A few weeks ago, Convertr attended an exclusive marketing event that challenges the typical industry norms of conferences and networking.
The Digital Marketing Forum by Richmond Events, held at the prestigious Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire, saw 140 senior clients and 60 agencies and tech companies meet to discuss their buying needs and learn from a full conference on the most pressing industry topics.
The format enabled clients and suppliers to submit their needs and services in advance and mutually agree to meet on the day. This ensured the jam-packed day was as productive as possible for every attendee.
So what does the future hold for digital? Or rather, what does digital have in-store for the future? Wired Editor in Chief David Rowan opened the day with a keynote to address this ambitious question, discussing the technology that will drive the evolution of digital marketing. From next-generation AI for customer service to self-fly helicopters, Rowan demonstrated the possibilities available for marketing when it fully embraces the power of technology.
Beyond the stage, however, the conversations we had with clients and agencies were led by the same central issues, and questions over the current state of the marketing industry dominated the day.
Every conversation we had, whether it was in the queue for the delicious lunch or in our range of 121 meetings, included ROI. It was apparent that the challenge of attributing revenue to spend crossed all channels and sectors, prevailing as a universal focus for everyone.
The overwhelming problem seemed to come from a highly fragmented ad tech space, where PPC, SEO, Social, Programmatic, Affiliates, Email and everything in between was managed via a different person or agency, using a different technology, different metrics and creating differing results. Without one single measure of performance, measuring ROI was seemingly impossible.
Whilst we were delighted that a problem we help to solve was so widespread, it certainly made us aware of how it is impacting clients and, more importantly, where the industry needs to adapt to keep up.
With an audience of both clients and agencies a dialogue around transparency was inevitable. As one of the hottest topics in the industry press, more and more clients are expecting a full view of their budget as standard; especially when it comes to asking their agency for a full disclosure on media spend and performance.
It’s fair to say that agencies have had a bad press over the years for this topic, and as someone who used to work agency side, I know it’s not all valid. However, it was very clear that brands are demanding more transparency and want to feel involved in how their money is invested to deliver the earlier point of ROI.
According to the Drum, just 6% of UK marketers understand what GDPR means for their business, and amongst the buzzing topics of the event this industry-wide absence of knowledge was reflected in the day’s conversations. Every client we met was currently collecting, storing and using customer data for their marketing and yet surprisingly it was the topic that came up the least across the day. Despite the May 2018 deadline, many brands did not know if their current methods of digital marketing would be compliant in time.
With fines of up to £20 million on the line, it’s serious business. Off the back of these conversations we are launching a whitepaper on GDPR in conjunction with our partners Data Compliant Ltd.
To request your free copy on the release date just email firstname.lastname@example.org.