Marketing Festival has begun. We enjoyed eight interesting lectures by eight very knowledgeable speakers including Craig Sullivan and Avinash Kaushik. 

Today’s topics spanned from link building to A/B testing, and while the lectures were less engaging than yesterday’s workshops, they certainly weren’t less informative. Let’s dive right into insights the speakers provided us with!

Paddy Moogan: The future for marketers: creativity, technology and strategy

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  • Start from the beginning – learn the essentials of technology, add creativity and then throw strategy into it.
  • Know where the audience is and in what context they find themselves. “Brno train station” = query; “iPhone user on the street of Brno” = context. Leverage this data for serving better quality ads.
  • 77% of mobile searches happen in a location where people have a PC available to them. Mobile is just more user-friendly.
  • On the other hand, amount of mobile-ready sites is still very low.
  • Invest heavily into loyalty building.
  • Do retargeting intelligently – don’t annoy your customers. Higher frequency doesn’t necessarily mean higher conversions.

Brian Dean: 7 Super-Practical Techniques to Rapidly Build Your Email List

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  • E-mail users are honest in their interactions with your brand. They aren’t as self-conscious as on social media.
  • Banner blindness and sidebar blindness are real, so don’t bother putting your opt-in form in a sidebar.
  • About pages are undervalued. It’s a very good place to place your opt-in form.
  • Principle of social proof works best for testimonials.
  • Instead of shady-looking squeeze pages, build a social squeeze page around a topic that is in demand AND surrounded by informational scarcity.
  • On your squeeze page, provide the visitors with value up front and propose they sign up if they want more of the quality content.
  • Don’t shun pop-ups on principle. There are two ways to do pop-ups: 1) interruption (haha, no); 2) exit-attempt pop-ups which don’t bother users (use in e-commerce to offer shopping cart abandonment discounts)
  • Find high-traffic site and make it better. Add checklists, structure information more efficiently, add video.

Avinash Kaushik: Goodbye Faith, Hello Data Driven Agile Marketing!

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  • Most websites have a 2% conversion rate, if you are lucky.
  • Implement the See – Think – Do – Care model into your marketing thinking.
  • Understand intentions of your prospects, throw away demographics and look at commercial intent.
  • Never forget your existing customers (purchased twice and more).
  • Before you execute an activity, ask yourself “Who am I solving for?” Most marketers care only about the converts, only a few care about the See and Think stages. This is wrong.
  • Search engines are good for the Do stage, social media is great at the See and Think stages.
  • When planning a social strategy, make sure it entertains,  informs or provides utility. If it doesn’t do any of these, shut up.
  • You must communicate with your clients or bosses. Manage their expectations. Don’t underestimate it.
  • Never focus just on short-term results. Online marketing takes time.

Peter O´Neill: Making Analytics Valuable

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  • Get campaign tracking sorted – autotag AdWords, create UTM parameters using the URL builder. And when you do that, actually USE those URLs.
  • Always record the full URL of the page and the referrer to this page.
  • Find out what URL went to 404; find its referrer and fix the link.
  • Work with your site search. Record the number of search results; fix the searches that return 0 results.
  • Implement negative goals like viewing 404 error page, form validation errors.
  • Create a horizontal funnel – create a goal for each checkpoint (ecommerce visit, get to product, create cart, commerce checkout, place order).
  • Use small number of key metrics in your reports, no flashy pie charts.
  • Segment products in your reports by their role in the mix: the most popular product, the money maker, the troublemaker, the opportunity product (more promotion is needed).
  • Internal benchmarks rule, external ones don’t. What’s the point of being the best of the worst or sucking less than your competitor? You want to do everything right.
  • Make decisions based on data to see whether changing performance is worth it.

Julie Joyce: How We’ve Built 20,000 Links By Hand

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  • Trends in link building: focus on social signals, quit dealing with site owners with multiple sites, quit focusing on old content.
  • An average link builder creates 34 links per month and it takes 6-10 emails to acquire a link.
  • Half of a link builder’s day is dedicated to discovery.
  • Buying links sometimes is the reality of the business. If you have to do it, don’t reveal the client immediately.
  • Avoid: directories w/o editorial process, forum link dropping, comment link dropping.
  • Don’t use any automation.
  • Keep the anchor text natural – let the webmasters do the linking.
  • Couple of tools to use: MillionShort, Link Risk, TinEye, faq fox, talkwalker alerts.
  • Learn to deal with rejection.
  • Use Majestic SEO, Google Webmaster Tools is too low-grade for professional practice.
  • Create a “do not contact” database.
  • “nofollow” links can still be very good for traffic and conversions.

Karel Tlusťák: Advanced Performance Marketing on Facebook

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  • FB is better than Google at solving the multiscreen problem due to its use of ID.
  • eCPM = bid/100 * eCTR + quality score + pacing
  • eCTR is made up of more than 140 factors.
  • Pacing is keeping uniform ads distribution during the day
  • When targeting a broad audience, use optimized CPM.
  • When targeting based on likes and interests, broad categories, lookalikes, use CPC.
  • When targeting custom audiences, web custom audiences, use CPM.
  • Mobile is the big opportunity for FB ads.
  • Local awareness ads coming to CZ hopefully in 2015.
  • ATLAS platform (for big spenders only) will allow to place ads based on FB targeting outside of FB.

Sandra Camacho: The Building Blocks of Attribution in Google Analytics

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  • Cross-device attribution is still a problem.
  • Before you get into attribution modelling, use GA diagnostics, make sure you have accurate campaign tags as well as conversion and revenue data.
  • Use view with no channel filters.
  • Import cost data, CRM data, GDN and YouTube impressions.
  • Calculate assist to last interaction ratio. Channels above one are likely to be assists, the rest are likely to be last clicks leading up to conversion.
  • Pick the lookback window, start with 90 days.
  • Don’t use the default channel grouping.
  • Manage brand terms to keep them from skewing your paid search channel.
  • Rules apply in cascading order: take the most granular rules and place them as first.
  • Be very careful about correlation vs. causality.

Craig Sullivan: 20 Simple Ways to Fuck Up your A/B tests

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  • Make sure you know that false positives and false negatives can mess with your results
  • Don’t stop the test when you hit 95% confidence threshold.
  • Understand your business cycle and run A/B tests throughout one the whole time; don’t exclude the slower buyers.
  • Ideally, run the test over two business cycles.
  • Ask the marketing folks whether they are going to screw up your A/B test with an offline campaign.
  • Copywriters understand A/B testing better; C-level execs are the worst.
  • Kill your ego to become a good tester.
  • Get the right people on your team – proper agile programmers and smart polymaths who like to dabble in different areas of applied mathematics.
  • Get the best copywriters you can get.
  • Invest money in your analytical tools.

And that’s all, folks, see you tomorrow! If you want to follow everything live as it’s happening, follow me on Twitter!