SAScon 2017: 3 Top Takeaways

Joel, our Content Marketing Manager, recently attended SAScon, Manchester’s annual Search, Analytics and Social conference. Here are his top three takeaways from the event.

Don’t neglect your middle-funnel audience

Often digital marketers spend a lot of time and effort at the top of the funnel, driving awareness and acquiring a new audience through brand advertising, SEO and performance media. They’re also increasingly working hard on optimising the bottom of the funnel to maximise conversions through split testing and UX improvements. But the middle of the funnel doesn’t always get the love it deserves.

There are huge issues with this in terms of how well marketers are attributing the first interactions that ultimately lead users to convert, with most analytics tools seriously underplaying the lag between true first click and ultimate conversion. And there are also some major problems with the way Google Analytics in particular over-credits PPC activity.

It simply doesn’t make sense not to nurture the middle of your funnel in order to capitalise on all the acquisition work you’ve done. Good data, and targeted, well-segmented remarketing and email nurturing activity, are key to moving people beyond awareness and consideration and getting the most from your marketing budget.

middle funnel

Credit: Russell McAthy, CUBED

Technical SEO is all about the aggregation of marginal gains

Have you struggled to convince bosses, teammates or clients of the value of technical SEO? Maybe your recommendations have been deprioritised, migrations happened without your supervision, or a new site has been released without your input?

If you work in the world of Search, it’s up to you to convince people that technical SEO is still a really big deal. That can be difficult when there’s not always a clear cause/effect for every individual change or improvement we suggest, but the net result of optimising everything is inevitably more traffic and happier users.

The more senior people who buy into this idea, the more investment there will be in SEO generally, and the more resource we’ll all have to execute the technical stuff really well.

Credit: Mark Thomas, Botify

‘Flow’ and ‘Play’ are concepts you should prize

With driverless cars hitting the mass market in five to eight years, the car will cement its place as the “5th screen”. In-car interfaces still have a long way to go, but the opportunities for marketers as this space matures will be significant.

Meanwhile, voice assistants are already establishing themselves as the “6th surface” – 2017 will be the year they reach true mass adoption, so if you’re not sure what your voice strategy is yet, you’re already falling behind the curve.

MediaCom’s Renée Mellow sees flow as a fundamentally important concept in this increasingly splintered ‘screeniverse’ (a term I’ve just decided to coin) – people increasingly expect seamless experiences across disparate devices, and the brands that nail that first will have a distinct advantage.

She closed with a valuable reminder about the importance of play for marketers and digital practitioners – it’s crucial that we make time for exploring where technology is heading, understanding how behaviour is changing, and having a proper play around with things to work out what that means for us and our clients.


Credit: Renée Mellow, MediaCom

You can follow Joel on Twitter here.