By David Stout, Bayshore Solutions Director of Digital Marketing

2016 SMX West Day 2 digital marketing insightsFor those who are catching up, I’m providing a recap of my attendance at the highly-valuable SMX West conference in San Jose, California.  If you missed my recap of Day 1, click here.

Now, on to Day 2 – which largely covered targeting techniques, attribution models, social media techniques that cut through the noise, and… slowing… down.

If I had an hour to solve a problem, I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.” –Albert Einstein

Despite all the different ways for audiences to discover brands and for all the tools we have at our disposal to promote our customers at lightning-fast speed, it has never been more important for practitioners in digital marketing, to adopt the basic practice of SLOWING DOWN. I know, this is the type of information that makes most CEOs (and many of our clients) break out into hives, but it needs to be said.

Even the pros at large digital companies like WordSream, Sapient Nitro, and Home Depot acknowledged that they have only recently started to adopt this best practice of slowing down into their culture and price model.  It was not described as being easy, but is a practice that has paid off for them in performance results, efficiency, and profit. By taking time for quality and strategy, they have developed better customer retention and a better understanding of purchase motivations.

Regardless of company size, every speaker at SMX West reiterated that the key to successfully implementing their “Big Play” tactics was investing time in the pre-implementation phases of each campaign. Significant emphasis was given to:

  • Audience segmentation
  • Understanding the buying cycle of clients
  • Setting good expectations with clients during the SEO sales process
  • Defining actionable and achievable goals with clients before implementing a single tactic

Oh yes, they also advised us to TEST, TEST, TEST!

Doing all of this requires time, budgets and placing a higher value on intellectual strategy over hands-on task management. The returns on this investment are an accurate process, more efficient campaign development and better measurability. This reduces the likelihood of client frustration caused by failure to thoroughly consider important market variables prior to implementation (i.e. Ready, Aim, Fire vs Ready, Fire, Aim.)

The key point: “Thought” and “Planning” are valuable actions even though they are not visible. This is a tough process to sell to clients who want problems solved yesterday but the right solution cannot be provided without the proper consideration and a solid strategy.

Breakout Session 1:

Attribution Beyond The Last Click

Giving all the credit to the last click of a conversion is like saying the scorer is solely responsible for the goal. Attribution is much more accurate when factors such as in-store visits, phone calls, and offline conversion uploads are taken into account. We looked at different models to track attribution metrics, and considered the pros and cons of each to achieve better understanding and communication strategies around cross channel campaign measurement.

Key takeaways include:

  1. Accurate attribution is important because it helps you to better gauge what is working, where to spend your time and money, and it allows you to better illustrate the holistic view of interconnected digital marketing efforts
  2. Main attribution models today include:
    • Last Interaction – last non-direct click, last AdWords click
    • Linear – all touch points of interaction considered equal
  3. There are inherent flaws with every model of attribution tracking such as:
    • Cookies do crumble
    • An inability to track dark search, user settings, offline activity, or social influencers
    • NOTE: Maintain a healthy skepticism when presenting attribution and not to be overly-reliant on any specific model
  4. To be accurate and provide value, any call or multi-device tracking needs to be incorporated into your attribution tracking and reporting

Breakout Session 2:

Mastering Direct Response On Twitter: Case Studies For Maximizing ROI

Hosted by Twitter Flight School, this track was a real-time problem solving session that allowed us to use tools available on Twitter to accomplish direct response goals for driving purchases, site visits, app installs, and generating leads. This session was an eye-opening tactical lesson that revealed powerful marketing techniques with Twitter, such as:

  1. Use website conversion tracking code is available through Twitter flight school
  2. Test mobile and desktop campaigns separately
  3. Test both image and Link Based campaigns
  4. Twitter serves real-time ads at specific times to audiences based on the topics of conversation that are applicable to them during their down time
  5. The amount of users who access apps more than 60 times per day are considered “addicts” and this category grew 123% last year
  6. When using Twitter Ads our ads have the ability to stay relevant and at the top of real-time search in the number 1 spot longer even when other, newer feed data comes in

Breakout Session 3:

Advanced Audience Targeting

Google’s Customer Match allows marketers to create remarketing lists based on email addresses that target engaged users across the search network, YouTube, and Gmail – once considered entirely separate channels.

Key takeaways are as follows:

  1. Average business user receives more than 96 emails per day
  2. A successful email campaign will rarely yield a 20% open rate
  3. Customer Match works like a remarking list but you get to pick your audience, down to the person
  4. Tip for lead gen best-practices: Stop asking for e-mail in your message if you already have it, use Customer Match to treat them differently than a new user, and develop appropriate content for each customer segment
  5. Nothing in AdWords has ever been more precise – segment audiences based on their position in the funnel


That’s about it for today! Another great day at SMX West 2016. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the conference – be sure to keep checking in for more tips, trends, and updates from Bayshore Solutions.

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