The growing importance of personalisation: TFM&A review

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TFM&A 2015

On 25th and 26th February 2015, we went to London Olympia for the TFM&A 2015 exhibition (Technology for Marketing and Advertising – http://www.tfma.co.uk/). It was an event curated by marketers for marketers, and it showcased a wide variety of exhibitors and brands who are currently building and implementing the latest technologies for marketing purposes. As a Business Development Agency working in the digital and creative industries with a combination of outbound and inbound strategies (and as a bunch of curious people!), we decided to go and make sure our knowledge is at the forefront.

Technology is incredibly fast-moving, so the more up-to-date you are, the better your marketing will work and therefore, better results. Based on a close observation of both extremely advanced forward-thinking strategies, and extremely successful best practices, it seems that this integrated approach (technology and marketing) should soon become an indispensable part of most marketing plans across most sectors.

Personalisation and contextualisation

Apart from the incredible stands and exhibitors, we highly appreciated the education programme. The three Marketing Universities offered a great variety of thoroughly researched topics from different streams such as Programmatic Marketing, Search, Data, Email Marketing, Social Media, Content Marketing, and Marketing Automation.

Taking into account most of the things said at the seminars, it seems to us that the most important outcome for 2015 is personalisation, applied not only to email, content creation, and social media but to all marketing functions in general. Thanks to technologies, now an integral part of our life, including smartphones and responsive design, information is accessible to everyone all day long.

The number of people online is massive. Each one of us is constantly bombarded by tons of notifications, news, content, posts, social media interactions, direct messages. The implication for marketers is that people are harder to reach. Our messages, emails and tweets are not likely to be seen because there are too many out sent to us. Some see digital ads as a possible solution to give your business more visibility.

Nevertheless, the digital ad spend in the UK will grow in 2015 and may no longer be enough. So how can you be different without spending a fortune? Our answer for 2015 is: aim to create personalised experiences. Targeting the right audience, splitting it into segments and making use of powerful in-depth analytics are just some of the necessary procedures we need if we want to deliver our strategies accordingly. No strategy is universal and works for everything, at least not anymore.

For example, Michael Cottrell’s from SilverPop showed us how low the email open rate generally is; the number of emails which are deleted is enormous compared to the number of emails we actually open. Mobile is highly responsible for this because it gives us the possibility to quickly select and delete a large number of emails with one click (or two). What can you do then? Work on the Subject Line, From Name and Pre-Header to make them convincing enough.

Same goes for Social Media and Content Marketing: talks by Nidhima Kohli (MyBeautyMatches), Molly Flatt (1000Heads), and Mark Walker (Eventbrite) also highlighted the importance of implementing different strategies based on the personality of your company, the uniqueness of your service and the kind of people you want to reach. Focus on what makes your service different and on what your targeted audiences are looking for. Find what is more relevant, build it, measure it and then re-adjust to discover what works best for your specific business needs.

In conclusion, we see 2015 as the year of video, mobile (we know, we know – every year has been the year of mobile since 2007!), responsive design (it’s not quite there yet), personalisation and localisation services. And if we marketers and advertisers want to be successful, we need to try our best to keep up with changes and innovation. TFM&A was a great occasion for us to do all this and analyse what we saw, to make sure we have learnt a lot and find great opportunities for your business and our clients.

We’re looking forward to taking part in the next edition of Technology for Marketing and Advertising!

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