Mediacom Engage 2013 Round-up

by | May 24, 2013

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Mediacom is an Edinbugh-based media agency. Each year, Mediacom hosts a conference called Engage. This time the topic was Connected Planning, with speakers discussing how best to exploit emerging cross-channel communications opportunities.

This was my first Mediacom Engage event and I thoroughly enjoyed rubbing shoulders with the Don Drapers and Peggy Olsons of the Edinburgh Media circuit.

Coming from an online marketing, specifically SEO, background, I’m also more accustomed to attending events that are 90% male dominated. Looking around me and realising that there was a good gender balance was very refreshing.

First up was Pauline Robson who heads up Mediacom’s Real World Insight team. Mediacom has set up a research programme through which they having real people video blog explaining when they use what type of screen and why.

One example included a  lady who heard about a book on the radio, she then went onto Twitter & Facebook on her mobile to read reviews, and ended up buying the book via her Amazon app. I was pretty amazed by the figure that 14% of people have bought something on their mobile whilst drunk. Thank goodness for free returns!

Another interesting fact was that 50% of people don’t actually take their tablet out of their home. Listening to a few video bloggers it becomes really apparent that multi-screen marketing is becoming more and more important. But not everyone uses their screens for the same purpose. Interestingly, although cynics believe that technology today is the cause for less communication amongst people, research has now shown that this multi-screen society allows for everyone to stay in one room – in the past it wasn’t possible for two people wanted to watch different shows to be able to do so together.

Next up was the charismatic Derek Scobie, who gave a fantastic portrayal of Generation C, the new generation that embraces that four Cs:

  • Creation
  • Community
  • Curation
  • Connection

Derek spoke about the ways in which YouTube offers companies the opportunity to collaborate with the creator community.

One major outcome from that session was the realisation that that you can’t control what the audience might like. He also highlighted the importance of pushing out your content in a timely fashion: “Be quick or be dead”.

After the break I enjoyed a stats-laden session on how to conquer content marketing by Neil Perkin. Perkin highlighted that marketers are aware that content marketing plays a vital role over the next 12 months; however only 38% of marketers actually have a strategy in place, let alone the resources to do implement one.

Again, timeliness was highlighted by this speaker.  1000 bitly links have a half-life of 3 hours on Facebook and 7 hours on YouTube. He further explained about the “three pillars of content curation” which are:

  • Algorithmic
  • Professional
  • Social

Products surrounding this theory are already springing up, Percolate, a New York based start-up, offers algorithmic content curation. Furthermore, Perkin discussed that it is important to plan your marketing efforts around user patterns and device consumption, because user behaviour changes throughout the week. For example, mobile use increases at the weekend.

Main takeaways from this session were that 70% of your content should be low risk, 20% should be a little innovative, deviating from what usually works, and that only 10% high risk ideas that could become your 70% at a later stage (if they work!).

Take a look at Neil Perkin’s presentation here:

Neil Perkin Only Dead Fish @ Mediacom Engage 25 4-13 from MediaCom Edinburgh

Last but not least Mediacom’s Digital Strategy Director Jem Lloyd Williams concluded the day with his session on “Connected planning”. The takeaway here was really that our behaviour hasn’t really changed: only our tools have. Another important factor is never to leave a dead-end for the consumer. This reminded me about Steve Krug’s “Don’t make me think” – as in usability users are sometimes faced with a dead end as they are unable to get to or carry out what they came on the site to do.

In the final panel session, a few interesting questions were asked, which definitely provided me with some food for thought.
I’ve been to a few events so far in Scotland but I have to say this one was by far the best. I also liked the length of the event – I think 4 morning sessions are perfect.
We’d like to thank Mediacom for this excellent event, and we will definitely be taking a few more of our Serps Invaders to Engage next year.

Article written by

Feli Betzl

Feli Betzl

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