more about Strange here 

Are you on the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit guest list?


Join 60 fellow marketing professionals at the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit this spring – It takes place on May 12th at the Hilton London Canary Wharf and is entirely free for you to attend.

Simply register your place here.

In addition to a full day of business networking, you will get the latest insights and advice on trends in the sector via a series of seminar sessions.

Lunch and refreshments are included with your complimentary guest pass.

Register today and join representatives from the likes of:

  • ABTA 
  • Aspace Children’s Furniture
  • Berryworld
  • Blackbird 
  • Bondi Sands
  • Bouygues Energies & Services UK
  • Conde Nast 
  • Cyber Smart 
  • Dufry
  • FTA
  • Great British Chefs 
  • Jordan’s Dorset Ryvita
  • JustGiving 
  • Prospect Magazine
  • Pwc 
  • Raremark
  • Stadium
  • Swift Direct Blinds 
  • University of Sunderland London
  • University of West London
  • Weight Watchers 
  • WSP

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity! Register your free place today!

Content Management

Do you specialise in Content Management? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Digital Marketing Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on different parts of the print and marketing sectors – and in January we’ll be focussing on Content Management.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help marketing industry professionals find the best products and services available today.

So, if you specialise in Content Management solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact James Howe on j.howe@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Jan – Content Management
Feb – Lead Generation & Tracking
Mar – Email Marketing
Apr – Digital Printing
May – Social Media
Jun – Brand Monitoring
Jul – Web Analytics
Aug – Conversion Rate Optimisation
Sep – Digital Signage
Oct – Brochure Printing
Nov – Creative & Design
Dec – Online Strategy

Influencer marketing in the affiliate sector increases 9%

Influencer publishers drove 610,000 sales to advertisers in 2019 up to September; 5.5% more than 2018, while revenue made from influencer sales in that period totalled £29.7m – 9.2% up from 2018 and AOV of influencer marketing was £48.47, representing a 3.4% increase.

The data was compiled by the team at global affiliate network www.awin.com, who looked at Awin’s top 100 influencer publishers in the UK, combining subnetworks, talent agencies and individual influencers, for the first three quarters of 2019 and then compared results to the same period in 2018. 

2019 saw an increase across all metrics for influencer marketing, which confirmed industry-wide forecasts that predicted advertisers were going to be allocating more marketing budget to influencer marketing for the year. 

In terms of sales, influencer publishers drove a total of 610,000 sales to advertisers on the Awin network for the first nine months of 2019, representing a 5.5% increase on the previous year. This amounted to £29.7m in revenue to advertisers, which was a substantial increase of 9.2% on the year before.

The amount of commission paid out to influencer publishers saw a significant uplift of 18.9% from 2018, amounting to £3.78 million. The average order value in influencer marketing for 2019 was also up 3.4% on the previous year, totalling £48.47.

Retail & shopping continues to dominate the influencer sector, accounting for 99.2% of the top 100 advertisers, whilst there has been an increase for those in the telecoms sector, who made up 0.6%.

Fashion is the sector investing in influencer marketing the most, with eight of the top 10 advertisers operating in this industry, with the remaining two in the beauty sphere. The dominance of fashion & beauty retailers is maintained in the top 50, but there has been an increase of advertisers in the health supplements space entering into this list.

Commenting on the findings, Carina Toledo, Influencer Partnerships Manager at www.awin.com, said: “Influencer marketing has increased massively in popularity over the past few years, and has come to form a key part of marketing strategies, particularly in the fashion and beauty sectors. The practice is certainly set to continue increasing, and the rise in its use in the telecoms and health supp

2020 marketing predictions from SAS’ Wilson Raj

Digital Marketing Briefing sat down with Wilson Raj, Global Director of Customer Intelligence at SAS, to pick his brains on the future of marketing, encompassing privacy, the blockchain and AI – here are his five things to watch out for in 2020:

  1. Data privacy & personalisation become C-suite priorities

In 2020, marketers will raise the personalisation bar by raising the data privacy bar. Topics such as data governance, data security and data management will be escalated to C-suite and boardroom level discussions as the balance between customer privacy and personalisation becomes a strategic differentiator for all brands.

2. Blockchain & advertising  

In 2020, blockchain technology combined with AI will start to gain traction to help businesses combat digital advertising fraud and waste.

3. Identity management

Identity management will be a primary goal (and struggle) for marketers in 2020.  Marketers must be able to identify and track specific digital visitors across a range of channels, devices, platforms and environments as they journey around web, tablet, mobile apps, voice assistants, and AR/VR. 

To this end, hybrid-cloud architectures will gain momentum in 2020 to provide dynamic MarTech applications with dynamic customer data, as well as offer management, decisioning engines, analytics platforms and the channels themselves in both real-time and batch capacity. 

4. Increased automation with AI

In its annual CMO survey, Deloitte found that despite marketing analytics budgets increasing over the next 3 years, perceived contributions from analytics remain weak.

In 2020, companies must turn to AI-driven automation to help operationalise those analytics if they are to remain competitive. With the deluge of data and proliferation of customer contact opportunities, it is no longer humanly possible to make the thousands of decisions required per second to deliver great CX without automation in the mix.  

5. AI & dynamic pricing

AI already helps marketers with dynamic pricing as it relates to product availability, demand and forecasting. But it can go much further in 2020. AI could further integrate with a company’s resource planning systems and supply chain inputs to access cost optimisation, inventory, and economic forecasting data to achieve both dynamic pricing and fulfillment into campaigns and customer interactions.

Join these senior marketing professionals next May

Don’t miss the chance to join 60 fellow marketing professionals at the Digital Marketing Solutions Summit next year.

It takes place on May 12th at the Hilton London Canary Wharf and entirely free for you to attend.

Simply register your place here.

In addition to a full day of business networking, you will get the latest insights and advice on trends in the sector via a series of seminar sessions.

Lunch and refreshments are included with your complimentary guest pass.

Register today and join representatives from the likes of:

  • ABTA 
  • Aspace Children’s Furniture
  • Berryworld
  • Blackbird 
  • Bondi Sands
  • Bouygues Energies & Services UK
  • Conde Nast 
  • Cyber Smart 
  • Dufry
  • FTA
  • Great British Chefs 
  • Jordan’s Dorset Ryvita
  • JustGiving 
  • Prospect Magazine
  • Pwc 
  • Raremark
  • Stadium
  • Swift Direct Blinds 
  • University of Sunderland London
  • University of West London
  • Weight Watchers 
  • WSP

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity! Register your free place today!

Discover the key ecommerce trends for 2020 – eTailing Summit

Kickstart your 2020 ecommerce strategy by attending February’s eTailing Summit.

This one-day event will give you the opportunity to meet new innovative suppliers and discover the very latest trends in ecommerce for a new decade.

Taking place on February 11th at the Hilton London Canary Wharf, the Summit is free to attend. Simply register your place here.

Our seminar programme will cover key topics including increasing your sales conversion rates and using AI to to enhance the customer journey.

Key areas covered by our event partners will include:

  • A/B Testing Platforms
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Content Management
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • CRM
  • Cross Channel
  • Customer Engagement Solutions
  • Customer Retention & Loyalty
  • Digital Content Delivery
  • Email Marketing
  • Google Shopping
  • Mobile Apps
  • Mobile Optimisation
  • Multi-Channel
  • Personalisation
  • PPC
  • SEO
  • Shipping
  • Site Performance
  • Site Testing
  • Site Usability
  • Social Media Monitoring & Management
  • Strategy & Planning
  • User Experience
  • Web Analytics & Reporting
  • Website Design

Please join us on February 11th as our guest. Your pass also includes complimentary lunch and refreshments.

But register today to avoid disappointment. We have a limited number of complimentary guest passes.

Local venues and hotels join forces to launch Meet Gloucester

Key venues, hotels and suppliers from have joined forces to launch a centralised, event focused destination marketingorganisation for Gloucester.

The organisation, which will officially launch at Meet South West on 31st January, creates a hub for domestic and international buyers looking to organise events in the city.

Created to support and target association, corporate and agency event business, Meet Gloucester has the full support of the wider Gloucester City Council, the DMO – Marketing Gloucester and funding from Gloucester Business Improvement District.

Marketing Gloucester is providing seed funding and digital support as Meet Gloucester is developed by key industry partners with a desire to see the city grow its presence on both a domestic and international level as a meetings and events destination.  Local partners volunteering their time to set up and launch Meet Gloucester are:

·       Hatton Court Hotel Gloucester

·       Bowden Hall Hotel

·       Gloucester Rugby

·       Soaring Worldwide

Councillor Richard Cook, Leader of Gloucester City Council said: ”Gloucester is a vibrant and fast developing city with huge potential for growth within the meetings and events industry.  Meet Gloucester will provide an ideal face for the city, bringing together its key suppliers, venues and hotels as we look to increase not just our offering but also the number of delegates coming to experience all we have to offer.”

Further information on Meet Gloucester will be available via www.meetgloucester.co.uk as well as social channels on 31st January, 2019.