I recently attended the 3XE Digital Mobile & Data Marketing Conference at Croke Park in Dublin (27th January 2016) and I wanted to share some of my key takeaways. There were other speakers and other points made, but these ones resonated with me:

  1. It was a mobile conference so it is no surprise that the key thrust of the day was that mobile was THE growth space for digital marketing. Setting aside all the stats that support that proposition, Gareth Dunlop put it best by referring to mobile as our 6th sense, and by recognising that as digital marketers it is up to us to live up the challenge inherent in that insight. In fact Gareth (“Improving Mobile Experience with Contextual Data") helped us recognise that, by pay attention to our user’s context, we can humanise the user experience. The data needed to make this leap needn’t be “BIG” to be powerful.
  2. Lillian Gallagher (“Data Makes Ideas Dance”), exhorts us to use data as creative fuel and suggests 3 spheres of activity where this can be so: the creative phase, the performance phase, & the marketing phase. Key to success here was staying focused on the “need-to-know” data.
  3. Philip Byrne (“The Mobile Bible”) decreed that we were in the 3rd Phase of the internet – the Social phase, powered by chains of people interacting. Success here, when it comes to telling stories, means video. In fact video came out strongly as critical across much of the conference, with Phillippe Brodeur, CEO of Overcast, later telling us that 50% of data traffic to mobile is now video. Philip Byrne offered the following advice: “Be ready to adapt, bring on specialists to deliver unique content (and some heavy lifters to deliver the rest), always provide value, fulfil a need for your audience and tailor your ideas to the platform”
  4. Luca Lucchesi, from TSB Bank, focused on personalization (“Mobile Marketing – Challenges and Opportunities in Banking”). He shared the statistic that your customer’s initial attention span is now only 8 seconds long! Personalization and real multichannel targeting is the only way around this and in turn this requires an always-on, optimized campaign approach to mobile. According to Luca people check their phones more than 150 times a day. He also made a strong case for the need for better UX when it comes to our design approach to mobile with the statistic that 40% of those that do research on mobile go on to complete their conversion on the desktop.
  5. Brian Stephenson talked about optimizing the customer journey. He talked a lot of good sense about setting up your customer databases, experimenting with the data within, and “the power of thank you”, but the thing that piqued my interest most was a brief reference to “dynamic pricing” as a thing of the future. As a former pricing wonk, this is something I must look at in more detail.
  6. Glen Mulcahy gave us great insight into the flexibility of our mobile phones with respect to generating meaningful video content (“Transform Your Smartphone into the Ultimate Marketing Tool”). On a practical level Glen shared a host of tools and apps that we could (should) all be using. My big takeaway though, was, given the importance of video in the new landscape, I need to look for opportunities to take the approach Glen outlined with my own clients. To succeed I will need to encourage them to get beyond any hang-ups associated with (or learned as a result of) generating video content in the past.
  7. A general video related takeaway was to ensure we had videos that made sense with the sound off … and that means subtitles!
  8. We also had a few  inspirational case studies, from Hailo (there is a Hailo cab taken every 2 seconds in Ireland … there goes another one) & Cancer Research UK (game-ification and the power of crowds), but I think Laura Conlon-McKenna from the AA delivered me a strong piece of mobile design advice with the adage “be thumb friendly”. 
  9. Iris Daly from eirBusiness reminded us of the continued relevance and value of a fairly old mobile channel, SMS, by pointing out that it has a 90% click-through rate. 
  10. Jon Herman from Facebook told us that people use approximately 27 apps in a month, but that they spend 80% of their time on just 3. He further reinforced the value of video by reminding us that we only need to see an image for 13 milliseconds to recognise it. With a glimpse into the very near future he let us know that two new things to get to grips with in Facebook will be Canvas and 360 degree video (see … video, again!).

Check out #3xedigital to see the Twitter stream for the event.