SAScon is a two day Social Media, Search and Analytics conference, this year held in The Contact Theatre on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st July 2017. Now in its 7th year, it has become a must in any Digital Marketer's diary. We are here to keep you updated on what is happening and you can do this by following this live blog that we will be updating constantly throughout the day. 

Day one at SAScon, a brilliant start to proceedings! Read on to learn about a guide to social media, Google’s SEO Fred Update, SEO overview, PPC, Paid Media, Social Media, Display, Analytics, Tag marketing, influencer marketing, CRO, native advertising, virtual reality media and much much more. Read our live blogging from sessions here! 


All set up and ready to go! 


John Burkhart  - Founder, TBC Global

Welcomes us and kicks off the SAScon 2017 conference, he will be discussing 'Getting Customers to Incessantly Crave Your Attention'  


John Burkhart is here to wake us up! Audience involvement could be possible he states. Everyone is now listening!


His first job was to tweet.


Oreo Super Bowl blackout tweet,


What makes people curious? Try something out.



Attentions spans, this is what happens in an internet minute. 900,000 facebook logins every single minute.



‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ Stop brand spamming. The only hope we have is our creativity, Bill Bernbach ‘ it may well be that creativity is the last unfair advantage that was legally allowed to take over our competitors.


The US soccer team, culture. USA beats England 1-1. Beating England at our own game is a beautiful thing.



Need for cognition test


Audience answers the questions in the photo. We are intellectually curious according to our answers. John states that complacency at work blocks curiosity.


Curiosity can cause trouble, it rumbles with the normalities of work proceedings.



John constant curiosity journey in 4 gifs.





1 - We don't like each other, silo gif


2 - go out there and get information like a snotty kid


3- enjoy the work you do


What is this pecker trying to do? Doing the same thing but where is it going.



In 90 seconds, learn how well you speak the most world's most popular language?


Get out phones, emojis. Frequently used emojis. This most used emojis can characterise what you are like.

The emoji test. What does this emoji mean? 


Second - sleeping emoji.


The third photo - I don't know/care



Advice you give to your younger self about being more curious in life and work?


John mentors young people and tries to get them into better jobs. He feels that when he was younger his curiosity would not be rewarded.


We now need to write some advice that would help our 18-year-old self.



An audience member speaks ‘he said don't go to that old fashioned university and learn about business instead. Secondly, be more interested in those computers, they will help you when you're older.’





Fear of missing out and joy of missing out


To be constantly curious you need to have a good mix of these things. When you always are attached to social media, it increases 'fomo'. Jon states we need more 'jomo' to balance it out.



The High five started with the Dodgers in 1977 - dusty brown just put his hand up when overcome with emotion.


A-Z of constant curiosity, weekly blog post.


Data, the discover weekly playlist by Spotify on Monday mornings.



A few things we should do to be more curious?


Which song would you play if you had to play one now?



Competitive game to get more curious. Play dodgeball at lunch to get to know us!



Final tips to promote curiosity, office culture - fun needs to be put first. Plan slow to create quickly. Find tech to be quick - Okie Dokie.


People are self-obsessed, appeal to it. Mix all things like a DJ.

Dive deep into a niche.


Reading list -  


Charlie Whitworth, SEO Director from Banc discussed Googles Fred update. 


Remember the old ‘ create a site that is an authority in its niche’ adage? The creation of poor content needs to be removed. The saturation of poor content is vast. Google is trying to deal with the rubbish out there.

This was an attack on saturated, sub - standard content


Link spam targeted in the update. Sites that have a poor link profile will suffer.

Doesn't need to be written in pulitzer prize winning standard. Need to think about engagement and compelling standard. This could result in less quantity to improve quality.


Who has benefitted?

Those who hold their nerve. Removed the rubbish, freed up SERP real estate, Panda turned up to 11.


Many sites have seen fluctuations as fred rolled out.

This is SEO visibility - 






Search quality updates focus on offsite and onsite factors together. - phantom and fred.


All updates focus on quality and user experience - quality , relevance and UX



Synergy between SEO UX/CRO - engagement always been important but is now vital. Work together to remove UX barriers.


Mobile and tablet optimisation is crucial.  

Google does give answers, ‘Google Webmaster guidelines’


Snapshot of most significant ranking factors in Fred update

  1. Paywalls - first ever mention in rate guidelines. Separate to AD-blockers, no negative impact implied.  


  1. YMYL - your money your life, main websites that google target, shopping, finicaicil , medical, news, legal


  1. Wealth - changed to financial stability for SEO.


  1. Tabs are hot again - mobile first needs tabs.


  1. Ads - moved to the top of guidelines, ads can contribute to a good user experience. As long as they're not too intrusive - need to be quality and relevant.


  1. EAT - expertise, authority, trustworthiness - this depicts quality.


  1. Page quality rating - main content quality, website information, website reputation, who is responsible for the website information - is it easily accessible?


Final thoughts - 

Websites are rated based on type - hobby, blogs websites need to conform to new quality needs.


Supplementary content removed - specific content is the big new thing. Content MUST be engaging.


Deceptive pages - quick money making websites with ads, downloads - deceptive will struggle with FRED.



 Pete Campbell - Managing Director, Kaizen 





Websites will become extinct over the next few years. However, internet is growing at a huge rate. Internet consumption is changing - mobile internet is being used more than desktop.

E.g, From Buzzfeeds total sessions, only 23% come from their websites



Mobile apps provide a better UX experince, they are designed for a partiuclar use.

This is now causing organic clicks for websites to become reduced.




 Areas to focus on in mobile first SEO.




Voice search


Expectation is often let down, i.e Apple's SIRI. sometimes hard to quickly get the task you want siri to do quickly and easily.


What we need is for the voice search to do tasks much quicker than what it would take to do it manually.


Artificial intelligence - narrow AI basic, can it do it yes or no

                                   Deep AI continuous machine learning


App indexting and deep linking




One URL to rule them all, mobile, desktop and app.


Make sure application is registered to be searched in google search.




Site speed


Important within google. Average retail site loads within 10 seconds compared to customer expectation of 2 seconds or less. FASTER SITES LEAD TO HIGHER CONVERSION rates.


How fast are the top 700 eCommerce sites in the UK?




Mobile sites are loading slower than desktop websites and this is a problem.

Site Speed can be automated through google's pagespeed module. There are lots of new developments in site speed technologies, HTTP/2, AMP project, Instant apps.


HTTP - a piece of information from websites request from server at one step at a time.

HTTP/2 requests all information at once. Results in much much faster load times.




Renée Mellow - Head of Emerging Digital Activation  


The 5th screen - the connected car



The 1st mass market driverless vehicles are expected in 5-8 years


Only 1/3 of the cars available on the market are connected. Furthermore, only 1/3  of these users who have it actually use it!


Often the user experience in cars is really poor with annoying wheels to twist to navigate through menus.


Great minds think alike, alexa is now working with ford to create a better user experience.


Jaguar land rover and shell are leading auto retail, pay for fuel inside the car through paypal




The 6th surface - voice assistant


Voice feels so much easier than text.


2017 will be the year for voice searching tools. Millions of google home and alexa devices are expected to be sold this year.


The key aspect of the voice recognition needs to be functionality.


Google Home actions will soon be recommended based on SEO



Brands are starting to test Alexa skills? So will we.




Flow, consider the connections.


Augmented reality is increasing day by day. Filters, facebook augmented reality, camera filters. Spotify has the best flow, very consistent data, easy to change devices.


Prioritise these


The rate of change is incredibly fast, we need to keep up with consumer wants. If the rate of change on the outside is the same on the inside, then the end is near.


  1. Learn location data, mobile and in-home, these surfaces provide.
  2. Need to have clear strategies that target clients - if people have cars with connected functions then use them! Target ads there, but engaging useful.



Tim Stewart - TRS Digital 


How to get better conversions


Turn user conversion into value


Looking at two methods of analytics

  • Google Analytics
  • Google Tag Manager


Complementary tools:

  • Supermetrics
  • Google sheets
  • Analytics edge
  • Next Analytics


For large datasets there are more complex tools: 

  • R Studio
  • Tableau
  • Power BI
  • SQL Server


Power Bi

Heatmap Geo lookup for CRM for customer addresses. Possible to pin down on particular locations. 

Averages alone can mask opportunities and risks. It's more beneficial to use complete distribution. 


Measurement user session tools

  • Clicktale
  • Hotjar
  • Mouseflow

These map customer journeys. I.e two customers looking at cars one a Bentley and one an Audi, very different markets


Sometimes it's important to ask customers about user experiences 

  • Ask people why they aren’t finishing the transactions
  • Ask for customer feedback and let them tell you why


Metrics and Measurements

Success Events - we typically track these.

This level of details allows us to

  • Customer segment
  • Remarketing
  • Event Goals
  • Filters and Offline Analysis (Dealer ID & stockID)

(need to be a bit careful of high cardinality an unfiltered or unsegmented data)


Fail Events

Why track these?

I.e. appointment booking…. No slots available. That is a business need not a technical or marketing issue

Don’t just track Success also send fail!

If it failed, what type of fail and where did it fail? 



  • Buy to click ratios

This can show us different buying habits on different days.

  • Custom Dimensions

You can practically track almost any dimension you might want to track


  • calculated metrics

Original price - discount price applied = value lost



Mark Thomas - VP of Customer Success, Botify 



Marginal gains

Conveying the value of technical SEO.

Mark is slightly worried for British companies SEO policies. American companies seem to be more ‘switched on’

Mike keen ‘We live in the age of the SEO ENGINEER'


Websites remain a crucial part of all marketing activity.


Are there ‘silver bullets’ in marginal gains?

  • Content pruning


What can you do to improve seo performance?

Establish relevance with seniors in a way that makes them care more about the challenges and about the job you do

  • Start small
  • Tell a story
  • Reference google execs
  • Display serp step


Connected intelligence, continuous optimisation. 

Marginal gains occurs all the time in sport. F1 and Cycling have huge marginal gain factors in order to try and shave off mili seconds of time. Also occurs in Tennis with choosing the correct ball to serve with.


Content accessibility:

  • Content pruding
  • Parameter % facet control
  • Investigating the causes of broken links
  • Site speeds
  • Redirect processes
  • Mobile optimisation

Content quality

  • Duplicate content
  • Pagerank
  • Page title optimisation
  • Anchor variation
  • Social performance analysis



Dane Stanley - Global Marketing Director - Missguided





Dane is going to talk through a campaign from end of 2016 to present and how Missguided tied together digital with offline and performance marketing (one of their first of this type)



Shows Missguided Video introducing who they are



Fast fashion , it is difficult to plan ahead. November 2016 - challenge planning for cyber is a pain in the backside. They Launched their first bricks and mortar store, two days before black friday, christmas party dress season. Needed to give them a reason to come to us.


So how did we approach it?

They used an 88 year old grandma from Texas - Baddie - face of their campaign. Born out of an alter ego, social media personalitly. She covered exactly what Missguided wanted to get across. Their campaign was multi-faceted both on and offline.

Key campaign was to get their customers to be advocates. If you can get your customers behind what you are doing then you are going to leverage that, Dane states. 



Key Platforms

  • Snapchat- level of engagement was astonishing
  • Twitter- not really a platform they use for brand engagement but they put in place a personalised process where customers engaged with a generic video got a personalised message. Fantastic engagement.




Questions for Dane: 

Discussing their Baddie campaign?

Knew we needed something that would make us stand out from the mold and to our customers.

How did they know the customers would love it?

Very fortunate that our workers were are customers and their reactions suggested we were on the right path.
Did you work with others? 

We worked with key partners, Echo Mania. We worked with a strategic agency who helped formulate the structure. Key partners, Snapchat they worked with us really well through MediaCom. 

What are your thoughts on twitter? 

It has kept the door open. Fantastic reach, but you have to do something different to stand out. Think about what the end to end is not just passive information.

What are your thoughts on Instagram and Facebook? 

Engaged well. Did face hurdles such as personalised videos.

What would you do differently with the campaign?

Think we had scale to go further, predominantly UK based but defintely has international scope. Further layer of amplification, the planning didnt let us get the level of above the line amplification.

Who’s next?

Watch this space!






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