3 Key Takeaways from the Northern Marketing Festival

Northern Marketing Festival in Manchester

I recently had the great opportunity to attend the Northern Marketing Festival, the first one to be hosted in Manchester. Being out of the office was a new experience for me, however, the insights and knowledge I gained from the event will be invaluable to our team while working with clients. 

There were many amazing presentations and key takeaways, it will be difficult to pick out just a few for this blog, but I will give it my best shot!

1. Psychological Insights for Effective Marketing

Now this speaker on Behavioural Science really intrigued me straight away! This was the first presentation and it did indeed kick start the day ahead. 

I learned that Marketing through psychology is very important and an effective strategy when you want to engage emotionally with users. Creating specific emotions in users and using ‘MINDSPACE’ to tell us how well our advertising meets the following stimulus; 

  • Messenger – Creating positive interactions by being friendly, complimentary, and just simply making people smile – People are influenced by who is communicating the information.
  • Incentives – Using motivators like discounts, especially at the end of a user’s conversion session where is it most unexpected – Reactions to incentives are influenced by common mental shortcuts.
  • Norms – Building trust with great ratings and reviews – People are influenced by what other users do.
  • Defaults – Highlighting “Recommended products” or “Popular choices” to guide decisions – People “go with the flow” of pre-set options which also relates back to the Norms.
  • Salience – Ensuring your marketing stands out to capture attention – People are naturally attracted to new and relevant things.
  • Priming – Using repetitive imagery throughout the customer journey – This subconsciously cues a part of a person’s brain to want the item in that photo.
  • Affect – Shaping moods, emotions, and feelings – A person’s actions can be powerfully shaped by emotions.
  • Commitments – Encouraging progress, such as “You’ve completed 1/5 steps” – People like to keep their promises and return favours. 
  • Ego – Appealing to status, like Rolex’s “Yacht-Master” for affluent customers – This makes people feel better about themselves.

2. Boosting Engagement with the Principles of Play

Using 5 principles and again looking into the impact of behavioural science can enable social media teams to be more creative and create more successful content. I, as well as many others at the event, particularly liked the term “HIPPOs” in this presentation. 

We begin the 5 points with;

  • Clarity – To have total clarity on the brand and audience you’re working with. 
  • Flop or Fly – Knowing when it is “too far” when experimenting with new content ideas.
  • No “i” in Team – Even though not everyone may be on the social media team, it is always beneficial to get a fresh look at creative ideas. 
  • HIPPOs – This is short for ‘highly paid person’s opinion’. Something that may be seen when getting the sign-off. Believe in the content ideas and experiments, persuading the HIPPOs with case studies and evidence. 
  • Fix, Don’t Reinvent – “You do not have to reinvent the wheel” in the phrase this speaker used, embrace change and adapt to grow a past idea.

3. “SERPAgeddon”? AI and SEO Strategies

The last presentation of the day strongly caught my attention when two speakers discussed the emerging potential of AI in marketing and its impact on search. 

They spoke about three key questions marketers may get asked by clients:

  • Should my search strategy change? 
  • Am I investing enough in SEO
  • Is this the end of traditional search traffic?

A humorous nickname they used was ‘SERPAgeddon,’. According to the latest research by BrightEdge, 23% of search engine result pages now feature an AI snippet or SGE overview. This offers a valuable opportunity to enhance brand visibility and traffic.

The speakers highlighted the importance of tracking intent across SGE, helping marketers improve their strategies. They stressed that the basics of search are still essential and sticking to them can open new opportunities.

They advised brands to work with agency partners on technical aspects to ensure the website performs well. This includes tagging products, creating editorial content, PR, and building authority. 

This event was definitely one to remember. I was able to take the information and relay it to the team to enhance our knowledge, helping our clients attract more organic traffic to their websites.

As the saying goes, “All good things come in threes” and the main insights I gained from this incredible event, fit perfectly well within that terminology. Plus, isn’t it fitting that Fly High Media has three words? 

If you’re aiming to boost your business’s online conversions, get in touch with our friendly team to discover how we can help.

Jess fly high media

Welcome to Fly High Media, Jess!

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