Last week I was lucky enough to attend Turing Festival with work! (Thanks <3!)
Turing Festival is a two day tech conference in Edinburgh comprising of two days of expert speakers focusing on Product, Marketing, Engineering and Strategy.
As a Marketing Manager, I spent most of my time in the Marketing and Strategy tracks, with a couple of Product topics thrown in for good measure.
I came away feeling enlightened, inspired and to be honest, slightly overwhelmed. The speakers were all incredible and obviously at the top of their game. There was so much information to take in and many new ideas to reflect on as we move forward into the latter half of the year.
To both share some knowledge and selfishly help digest it myself, I thought I would write down some of the key takeaways from my two days up in Scotland.
1. User experience is everything
"Everything is a product and every product has a user experience" - @sitar
If I take anything away from my two days at Turing Festival, it's this. UX and its vital role in marketing/product came up in pretty much every single talk I attended.
If you ignore the user, they will ignore your product.
2. We need to start thinking about voice search
This again was a frequent observation made in the Marketing track, though few speakers could define an absolute strategy for dealing with this shift.
I got the impression many were adopting a "wait and see" position, especially whilst the war of dominance plays out between Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
3. Do fewer things better; go deep and narrow to focus on three to four outcomes (Supriya Uchil)
4. A customer is someone who is paying you money - focus on them. (@JohnJPeebles)
The number of "users" your product has is a vanity metric, focus on the people who actually pay you money for what you're selling.
5. Growth is a product of both successful acquisition and then retention of customers. It should also be measurable, repeatable, predictable and scaleable. (@andyy)
6. We need to start leveraging AI and ML to gain insights from big data as marketeers (as demonstrated by @wilreynolds)
7. We need to rethink team structures to organise around growth (@joannalord)
"We need to start thinking of growth as a decentralised responsibility"
Instead of sitting in our traditional silos (Product, Marketing, Engineering etc.) Joanna convincingly argued for interdisciplinary teams, which all work towards the same goal; growth.
8. Chatbots will be (and basically are already) the next frontier of engagement and interaction. (@purnavirji)
The rise of AI assisted chatbots will fundamentally change SEO as we know it, as answers will be served by seeimgly stand alone intelligent progammes rather than aggregate search engines.
Purna highlighted how brands will have to shift their marketing strategy as a result of this from asking customers to "buy now" to asking "what do you need right now"
9. We are playing in Google's world, but we can still find ways to win. (@randfish)
We can't change what Google does when it comes to algorithms and rankings - marketeers have to be reactive in some respects and adapt to the conditions imposed on them.
There are however a few things we can be in control of:
Our brand - we need to make our content so engaging and useful that users come to us first, without even needing to perform a search.
The usefulness of our content - this ties in with the point above, but we need to get people engaged before they realise they have a problem and provide them the answer before they have formulated the question. (E.g. provide answers to multiple logically connected questions in one post, rather then just answering a small section of a larger topic.)