​By Alice Abura

Marketing Intern

Last week Marketing Week held their annual event ‘Marketing Week Live’ at Olympia Grand in London; I had the opportunity to attend representing PFJ and what a show it was!

The day began with my colleagues and I being given our lanyards stating who we were – I felt very important when assigned as PFJ’s Marketing Executive – and receiving our guide outlining the timetable of the day. We decided which seminars we fancied attending and resembling a team of detectives we set out on our mission to find out as much information that we could use once we arrived back in the office. My first seminar was directed by Dan Peden, Head of SEO at Epiphany with the theme of his seminar surrounding how to plan an effective content marketing campaign. Whilst my knowledge of search engine optimisation was limited, as a Marketing Intern, I found the information given useful.

Dan spoke of algorithms titled Google Panda and Google Penguin, of which I am unsurprisingly not familiar with but I learnt that their purpose is to improve search results for online browsers. Whilst many SEOs perceived the systems as a penalty to their operations, Dan explained that by working alongside the regulations of both systems, the consequence will be the higher search rankings for the business. In other words, for SEOs it necessitates them cleaning up their sites and getting rid of any manipulative or ‘spammy’ links.

Our second seminar was held in the centre-stage but due to our previous seminar running into it by ten minutes, my colleagues and I ducked and dived between the stands only to discover that the seminar must’ve been a popular one as there wasn’t an inch of space for us to stand. We resided to the stairs, to the far side of the seminar, listening intently to Felicity Mccarthy who spoke of the power of Facebook. Our distance from the stage did make it hard to hear so I’ll fill you in on what we could catch!

Felicity talked us through the Facebook tool ‘Customer Audiences’ which from a marketer’s perspective could be seen as extremely useful. The tool would allow you to create a customer profile that your brand or company is trying to target. Going further, you could then go on to also target ‘Lookalike Audiences’. These were people similar to your customer audiences who were likely to be interested in what you were promoting. This would in turn assist in increasing the brand awareness by creating a larger target audience.

Additionally, Felicity spoke of the benefits of creating polls to be displayed on a brand’s Facebook page. The idea would be to interact with customers’ on a more personal level, therefore, finding out their opinions and recommendations on the brand. This method worked well for Peugeot who invited users to contribute to a poll regarding the look of the brand’s next model; the most popular answer was used by Peugeot who then created this new car model in reality. Likewise, The Cheesecake Factory also reaped the benefits of using a Facebook poll questioning users about what they would want the dessert-makers to produce as their next cheesecake, to which their request of a gluten-free range was fulfilled. The overall message – of which I could gather in the far distance of the stage – was that content is key! Whenever one was to use Facebook as a marketing tool, the content must be suitable to both the brand and its audiences so take note Facebook users!

The penultimate seminar I attended was held by Alex Oberberg, The Global Head of Markets at Nokia. Whilst this seminar wasn’t assigned to my schedule, as an intern striving to make the best impression, I took it upon myself to attend and see what it was all about! As a speaker Alex was great and I really engaged with his overall presentation. The presentation incorporated a video illustrating how far Nokia has come since its operation in 1865 as a wood pump mill to present as a brand attempting to keep a high position in a vigorously, competitive mobile phone market.

Alex spoke of the importance of understanding that today consumers don’t follow a linear path when going through the sales funnel and often result in the zero moment of truth. Whilst I hadn’t heard of the term before I agreed with its relevance in our current technologically - advancing economy; the zero moment of truth occurs when consumers make decisions about purchasing a product/service after researching into reviews and information rather than making the decision at the place of purchase there and then. With technology being so easily accessible on our smart phones, laptops, and tablets, consumers are using the internet to search about products and services being committing to its purchase.

Alex’s recommendations for businesses trying to combat this so called ‘zero moment of truth’ was to discover what marketing tools were working for the brand and to simply scale – up. Rather than trying to invest in all forms of promotional activities, simply stick to what works best and do it bigger and better. Furthermore, he spoke of improving and coordinating touchpoint integration. By improving this, all levels of communication between business and consumer are enhanced assisting in developing a smoother service for consumers and as a consequence creating better online reviews. As a final note, the seminar emphasised on unlocking your creativity. In an economy that is so competitive, innovation and originality is important. Nokia illustrated their use of creativity by inviting young designers and students to design their latest phone cases.

In summary, I felt that by attending the event I really gained a lot of knowledge about the operations of each brand and the lesson that whilst all brands were operating in a completely different industry, the importance of marketing was all the same. As an intern I would recommend to all readers in any role to attend events in their relevant industry as we all know that information is power! Moreover, it’s a perfect opportunity to network with people of interest which could help your career go a lot further. The subsequent and final seminar was on the subject of using your LinkedIn profile effectively and of which it also spoke of the importance of making events count! So for those that want information on how to reap the benefits of the professional network as much as possible watch this space for my next blog entry!