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Our Key Takeaways From Marketing Show North 2020

March 26, 2020
written by Jaye Bonser
Social Media Exec

From winning an award, our incredible stand, and some insightful talks, here are our highlights from the Digital City Festival 2020 – as it launches for the very first time.

The Digital City Festival brings together three separate shows which were previously held individually up until this year:

  • Marketing Show North
  • Tech Show North
  • eCommerce Show North

However, they’ve since flipped the switch and moved all three events to Manchester Central to form one huge festival spanning from the 9th-13th of March.

The Festival celebrates digital expertise, provides the opportunity for organisations to connect, and encourages innovation and growth across the industry. With companies such as Boohoo, The Co-operative Bank and Dept in the mix, we knew we were in for a very exciting couple of days.

The impact of COVID-19

In light of COVID-19, you’d be right to assume people were worried about their health and safety with lots of people using hand sanitiser and politely refusing handshakes. A shoutout to Zerto for providing hand sanitiser as part of their merch: a very clever and popular product over the two days.

However, even with the challenging situation, over 4,300 delegates still attended the festival to learn, network, and promote their services. The festival also saw over 100 exhibitors and over 100 talks, including ‘Evolution not revolution for your marketing ROI’ from Force 24.

Adzooma attended two of the five busy days, taking part in the Marketing Show North section of the festival and entering the first-ever Digital City Awards.

A keynote session to remember

As keynote sponsors, Adzooma spoke on the Keynote stage on Thursday 12th of March, and were fortunate to recruit AgencyNXD Founder and funnyman, Richard Gregory, as our host.

There was a very last minute change in schedule after our Microsoft speaker had to withdraw due to growing concerns. So after an introductory speech to around 250 attendees, Richard passed the mic over to Sal Mohammed, Head of Partnerships at Adzooma.

Richard Gregory

Sal’s talk, titled ‘How we can use digital to work smarter, not harder’, focused on the idea that a lot of businesses seem to follow: if they put in more work, despite how well-thought-out it is, they will be rewarded with increased performance.

However, technology is debunking this myth, as the internet has changed the way we do our daily routines. This is simply elevating those who work smart by leveraging digital tools and information to take the spoils.

Sal continued, explaining, we should:

  • Be an information magnet
  • Use automation to support our team, not replace them
  • Become the master of saying no
  • Leave our ego at the door
  • Work to our physiology

All very essential points we need to invest time and effort in if we’re to exceed at working smarter, not harder.

Be an information magnet or sponge

Sal explained that to become a magnet you should be “setting up processes where the relevant information you need comes readily to you. Or at the very least, making your trip to the information a short one.”

His two main tips were to leverage the platforms that have already done the hard work for you, which could be Brand24 or Google Trends.

The second tip was to invest in data management platforms to make stats available to the whole company.

Leave your ego at the door

“The bigger a man’s head gets, the easier it is to fill his shoes”

Henry A. Courtney

Sal broke this down into 4 watchouts:

  • Don’t do everything
  • Maximise strengths, not weaknesses
  • Improve your weaknesses
  • Stop being busy
Sal Mohammed

After Sal’s intriguing talk, it was time for Richard – although ‘Superman’ is probably more fitting – to head back to the main stage. Despite the last minute change with Microsoft and very little time to prepare, nothing was going to stop his talk from being a success, nothing was going to stop Richard making it possible.

Richard formed a software and automation panel to question three industry experts.

The panel consisted of Bidnamic CEO Liam Patterson, Dave Smithbury, Head of Marketing at Ruler Analytics, and Robert Wass, Director and co-founder at Adzooma.

The Q&A gave participants the opportunity to talk about the industry as it stands and what businesses may face in the future, as well as the ways in which their platforms enhance technology today.

Director of Adzooma, Robert Wass, said: “It was great to sit alongside both Liam and Dave as part of the panel on the day. It came as a massive surprise with only a few hours to prepare, so we highly appreciate and are very grateful for them joining us at such short notice. They were able to provide the audience with some brilliant insights into the world of automation and how it can help their businesses.”

(We wouldn’t blame you if you were experiencing some slight regret in missing this talk, but you can check out the individual platforms, including Adzooma, for more information.)

Richard Gregory

Back at the Adzooma stand

Firstly, we’d like to say a big thank you to Unique Exhibitions and Create AV for creating our wonderful stand – it was at the heart of the Expo and, paired with our talented team performing yoyo-tricks, was definitely a hard one to miss.

With free yo-yo’s and a fantastic stand came hundreds of interesting conversations for the team at hand. Free demos were also available for each person, where the team explained:

After an action-packed two days and a whole lot of success, the Adzooma team gave some feedback on what they thought about the event.

“The expo was a great turn out considering the difficulties at the time. I found a lot of people were already aware of us via ads and emails that they had seen, it’s quite different showing customers a demo of the platform in person as you can see how amazed they are by it which you don’t always get over the phone.”

Platform Specialist at Adzooma, Kyle Halford

“The expo was a great environment to showcase Adzooma and learn about new technologies and business ideas. I was very pleasantly surprised by the turnout and the exhibitors and people who attended showed great interest in our product.”

Customer Support Executive, Jasvir Kainth

“I was surprised at how many people were already aware of Adzooma through our social media and online presence, and it was great to be able to give them a 1-2-1 demo of the platform itself.”

PPC Manager, Sophie Logan

Gold, solid gold

With all the excitement of the Expo itself, you wouldn’t believe it could get any better. But it did.

As the conference drew to a close on Thursday evening, it was time for the very first Digital City Awards held at the Albert Hall.

Adzooma was nominated for 2 separate categories: Best Martech Platform of the Year and Best Adtech Platform of the Year, and walked away with Best Adtech Platform of the Year!

This was a great achievement for all of us at Adzooma, and as a team, we’d like to congratulate all of the winners and nominees for all of the different categories.

Our Social Media Executive and event planner for the show, Jaye Bonser, said: “After a remarkable 2 days and months of planning, the Digital City Festival has been everything I imagined and more. I’ve had a truly fantastic time with the team and I’m sure they all have too! ”

Other winners included Autocab for Mobile Innovation of the Year and Mosquito for Digital SME of the Year.

Adzooma - winners at the Digital City Awards

Missed out on your Adzooma yo-yo? Don’t panic just yet

If you missed us at Marketing Show North, don’t panic. Adzooma attends events throughout the year and we’ll be heading to the London ExCeL in November for the rescheduled B2B Marketing Expo.

We’ll be back with our free branded yo-yo’s, one-to-one demos, and even more surprises.

If you can’t wait that long and want to discuss how we can help grow your business, get in touch with one of our experts today. Or, with the Adzooma platform being free for all users until at least the beginning of June, try it for free here.

In the meantime, we’d like to wish everyone well during these unprecedented times and hope to see you very soon.

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Jaye Bonser

I'm a Social Media Executive at Adzooma, With a strong passion for social I'm constantly learning and adapting to Online Marketing. I'm a football girl and play for a Sunday league team, but if I'm not working or kicking a ball you'll find me solo travelling to as many destinations as possible.
Adzooma Marketplace

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