Friday, 18 March 2011

INSPIRING WORDS - getting your mojo back for Spring

Thanks to colleagues at eCircle who hosted the Connect Europe 2011 conference for Digital Marketers I returned from London tired but inspired.

The fatigue came from the post conference party downstairs in The Grange Hotel, St Paul’s own nightclub – great hotel, great venue … despite running out of Guinness on Paddy’s Day.

The inspiration came from the speakers, other delegates and phenomenal exchange of thought.

Top of the pops was Dan Cobley from Google. He is the VP Marketing for North & Central Europe. His words were music to my ears (but then I am beginning to worry about me and my unhealthily obsessive relationship with words (

From the mouth of this representative of one of the foremost exponents of all matters digital Dan said: “Digital Marketing is DEAD”. No, he wasn’t throwing in the towel, Dan was extolling the virtues of Marketing Integration.

During one of the breakout Seminars, Graham Ellor of EHS 4D Discovery (formerly Brann) spoke about how Diageo embraced eCRM. Their greatest sticking point seemed to be the inertia of Diageo's creative agencies who needed to move away from the pretty and into the practical, addressing problems like pics not opening to most browsers and messaging succinctly within the preview page, giving maximum pre-opening sales impact. This was just five years ago, which had a double interest to me because I was trying to teach Gleneagles' agency the same thing ten years ago (Gleneagles is owned by Diageo).

Dan Cobley opened the conference and we were lucky enough to hear from Steve Robinson, CEO of M&M Direct, who wound up the technical presentations prior to a light but humorous keynote speech by Duncan Bannatyne on the subject of … well, Duncan Bannatyne.

Back to Steve who has been a hands on e-commercialist for fifteen years. He looked back ten years and across the period when you were nothing if you didn’t have an ‘e’ prefix to at least one part of your business. Steve recognised the ‘bust’ when, after initial innovative rush, the follow through didn’t come and the eee’s were dropped.

Then we got wise, data grew, analysis exponentialised opportunity and at last technology and data knowledge sat (sit) together to provide the most powerful marketing tools of all time.

Steve closed looking forward ten years and showed just how ‘joined up’ this conference had been, certainly for me. As Dan had spoken of Marketing Integration in the morning, so Steve closed in similar cohesion. He spoke of the move from e-commerce to o-commerce – omni-commerce.

From this...

Despite the tools, data, knowledge and skills at our fingertips to use the web, e-mails and ‘phones as core marketing vehicles we have to employ the breadth and explore the depth of communicative vehicles and language to reach, listen to and support our audience whether B2C or B2B.

OK, what’s this got to do with Incentive Travel?

Well, nothing and everything really. Whether your business organisation is national or global; whether it employs staff or networks through self-employed or franchised service outlets, your staff, outlets and franchisees are your primary customer. If they are not HAPPY, if they’re not MOTIVATED they are not going to deliver the end sales you need to keep your shareholders in the manner to which they ASPIRE (that word again!).

Perhaps not at the same level as M&M Direct. Certainly not with the same diversity as Amazon. Maybe even without the skills that eCircle have to offer in the world of digital communications … But to keep your key players on board, happy, pulling in the parallel they need to be motivated. this !

Motivation needs effective communication using quality tools and qualified language across your intranet, e-mail, staff blog, Twitter to hear what they want and give them the benefit of Travel as an Incentive to which they can ASPIRE.


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