Round of up of day 1: DMWF London 2017

Day one of DMWF London has come to an end, and the world’s best and brightest digital minds have spilled out of 155 Bishopgate into a blissful sunny evening.

Here are a few highlights from day one.


Global lead of optimization strategy, Hazjier Pourkhalkhali gave a number of concrete examples of how utilising experimenting with different personalisation strategies can work wonders for brands.

One example was related to Barack Obama’s donation drive in his final election campaign. Optimizely found that different calls to action had different effects on different users.

With previously unregistered users, or those that were not committed to the campaign but were exploring the possibility of donating –  ‘donate and gifts’ was the most successful option. The promise of being rewarded for donating had a large pull on the uncommitted.

For registered users this did not work as well –  in fact there was 24.6% drop in donations. These users were already ‘bought in’ to the campaign and had most likely contributed before.  The call to action ‘contribute’ was best performing for this group.

Older demographics and Facebook

In the ‘Dynamic Social Engagement’ panel, senior social media manager at Nuffield Health Frankie Murray gave good insight in how to engage an older audience on social media.

Perhaps surprisingly, Murray said that Facebook was a very good engagement tool for the health brand, that typically targets consumers 45 and over.

The most successful type of content were live Q&As around particular health topics. Questions were anonymous in order to protect the identities of users, but Nuffield found that the answers tended to shared widely among friendship groups.

LinkedIn was also a good way to target older office workers. By providing posts about stress reduction and health tips, Nuffield was able to engage their core audience at work on  a professional platform.


How does a global brand create a coherent and effective, multichannel social media presence? Eduardo Beltrao, head of social media for global marketing at banking giant HSBC gave an illuminating example of how complex this task can be.

When Eduardo joined HSBC in 2011 social media was primarily used for crisis management purposes. Over the course of his tenure, he has shifted the focus towards customer service.

The task was huge. How do you create a shared strategy that also operates at the local level in diverse cultural settings?

In Eduardo’s mind it is  central, solid set of brand principles that creates the balance between central control and brand coherence across channels and the freedom and diversity that local channels need.


Raj Balasundaram, VP solutions at Emarsys gave an intersting talk on how AI and machine learning can create true personalisation of service.

Starting with important caveat that ‘if something doesn’t work for you, do not invest in it”, Raj spoke about how AI can solve the main problem of big data: having too much data.

Machine learning is all about pattern recognition while AI is about problem solving. By using the former as a foundation for deeply targeted segmentation, the latter can then begin to actively execute increasingly targeted campaigns.

Raj put forward a powerful vision of AI based marketing automation that can increase engagement and retention that is going to revolutionise the customer experience.


The parameters for success are changing when it comes to social media engagement. Whereas before the main measure of success was how long it took a brand to respond, today brands are looking to create long-term productive engagements from advocates.

Charlotte Kubler from Lithium and Michael De Silva spoke about how Parrot changed its model from a narrow time-to-respond model to a much broader conception of what it means to use social media effectively.


While the hype around the supposed VR revolution has so far failed to translate to widespread consumer adoption, any brand looking for a guide to how to utilize VR correctly should look at the Doritos ‘VR battle’ campaign.

The successful campaign merged VR gaming, social influencers, free cardboard giveaways and a free app to create a targeted campaign in the Netherlands.

Silvia Pereira Demetrio, digital activation manager at PepsiCo walked us through the campaign phases in such an enthusiastic way that everyone walked out thinking about the possibilities of VR advertising.

A sizzling day of insight

A day of high temperatures and dazzling insights into how some of the world’s largest brands are utilizing technology to push the envelope.

Now it’s time to go home, rest up and prepare to do it all again tomorrow.

Written by: Colm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *