As a relatively new company, it was a great moment for me and the team to bring Design Wizard to the expert digital marketing audience at 3XE Digital Conference in Croke Park. The conference was filled with practical information and thought provoking presentations (why is our Eircode system so random?). Here are some of my personal highlights, the comments are open so I encourage you to share yours.

1. The Pub Test

In her workshop Laura Crimmons of Branded3 provided a digital PR/content marketing toolkit that included tips on using data and social listening to engage your audience. From Buzzsumo to Google Public Data, Laura provided some of the most practical takeaways from the day. One above all others that stood out for me and can be so often overlooked in data driven marketing was ‘The Pub Test’ if you asked people down the pub about your campaign idea what would they think?

Key Takeaways From 3XE Digital Conference May 2017

2. Growing pains

Every entrepreneur, budding startup and lead gen focused marketer knows the work and sometimes struggle involved in growing your company. In his presentation on Product Driven Growth, Kieran Flanagan from Hubspot spoke about the perils of channel saturation. For example, the decline in display ad CTR and the importance of understanding how scalable your channels are before committing to them. A key takeaway for me was the methodical way in which Kieran mines his own data using CTR to find and nurture the most active users.
Key Takeaways From 3XE Digital Conference May 2017
How To Create Product Driven Growth – 3XE Digital from Eduardas Gricius

3. The importance of user experience

Stand up comedy’s loss is truly marketing’s gain. Colman Walsh gave an outstanding presentation on Ireland’s User Experience. The presentation entitled ‘My Country: The User Experience’ gave the audience some serious food for thought. Using Ireland’s unique approach to the postcode system ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. I took out my phone and checked where my Eircode neighbor was and found them to be a 38 minute walk from my house. Sometimes in our rush to be unique or think differently we can lose the essence of what we are trying to achieve.

Key Takeaways From 3XE Digital Conference May 2017

4. Are we lying to ourselves?

In his presentation ‘The Biggest Lies That Digital Marketers Tell Themselves’ Samuel Scott of called for digital marketers to take a look at some hard truths. Though I disagree with some of his points e.g. I do believe that engaging with brands on social media can be fun and informative (GoPro’s pet content, Bond’s ‘The Boys campaign, Deadpool’s ‘A Day In The Life’ Snapchat Story), as marketers we can be guilty of looking to shiny new channels and forgetting about the predictable and proven old reliable.

There is definitely room in the marketing mix for both online and offline channels. As marketers we strive to strike the balance between awareness driving activity, creating lead generation, nurturing content and supporting conversion. As we develop a more ROI and a data driven approach to marketing, events, advertising, and broadcast media remain essential ingredients in our marketing mix.

5. Budget can’t hold us down

Channeling a little of Xtina’s attitude (just me, okay) and wielding an arsenal of free and nearly free marketing weapons, Caoimhe Gaskin of the Digital Marketing Institute delivered a workshop on marketing on a shoestring that has tips to every digital marketer regardless of budget. Addressing each myth in turn from not having enough time to not having graphic design skills Caoimhe gave examples of how marketers overcome these perceived hurdles. Save time using automation tools like Hubspot, email automation and email marketing using Mailchimp and social media scheduling tools like Buffer. Learn the basics of videography at Vimeo Video School.
Not a graphic designer? Here are Caoimhe’s top tips to improve your visual content:

  1. Use the rule of thirds.
  2. Bounce light to take away shadows using a reflector.
  3. Make use of natural light – don’t shoot into the light. Overexposure.

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