Rumble Romagnoli at DMWF Amsterdam

Key takeaways from DMWF Amsterdam 2019

Relevance CEO Rumble Romagnoli took Amsterdam’s RAI building by storm last fortnight, as he presented the importance of storytelling to fellow industry professionals at the Digital Marketing World Forum.

His insightful speech about storytelling revealed how creating a good story that connects with your target audience is key to the self-continuity of a brand. It taught us that if you know your company’s identity and can use a brand archetype to represent this, you can engage customers for generations by telling stories that are stored in the consumer’s long-term conscience and recalled by the decision-making part of the brain when they go to make a purchase.

Our team attended many of the talks, which represented some of the most forward-thinking ideas in digital marketing strategy today. If you have been to DMWF you will know tracks are categorized into the following: Content & Digital Brand Strategy, Data & Disruptive Tech, Digital Experience & Ecommerce Strategy and Influencer and Social Media Marketing. Below, we have compiled a list of takeaways and learnings from the conference and panels, so you can get a head start on your digital strategy for 2020 and beyond.

Our CEO Rumble Romagnoli giving an interview after his talk at DMWF Amsterdam

What we learnt from the Digital Marketing World Forum 2019

Content & Digital Brand Strategy

  1. Content and tone of voice is very powerful – more than you might have ever imagined.
  2. Create content that delivers value.
  3. Create content that inspires communication. 
  4. Never lie or over-promise to your audience.
  5. Choose your marketing/PR agency and your creative team carefully. They have to have a deep understanding of your audience.
  6. Validate your message internally and make sure it is always aligned to a clear purpose.
  7. Millennials and Generation Z are not the only ones attached to their phones. Baby Boomers spend almost the same amount of time on their phones as younger generations. This is a very interesting target audience.
  8. People are often not aware of advertising and how they are being targeted. Brands need to be responsible in their digital marketing strategies. 
  9. The phases to break the customer journey into are: excite (welcome activation), engage and advocate (referral), reach (lead generation), act (quote/order) and convert (CRO/follow-up).
  10. The six steps to creating a successful campaign are: analysis (target audience/platforms), scouting and selection (thought leaders/beloved personalities), briefing, planning, marketing, and reporting.

Data & Disruptive Tech

  1. There are 100s of touchpoints of a user journey, you must understand where your customer is on that journey to be able to know how to market to them. Use a CRM to establish your customer journey and follow your potential customer along it, providing all the information they might need in order to make the right choice.
  2. Marketing is like dating. You wouldn’t try and get on one knee on your first date, so why send your prospect a contract on their first connection with the brand? Get to know your customer, understand if they are a good fit, and then after a month or two, when you know them better, start preparing for the close.
  3. A customer leaving your brand is similar to a divorce; the end of the relationships is most likely because of financial trouble (product price increases), infidelity (competition has a better product offering), lack of communication, lack of attention (poor customer experience) and unrealistic expectations (poor expectation management).
  4. Comb through your data to better understand and learn from your customers’ pain points.
  5. Automate and personalise as much as you can in your marketing strategy, from CEM to retargeting ads, so you can focus on optimising your customers’ struggles.

Digital Experience & E-commerce Strategy

  1. The future is “warm learning” – we need to look at what human beings are actually saying.
  2. If you use an automated chatbox, the Digital Marketing World Forum experts warned not to pretend that it’s a real human being.
  3. By analyzing your customers’ behaviour and learning about their digital needs, you can create a tailored website design that your audience will love and find easy to use
  4. You can use Spotify to enhance the digital experience, through creating playlists or podcasts.
  5. Create a social media competition based around a new product or service release, or centred around a holiday, to get your customers to interact with your brand in a new way.
  6. Map out your customers’ needs throughout their customer journeys to understand how to better communicate with or help them at every stage. Start with awareness, then consideration, deciding, choosing or configuring and finally the ordering phase. Using your own CRM data or with brainstorming, put together a list of the questions they would have, possible touchpoints with your brand and actions they could take at every step.
  7. China’s e-commerce market is expected to grow over 70% by 2023, with an estimated worth of $1,086.1bn.
  8. Of the high-value items British people have purchased online, 71% are holidays, 70% are TVs, 64% are computers, 55% are furniture, 40% are jewellery, 27% are cars and 11% are property.
  9. Your audience can be categorised into three different personas: inactive, lapsing (high potential or need nurturing), or active (champions, loyal, or recent).
  10. Out of the world’s 7.8bn population, 3.5bn use social media, 4.4bn use the internet and 5.2bn have mobile phones.
  11. Before someone even purchases a car, they will have over 900 digital interactions with the brand during their customer journey.
  12. The biggest pain points in the B2B buying process are lack of or inaccurate product information, insufficient inventory information and poor e-commerce site experience.

Influencer and Social Media Marketing

  1. Social media is the only channel that allows you to connect with your customers in real-time and engage with them.
  2. You need to create an authentic, memorable experience for a good first impression of your company on social media through content and engagement.
  3. Instagram is the most powerful social media channel in every way – not just for boosting brand awareness and audience engagement but also for selling your product, thanks to new features like tagging products and in-app shopping.
  4. Stories are significantly better than a standard newsfeed post, but both should be used in your social media strategy. Encourage audience interaction with voting stickers, questions and suggestions.
  5. TikTok is a fast-growing, innovative platform that all brands targeting the 13-24 years old market should include in their digital strategy for 2020. The app has more than 1.5bn users globally who are on it for an average of 52 minutes daily.
  6. The top downloaded apps in the world across the App Store and Google Play are WhatsApp, TikTok, Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.
  7. Podcasts can help you drive interaction with your audience.
  8. Your community-building strategy will only work if you spend more time on it than you think you need (32 hours per week is the ideal allocated time).
  9. Use social media to connect with customers and show your brand purpose. Understand what customers want, need, and why they are drawn to your brand.
  10. Use social media as a way to include your audience in the product development processes – only 28% of business do so.
  11. Use social media to collect your customer’s opinions or reviews of your products and respond to their questions directly on social platforms. Only 56% of companies do this.
  12. Social media is a powerful way to increase brand awareness as well as understand your audience’s motives and improve customer care efforts.
  13. Each social media platform is used by different audiences in different ways, so your target audience may prefer or engage at a higher rate on one platform above others. Pay close attention to their preference and create more content for your audiences’ favourite social media platform.
  14. Treat your audience like humans, not data points. Use a human tone of voice –  unbranded language connects better with individuals. 
  15. Micro-influencers can generate more leads, engagement, and awareness than you think.
  16. If you collaborate with influencers as part of your digital marketing strategy, the average length of collaboration should be between one and two years. It will demonstrate that they really like/use the product/service and proves that there is an authentic relationship.
  17. Don’t directly compare the results of one influencer campaign to another. Each influencer is different, as well as their audience. 
  18. Influencers may not be just the influencers you think are influencers. You may already have brand champions who are happy to influence your brand. Look at suppliers, existing customers, professors, public speakers for inspiration.
  19. The main goals of influencer marketing are improving brand advocacy, expanding brand awareness, reaching new targeted audiences, increasing the share of voice and improving sales conversions.

That sums up our learnings from this year’s Digital Marketing World Forum in Amsterdam – we hope this will come in useful for your digital strategies for 2020. See you at the next DMWF event!