3XE Digital Marketing Conference

I recently attended the 3XE Conversion Marketing Conference in Dublin to keep up-to-date with recent developments in the industry and to deliver my workshop exploring how Facebook is updating its News Feed. Here are the key highlights from some of the biggest speakers at the conference.


Speaker: Shalini Sukumar, Product Owner Data Science at Booking.com

Topic: Personalisation and Experimentation at Booking.com

Shalini discussed how personalisation delivers a more tailored user experience by presenting content that the user wants to see based on their previous behaviour. This can increase customer satisfaction, repeat visits and conversion. For example, Amazon’s home page is personalised and shows different recommendations to users based on their previous searches.

Recommendation engines, such as Amazon, are used to present audiences with information which will improve their online experience.

These recommendation engines use complex algorithms to combine user behaviour data, contextual data and product data to show the right content, at the right time, to the right person, on the right device.

For example, have you ever been out with friends looking for a great hotel close-by? When you enter a search, the recommendation engine will use multiple pieces of data to give you the results you need, such as a list of trendy, but low priced hotels, within walking distance of your location.

Websites use filters to get more information about users to help guide the recommendation engine. For Booking.com these include:

  • Location
  • Travelling alone or with children
  • Price range
  • Star rating, etc.


Speaker: Amy McManus, Managing Director at AM Marketing

Topic: Ad Blockers and What You Need to Know

It is estimated that by 2020, ad blockers will cost the advertising industry $20 billion. Increasingly, audiences are using ad blockers across multiple devices which is concerning many advertisers.

Media companies, platforms and advertisers must ensure that their user experience is smooth, rather than being interrupted by advertisements. Advertisements must also be targeted, relevant and timely for audiences.

Aware of ad blockers, many organisations are now using social media marketing and compelling content to build and nurture communities online using Facebook Live videos, for example. The benefit of this approach is that it can create a connection between organisations and audiences that persists long after an online advertising campaign has ended.


Speaker: Mel Henson, Head of Creative at AWA digital

Topic: How Compelling Copy Gets Higher Conversions

While websites contain high resolution images and videos, the power of the written word cannot be underestimated.

In her presentation, Mel demonstrated the power that small changes to words and phrases can have on your websites, brochures and even for your sales team talking on the phone. These slight adjustments can make copy more appealing to customers and increase conversion rates.

The steps involved in conversion rate optimisation (CRO) are:

  1. Identify tools to set-up the CRO project
  2. Perform research and analysis
  3. Identify the CRO steps to perform first
  4. Create the optimisation plan
  5. Do creative work and testing

Using a simple example of writing about cleaning products, Mel explained the benefits of using an active tone of voice in copy rather than a passive voice to grab the reader’s attention. For example:

  • Say “End the chore of” instead of “This spray cleans”
  • Say “Remove stains with ease” instead of “The stain remover is easy to use”

Speaking in the present tense can also work wonders for your messaging. For example, saying “Dogs love the meaty taste” instead of “Dogs will love the meaty taste” tells the reader that this is something dogs already do and your dog should be doing it too.

Adopt the sales tactics used by sales professionals when writing your copy. As Mel suggests, use the phrase “When you buy” instead of “If you buy”. Mel also suggests using the old sales tip of turning features into benefits with language such as “Easy self-assembly” instead of “Some self-assembly required”.

Speaker: Alan and Roisin from Wolfgang Digital

Topic: How To Spend Your AdSpondoolas in 2018

In their joint presentation, Alan and Roisin discussed the key innovations among the online advertising giants of Google and Facebook.

They opened by saying that with its global reach and powerful targeting, Facebook is eating up the market share of traditional advertising. The online advertising landscape is now a duopoly dominated by both Facebook and Google who account for the majority of online ad spend. But how did this happen?

Separately, Google and Facebook have spent the past number of years investing heavily in improvements to their platform. Some of these improvements are listed below.


  • Ad account structure
  • Online shopping
  • Shoppable video
  • Research Offline Purchase Online (ROPO) reporting


  • Email targeting
  • Lookalike audiences
  • Research Offline Purchase Online (ROPO) reporting


Speaker: Bastian Grimm, Director Organic Search at Peak Ace AG

Topic: Getting Control Over Search Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is changing faster than ever with more and more updates from search engines. Bastian stated that in this fast paced world, SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and User Experience (UX) need to join forces.

Modern search engines such as Google provide more than just an index of results. Using the knowledge graph and search extensions, they can provide the right information, in the right format. For example:

  • Users can be presented with maps to show store locations
  • Smart phone users are presented with a call button to call their nearest store

Audience search behaviour is also evolving fast as audiences use more and more mobile devices such as smartphones, wearables and voice assistants to find information.

Voice search now accounts for 20% of these mobile queries and there are over 10 million active Amazon Echo devices in Q1/2017 (USA).

But the list does not end there. As the internet of things gains ground, audiences are using more digital assistants such as cars, smart thermostats and smart fridges. This is resulting in users having more interactions with interfaces that are not keyboards, resulting in more meta data being captured about users.


Keep yourself ahead of the crowd

Whether you love to create a killer blog or share your views using Facebook Live, Digital Marketing can be creative and fun. It’s a fast paced environment and it’s always good to keep your knowledge up-to-date so that you’re aware of new developments.

To find out how we can help keep your Digital Marketing skills razor sharp, check out our courses. And don’t forget to check out our blog post What The Facebook News Feed Change Means To Digital Marketing.

Find out more about the 3XE Conversion Marketing Conference.

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Written by: Robert Farrell

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