A two day Econsultancy introduction to digital marketing attended by Seb in our team – here are his notes:


  • www – no longer had to rely on owned media to distribute our message
  • Pre-social media, we couldn’t reach millions of people at such a low cost
  • Interruption techniques/trad media don’t resonate with young people


  • Technology innovation
  • Changes in society through adoption
  • Disruption

Digital transformation

  • We get feedback instantaneously
  • Concept of a campaign is dead – there is no on/off anymore
  • Mobile connectivity also adds to instantaneous culture
  • Reputations are at risk
  • Communicate & message vs. engage and relationship
  • Thinking about the digital space in terms of an ecosystem rather than channels
  • If you don’t have a high street presence, the first interaction with you brand will be in a digital space
  • Misconception that everything in the digital space has to be free
  • We are prepared to pay for things – broadband, Sky, Spotify

Digital natives:

  • Young people – digital natives
  • 8 Net generation norms
  • Freedom
  • Customisation
  • Scrutinisation
  • Corporate integrity
  • Entertainment in everything
  • Collaboration
  • Speed
  • Innovation

Digital natives in the workplace:

  • Don’t believe in authority
  • Don’t work 9-5
  • Always on
  • Experimental
  • Don’t like constraints
  • Impatient
  • Proud of their own expertise


  • Connects all the channels
  • Digital natives don’t want to see it
  • The rise of adblockers
  • CTRs on mobile are at an all-time low


  • Start with goals. Who are you trying to reach? How are you trying to reach them? What change in thinking, motivation or behaviour are you trying to achieve?
  • People may have seen something about your brand/product elsewhere (word of mouth) before they even come to your site or channels
  • Awareness to action can be just a couple of mouse clicks

How to grow a business – acquisition, conversion or retention?

  • Get existing customers to buy more
  • Try to acquire new customers
  • Some combination of both

The techniques you focus on depend on what you want to do:

  • Acquisition – SEO, PPC, Content marketing, CRM
  • Retention – CRM, mobile marketing, social media, content
  • Conversion: analytics, UX, content marketing, email
  • Old media world still has value, but it has come to drive online activity

Digital marketing is about engagement:

  • Channels enable you to build a dialogue with customers
  • You can very easily understand what they feel about your brand
  • Offers you the opportunity to be a broadcaster
  • It’s about coordination, not control – can’t control if it’s largely user generated

SOSTAC – (PR Smith)

  • Situational analysis – where we are now.
  • Objectives – Where do we want to be
  • Strategy – how do we get there?
  • Tactics – how exactly do we get there
  • Actions – who does what and when?
  • Control – how do we monitor performance?
  • Find out more via “smart insights”

Difference between goals and objectives – objectives have to be specific, more granular – designed to help reach broader goals

We get bogged down in tactics, spend less time thinking about SMART objectives

Using a digital marketing plan


  • Reach
  • Act/convert
  • Engage


What should go into a digital strategy?

  • How do we use digital channels to grow business
  • How do we use digital channels to add value
  • Make sure activities are aligned with business goals
  • Which audiences are we targeting
  • What is the value proposition for online audiences?
  • Which digital platforms are best to deliver this proposition
  • How do we best integrate channels and activity
  • How do we work effectively with partners?
  • How do we support sales growth across the customer journey?
  • How do we reach our audience?
  • How do we get our audience to engage with us?
  • How do we resource and manage digital marketing?

A workable strategy:

  • Based on what’s happening in your marketplace
  • Has clear objectives to achieve the future vision you have laid out
  • Gives clear strategic direction
  • Has a method of tracking and review


  • How Google treats your product is the single most important thing to think about
  • Google only interested in content that’s directly relevant to users
  • Page & Brin – the more links it has, the more popular it is and the higher it should be ranked
  • Black hat SEO – agencies creating link farms that had thousands of links into the website
  • White hat – getting links from reputable websites. Not so much about quantity of links, more about quality
  • Also more about quality of content
  • Spider – a file that searches the web looking for links, indexing the content that it finds
  • External and internal links help the spiders find and navigate the website
  • Indexing can take up to 10 days
  • Google webmaster tools – good introductory video
  • Can help you see if there are any errors e.g. broken links
  • Shows you keywords that drive traffic to your website
  • It will show you how many external/internal links there are into your website
  • It allows you to ask Google to reindex your website


  • Words on your website need to marry up with the words that people are searching for
  • Very easy to optimise your content for words that people don’t use. We get wrapped up in our own organisational language but don’t get found because it’s not relevant for what people are looking for
    Needs to be one keyword or key phrase
  • Marketing in the Age of Google, Vanessa Fox – read the first 50 pages
  • SEO has no aggregate effect, on a page by page basis
  • Better to have one page that has a high number of links coming to it than lots of pages with keywords but fewer links
  • When you do a web search, you’re not actually searching the web, but Google’s index of the web
  • 3 in 10 people don’t know that PPC Google advertising is advertising
  • 90% of traffic goes to the top 3 links
  • If you’re a new provider of a product you won’t have much luck with general SEO terms
  • Market saturated with big brands
  • Going for niche terms – people will find you then, and because your content/product is more relevant, the conversion rate will be higher
  • Google generally extremely secretive about its SEO updates
  • Although it has been open with the importance of mobile-friendly web pages – have started penalising sites for mobile-unfriendliness

Over time:

  • 2005 – people looked around on Google search results more
  • 2014 – they went straight for the first 1-3 results.
  • Results are personalised towards your search history, behaviour – demographics if you’re logged on to your GMail account
  • Meaning that SEO optimisation is harder – there is no no.1 search result any more, each individual might have a different one.
  • Which increases the need for specificity.
  • And if pages aren’t built to marry with SEO strategy and keywords, its a complete lottery.

Organic search principles:

  • You need great content that other people want to link to
  • You need to refresh it regularly
  • It needs to meet the needs of people who are searching for products and services like yours
  • It has to be newsworthy
  • You need to reach out to those sites and people that might link to it
  • Think about on page (content) and off-page (links)
  • See your website as the heart of digital presence – needs new blood to be pumped around for it to work properly.


  • Keyword research – webmaster tools
  • On-site optimisation
  • Off-site optimisation
  • New content / communicate your SEO strategy
  • The periodic table of SEO success factors
  • Use the Google Adwords keyword research tool
  • Sign up to adwords – don’t have to spend any money, but allows you access to the tool
  • It will tell you the number of searches for your particular terms, and suggest more effective search terms

Brand in the search results:

  • if the search terms feature in the title or the meta description, you’re in a good place
  • Meta descriptions don’t help with SEO, but they do help persuade the user to click on the page
  • You’re underselling yourself if you don’t get it right, because people won’t click through
  • If there’s no meta description, the spider will display the first line of text that it comes across – but your first sentence is usually fluff, not your value proposition
  • Reputation – the longer your website has been there, the more credibility you’ll have
  • If you create a new site, you lose your credibility – Google’s spiders can’t see that it’s the same website
  • Need to do 301 redirects
  • Schema markup – can incorporate customer reviews into Google searches


  • Only shows ads that are relevant to the search
  • The higher up it is, the more you have to pay
  • then you pay more per click, because you’re likely to get more clicks
  • You have very few words to play with
  • Need to be very clear on what key words you are advertising against

PPC search:

  • key word: anxiety
  • headline: learn more about anxiety
  • Line 1: supporting a friend with anxiety
  • Line 2: read our tips for talking.
  • Google will reward you for CTR, low bounce rate
  • Value of the long tail – the more descriptive phrases you use, the lower the cost and traffic, but the higher probability of conversion
  • Worth advertising somewhere even if you have the no.1 search ranking
  • Will search still be important?
  • Yes – Google will dominate the web for years to come (Moz)


  • Fewer and fewer people click on banner adverts over time
  • IAB sets standards for digital display advertising
  • There are also a lot of non-standard formats
  • Native advertising – trying to include content that fits within the site’s content – CTR is higher because it’s sneaky
  • Mobile digital is growing very fast
  • But experiencing the lowest CTRs of all
    People might see the digital display, and it might influence their behaviour, but there’s no way of telling because they will use search
  • 4 in 10 UK households bought a tablet last year
  • Programmatic advertising – ads distributed automatically without human input
  • Huge inventories (e.g. Daily Mail) mean that we are moving away from trad. buyer and towards machine
  • Retargeting – if you have already visited the brand website but didn’t convert, you can serve the adverts to them again
  • You get significantly higher returns on investment using retargeting – conversion rate of 21% increase, 149% revenue performance increase
  • People who are retargeted often mistake the retargeting for huge brand penetration
  • 2x better on a CTR basis than non-retargeting campaigns
  • How many of the clicks on mobile advertising are mistaken?
  • Types of mobile marketing
  • App-based
  • Mobile search ads
  • Mobile image ads
  • SMS – still works

Native advertising:

  • A lot of blurring between editorial content and commercial advertising
  • 1% CTR native ads vs. 2.7% for regular
  • infographic IPG media lab
  • Real time bidding
  • User visits webpage
  • Exchange announces available bid
  • Bid manager evaluates advertising targeting and bids if it matches
  • Auction of all bids, with winning exchange serving the ad
  • Integrating TV advertising with YouTube content
  • Transition from something that people might be willing to watch to something that people will be willing to share
  • Dollar shave club – spent no money on advertising, just shareable content.

Content marketing:

  • Involves a value exchange – the user serves to gain something from it, more likely to share it.
  • Outbound marketing – where a marketer pushes the message far and wide – interruptive.
  • Inbound: where you get found by people who want to learn about your industry.
  • 4 quadrants – entertain, inspire, educate or convince
  • Which of these things is your content doing?
  • Content strategy for the web – Kristina Halvorson.
  • Periodic table of content markteting.
  • Remember the ratio
  • 70% planned – guided by aims/objectives
  • 20% programmatic – amplification of the stuff that performs well.
  • 10% agile – responding to events.


  • Fastest growing audience on Facebook is women over 55
  • Instagram – social media is really all about imagery
  • Visual services (instagram, pinterest) starting to allow in advertisers
  • LinkedIn advertising – very important B2B tool
  • Also a very important PPC platform
  • Social has diverse value beyond marketing
  • Product development: feedback loop, early warning, new product ideas
  • Marketing: lead gen., message reach
  • HR
  • Service & support: outreach/listening, support tools, peer forums
  • PR: rich media, brand reputation, influence
  • Strategic tool for uncovering business insights
  • Marketing that provides value and turns customers into evangelists
  • Managing the influencers who are driving conversations around your brand
  • Critical component of customer care
  • Transformative: organisations need to meet the transparency and humanity customers now expect

Key considerations:

  • Where are your audiences?
  • How are you going to reach them?
  • Resource in the right place?
  • Replies and risk mitigation

Social algorithms and ads:

  • Edgerank determines the visibility of brand posts in news feeds on the basis of affinity score, edge weight and time decay
  • Organic reach decrease = increase in ads

What gets shared on social media:

  • Social currency
  • Triggers – give the user an incentive to act
  • Emotion
  • Public
  • Practical value
  • Stories
  • Contagious – why things catch on Jonah Berger
  • Importance of quality control
  • No-one will come and visit your page unless you have interesting things


  • Start with objectives, resource & audience
  • Listen: search and social insight
  • Know: social brand print
  • Create: community management, content activation and influencer management
  • What is the difference between hub/hero/hygiene content?


  • Talking doesn’t even make the top 10 uses on mobile phone
  • The app market has driven mobile growth. The idea of mobile and apps are interchangeable
  • Most apps fail
  • A lot of companies develop apps because they can’t change their website
  • Nearly a quarter of apps are used once and then deleted
  • An app’s viability depends on frequent demand for use
  • People interact with apps in different ways
  • Now people are starting logo development processes with mobile in mind – if it doesn’t work as an icon for a mobile app, it shouldn’t be a logo
  • Web app vs. native app
  • Google taking a hard line with mobile-friendly
  • If your site isn’t mobile friendly, your SEO will suffer
  • What can an app do that a website can’t
  • Access to onboard GPS, compass, video camera, accelerometer, microphone
  • Phones are smarter than laptops – things like iBeacon, offering you in-store notifications.
  • Responsive design – website responds to the size of the interface
  • No more m. separate sites, a given necessity for any new site
  • “People don’t buy on mobile” not credible any more

Ecommerce conversion:

Highest rate is for tablets, then web, then mobile
Think about where people are – people use tablets at home on the sofa, people use PCs at work
User experience – mobile first does not mean mobile only
Trainline – people use the app for times and storing most used journeys
But they don’t trust the app so they go back to the mobile website to make the actual purchase

Testing on mobile:

  • Just like good web design
  • Emulators
  • Real people in a lab
  • real world alpha/beta
  • User journey data
  • Tap-stream feedback

How are you using mobile?

  • Customer retention – value added services
  • Customer acquisition


  • User experience – has the user been able to achieve what they want to achieve
  • Need to marry up what they want to do, and what we want them to do
    Not just about design – also about the actual content
  • Travel/airline websites have the greatest attrition rates – because it takes until the last page to actually know exactly how much it costs
  • Wireframing
  • User testing
  • Closed beta – your website is on a dead server and you invite people to come in and test it
  • Surveys, in deptth interviews, roundtables, usability labs
  • Difference between UI and UX – UI is more about design, UX is the holistic experience
  • Conversion optimisation – knowing what to do with visitors to the site
  • Look at how many people are leaving your site
  • Attracting poor quality traffic
  • Poor content
  • Bad usability
  • Poor calls-to-action
  • Bad enquiry process (asked for too much information)
  • Google website optimiser
  • Helps you to serve different page variations to users
  • The tool will then show you which page has the best user experience
  • Much harder the further up the funnel you get
  • You can use Google Analytics to track the funnel conversion
  • You can define a funnel for each of your conversion goals
  • Multi-channel funnels
  • Usually the last click gets all the credit
  • But you really want to see all the channels that are contributing to a conversion
  • Want to see how customers are interacting with these different channels


  • Time spent on email is not decreasing
  • Email is the most common digital activity for consumers in Britain
  • But mobile devices are gatekeepers
  • People are increasingly using mobile/tablet to access and open emails.
  • Email is key to customer conversion and customer retention
  • Not good for customer acquisition – not legal in B2C unless the person has opted in.

Benefits of email marketing:

  • Segmentation – offering different materials to different audiences
  • Building brand loyalty
  • Tracking
  • A/B testing
  • Customisation


  • How to stay relevant
  • Keeping high data quality
  • Declining engagement
  • Resource commitment
  • Deliverability

Success factors:

  • Clear goals and objectives
  • Contact strategy and policies
  • Segmentation, targeting and personalisation
  • Integration and governance
  • Test and learn culture

Test and iterate:

  • Time of day
  • Frequency
  • Subject line – make sure that the line can be read
  • Sender name – sending it from an individual’s name
  • Content
  • Calls to action – they want to know what’s in it for them, what’s the value. Giving them an opportunity to perform an action – take them to an environment where you can get what they want


  • Give them three choices in call to action
  • Care about your images
  • One template doesn’t fit all
  • Think about who’s on the list
  • Your email has to cross over with the recipient’s interests
  • Segmentation – break down your audience according to their interests and market to them accordingly
  • Segmentation increases open rates by 39%
  • 28% lower unsubscribe rates
  • Mailchimp snap
  • Allows you to take a photo and use it as the start of an email development
  • Send it to your segments straight from your mobile phone


  • Analytics help to drive sales, improve usability, become more efficient
  • To see if we’re offering what our customers want

The problem:

  • Not sure what we’re measuring, or why

Measuring three things:

  • Where did they come from (source)
  • What did they do? (behaviour)
  • What was the result (outcome)
  • Important to know what the data is telling you – what data points are important to tell you about the customer journey