Hello, my name is David and I am a first year student in DCU and I am studying Global Business with French. This particular course enables me to spend the final two years of a four year course in North-East France. I have always been very engaged with the business world and business was always the type of career I pictured myself in whilst growing up. So far, the course has been great and I am learning an enormous amount about the business environment while also developing my French skills! On Tuesday 14th October, I attended a ‘Get Social’ conference in DCU which lasted for four hours and consisted of various different speakers from different businesses from different places around Ireland.
Our first speaker was more of an introductory speaker for the event. Dr. Theo Lynn is the DCU Digital Marketing Programme Chairperson and he gave us a run-down of what the entire conference was going to involve, ie. using social media to solve problems and to allow companies to be more efficient in their development and growth as a business. He also spoke about various different projects that himself and other colleagues were working on. One that I found very interesting is a project that is combining various technologies that they use, along with collaborating with two other centres: CNGL (Centre for Next Generation Localisation) and the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre to develop ways to prevent cyber-bullying. Their primary goal is to develop ways to identify speech patterns and linguistic patterns so that they can identify cyber-bullying before the situation climaxes and stop it from proceeding. I thought that this was a very interesting way of using social media and social media technologies to minimise a very real problem that exists in today’s world.
The second speaker was Dr. Deirdre Hogan, a Senior Research Fellow from DCU. I found Dr. Hogan’s speech particularly interesting as it revolved around a new software she was helping to develop called GAJO. The aim of this software was to enable companies who are strongly involved in social media to identify their real target audience so as time wasn’t wasted on those people who weren’t potential customers. She discussed the disadvantages of native search engines and key word targeting on sites like Twitter and showed how GAJO targets only relevant and potential customers through intent and demographic filters. I thought the idea of GAJO was fascinating as it offers such a genuine and efficient service to companies that wish to identify their target audience on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook.
Next up was Jane McDaid, the director of an independent agency called Thinkhouse. I did some
independent research on Thinkhouse and it is a successful agency in connecting brands to youth communities. They work with many big brands such as Desperados, Timberland and Lynx. They also helped RTE in becoming more connected with the youth of Ireland by developing RTE 2 as a youth- only channel. Jane’s speech was highly interactive and amusing to listen to. The main point of her speech were the ‘7 Sins Of Killer Content’ a.k.a 7 characteristics of great advertising. These seven ‘sins’ included; Comic, Epic, Emotive, WTF, Zeitgeist, NSFW and Informative. For each sin she showed us an ad that epitomised each characteristic. In this way we could relate to things that we have all previously seen on TV and apply it to our newly-learned knowledge of what makes a great advertisement. Below is one of my favourite ads and one that came under the heading of ‘Epic’.
Following Jane we had Lucy Campbell, the Marketing Director of RTE Digital. It was quite interesting to have someone of such high status from the country’s biggest TV channel talking to us. Lucy spoke about RTE’s journey over the years from being a single TV channel to having a website, RTE Player, RTE News Now and the development of GAAGO – a joint initiative with GAA to broadcast GAA matches around the world. What I found quite interesting was RTE’s analysis of their viewership. In recent years, and especially with the development of GAAGO, RTE Digital’s viewership has increased vastly worldwide. 37% of online users are now outside Ireland and GAAGO has viewers in 150 countries worldwide.
Alan Coleman is the founder and CEO of Wolfgang Digital, Ireland’s leading search marketing agency. Wolfgang Digital aim to create brand advocacy through social media and Alan discussed a ‘purchase funnel’ as a kind of system for looking at how consumers react to purchasing. It went something like this. However, as Wolfgang Digital promote brand advocacy they have created their own version of a purchasing funnel. Wolfgang add ‘Loyalty’ and ‘Advocacy’ as two separate stages after ‘Action’. I found this approach to marketing really interesting, especially after he showed us a genuine Case Study that Wolfgang Digital had carried out with Abbey Travel that showed the positive impact their purchasing funnel had on attracting more customers to Abbey Travel.
Perhaps the highest job title that we encountered at this conference was the Sales Director at LinkedIn, Nicolas Cappiello. It was fascinating to have someone of Nicolas’ experience talk to us about generating sales at LinkedIn – a successful social media site for businesses. He talked about LinkedIn’s mission: To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. He also discussed the importance of content on a social media platform such as LinkedIn.
After three and a half hours I think we were all starting to get a little bit tired but our last speaker came out exceptionally bubbly and caught all of our attention with his presentation. Eric Weaver is the Chief Social Officer for Mediabrands Worldwide. He discussed the evident cycle of technology that exists today and how when each piece of technology arrives we gradually become more and more disillusioned and bored with it. His speech was about keeping products, technologies and services fresh. And so, as an example, he showed us the ‘Oreo Daily Twist‘. A remarkable marketing strategy that Oreo performed to celebrate 100 years in business. They wanted to make Oreo more modern and relevant to today’s society, and so, for 100 days they developed an ad each day based on the most topical stories that were circulating. The campaign was so successful that Oreo made 230 million impressions and over 1 million new Facebook fans in just 100 days!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed what was a hugely successful day. Each speaker brought something new to the table and intrigued us with their anecdotes, experience, videos and more.