eir Spiders Digital Workshop

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Photo: Author’s own

On October 4th we attended the eir Spiders Digital Workshop in the Clarion Hotel in Cork.

CNN anchor Gina London was the very entertaining and motivating moderator for the event. She introduced us to each of the inspirational speakers including Marie Davis, Head of Google Marketing Solutions for Ireland, Paul O’Byrne, Head of Digital Strategy at Tinderpoint, Iris Daly, Head of Digital at eir Business, Richard Barrett, Co-founder of Pundit Arena and Stephen Ryan, Head of Marketing with Red FM.

It was really interesting listening to these speakers. They informed me of stuff I hadn’t thought to even think about before as well as reiterating some stuff I had half known already and made it clearer.

Almost everyone owns a smartphone these days. It is extremely rare to see someone with an old brick of a phone and normally when you do its because the owner is waiting for their smartphone to be repaired. Marie Davis spoke about how our mobile phones are now “an extension of who we are” and how “behaviour online has changed” because of the smartphone.

I was without a laptop for over a year and now that I have one for college, unless I am writing an essay, I stare at it wondering ‘what does one do with a computer these days?’ This is because all of my online activity is done on my smartphone. I use my phone for social media, keeping up with the news, listening to music/radio, online shopping, googling information to prove I’m right, the list goes on. My smartphone is so much handier for a quick snoop online and it fits nicely inside my pocket so I have it with me while on the go.

Your business must stay ahead of these changes if you want to keep your consumers loyal. Marie mentioned all of these moments in her talk and called them “micro moments” which happen throughout the consumer’s day. This is why user experience is crucial for your business online. If your website isn’t set up to suit both computer and mobile surfing you will fall behind and lose customers. 40% of users abandon a site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and 52% say that fast load time is important to brand loyalty. Speed directly impacts online revenue.

“Mobile sites are an investment, not a cost.”

Quick loading isn’t the be all and end all of good user experience. Your website should be seamless and easy to navigate. If I get any bit frustrated with a site’s interface that’s me Xed out, gone, moving along swiftly. Marie told us the core principles for seamless user website experience are speed, content and intuitive design and functionality.

“A beautiful website is not the same as a good experience.”

Another point about the smartphone that was mentioned at the workshop is that your mobile phone is your best tool for ‘marketing in the moment’. As much as I like to believe I keep my social media to a minimum in my personal life (which is a huge lie but I barely use it in comparison to others I know) I have learned that that is impossible for your professional life. Every business should have an online presence because that is where your consumers hang out all day.

Social media can be used for marketing research to find out customers’ needs and wants, customers can use it to find out additional information on your business which in turn can help to satisfy the needs of both parties.

Businesses need to have their stories out there and with the rise of smartphones and social media there really is no excuse not to be heard. Stephen Ryan talked to us about how everyone is telling their own individual stories, like when people used to keep a diary but these days everything is online in the form of photos and videos- a visual diary. Even though storytelling may have changed, people still love to hear a good story and the best stories involve people, are full of emotive or humorous content and they connect. 95% of the story should build a relationship with the viewer and 5% should be about selling.

Stephen talked about capturing a moment, uploading it instantly, #ing key words, tagging influences, letting the story grow and build off the video content. This is the (R)Evolution of Video. If it is engaging people will watch it and they will share it. This is a great example of paid, owned and earned media.

Digital Marketing has turned time and money instant. Everything is in the moment and you can’t get left behind. Get the foundations of your mobile website right first, have good navigation and clear information. Don’t be afraid to take risks, try new things and seek out stories. Always have your phone fully charged. Be yourself and be in the moment.

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