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Five things I learnt at Econsultancy’s Future of Digital Marketing event

1 - Use the 70, 20, 10 rule of innovation in your company

70% of what your company does should be safe and based on tried and tested methods. Low risk. 20% should be innovating off things that are proven to work. 10% should be high risk ideas, but they might become next year’s 70% activities.

2 - The future of search is no longer simply about indexing. Keywords are becoming less important as Google focuses on implicit search information - such as location, personal data, previous searches. Brands need to weave their presence into multiple touch points, to maximise their effectiveness in the daily conversation consumers are having through search. This kind of thinking will become even more relevant when Google starts to adjust rankings based on sentiment (negative or positive) from user generated content about a brand.

3 - There's no such thing as mobile marketing, just as there's no such thing as digital marketing. It's just a bunch of different channels with a number of different challenges. In five years, it's predicted that 80% of all Internet traffic will be from mobile devices (Gertrude Leonhard)

4 - Agile is not simply a development project methodology. Marketing can be agile [with a capital A]. Many of the same challenges facing project managers running agile software projects (such as cost estimating, stakeholder management etc) also apply to marketing, but the rewards are equally great. Small multidisciplinary teams made up of motivated, passionate people will achieve far more than more traditional approaches.

5 - Before you can start marketing, you need a good idea or a product to market. If you want good ideas and good products, you need doers. Agencies need to employ engineers, developers and project managers who can facilitate the design and build of products that people will actually want to use. 

And five more micro learnings

1 - Do you really need to build that native app? Html5 web-apps can make the process of building for iOS, android and windows phones a lot simpler.

2 - Future technology should be disruptive and unreasonable. If your vision of the future doesn't seem fantastical, then you're probably thinking of the past.

3 - We are all publishers. Whether we realise it or not, we are generating data noise from our existence through our online habits, our phones, our journey through life.

4 - Speaking to your phone to input a search isn't as awkward as you think. Are we really uncomfortable about talking to our phones?

5 - The next big thing in mobile will be watches. (Toby Barnes)

Future of Digital Marketing in numbers

  • 30-40% - open rates of mobile emails (Judd Marcello - ExtactTarget)
  • 20% - potential additional engagement if emails are designed to be responsive
  • 1% - overall number of tweets retweeted
  • 25% - percentage of overall video shares that occur in the first three days (Sarah Wood Unruly)
  • 4x - branded vines more likely to be shared than branded video
  • 20 - how many times 'Big Data' was mentioned.
  • 90% - the amount of people in the audience who admitted that the last thing they touched before going to sleep was their mobile device rather than their loved one

In all honesty, there was a lot more to the day, and I hope I will get the opportunity to write about some of the other topics soon.

Speakers at the event were:

Judd Marcello - MD ExactTarget

Gerd Leonhard - CEO, Futures Agency

Bruce Daisley - Director, Twitter UK 

James Carson - Director of Content Strategy - Carson Content

Will Critchlow - Founder, Distilled

Neil Perkin - Founder, Only Dead Fish

Toby Barnes - Product Strategy Director. AKQA

Chris Smith - Product Manager Emerging Technologies - FT

Ashley Friedlein - CEO, Econsultancy

Marc Curtis Head of Labs