Technology For Marketing & Advertising (TFM&A) 2015

It’s been just over a week now since I spent two days at Technology for Marketing & Advertising (TFM&A) which ran from Wednesday 25th February to Thursday 26th February 2015 at the Olympia exhibition centre in London. Other than the obvious joy of getting out of the office for a couple of days, I found it to be a really enjoyable experience.

As an agency side marketer my main reason for visiting wasn’t really one of procurement so I wasn’t as interested in the exhibition stands as the education program. I actually work specifically in the area of Digital so most of the talks and keynotes I was interested in were those relating to areas within digital such as online advertising, PPC, SEO, social media, analytics etc.

This education program is one of the many strengths of events like these for those working in marketing, whether that be client-side of agency-side, there is something for everyone.

My review of TFM&A 2015

Day 1 for me didn’t really start off so well, trains running late (not the fault of the organisers), queue to get in, queue to put things in the cloakroom, queue to get a voucher for the first talk of the day, which then allowed you to join the actual queue to get into the talk 20 minutes later. Due to some of these issues, I wasn’t able to get into many of the sessions I wanted to visit on the first day which was quite frustrating for me personally as it was one of the main reason I went. Don’t get me wrong, I can accept that queueing is necessary at these kind of things but these were slightly excessive. The issue was compounded by the fact that the venue was boiling hot which never helps the stress levels.

All that said, day 1 was still good, I still managed to get a good look round the event and into a session entitled “How analytics can help you stop marketing” by Robin Collyer, Marketing & Decisioning Specialist at Pegasystems which was basically talking about how to use personalised content to target consumers in a timely manner so that they wouldn’t feel marketed to, after all you’re only giving them what they want at the exact moment they want it right?. It was very interesting but had a definite sales undertone to it (can’t blame him really). But missed out on several other sessions I had planned to go to including the morning keynote with Kieran Flanagan.

My Day 1 plan was originally:

  • 10:00 – 10:30 KEYNOTE: Fireside chat with Kieran Flanagan, Marketing Director (EMEA), HubSpot
  • 11:00 – 11:30 Using social media to build a community of 85,000 people with zero marketing budget! by Nidhima Kohli, CEO, MyBeautyMatches
  • 12:00 – 12:30 Metrics, measures and KPIs: three simple steps to get more from your data by Rishi Kumar, Chief Scientist, eBench
  • 15:00 – 15:30 How analytics can help you stop marketing by Robin Collyer, Marketing & Decisioning Specialist, Pegasystems, or
  • 15:00 – 15:30 10 key digital marketing technologies to use in 2015 by Dr Dave Chaffey, CEO, Smart Insights

Day 2 was an entirely different story for me. This was the day to be there. They sorted the heating out and the queues although there, were at least moving. The day started well when I had no problem getting in to see the keynote by Dave Chaffey. A good summary of a lot of research behind the scenes with some good tips for the coming year. The presentation can be downloaded from here Managing Digital Marketing 2015 – Dr Dave Chaffey, Smart Insights and a video is below, worth a watch.

What I’d planned to attend today was:

  • 10:00 – 10:30 KEYNOTE: Managing Digital Marketing 2015 by Dr Dave Chaffey, CEO, Smart Insights
  • 12:00 – 12:30 Master your metrics: an expert guide to marketing measurement and analytics by Ray Coppinger, Online Marketing Manager, Marketo
  • 14:00 – 14:30 The latest Google tools explained – take your paid search performance to another level by Guy Thornton, Head of Paid Search, Found
  • 15:00 – 15:30 Digital hugging: adding context to your customers experience by Saima Alibhai, Director of Solutions, Emarsys
  • 16:00 – 16:30 Five tools to help marketers save time on SEO by Arek Estall, Head of Strategy, Arek Estall

The only sessions I wasn’t able to get into was the Marketo session at 12:00 which I was too far back in the queue to get a voucher for and the 15:00 session by Emarsys which I sacrificed to get into the 16:00 SEO talk.

The keynote was great with a couple of little gems, I was particularly excited at the idea of doing remarketing with LinkedIn, made possible by their acquisition of Bizo.

I’m both glad and disappointed to say that there were no surprises in the “latest Google tools” presentation from Found although it was a very nice summary that really got straight to the point. It covered:

  • RLSA’s (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads)
  • Shopping campaigns
  • Dynamic Search Ads (DSA)
  • Ad Customizers
  • AdWords Scripts

It’s definitely worth downloading the presentation The latest Google Search Tools Explained – Guy Thornton, Found if you work in PPC, client-side or agency-side. I particularly like Guy Thornton’s Effort vs. Reward matrix on page 4. I’ll be taking another look at both DSA’s and AdWords Scripts.

The final session of the day for me was the 5 SEO Tools to help marketers save time by Arek Estall which was a nice summary and explanation of some very cost-effective way to do SEO, I think mostly aimed at a beginner level and possibly more client-side too. The five tools covered were:

  • SEMRush
  • Moz Toolbar
  • Majestic SEO
  • Yoast
  • Webmaster Tools

Each of the tools looked good, I’m very familiar with 3 of them but had never seen SEMRush before so I’ll be giving that a look myself. We already use Majestic SEO data via our reporting platform, Raven Tools but I’m going to take a look and see if I can get more data natively.

I had really good two days in London, it was great networking with people and chatting about what they were doing, it’s really good to get a feel for where you are in the marketing world, ahead, behind or thereabouts. Some great ideas came from the show. Oddly one of the issues I mentioned at the start, the queues actually turned out to be a bit of a blessing really as it gave me opportunities to have some great conversations with people.

See you next year TFM&A.

(For anyone who couldn’t make it and would like to see the presentations they are available to download now.)

Where Life IS Black and White