SAScon Beta 2014 – Conference Round-up and Summary

6 Dec

If you couldn’t make SAScon beta in Manchester last Tuesday then hopefully you may find some of these resources and takeaways useful.

For the mini conference version it had great mix of presentations ranging from future gazing technology visions to sharing best practice for specific digital marketing channels.

The sessions I attended and the key things I took away from them were as follows:

Jeff Coghlan – Matmi

Talked through the journey of Matmi and the creative processes they went through to design various games and highlighted some case study videos.

Key Takeaways

  • With technology ideas, just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
  • Check out which may topple Google Glass. It’s pretty cryptic on the site but it’s basically how you will be able to get virtual experiences by shooting lasers into our eyes
  • Ensure you retain I.P. and turn it into other concepts that will work in future projects


Richard Falconer Head of SEO at Digitas LBI – Optimise for the future, not just today

Talked through core SEO strategy considerations.

Key Takeaways

  • Metrics such as Domain Authority and page rank aren’t as valuable as we think. It’s better to focus on the influence of the publisher.
  • We should only outreach to people we want to contact more than once
  • Meta optimisation needs to be user experience focused and not just keyword focused
  • Your content team needs to be more involved in the Page Titles and Meta Description we write to ensure, readability, usability and conversion focus.


Matt Haworth Reason Digital – SGO (social good optimisation)

Talked about measuring social media campaign success by real life social strategy e.g. We saved x amount of people’s lives, saved x amount of NHS budget

Key Takeaways

  • Reason are looking at creating a Google Analytics for real life social impact
  • Social campaigns should combine standard social performance data with real life impact via 3rd party statistics and research


Kevin Strong (Mediaworks): Online Reputation Management

Highlighted how to perform best practice online SERP reputation management campaigns.

Key Takeaways

  • Agencies should continue to improve Online Reputation Campaign processes and capabilities and offer this a a separate product to SEO campaigns when relevant


Laura Thomas: learn how to write revenue driving social content

Talked through the best practice processes to create content that converts

Key Takeaways

  • Check out to help monitor Twitter performance
  • Use assisted social data via GA as part of your content marketing


James Murray – Microsoft

Talked through the use of Cortana and its impact on how voice search is advancing. Highlighted that Microsoft is focusing its search tech around day to day real life search activity

Key Takeaways

  • With search you can predict the future. E.g. by looking at search activity around the European election Microsoft knew that UKIP would do well, they also know the referendum would be a no vote
  • Context (including emotional, environmental, social and external) is crucial now with search
  • Cortana will soon be able to take a picture of a dog and it will tell you what breed it is (and other AI stuff along those lines)
  • The future of search could also include contextual knowledge graph information being integrated into emails and other applications that reference specific entities.
  • Search should be in the places you already are because there is nothing technically difficult about bringing search results into emails, or powerpoint presentations or word docs etc
  • You can now have a full conversation with your phone in China with a machine that acts like a human
  • Continue monitoring Bing search share % because if Cortana steals a march on Siri and Okay Google Voice Search then we may see more Microsoft OS phone handsets and this will mean a greater % share for Bing for mobile search which may influence desktop SE share %
  • If you have a weak bladder and are a keen cinema goer then download

Further Reading

Check out Microsoft’s Project Adam Microsoft’s future for AI


Gisele Navarro – 72% of the internet users do not speak English – International Outreach

Provided a very candid insight into her experience and her companies experience doing international outreach

Key Takeaways

  • Basically just watch the presentation at which is well worth it
  • Don’t try and outreach in a monotone tone of voice via emails to guard against multi-cultural concerns in the same language e.g. Mexican to Colombian
  • Don’t be afraid of outreaching in English to non-English publishers and journalists
  • Outreach to publishers and journalists as a priority because bloggers will just ask for money and if bloggers see it on a high authority publisher site they are likely to share it anyway
  • Ensure a native writer with copywriting skills is used to write your copy
  • Ensure you research the cultural stance of a subject in a specific region before devising your outreach strategy
  • Don’t be afraid of outsourcing via existing processes to get the right content creators
  • Ensure you do plenty of cultural research into the region you are promoting to based on the subject you are promoting


Karyn Fleeting: Contentedly Yours: New Methods For Idea Generation 

Identified a number of processes and ways to generate creative ideas

Key Takeaways 

  • Hold more creative sessions with a specific process for content strategy idea generation
  • Check out and look at using this free software for idea generation sessions to be used in new business creative content strategy sessions and also look to use for existing content strategy campaigns


The Panel of Paranoia. Are there any secrets anymore? An examination of the invasive nature of personal data gathering for marketing, government and alien conquest.

Closing panel to discuss the currently very pressing issue of internet privacy.

Key Takeaways

  • US government has plugged in to Facebook’s and Google’s data and is using that as a more efficient way of getting information about people
  • Personal data management companies are going to be big business
  • We may end up wanting to know more about what our personal data is worth
  • People are very divided on the subject of data privacy and how important it is to them
  • Many are concerned about our personal data and internet privacy but very few are doing anything about it
  • My personal recommendation related to this is check out Terms and Conditions May Apply (Full version available on Netflix)


The Comedy Bit

Afterwards we were also treated to a bit of comedy after which was great, the highlight being Christian Reilly who does a great parody of the Arctic Monkeys and impersonates a lot of famous music artists.

Hope you found this useful 🙂

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