Football, millennials and the key to business growth – SAScon 2016

Football, millennials and the key to business growth – SAScon 2016

Last week, I took a break from overloading myself with Euro 2016 to make my second appearance at SAScon, a two-day event held in Manchester. Engage Web set itself up with a 2-3 formation for this away fixture, and I came on as a second half substitute to cover Friday’s lectures.

The morning was kicked off by aimClear’s Founder and Evangelist, Marty Weintraub who delivered a very energetic and entertaining keynote speech about advertising and how marketers should target their audiences specifically.

Weintraub gave plenty of examples, using his own experiences with British Airways to back up his thoughts. Not only did he present a convincing case, but also demonstrated to attendees the methodology behind it, using some tools that are similar to those we use at Engage Web. As a result, some notetaking took place for future use in the office.

A lot of big and unfamiliar concepts were thrown about, such as psychographic layers and influencer marketing, but in reality what was discussed around these topics made sense as I realised they weren’t as complex and unfamiliar as first perceived.

As has become tradition for me at this event, the Tree Accountancy stand was raided for precious goods as I sought a mid-morning sugar rush before taking my place in a lecture about Millennials and the Media. This was led by Kristal Ireland of twentysix.

The first thing that I learned was what a millennial was. I presumed that it was a reference to those of the digital age, probably those under the age of 18. How wrong I was! A millennial is someone who was born between 1980 and 2000. What I had thought beforehand was incorrect and those born after this date are known as post-millennials instead.

This talk was full of interesting stats and facts that highlighted this generation’s ever-growing need to be around technology. For example, 83% of millennials sleep with their smartphones next to their bed. This is a high figure and definitely suggests that we’re addicted to these devices, which is something we are slowly coming to realise and accept. This group of people also use around 4.13 social media sites and spend an average of 1.47 hours on them a day.

Another lesson learned from this talk, was that the term ‘millennial’ is rather loose. Ireland identified five ‘tribes’ of millennials and highlighted the personality traits and demographics of people who fall into these categories, which are shown in the image below:

SAScon 2016 Millennials

Throughout the talk, Ireland kept returning to a perception that millennials are lazy, narcissistic and seen as ‘another entity’. She finished by disproving these perceptions and finishing with the line “Millennials are not the others… they are the here are now!”

After lunch, and a second raid on the Tree Accountancy stand, I found myself in an insightful talk on CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation), which was delivered by Paul Rouke, the Founder & CEO of PRWD. This session highlighted some key factors for business people to consider, making the talk’s title of “Adapt or Perish” very apt.

Rouke identified four ‘pillars’ for business growth: Strategy & Culture, Tools & Technology, People & Skills and Process & Methodology. Each of these pillars was then dissected, with Rouke giving lists of traits, tools and steps that are sure to help businesses grow. It was identified that decision makers within businesses should adopt a HIPPO personality – Humility, Integrity, Passion, Positivity and Openness to transform their companies.

Rouke concluded his thorough session by saying that all four pillars need to be built to succeed in growing any business. I found that this was a statement that carried a lot of symbolic references as well as some theoretical ones, and prompted attendees to reflect upon their own attitudes in the workplace.

Despite Euro 2016 having to take a backseat for the day, football did not as there was a brief 20-minute session revolving around the subject late on in the afternoon delivered by Sam Brown, the Digital Marketing Manager at Goal.com. Here, Brown discussed the importance of ensuring that you deliver the appropriate content to the appropriate audience through the appropriate channels, using Goal.com as his example throughout.

For me, the main message of this year’s conference, whether intended or not, is that the key to success is ensuring that you target your audience in a manner which is attractive to that audience through the use of the correct tools, and that the best way to measure your success is through metrics that actually mean something to your business or clients.

Operations Manager at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Operations Manager.
Alan Littler
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