Marketing Society's #DigitalDay2016

Death to washing machines,Guerrilla Girls and thinking like a pirate - here are some of Display Executive Jess Strachan's highlights of #DigitalDay2016!

Death to washing machines, Guerrilla Girls, and thinking like a pirate – this was no ordinary Marketing conference. Digital Day 2016 at Edinburgh’s Summer Hall did not disappoint and it’s clear the audience was engaged from start to finish with #DigitalDay2016 trending on Twitter throughout the day.

Speakers explored a wide range of stimulating subjects and the only downside of the whole conference was having to choose between talks, but I came away from the day feeling inspired and proud to be a part of the exciting and ever-changing digital marketing world!

It was hard to pick highlights of the day, with so much on, but here are some of my favourite moments.

Disruptive Digital Start-Ups: Ed Relf, Digital Disruptor and Co-Founder & CEO, Landrapp

The Morning kicked off with a talk from Ed Relf, speaking proudly of his ambition to “wage a war on the washing machine”. This would change the simple (and dreaded) everyday task of washing with his door-to-door laundry and dry cleaning services mobile app – Laundrapp.

Launched in 2015, Ed spoke about the challenges he faced with an ever-changing business model, initially adopting an approach similar to giants like Deliveroo and Uber, but eventually realising the need to take control of the supply chain for customer satisfaction and to add his own personal touch to the service.

Ed takes a hands on approach and centres his app around 100% customer satisfaction with a focus on excellent doorstep interaction and ensuring a “flawless 30-day experience” for the customer. In fact, Ed is one of Laundrapp’s van delivery drivers and takes to the road most days.

What’s even more genius is how the business expands by gauging high demand areas with a system allowing users to vote the service into their area. Initially launching in Greater London, the app quickly expanded to the Edinburgh area due to high demand – a smart way to know there’s an audience ready and waiting!

Whitechapel Gallery – Reaching New Audiences

London’s Whitechapel Gallery Marketing Manager, Maria Pavlou spoke about social media content creation and how the 100 year old art gallery taps into new audiences outside the art world.

Building relationships with retailer giants, influential bloggers, celebrities and giving teens free reign on Whitechapel’s Snapchat account are all part of the success story. Their Guerilla Girls exhibition however, was a real stand out.

The group of female art professionals aim to fight discrimination in the art world.

During their exhibition at Whitechapel, they performed a Facebook Live discussion around the topic.

The Gallery was unaware of the criticism they were going to receive from the group but rather than removing the video they embraced the raw and brutal honesty.

Maria talked of how their social team refrain from hiding any negative Facebook user comments and instead keep them to fuel open discussion and total transparency.

The BRIT Awards – reaching the audience with record breaking content campaign

Continuing the content theme, Steve Ackerman, Managing Director of Somethin’ Else, took to the stage to discuss the marketing of the BRIT awards and how to “give online audiences the best seat in the house”

It obviously worked, with the 2016 Brit Awards named ‘the most digital ever’ in its history.

Steve spoke about the mistakes from previous years of uploading video content too late, losing the impact of the moment, recognising that when it comes to live events timing is everything. To combat this, the 2016 awards partnered with Google Play Music to live stream the event.

Steve’s advice was to “Think like a pirate – reach the audience whatever it takes and be wherever the audience is and move across the platforms with them”.

If You Can’t Deliver Art, Your Science Doesn’t Matter – Creative Opportunities in the Programmatic Age

Finally, Brian Coane, Partner at The Leith Agency, Richard Gill, Managing Partner at Dentsu Aegis Network and Tim Bisset, Senior Marketing Manager from the Scottish Government spoke about programmatic display and the importance of engaging creative.

As part of the Display team at Equator, programmatic is a key area of specialism for us so I was keen to explore more ideas around how strong creative is a crucial part of an effective campaign and how it can re-invent display in light of the increasingly popular ad blocking.

The Healthier Scotland Campaign emphasised the need for a personalised approach to creative targeting a variety of age groups with tailored creative to their age group that linked to a myth busting video about organ donation and how #weneedeverybody.

The main success of the campaign was seeing how the developments in programmatic display and dynamic creative capabilities can give such a positive campaign real power to engage with audiences from every generation to ultimately help save lives.

The speakers highlighted common themes throughout the day such as Ed Relf’s total brand transparency and 100% dedication to the consumer, Whitechapel’s raw honesty encouraging user criticism and the BRIT Award’s reactive, ‘real-time’ content creation. Not forgetting, Healthier Scotland’s unique approach to programmatic display for their organ donation campaign, showing how display can be genuinely helpful (and save lives!) with personalised creative. All in all, a lot of winning talks – 2017 has a lot to live up to!

By Jess Strachan, Display Executive.