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Keynote highlights from the eCommerce Expo

In the second part of this blog series I will talk about some keynotes from the event which gives us an idea on how different sectors are evolving. Last but least, I have included some opinions about a versatile and fluid element in marketing, social media. Let’s dive in! 

Understanding customer needs

Being at this year’s expo gave me the chance to realise that eCommerce is growing rapidly, and that we need to be constantly up-to-date regardless of our specialty. Honestly, with so many separate theatres and panels offered it was tough to track all the great insights that were offered for free. The first workshop was about customer personalisation, in which a case study was presented covering a start-up company which managed to grow with no adverts. An interesting story if you think that we live in competitive world where most people believe that Ads are a must. The key insight from this story is that “If you understand a customer’s needs very well then you can offer him personalised solutions. Whether it is before, during or after a sale, they will buy from you continuously”. In addition to this, Word of Mouth is very powerful, no matter how much money you spend on advertising.


Technology in motorsports

In the Headline theatre, CNBC hosted a panel about technology and how it affects motorsports. Between them, there was the CMO of the McLaren Group and VP of Brand Strategy and Marketing Communications at Renault S.A and a female World Rally Driver. During the discussion, it was shared how technology affects the driver’s perspective and how global brands are trying to successfully encounter technological improvements in the automotive and motorsports sector.

If I had to take away a message from the panel, that would be that the motorsport sector is very keen to engage with sectors like eCommerce and make use of their marketing techniques by implementing them, especially as they have a new holistic approach in Formula 1 due to the change of core strategy.

Marketing in a digital world

Marketing panels are always interesting because people are discussing hot topics. However, that was not the case, in that one of the focus shifts was based around the skills marketers need to have to progress in their career.As it was mentioned, digital marketing is “Marketing in the digital world”. People can expand their skills through the internet and research, but practicality is always far more important. One of the speakers mentioned that, the previous years the focus was more on specialisation but now is shifting again, back more towards the generalist. However, what was highlighted by the whole panel is that marketing is a combination of creativity and strategy plus the combination of effort from all teams. An insight that I would like to share as well is that the hiring process has become a digital drain because companies focus more on the technical elements of the work than focusing on how well a person fits with a team and the projects that need to be implemented. 



The latest in B2B social

Personally, the best panel I attended was the last one.Why? It is all about social media.B2B engagement in social media is a problem that companies face, so to increase interaction is a major goal. As Mr. Garma, Creative Director of Millligo said although we speak about businesses we should not forget that is all about the people that are behind them. So, the terminology should not be B2B but P2B which means People to Business. Brands need to be humanised through social media by showing to people different elements of their business such as behind the scenes content when it’s viable. Speaking about content, it was highlighted that the language should be differentiated if the business wants to stand out, however the brand voice should be consistent and cohesive across all channels.

Depending on the sector, businesses should decide which platforms they want to use but all the panel mentioned that LinkedIn and Twitter have great impact in the business world. A great example of the use of social media is The Vet Show in which they used Twitter specifically to create a vet hour where they discussed relevant topics. Impressive results in terms of getting active; more than 100k followers being active once every week. Imagine that this is only a test activation they are running for 10 weeks. Increasing engagement means being active in social media, replying to the comments and constantly contributing to the community. For the campaign management, it was mentioned that B2C campaigns can be adjusted and used for B2B purposes. Failures are part of the process and since social media is constantly changing and evolving. Teams need to be careful with the dark social media which simply means that the social sharing of the content cannot be measured by Web Analytics. Ms. Kilmartin, Senior Marketing Executive of London Vet show said: Working in social media is not an ad-hoc duty to be given to an intern or an entry level person. I could not agree more on that because it demands dedication, a consistent ability to adapt to change whilst evolving engagement with clients. The key messages for social media should be that we are in a volatile environment that is tested every day, you need to produce unique and authentic content, and, by far the most important message, you should involve all people and teams from all your business. It is the only way to be successful in a demanding and competitive world.

Concluding the article, I hope you have found added value and have gathered some insights from this exceptional conference.


Written by Alexandros Anastasiadis, SQLI UK