10 Key Learnings from DMWF Global 2023

Back at the end of June, Boulder’s marketing team had the exciting opportunity to attend DMWF Global 2023 (Digital Marketing World Forum). Spanning over two jam-packed days at the Business Design Centre in London, the conference was full of insightful talks from industry experts, covering a range of hot topics from AI Marketing to Influencer Strategy. 

Here we’ll share our top take aways from the whole forum with you, so you can upgrade and optimise your own digital marketing initiatives. Let’s dive in!

1. Make honest content

Creating content, whether that be email newsletters, YouTube videos or TikToks, is a fantastic way to communicate more openly with your audience, and help build a strong, trusting community. However, this foundation of trust won’t last long if the content you’re making isn’t honest. 

So don’t be afraid to explain your uncertainty rather than hide it, and don’t be tempted to exaggerate your story or jump on the latest clickbait trend even if it could temporarily boost your performance.

At the end of the day, creating content is all about long term growth, and your audience will stick around for content they find relatable and authentic!

2. AI cannot replace human connection

AI is a powerful tool that can aid our marketing in so many ways: creating first drafts of work quickly, enhancing imagery or improving copywriting. But AI can’t quite replace us yet. 

AI, by nature, uses historical data to draw conclusions. This means that its ‘opinions’ are at risk of being outdated, or worse, vulnerable to biases.

Only human marketers can understand current industry landscapes and cultural nuances in real time, as well as uphold consistent brand values within their creative, and truly understand their human audience. 

So by all means, let’s embrace AI and use it to our advantage, but don’t rely on it too heavily.

3. Centre the consumer and market to people

It’s get caught up in the latest marketing techniques and lose touch of who you’re talking to, but no matter whether you’re B2C or B2B, you are always marketing to people.

This means that the consumer and their journey should be at the centre of your campaigns. In other words, it’s not enough to shout about your work and how great it is, without getting inside the mind of your audience. 

First, ask yourself what your consumers need and how you can make a positive difference to their lives. Then ask how you can communicate that value at multiple touchpoints across the consumer journey, using emotional, human language that resonates. With this more personal approach, you can create a seamless experience and a powerful connection to your brand.

4. Diversify your team

The expectations on brand integrity have only increased over time, meaning companies now need to showcase their values through positive action; i.e. they need to practice what they preach. But celebrating diversity in your campaigns is meaningless if your marketing team doesn’t include diverse voices. 

Consumers can spot inauthenticity a mile off, and a homogenous marketing team telling stories about diverse communities are bound to get something wrong. Whereas, a diverse team can bring a wealth of unique perspectives to the table from their own lived experience, and give insightful feedback to others, meaning you’ll create content that has more impact and better represents your audience.

5. Adapt and reuse your creative

There are so many different digital platforms that brands can use to share creative content, all with different formatting guidelines- but, this doesn’t mean you need to overwhelm yourself creating hours of separate content for each. 

Whilst content should be tailored to wherever it’s being uploaded, you can implement a more efficient strategy by pre-planning what you’re going to make, creating it once, and then adapting and reusing it on other platforms. For example, you could film a long-form video for Youtube, then chop it up to create teasers for Instagram Reels or TikTok. 

Using this type of strategy, you can build up a bank of usable, diverse content, make your marketing channels more integrated and engaging for your audience.

6. It’s not all about conversion

It’s easy to get caught up in the end results of your campaigns, focusing all your effort and budget towards Bottom of Funnel and conversions. But Top of Funnel has some amazing advantages!

BOFU often ends up converting people that were likely to convert anyway, but with TOFU, you’re getting in front of new audiences before they’ve seen any marketing from your competitors, making them far more likely to engage with you and become leads. 

The impact of making a strong first impression also can’t be overlooked. If someone’s first touchpoint with your brand is a memorable one, they’re more likely to come back and engage again, leading to great audience growth.

7. Invest in first-party data

As privacy regulations increase and the support for third-party cookies decreases, the importance of first-party data has never been greater. But how do you obtain high-quality data and maintain that quality over time? It all starts with putting the consumer at the centre of your strategy. 

By creating a personalised, community-focused user journey, your audience will be more willing to hand over their data, helping you create a better brand experience for them. 

On the flip side, by leveraging their data, you will unlock invaluable insights for your next marketing initiatives, allowing you to deliver further personalisation, pinpoint audience targeting and improve campaign optimisation. 

8. Only unique content is worth making

This one is simple- If the content you want to make isn’t unique i.e. it doesn’t show you in a different light to your competitors, there is no point making it. 

Ask yourself, are you just hopping on the latest trend or copying what your competitors are doing, hoping it will get you some kind of positive result? Or are you staying true to your brand values and creating content that shows off who you are and furthers your long-term goals?

Ultimately, if you want to generate demand and create a space for yourself in your industry, you need to share content that’s original and deliberate!

9. Build a community

Again, we often get caught up in the latest marketing trends and our competitor’s strategy, but actually, one of the best ways to enhance your marketing initiatives is to build a tight-knit community and ask them what they want.

Brands that build effective communities saw customers within the community spend up to 34% more than those outside the community, and they are overall an invaluable way to get honest feedback about your products and learn from your audience.

Overtime, strong communities also turn customers into loyal advocates and ambassadors, helping boost your reach and credibility even further, at no cost to you.

10. It’s all about good vibes

This last insight is from the Head of Social Media at Starling Bank, about how they chose their agency partner. 

You might think the most important factors in their decision were the agency’s years of experience, the size of previous projects or annual revenue. But it turns out, Starling ultimately chose their agency partner because they were young, hungry and built a great relationship with them throughout the decision process.

So if you’re aiming to grow your client base and team up with some great companies, remember to prioritise making a personal connection and spreading good vibes.

These are just a few key insights from the diverse range of talks we heard at DMFW, but they highlight some essential takeaways for your next marketing campaign, from having a customer-centric approach, to building strong client relationships. It’s important to remember however, that marketing is constantly evolving alongside people, culture, and technology. So whilst these tips are valuable, stay aware of new trends and changes, regularly reevaluate your marketing strategy and consider attending DMWF 2024 for more insights!

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