What got you talking?

First of all, let’s get an idea of what people were talking about.

Just over 5,000 tweets were sent in total over the two days of the Festival, so I sucked them all out into a spreadsheet, but hey, spreadsheets are boring, so here’s a wordcloud instead:


As you can see, content is very much front of the marketing mindset at the moment, with social and mobile hovering, appropriately enough, around the edges.

As we move further out though, things get interesting, as we see more and more mentions of customers, experiences, audiences and engagement.

From my own experience, #FoM14 was very much focused on UX and CX this year, with brands finally seeming to make the connection between happy customers and solid ROI. There’s still a lot of process-driven work to be done internally, but it seems as though we are on our way to a brighter tomorrow.

One of the interesting things for me was the acceptance (albeit grudgingly) of the idea that you might not be able to measure everything.

Data played a similarly large role this year, but it was focussed on optimisation, rather than tracking micro conversions. On a personal note, I’m hopeful this means we might start to realise that value from social media often has very little to do with how many followers you have.

Who were the influencers?

That said, everyone likes a celeb (and we had a few with us), so it’s interesting to see who managed to excite the crowd’s interest. Here are our most influential tweeters.

Tulisa there, bossing it like… erm… a female boss… Incidentally, the most RT’d tweet of the event also came from Ms. Contostavlos:

This might seem like a bit of fluff, but on reflection it’s engaging because it’s personal, something that, again, was mentioned a lot this year.

Of course, influence isn’t all about followers, so let’s take a quick look at who was most engaged over the week. Hmmm, I wonder who that @FestofMarketing guy is? He had a lot to say for himself…

Incidentally, various different systems always give different results on influencers, but from first hand experience (by which I mean “staring at 30 Tweetdeck columns until my eyes went funny”), Alastair Campbell, Professor Green, And DotGov’s Russell Davies all managed to spark flurries of activity throughout the day:


Good to catch up with my boy @professorgreen to talk about brands at #FoM14 – Pro knows his stuff! Great crowd too! I actually learnt a lot!

A photo posted by Melvin Odoom (@melvinodoom) on Nov 11, 2014 at 11:02am PST

It was fantastic to see so much positive feedback on both days, and a clear theme ran throughout all the talks. We need to focus on customers. No amount of spin or glossy ads can make up for a crappy customer experience. 

Finally than, here are the key points which I saw pop up repeatedly. Carve them into your desk with a compass: 

Data matters:

We need to know who is engaging with our businesses, where they are doing it, and importantly; why. Users are more knowledgeable about the value of their own data too, so we need to give them a good reason to share it.

Mobile isn’t coming:

It’s already here. We need to stop thinking about devices and focus on providing a unified experience.

Open cultures matter:

Open businesses will prosper. Those that wallow in bureaucracy or simply pay lip-service to customer-centricity will ultimately struggle to survive.

Content really, really matters:

And we aren’t talking about pictures of pugs. Deep, relevant, timely and data-driven are words we need to take on board when it comes to content. Measurement matters, but we have to stop thinking tactically about ROI. Think long-term, educate your investors about this. Put your money in the right places and cut down on waste.

Simple advice, but how many of us are really following it? Based on the engagement and insight I’ve seen in the past week, it seems like these points are really sinking in…