Event report: Fusion Marketing Experience Antwerp edition

Today is the day the Fusion Marketing Experience event is taking place for the second time, this time in Antwerp. The first time it was in Brussels in March (read the event report here).
The event takes place at a venue called Hangar 26: a nice location with style and ambiance:

Just like last year I’ll do my best to keep a live report running here for all interested (and reading back after the event): for real-time updates check out the hashtag on Twitter: #fusionmex.
The first keynote will start at 9:30 with Gerry McGovern – A new way of measuring success- completing customer top tasks.
Updates will follow throughout the day of the keynotes – pics will follow later on.
9:29AM the event is about to start: Gerry McGovern will be presenting the first keynote.
9:41AM scratch that: the first keynote will start later- some guests still in traffic.
9:45AM Richard Bordes introduces Jean-Paul, the organiser of the event. Richard hopes everone will have something useful to take home after the event:

9:48AM Gerry McGovern gets introduced – starts with example of OECD survey. Big chunk of questions, Gerry asks if anyone would fill that in. Audience responds with no.
9:54AM Gerry McGovern has started his keynote presentation – talks about bad surveys, bad websites: websites have to identify top tasks of visitors.

9:59AM Too many pages make your website less succesful. Want success? Cut content by a lot, leave in the important stuff.
10:00AM Support section of website can make or brake sales: sadly much ignored by marketers. Don`t believe the marketing talk: read the support and installation pages of a product for the truth about a product.
10:05AM Mark of great website: a task is doable on homepage. People can do the most important thing on the homepage. If on a travel website the booking process is not on the homepage, people are out.
10:10AM Hits: How Idiots Track Success. Volume is a negative measure, of failure. Microsoft measures success by volume – bad idea on a support website. Microsoft is selling ads on support pages.Yahoo vs Google. Traffic is up, but stock price is waaay behind Google.Google wants you off its pages as soon as possible. Why? They know you want to reach your goal asap.
10:17AM Companies can`t let go of their egos. Master vs apprentice: the customer is the master, companies the apprentice. Companies are slow to let go of their old ways and embrace the customer, to listen and act upon what the customer wants to get accomplished.
10:19AM Every time you take 30 secs of a task you make more money. Direct relationship between these. We are in a convenience society: people don`t want to spend more time than absolutely necessary to complete a task. A link should never be a format, always the destination. Clear navigation for people who get on your website makes it more succesful.
10:25AM no 1 reason of failure of people on websites is confusing links and content. Gerry explains visitor behaviour with his arm as the mousecursor moving about a page. Confusion on webpages mean a failed navigation.
10:29AM Gerry has finished his presentation: great start! Bryan Eisenberg will now start with Is your company fit enough to keep up with today`s customer?

10:33AM Bryan talks about speed of business. How fast should a lead be followed up? Within minutes would be creepy, one says: someone else would be fine with that. Customers have changed pace in past 10 years. 5 years ago wireless internet got big, but things were stil connected through cable like phonelines, controllers for video games.
10:35AM Video shown: 13-18 years old will expect a lot from marketers: they want stuff fast, applied to their social graph, and want interactivity. Touch, voice and gestures will be the future. Overdo it? Mass blocks will kill brands.
10:40 Tablet sales will eclipse laptop sales by 2015. Website visits in 2011 compared to 2010 are up 3,5% for tablets, and 4% for mobile. Down 8% for desktop!
Customers want to see one brand, not multiple channels. Cross channel is very important, now and especially so in the future.At any given time Amazon is running 200 tests on their website. Most companies only run 1 or 2 a week. To innovate, experiment often. If you`re not prepared to be wrong, you`ll never come up with anything original.
10:48AM in 5 to 6 seconds a customer will decide if they buy. You have to convince them within those 5 to 6 seconds. Apple sold the iPhone on one thing: “there`s an app for that“. TweetVP assignment: in 140 chars or less, tell me why I should do business with you“.
How can you improve delivery? Fulfillment should take the least time possible. If there are bottlenecks, identify and solve them.
A lead loses effectiveness by 6 times after the first hour of no response.Companies that do well think of themselves in many ways – not just one type of company.
Publishing agility and publish something about it that is relevant to your business. How long would it take to create a blog post, an online press release or an infographic about it? How long would it take to find influencers and socialize your content?
Google Panda has not affected online video! Be there or be gone.
Metrics Madness: when one of your KPIs drop 20%, what are you going to do about it, whose job is it to do it? Have a plan, have clear action items. Beat your benchmarks, but do it in baby steps. Small things every day. Constant improvement will pay back.
11:13AM 5 star business culture traits: Customer intimate (Amazon), remarkable (Virgin), authentic (Zappos), nimble (Best Buy), test & tweak (Google). Organisations who focus on these traits create a healthy learning culture.
11:39AM after a quick coffee break we`re back for the next presentation. Dave Chaffey with attracting more valuable customers: getting more with less`. Traffic to websites has been down in past period: cause of this: Facebook and YouTube. Facebook pages attract part of traffic that went to website before Facebook was big. Driving to social presence instead of website is becoming more important for companies.
Partnering with other websites to share content will create new traffic, new relationships. Sharing good content makes it worth much more than keeping it on company website or social pages.
Acquisition is simple = brand strength. Which is the strongest brand in your sector?
Don`t make it all about the homepage: say `why choose us?` across the whole site.
Thanksgiving retail sales: mobile is 11% of visits ub 2011, 2010 was 4%.
What matters in social media optimization is making the channels directly part of all marketing output. Message should be consistent and shareable.
Integrating a company blog directly into website = winning. Many companies still fail at this, don`t take blogging seriously. Nokia has 7000 brand advocates worldwide, with a special agency handling the management of them.
Remailing with urgency to non-converters can increase response a lot. Want to create a brand advocate community? Give them the attention and content they want – they`ll grow acustomed to sharing your message online.
Dave talking SEO now: content is important, but internal links and domain reputation are part of the whole SEO process too.
12:17PM good SEO tip: make content really unique instead of looking at competitors. Use tools to find out about the customer journey. Is it fast enough, too complex? Online marketing is getting difficult, make sure you`re fit.

 
13:14PM lunch is finished. Joost de Valk will start now with conversion optimization and content SEO: starting the funnel in the social and search result pages.

13:47PM Joost talks about evangelism. People use search in their own words. Example word autoverzekering `car insurance`. Search results are bland and boring. Google has the tools to improve your search results to grab attention.
Conversion optimization starts at the search result page. Joost shows an optimized version of Bryan Eisenberg`s search results. Shorter, and with tips for less commas.
Testing is important. Test both your site but also your seo results. Google is tracking click data – if that happens for a longer time Google will move you up in the results. Have a corporate blog? Don`t forget to put in a big fat CTA. Not selling on the blog rankings is losing revenue. Make sure you put in related posts. It works magic to not getting people to a dead end at the end of a blog post. Sell on social media!
14:12PM Main message from Joost: optimize everything, not just pages. He went through his presentation fast but the message is clear. Keep tweaking, keep testing what works continually. Adding different keywords to a meta description will have Google showing the right part of it in the search results.
SEO should not be something a marketing manager has to know indepth as such: leave it to the seo person at marketing department, because it`s quite technical.
14:17PM Bryan Eisenberg now back – with the anatomy of the perfect landing page. Most websites don`t have a traffic problem, but every website has a conversion problem. Companies are spending $92 in traffic, but only $1 in conversion.
Using more methods for optimizing conversion will deliver the best results. Bryan tells about an optimization manual: it takes 3 months to learn, 4 months to do it. Better than trying to get into 1100 tools and options and never succeed.
Conversion Trinity: Relevance, value, call to action. How to get 90%+ conversion rate? Have 500.000 unique landing pages. Stop using stock photography: it kills conversion rates. Make good use of scent (what are people looking for? Can`t find it or keep track, they`re gone): consistent nav throughout a visitor`s journey.
An optimized newsletter signup page increased signups by 52,8% by making relevancy, value and the call to action loud and clear. Vague promises in marketing suck. Be specific and clear.
If you put free 15-day trial in an ad, put it on the cta button on the landing page too! Amazon tests for impact, not variations. Product descriptions changes mean clearer message. Make prices and In stock bigger, that worked for them.
14:55PM Four types of people: Spontaneous, Humanistics, Methodicals and Competitives. Top sellers/new releases, real reviews, genre-searchers and search by actor, title respectively.
“The only good quality about this landing page is the white background“ says Bryan. Ouch!
15:14PM Coffee break now. Gerry McGovern will be back next with `Marketing at the bottom of the page.

15:34PM Gerry starts his presentation. Should Google optimize their homepage for being found in search engines? Why did they become succesful. How did they become succesful? Because the Google search engine was very useful. There`s a difference between optimizing pages for the search engine, and optimizing for the searcher. By improving bottom page links from read more too clear cta`s Cisco more than doubled leads for one of their products.
When you get people to your landing pages, stop waving and `getting` them. They are there so follow up correctly with good nav on the page. Don`t tell customers irrelevant stuff about your products and services: just the necessary stuff please.
Gerry talks about university sites. Bad and good examples of photography use. Relevance is difficult for the university marketers, it seems. First thing people search for: what courses are given? Many websites fail at delivering on that top task. Website on house cleaning services. Q on site: Are you looking for a cleaner? No, a Ford Mondeo – crazy! Kill the context, get to the point.
Dell website in 2001. Buy by product or people. Most people go by product. Audience is a challenging navigational structure. Dell in 2004: change to people/audience only. Why? those are the Dell business units. It`s that simple. We don`t want to share revenue with products sections and other business units. In 2007 it went to products with audiences as followup pages. That went bad with customers.
If you ever have to say it`s easy, it`s not. If it`s easy I`ll just do it. Delll stock is down extremely since 2008 – companies are weakened from within.
16:00PM Toyota rugby dedicated website. a pre-pre-website splash page. 17% visitors lost after first page. Only 55% got to main menu. If I`m at your website you already have my attention: stop asking for it and help me!
Most homepages are useless. Most homepages don`t have a product finder. Essential skill of web professional is linking correctly. Great marketers tell their customers: I`m gonna help you be succesful.
Using Google search with `flight to Dublin` is an ad from the customer. Companies should respond to that ad. How different should a company`s thinking be to act on that? Obama campaign lost 27,8% on signups using `why donate` compared to `donate now`. Donate and get a gift worked best for signups with +15%. Single word Contribute button won overall for most donations.
Example of Google homepage done by other companies. It would be plastered with news, the founders, new improved search info, welcome to our website, a complex search interface, and a huge banner.
Opening new windows is almost always a bad idea on webpages. Only do it when it`s really useful. Time is very important: have everything load fast. Just 2 seconds of extra load or navigation time will cost you customers. Kill the context, go straight for th meat.
Easy to use is a tsunami ripping through the world. Either help the customer at all times or lose business. Essence of management model is managing customer`s time and managing staff time well.
16:26PM Jeff Molander is up with `generate leads and sales with social media`. Social media is fun and cool and gives insight into people`s thinking, but getting a lead or sale from social media is difficult. Video about Queensland teacher staffroom competition. Win 30,000 dollars for your staffroom. Example company`s members went up with 17,0000 from just over a 1,000.

The theory about what works behind marketing keeps working: the core principles are still the same. Just the ways it is executed change.
We have lost perspective in social meda. How much is a follower or fan worth? Crazy experts came up with numbers. The answer will help us sell, right?
The secret is three-fold: No 1: get back to basics, solve customer`s problems. No.2 design to sell. No.3 translate need. Listening is not enough. Knowing customer sentiment is nice, but do something with it, make it actionably. Understand what has got your customer irritated or scared, what are they trying to achive.
There is no social media revolution, it`s evolution. There`s a chance to grow and evolve now for companies.
JLL Company shifted from being thought leader to thought provoker. Behaviour is better and interesting. Don`t make whitepapers boring! They should be useful and helping, not say that your company is the thought leader.
17:00PM — In between note: panel discussion will be starting soon (moderated by Gianfranco Cuzziol), and I`m part of it, so no blogging during the panel. —
Don`t give out all details: inform customers and give hints, get them busy. Ethical bribe: new insights, concise, authoritative, show opportunity or risk, provocative/compelling.
Homework: Think of something that customers haven`t seen yet. Be provocative and revealing. Like a problem you solved or an opportunity you are presenting. Give customers a reason to talk to you.
Takeaway: Design to create a constant stream of behaviour that solves problems.

Short break, and panel will be starting in a bit.
17:56PM panel talk has finished! Event is now nearly over. Pictures, presenations and videos will be added later. Everyone thanks for reading!
edit1: pics have been added.
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