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Back from iStrategy: What did we learn?

Back from iStrategy: What did we learn?

Spending a few days in the company of marketers and digital strategists from around the world is always an enlightening experience.

One that is guaranteed to do one of two things: 1) teach you a bunch of stuff you didn’t already know, or 2) confirm that what you are already doing is right on track.

The iStrategy Sydney digital marketing conference (check the #iStrategy stream on Twitter) mostly did the latter for me, which was very affirming.

Trends: Mobile, Data and Social

At the same time, it was possible to pick up a number of very strong trends across all the different presenters and panel members.

The two most repeated words were without doubt, Mobile and Data: Data mining/Big Data.

Many of the speakers acknowledged they have been claiming each of the last 5 years or so to be “the year of mobile” but the advent of smartphone technology has really got things moving, to the point where we can safely say that this is now the decade of the mobile phone.

From the data perspective, it became apparent that data is our greatest asset – and our greatest challenge, as we attempt to assemble, review, analyse and develop strategies based on what our potential customers are doing, reading, commenting, liking and engaging with.

Coming a close third after Mobile, and Data, was of course, Social. Interestingly, no doubt as a consequence of many of the presenters coming from companies who offer social media management and monitoring platforms, the focus was heavily on ways to automate the process of managing the online conversation.

Due to the ongoing concern about how much human resource social media management could potentially absorb, this is understandable, but the reality remains that for any business, having human beings interacting with your audiences is key to really working out what is important to that audience and what you should be doing about it.

Software algorithms have their limitations when compared with the ability of human beings to understand tone, sentiment and opportunities that present themselves in social media channels. (More on that in a future blog post!)


Standout presentations for me were those by the Experian team, who broke down the digital marketing strategy into its various components and provided some excellent examples and scenarios; Gillian Meussig from SEOMoz who was a brilliant presenter, facilitator and extractor of the most relevant information from various speakers; Nic Cola from Fairfax Media (image above is from Nic’s presentation, showing Fairfax’s modeling of their audiences using different devices during the day); Twitter’s Claire Diaz Ortiz with her stories of social good around the world and John Bastitich of Westfield Group with his high speed presentation highlighting all that is currently broken in the world of marketing.

Being away from the office and from Christchurch for a few days opens up time to think, particularly with such high quality inspiration at hand, and I am sure the Lemon – our team and our clients will see the impact of this event trickling through over the coming months.

We look forward to sharing some of our learnings with you, as we use them to continue to build and extend the services we offer our clients and the way we deliver those services.

About Karen Foreman-Brown

Karen Foreman-Brown is a digital strategist and online marketer with a particular interest in social media, content marketing and delivering spectacular outcomes for client organisations.
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