October saw the return of SearchStar’s annual advertising conference to the Apex Hotel in Bath. Close to 350 delegates from fantastic companies, charities, institutions and agencies turned out to fill Bath’s Apex Hotel and listen to the latest digital thinking from Google, Facebook, Hitwise and, of course, SearchStar.
With a clear theme of “growth”, the eight presentations were curated to give those present food for thought and real inspiration to evolve the thinking behind their digital marketing strategies and take advantage of cutting-edge developments in the industry.
Feedback about the day has been wonderfully positive. In fact, it’s officially our best-rated conference to date, with both the speaker and their presentations receiving universal acclaim.
For those who couldn’t make it, here’s a summary of the day’s presentations. For the full conference summary and presentations, click here >>>
Dan Fallon, Managing Director, SearchStar
In his trademark style, Dan’s opening presentation very much set the scene by introducing topics that would be covered in more detail later in the day.
Dan has spent a lot of time with senior staff at Google recently, and used the knowledge gleaned from his discussions to frame much of his content. The key message was that advertising shouldn’t be just about efficiency – it had to be about effectiveness too.
Roxanne Brownlee, Agency Development Manager, Google
A presentation from Google always promises a wealth of excellent content. Roxanne did not disappoint as she provided a full view of how machine learning and AI can be leveraged to deliver real business growth from advertising: not just in the future, but right now.
Jon Boon, Lead Analytics Consultant, SearchStar
Jon loves Google Analytics. And, given the chance, he’s always happy to share that passion with an audience. So, we gave him the chance and he delivered a brilliantly expert view on the good – and the not so good – developments in the field of web analytics.
Rawad Jammoul, Head of Paid Media, Adapt Worldwide and Ryan Webb, Conversion & Analytics Director, SearchStar
When it comes to memorable stage duos, Morecambe and Wise have nothing on Rawad and Ryan. The pair took us on a fantastic tour around the world of localisation and transcreation to uncover exactly what is meant by these two terms and how they can be employed to turbocharge international growth.
Lars Kossmann, Partner Manager & John Carr, Global Agency Manager, Facebook
Lars and John provided an excellent overview of the solutions that Facebook and Instagram have to offer in reducing friction for consumers in order to “deliver on the promise of now.”
Customer expectations have never been higher, with a real desire for businesses to be able to provide what customers want instantly and seamlessly. Moreover, these expectations are constantly rising, so businesses have to work incredibly hard to keep up.
Sian Miller, Senior Technology & Innovation Manager, SearchStar
Sian made use of her wealth of experience with Amazon advertising to show how and why the ecommerce giant is coming to represent a major force in online marketing. Indeed, advertisers are already recognising this, as Amazon’s share of digital ad revenue has grown from 2% in 2016 to 9% in 2019, and is forecast to grow to 14% by 2023.
Charlotte Plastow, Customer Success Manager, Hitwise
Hitwise is a company driven by data, and seek to help advertisers and agencies uncover important insights and opportunities for growth. Taking internet usage data from a panel of 3 million users in the UK alone, they’re incredibly well placed to do just that, and Charlotte took us through three of the most interesting trends that have emerged over the last year.
Ed Culliford, Insight Director, SearchStar
Rounding off the day, Ed looked to tie some of the themes together to deliver his view on what the future might look like for digital advertising.
It was contended that the industry had got stuck in a bit of a rut, experiencing Groundhog Day when it came to endlessly labouring the importance of mobile, video, attribution and personalisation.
Change in the industry isn’t happening as fast as it might, not because of a lack of technological innovation or consumer appetite, but because of an entrenched conservatism and reluctance to embrace change among advertisers.
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