By @SimonCocking. Interesting interview with Anthony Quigley Entrepreneur, Advisor, Mentor, Speaker, Investor, Founder.

Describe the event – the elevator pitch …

The goal of 3XE Digital Conference Series is to educate marketers and promote forward thinking and thought leadership on topics related to digital business and marketing.  This is done in a forum that enables leading digital professionals to come together for additional networking and professional development.

We bring together some of the very best leaders and experts in the digital marketing industry to share their expertise and vision.

Delegates attend plenary, quite visionary sessions from experts who explain what they have achieved for their business or clients.  They also attend  hands-on workshops, giving them insights to the practical aspects of how to implement digital marketing strategies.

Our promise is that delegates will get to meet each of the speakers and find out about their path to success and understand how to apply these learnings into their own business.

How will it be different from the last event?

The feedback that we get, over and over, is that the format is correct – we provide vision alongside implementation know-how.  So, we’ll keep the format, as both the speakers and the delegates appreciate this consistency.

What we then do is add a new “theme” to each conference – this next one, on October 13th, is entitled Search & Social Media Marketing (previous conferences were themed around Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing and other topics).  The speakers are all experts in delivering winning digital marketing campaigns using various Search methods (AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Twitter, etc).

For instance, Rosanna Davison will be speaking about how she reinvented herself and her brand, shifting from supermodel to a world famous nutritionist, selling herself, her books and a series of workshops.  Her journey is a fascinating transformation and is a real lesson in how social media can be used as a re-positioning platform.

In fact the speaker line-up is probably the best to date.  We have some of the leading organisations and digital agencies who live this stuff everyday.  If you are in digital, then it is these folks that you want to hear from.  They include Microsoft, Google, BBDO, Wolfgang Digital, search metrics, Digital Marketing Institute, Arekibo, Tinderpoint, Search Optics and many more.  We expect about 600 people to attend to listen to 20 experts with a range of diverse expertise, all focused on what’s great about digital marketing.

What new trends are you excited about in Digital marketing?

There are 4 areas that are particularly exciting in which I see huge growth.  These are (a) personalisation, (b) mobile (c) automation and (d) wearables.

  1. Personalisation is all about being able to reach the customer on a one-to-one basis.  We are getting increasingly close to being able to deliver on this promise of personal marketing across the whole customer journey rather than in a particular marketing silo.
  2. Mobile marketing continues unabated. As smartphones get increasingly pervasive as well as clever in what they can do, the importance being able to reach customers and interact with them on mobile devices is a given.  However saying that, many organisations have yet to make the shift, so I see huge opportunity for digital marketers to embrace this new paradigm.
  3. Automation is often closely aligned to personalisation – the question that marketers are trying to solve is how to automate, in a personal way, the interaction that they may have with the customer.  We see this starting to happen in a number of areas – for example, many online chat facilities use automation to initiate the discussion and a human then takes over the conversation at a certain, appropriate point.
  4. Finally, wearables continues to excite (and in many ways disappoint!)  Apple’s latest offering in the iWatch space appears to finally now be waterproof.  So, while 2015 was supposed to bring wearables to life, perhaps it is going to be sometime in 2017 that we see mass enthusiasm for this sector.

How much is data informing your digital marketing of the event?

As this is our sixth 3XE Digital event, we have built up a wealth of customer data as well as a abundance of information on how to market to delegates, their preferences and therefore the best methods of reaching them. We understand, for example, the buying trends and rates in the weeks leading up to the conference.  We also gather as much feedback as possible in terms of what works and, particularly, what does not work.  I am a great believer in that there is much more to learn from mistakes than what is appreciated – we should be exceeding expectations each conference. Customer feedback helps us improve far better than any internal brainstorming!

Where do you stand on “it’s all about creating great content vs it’s about SEO / keywords etc”?

I was one of the early advocates of SEO and Google as the platform for growth.  This has not changed – all that has changed is that everyone else knows this, too!  It used to be good enough to stuff your site and social media with appropriate keywords, thus driving traffic via SEO.  However, people now search for content – the better the content, the more it will be shared.  Increasingly, users value expertise and advice.  If you do not provide exceedingly excellent content, then the simple fact of the matter is that you will not be either found or seen as a leader.  The good news is that this content can come in various formats, whether video, ebooks, shares on Twitter, advertising, etc so there is increasing opportunity for business leaders to create content that suits their style.

Some people say in a digital world ‘you are your brand’, what are your thoughts on this?

Organisations are becoming increasingly aware of the necessity to be “branded” – this is difficult in a connected world.  Messages can become convoluted and confused as a result.  As the company grows and more people within a business have access to the communications (ie anyone who is on social media, which is everyone!), the dilution will undoubtedly result.  This is something that organisations are struggling with (and many are succeeding very well).

At a personal level, I do not think that people see themselves as a “brand”.  However there are two diverging alternatives to this: there is the person who “accidentally” becomes the brand and then there is the person who makes a huge effort at personal branding.  As examples, Larry Kim (CEO of Wordstream) is in the former camp – he simply produces great content and shares it like mad (cos he likes to) and, as a result, is sought after as a speaker and consultant. He now commands a strong brand. In the alternative camp is someone like Tony Robbins who seems to be forever personally promoting himself, simply to get the next speaking gig.

What are your long term plans for the event?

Onwards and upwards!  While we run three 3XE Digital conferences yearly, we are looking at expanding in two directions, both based on feedback and requests. Firstly, we are considering broadening the range of topics (to include the likes of cloud computing, coding and Internet of Things). This will require some logistical planning in terms of dates, etc.  The other expansion possibility is to take our conferences overseas.  We have been approached by some of the private and government agencies in UK and Middle East with a view to bringing our expertise to those areas. Exciting times ahead!

How can people buy tickets?

Go to 3XEdigital.com for more information, details on the speakers and agenda. You can purchase tickets on the site (specifically http://3xedigital.com/pricing-2/)


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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