Connect 2012: A Round-up of the day!

posted by Sarah Spencer - Network Comms Manager02 Oct 2012

In this blog post I'm going to tell you all about our recent annual event, Connect 2012 which brought together a range of industry experts, clients and partners on 20th September for thought provoking insight, exploring the trends that are really shaping the future of performance marketing. For those of you who were there this will be a chance to get a copy of the presentations and to spot yourself in our gallery and videos of the day. And, if you didn't make it, you'll find a roundup of the day's key learnings and themes as well as access to video footage and links to the insightful presentations summarised below.

The day kicked off with an introduction from our Market Unit Leader: North West, Dan Cohen, who began by highlighting the factors which have led to a "perfect storm" in the affiliate marketing industry over the past 12 months. Click here to see the video footage!

This was followed by the first presentation of the day from Paul Flatters, Chief Executive of Trajectory Partnership. The presentation, "The millennial Generation - passing through the eye of the storm: what comes next" was an in-depth look at the misconceptions and predictions for the "millennial generation" or as the media has recently referred to them "the lost generation" or "generation screwed". This is the first generation of digital natives, people who do not know a time before the internet, computers and smart phones. However as Paul explains the economic and social conditions in which they have come of age in have changed our perception of this generation and their priorities have now shifted.

After some networking and much needed coffee, everyone returned to the auditorium for some thoughts, stats and insights on mobile commerce. Firstly, the Head of Mobile for Tradedoubler UK, Neil Ranatunga and Head of Marketing Intelligence, Jane Turner took to the stage to present our findings from the groundbreaking research we commissioned from Forrester Consulting in "What consumers are really using smartphones for? The ecommerce opportunity under our noses". The research findings led to a flurry of activity on our twitter account with many people astounded by the significant opportunity mobile already presents to our clients. This progressed into an interesting mobile panel debate with Tradedoubler clients and partners, including The Body Shop and O2.

In the afternoon, three more sessions were presented by the Tradedoubler team. Andrew Copeland who heads up Tradedoubler's award-winning publisher team gave an enthusiastic talk "Diversifying publisher traffic - today's oddball...tomorrow's mainstream" which explored less established traffic models for advertisers to consider. A popular analogy on the day was his idea of the affiliate industry as a "sandbox" where advertisers could test different ideas and traffic sources in a risk free environment. This was followed by our Head of Technology Michael Brandy and another classic analogy with the "affiliate onion" in his presentation "Evolving the affiliate model for today's clients". Last but not least Nick Fletcher and James Maley, Account Directors wowed the audience with their very fetching his & his three piece suits (see the gallery for evidence!) to present "Why, Where and How to Geographically Expand your Affiliate Programme".

Our keynote speaker Mel Carson, Digital Marketing Raconteur had the last slot of the day and did not disappoint with his energetic rendition of "Tales of the Digitally Unexpected" where he advised us to 'Be Agile, Be Delightful, Be Unexpected to impress the digitally savvy'.

Our CEO Rob Wilson closed the event remarking 'Adapting is going to be the basis for beginning a new type of relationship with our clients'. And his advice to the industry in general was summed up with 'Opportunity is not enough in itself. You have to go and get it. Are you prepared to do what it takes to succeed?'

I hope you enjoyed our Connect 2012 event as much as I did and that if you were unable to attend, this summary has given you a good overview and feel for the day!

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