Leading figures from Marketing Show North collaborate on latest FREE eBook

As Marketing Show North 2019 comes to a close, we’ve put together a new ebook with some key knowledge from some of those involved.

Last week’s Marketing Show North attracted over 3,700 attendees, a new record, and was a hive of high-quality industry discussion and networking.

For both those who attended and those who couldn’t make it, this eBook contains in-depth insight from marketing leaders who were at the expo.

The theatres were packed full across the two-day expo

Inside, you can find original articles from some of Marketing Show North’s exhibitors. These pieces cover a range of topics that will help you gain a deeper understanding of how to get ahead in PR, Instagram, Data Management and more. Download the MSN 2019 eBook here

Here’s what’s included:


  • Jack Peat, Head of Content, 72Point


  • Pauline Mura, EMEA Marketing Events Manager, AdRoll


  • Andrew Wiseman, Director, Honeycomb Analytics


  • Diane Douglas, Marketing Manager, Hopewiser


  • Simon Couchman, Creative Director, ICG


  • Paul Cope, Managing Director, IPM


  • Andrew Dempsey, Co Founder, Needl Analytics


  • Jane Young, Managing Director, Oxford College of Marketing


  • Zoe Cuthbertson, Head of Marketing, Wired Plus

Our next show at Event City is a special double-header: the eCommerce Show North and Tech Show North, which will take place over May 8th and 9th. You can register for that event here.

The Marketing Show North will return in 2020 – watch out for a special announcement soon!

PODCAST: #DareToGrow Stories – Claudio Lugli & AdRoll

AdRoll will be exhibiting at Marketing Show North this year.

Welcome to the first of our #DareToGrow podcasts. At AdRoll, we help ambitious brands to grow, and this series will shine a light on some of our most ambitious customers. We’ll hear their story, the decisions they’ve made, the lessons they’ve learned, and their ambitions for the future and doing that will hopefully, provide you with some perspective and inspiration that you can apply to your own business.

Our first guest in the series is Nav Salimian, marketing director for Claudio Lugli, a designer and manufacturer of high-quality, vibrant shirts. They operate in a hyper-competitive sector where changing style is a given and the pressure on costs is a constant. So how have they managed to not only survive but thrive? Listen to find out.

Engage, influence & convert your customers with interactive digital content + examples

Tone will be exhibiting at Marketing Show North this year.

Your content is boring, and not engaging…

At least, your customers and clients think so. Quite a bold assumption I know. Simply writing blog posts and creating run of the mill landing pages isn’t enough to make your message stand out from the crowd and engage your customer. Newsfeeds are full of noise, email is just noise, paid ads – more noise. The days of simply blogging are over, your competitors have reached the next level in content creation in order to cut through and grab attention, so should you.

Why will interactive content help you engage, influence & convert your customers?

In the past two years, the number of interactive posts has increased by 33 percent according to buzzsumo.com. Interactive content gives you a higher engagement rate, with more brand loyalty, the ability to capture more relevant data, an increase in your search presence, more backlinks, more likes, more leads and ultimately a better brand experience. All great stuff right?

Interactive digital content can be anything from quizzes and surveys, games, video, motion graphics, assessments, infographics, calculators and tools, interactive emails – literally anything you can interact with.

Leading examples of Interactive Digital Content

Grosvenorcasinos – Mayweather Vs McGregor fight 

Capitalising on key events is a great way to utilise Interactive Content. Here, Grosvenor Sport created this fight predictor to “Predict when the fight will end and see how fast their millions will be made”. Created by Tone, this simple and low-cost way to take your campaign to the next level helped Grosvenor turn real-time, sensitive & engagement driving content into paying customers, sign-ups and ROI.

Co-op, Nostalgia FM

nostalgia fm start and results page screenshots

Tone’s very own interactive quiz created for Co-op’s insurance arm. This is a musical flashback to when you passed your driving test –  a creative and engaging way to make content more relevant and personalised to the end user, and it is my favourite so far. Try it out here!


interactive digital content example

Marketers know how important it is to deliver valuable content to its customers. But, many companies mistake company-centric for customer-centric content. I mean, we all want to tell everyone how awesome our product or service is, right? But, are you overdoing it? The team at Influitive created the “How Vain is Your Marketing” interactive infographic to help marketers gauge how their content scored on a scale of “all about the customer” to “all about me”.


club med example

Tone’s very own interactive landing page created for ClubMed – see how much noise is created by aircraft where you live.

Noise pollution is produced by any aircraft or its components during various phases of a flight. See how much noise is generated by aircraft where you live or are house-hunting.

HubSpot’s Website Grader

hubspot interactive content marketing example

We couldn’t miss out HubSpot! Every marketer’s friend and easily a company creating some of the most cutting-edge interactive digital content marketing examples. This quiz grades visitors websites across a variety of categories and offers tips for improving your online strategy. Try it out for yourself!

The New York Times’ Interactive Article “You Draw It”

new york times interactive content example

Ok, so this one is clearly very political but it ‘s a great example of interacting in a more three dimensional way – more than just swiping left or right and clicking, customers crave highly developed ways of interacting with their marketing content. In the New York Times “You Draw It” article, and many of their other interactive marketing examples, they adopt an approach that invites the user to directly interact by adding data or entering text.

Adobe’s “Achieving Deliciousness” Educational Article

Adobe’s “Achieving Deliciousness” Educational Article

Adapting to today’s digitally overloaded world can be difficult. In this interactive marketing example, Adobe breaks down how to respond to content fatigue with a dynamic and intuitive design.

Aon’s Cyber Risk Calculator 

Use our Cyber Risk Calculator to determine your level of exposure and find out what simple steps any small business can take to reduce your risk. Created by Tone to support Aon’s Insurance group. As a Data Controller,  you can be fined up to 4% of your annual turnover for breaches of the General Data Protection Regulations, this clever calculator helps you determine your companies risk in a very simple and effective three-stage process, which educates & generates leads.

Forest Fuels – Get the best out of your commercial biomass boiler  

Forest Fuels Example

Interactive digital content can be used for the most challenging messages to explain to customers what problem you are actually solving, even if they don’t know they have this problem. Tone created this interactive piece to help Forest Fuels explain their unique proposition whilst keeping the audience engaged. “Eliminate the cost and effort of looking after your boiler.”


Ultimately, there is more content than ever out there, with expressions like “content is king” still at the forefront of marketers’ minds, we have a big challenge on our hands – how do we cut through the noise?

Interactive digital content grabs attention, keeps it, then turns it into something meaningful to enhance existing campaigns. This attention, in the form of visits, likes, leads, links or awareness is what puts brands in front of audiences. Can you afford not to do it?

4 steps to completely owning your marketing attribution

AdRoll will be exhibiting at Marketing Show North this year.

In the past, most businesses used a last-click attribution model to measure their campaigns. Last-click attribution gives credit only to the last marketing channel a visitor touches before converting.

For example, let’s imagine that someone Googles a question. From the search, they click on a blog post, then download an eBook, and finally purchase a product or service. In a last-click attribution model, the eBook would get all the credit.

Luckily, businesses are moving away from this model because last-click attribution doesn’t tell the full story about a customer’s relationship with their advertising. They are learning to take into account the influence of third-party referral sources, retargeting partners, and other marketing efforts on customers’ actions. 

Attribution allows you to assign credit to the different marketing touchpoints that influence your customers to complete a conversion action. Once you know how you’re influencing your customers, you can create more impactful ads and better manage your marketing budget. Whether you are already using attribution or are just getting started, the following steps will help you measure your campaigns more effectively:

1. Determine the attribution model that works best for your business

There are many ways to assess attribution. Before choosing the model that works best for you, it’s important to consider your marketing goals and competitive environment. Here’s a look at some of the most common attribution models:

First-click attribution: First-click attribution gives all credit to the first marketing channel a user encounters on the path to conversion—such as a search engine like Google.

Last-click attribution: Last-click attribution gives all credit to the last marketing channel the user touches before converting.

Linear attribution: Linear attribution distributes credit equally to each marketing touchpoint the user encounters.

Position-based attribution: Position-based attribution gives 40% of the credit to the first touchpoint, 40% to the last, and 20% to the remaining touchpoints.

Algorithmic attribution: Algorithmic attribution uses data and statistical modeling to assign credit to effective touchpoints.

2. Use analytics to enhance your attribution

The best way to improve the effectiveness of your marketing attribution is to pair it with data-backed analytics. Data helps you strengthen your campaigns by showing you the performance metrics of the ads that convince your users to convert. Using both data and analytics enables you to manage how your user comes into contact with your brand—ensuring you reach customers in the right place and at the right time.

This Think with Google piece goes into more detail on how to use attribution and analytics to better understand your customers’ experience across all engagement points.

3. Find your baseline

Many brands are already using analytics to assess their marketing efforts and find out which ones are actually working. If you are not using attribution, or if you are looking to improve on your current method, ask yourself the following questions to find your baseline before proceeding:

Am I taking into account all of my marketing touchpoints, or just the first or last one?

Will attribution help my marketing department spend their dollars on the campaigns that drive results most effectively?

Does my team have the expertise needed to use the attribution model that best suits our business, or should we consider looking into a third-party vendor?

Am I duplicating my efforts by getting attribution insights from multiple different solutions?

4. Rely on cookies to feed your attribution efforts

When someone visits your website, a tracking cookie—or pixel—is placed on their browser. This allows you to track where that user goes online once they leave your site, including social media and mobile, and helps you serve ads as the user moves through the consideration cycle. Once a customer converts, you can use your cookie data to see the path they took to go from visitor to buyer.

Next steps

If you’d like to see where more than 900 other brands and agencies stand on attribution, be sure to check out our State of Marketing Attribution report. The strategies and findings of the marketers we surveyed can inspire you and help your business to succeed with attribution.

Fashion and retail trends that should be on your marketing radar

ICG will be exhibiting at the Marketing Show North this year.

With over 10 years’ experience in the fashion and retail sectors, ICG’s Amy Young talks through a few key trends that should be on your marketing radar in 2019.


Let’s start with ‘wellness’, a word you’re going to hear a lot this year. You might have seen or heard it muttered just a few times throughout January, a month traditionally associated with fresh starts and new beginnings, but it didn’t stop on the 31st.

This year we’ll notice a shift towards well-being and wellness culture which is not just a fleeting trend. As we start to value our own sense of self much more and provoke change in lifestyles, well-being is now seen as a health status, something that boasts a sense of pride and belonging.

Vogue noted that #SelfCare clocked up an impressive 10 million posts on Instagram in 2018. This, along with the rise of ‘athleisure’ – people wearing their gym kit to do the weekly shop – and lifestyle choices such as veganism and developments in the way we stay active, have catapulted wellness to the top of people’s personal goals lists.


We’re all past the days of being ‘sold to’, to be preached about this and that – we want to see a level of authenticity from the brands we choose to spend our hard earned cash with.

So in comes the old phrase ‘honesty is the best policy’. Don’t get me wrong, you still need to have a level of aspiration, but think about that honest undertone. Consumers are getting fed up with attention seeking gimmicks and copy being used for clickbait; they’re expressing a need for realism with truthful and engaging content.

Tone of Voice

Not far from the authenticity trend, lies tone of voice. Dig deep and ask yourself what your brand stands for and how you’re communicating this to your audience. It’s easy to get caught up in the latest fads but it’s worth staying true to company values and beliefs rather than trying to be something you aren’t.

There’s a great quote I saw on Twitter recently that said, ‘Millenials don’t have a low attention span, they just have a higher sensitivity to things which are boring’.*

You need to cut above noise, evaluate how you’re communicating and not be seen as boring to millennials or other generations for that matter! It won’t happen overnight, but start to evoke change and challenge internal conversations and you’ll be rewarded with your customers’ brand loyalty in the long term.

*(Source: @RetailProphet, contributor to The Business of Fashion).

Customer Experience  

Experience has been a bit of a buzzword over the past few years and the trend for consumers wanting more doesn’t seem to be waning.
Look at creating experiences that involve your customers and offer a sense of achievement from events to in-store customer service.

People are increasingly more conscious of their shopping behaviour; buying less and considering purchases more (we can thank Marie Kondo for sparking lots of joy and creating a wave of decluttering our homes and mindset) and we’re all craving physical experiences and creating memories. After all, if it isn’t talked about on Instagram did it even happen?

Amy is responsible for managing a cluster of ICG’s shopping centre clients, overseeing design, digital and social media projects. She will be at ICG’s stand 149 on Thursday 28th February.

For more info about ICG and the clients they work with head over to their website.

Photo credit: ICG client, Dalton Park Outlet Shopping & Leisure, Co Durham


Colewood will be exhibiting at Marketing Show North this year.

When it comes to writing content for your audience, you want to make sure that the work you’re producing is something that they’re actually wanting to see. Part of this includes having correct grammar so that the readability is to a high standard.

This applies to any sort of content you produce as a company; the quality of the information you choose to have published online is a massive reflection of how you will be perceived overall by your audience. An enormous downfall for a lot of sites is that the SEO makes sense in theory, however, when keywords are used in content with bad grammar, it can become an obstacle more than you may first assume.


If you’re wanting to achieve a successful content marketing strategy, good grammar is definitely something to take into consideration.

Think of it this way: if you received an article via email riddled with misused punctuation and spelling mistakes left, right, and centre, would you publish this work with a backlink if that’s what the sender was requesting? The answer is likely going to be no. The impression that grammatically incorrect content gives is not a good one, with many online businesses simply taking one look at the email and hitting delete. A lot of readers of your content may feel they don’t have the time to decipher what you’re trying to convey and click off. This can lead to a high bounce rate for pages on your website that contain unacceptable grammar.


There are a lot of different grammar rules to take into consideration when writing content for your audience. Let’s start with the basics:

  • Capital letters where necessary: at the start of sentences, correct usage in titles, and for proper nouns
  • Correct use of punctuation (commas, full stops, hyphens, semicolons etc).
  • Using consistent pronouns throughout your content

If you can get these right, then your content should be seen as acceptable by the majority.


As a consumer, navigating a website with poor grammar is something that is not usually overlooked. Particularly with ecommerce websites, bad grammar can ultimately lead to adverse effects on your revenue.

Another implication is the reputation that your company may obtain. Ill spelling and grammar can typically be associated with spam websites or just all-round unprofessional companies. Hence why it is so important to proofread your content before distributing it online.

There will be room for minor errors, but as a whole you want to ensure that you’re aiming for your content to be grammatically correct. Google will still be able to recognise what you’re trying to rank for even if it’s not conveyed in the most accurate way. Just make sure your content makes enough sense for your audience.

For example, when conducting keyword research, you may discover that a grammatically incorrect term ranks rather than it’s proper counterpart. However, Google can comprehend similar phrases and will not disregard your content if there are slight alterations with grammar. So, do not deliberately make your grammar incorrect so that it ranks, because search engines already take this into consideration.

Screenshot of Google search results

The lack of the apostrophe in the search query does not affect the search engine results, as seen above. The “Did you mean” function allows users to correct themselves, but even without this, still lists related searches that are in fact grammatically correct.


Venture Stream will be exhibiting at Marketing Show North this year.

Times are tough in retail right now – particularly for those with a presence on the High Street.

 The Independent recently reported UK retail sales as showing the biggest decline in 23 years as consumers struggle with personal austerity measures.

For retailers, the article does not make for pleasant reading and comes following a recent spree of announcements from major names in the industry announcing significant store closures (Marks & Spencer announcing 100 store closures and Mothercare announcing 50). In this climate, it’s never been more important for businesses to be innovative in their approach to both the in-store and online shopping experience in order to not only survive, but thrive.

Nike has historically been forward-thinking when it comes to innovating its retail offering both online and offline. Its latest approach to delivering the perfect in-store experience has been lauded as ‘drastic’ and a ‘new age’ for retail – but when you think about it, it’s just plain logical – which means every other retailer should be learning from this approach – and fast.

Nike By Melrose

So what is this drastic, new-age approach to retail we speak of? Well, the elements of it are all encompassed in Nike’s new Los Angeles store – Nike by Melrose.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a picture of the store-front and inside the store:

Looks just like any other store – right? When we mentioned new-age, no doubt you were thinking of something that actually looks like it’s from the future… with robots or drones like Shutterstock always promises from the ‘future of retail’.

Its simplicity is the beauty of Nike by Melrose – it mostly just looks like any other store – but it’s how it’s run that differentiates it from its competitors.

Data-Informed Decisions

Using data to make decisions is a sensible strategy designed to make success more certain, but many retailers continue to only use top-level data to make top-level decisions about their business. Instead, dig deeper into the data you have at your fingertips to really learn about what customers want at a local level, then adapt your marketing and offering to be personally tailored to them.

Nike by Melrose: A Hyperlocal, Personalised Shopping Experience

JP Morgan analysts recently wrote in a note to investors: “Constant newness = destination shopping.”

Nike by Melrose is named as such because it’s a store created, designed and stocked based on the shopping habits of local customers. It’s a store driven by data at a local level – and that’s what makes it different.


The store’s location has been chosen based on insights gathered from NikePlus to give the retail outlet the best chance of success.


New products give customers reasons to return to the store. Much of the product stocked at Nike by Melrose – including 25% of the shoes – will rotate every two weeks – a move pioneered by Zara that has proved popular with consumers.

Digital and ecommerce data from local shoppers will also determine which products are stocked and which services are offered in-store. Some of these products will also be unique to the store and are likely to never be sold anywhere else again. This brings a sense of excitement and urgency to the in-store shopping experience.


The in-store service at this store is designed to perfectly balance the convenience of online with the experience that can only be offered in person.

The in-store ‘Sneaker Bar’ lets customers get expert help in finding the right shoes for them, while Nike’s latest App – ‘Nike App at Retail’ – allows customers to browse and reserve products for immediate collection to avoid disappointment should there be no stock.

This app also enables the store to recognise NikePlus members when they walk into the store and push awards and discounts to them. Better still, the store plans to integrate the ability to scan product QR codes and have every product scanned by the customer waiting for them in the changing room to try on.

Again, the simplicity here is interesting. Instead of making customers use an in-store tablet or system, customers use their own phones – devices they are already very familiar with. And, encouraging the customer to have the phone in their hand allows them to push offers that won’t be missed by the customer.

This store is the first of the brand’s new ‘Nike Live’ concept, built around delivering speed and digital offerings in-store and so we can expect more to come of this model.

How to Gather & Use Local Insights

Data-driven insights at a local level can easily be obtained from your Google Analytics account by creating segments by location and identifying common behaviours and interests. These learnings can be used in a B2B environment as well as a B2C / retail business.

We did just that for one of our B2B clients, Womble Bond Dickinson by creating location-specific personas for each of their office locations using data collected over hundreds of thousands of sessions. Each user segment from each location uses the Womble Bond Dickinson website in very different ways – and these insights can be used to inform marketing decisions, personalise content to more effectively target each segment and, ultimately, to generate more leads at each office location.

Check them out below, and get in touch with us whether you’re a retailer or lead-generation-based business to find out how you can use data insights to improve customer experience and increase conversions at both a national and local level.

Why MicroStrategy Usher is an industry-leading enterprise security solution

CDS will be exhibiting at Marketing Show North this year.

Usher, by MicroStrategy, replaces physical badges, passwords, and security tokens with digital badges delivered via smartphones. These digital badges lock down logical and physical assets without sacrificing convenience. 

Usher provides instant verification, communication and geo-fencing capability for organisations that require an instant ‘answer’ in time-critical situations.

Emergency planning and resilience

CDS have been looking at Usher’s capability around emergency planning and resilience for convergent volunteers and rest centres. We have also been discussing restricted access to buildings across a manufacturing complex.

Convergent volunteers are individuals in the community who appear on-scene to help in the event of a major incident. Although grateful for the help, the emergency services do not have the capacity, tools or available information to assess the credibility, capability and skills of each volunteer.

This is not only a security threat but also a health and safety issue that could draw attention away from the incident itself. 

Emergency scene

We have also been discussing the Usher capability for use in rest centres. The resilience teams across the West Midlands have a process for ‘activating’ rest centres and registering those that need temporary accommodation. Currently, the registration process works but is slow, using paper-based forms. 

Usher comes into its own by speeding up the registration process and includes additional security to include a photograph of the individual. An ID band is also printed to include a unique QR code that is matched to the person’s record within Usher.

Outside of resilience and emergency planning, we have been investigating secure access into and out of restricted buildings across an industrial manufacturing complex. Currently, access to and from buildings is done with badges on the end of lanyards. 

The badges can be lost or become overused in a short period of time. Usher badges on mobile devices provide the perfect, unique and secure option with the benefit of the tracking capability sitting behind it. Badges can also be issued to visitors if they are in a time restricted building or a restricted zone.

Profiling People Leads To A Superior Survey Experience And Better Information

Maru/Blue will be exhibiting at Marketing Show North this year.

“I wish surveys would be smarter and not ask me the same questions over and over again. That repetitive clicking of how old I am, where I live, what my demographic is, how much money I make. It’s kind of a nuisance.”

“The one thing that really bugs me about surveys is when I get a few minutes into them—five or ten minutes—and then it tells me I don’t qualify. I just feel like it’s a huge waste of my time, especially if I make it through the qualifying. You get halfway through and then it cuts out, and says they met their quota. It just seems like they don’t value my time.”

These people point to a common frustration for survey-takers: being disqualified after being asked a raft of demographic and qualifying questions. Data shows that 9 out of 10 people who are being routed through sample exchanges as river sample fail to qualify for a survey they are screened for. So they get asked to qualify for another study—and get asked basics like age, gender, race and region over and over again. That’s a terrible respondent experience. And it is completely unnecessary.

A well-profiled community allows you to target the right person with the right survey. Want to talk to left-handed men who BBQ? No problem. We have pre-screened for that. Need to reach small business owners who have liability insurance? Done.

I recently joined a community offered by an edgy alternative media outlet. I like their content and thought it would be fun to learn more. In joining, I was immediately asked a bunch of demographic profiling questions. No sooner had I completed the profiling questionnaire than I was sent to a router where I was again asked a bunch of demographic questions. Then I was asked a series of questions like: “Do you currently use any left-handed computer peripherals?”; “Did you personally design your company’s logo?”; and “Have you personally identified a potential acquisition target that your company bought?”.

When I didn’t qualify for any of those studies, I was routed to another company’s set of hopeless causes. Again, I was asked my gender, my age and my race. Again, I failed to qualify, because I had not sky-dived in the past three months, did not own a turtle, and had not installed an automated sprinkler system in the past six months. What made it all the worse, was that none of these studies had anything to do with the media outlet that got me to join their community. It was frustrating, and I quit.

It seemed natural to wonder—like the person who provided the first quote above—why did my profiling information not follow me? Why did I have to be asked the same question over and over again? Why was the system so dumb? The answer is simple. I was not a member of a community. I was not a known person. I was simply a piece of anonymous “sample” dumped into a router and treated as river sample. There is a better way.

We build communities that are full of people who have been deeply profiled. We know that taken together, they are representative of the population and provide reliable data. We collect a very rich set of information when a person joins our community, so that we can easily find people who, say, exercise regularly and who have asthma, or who have an Xbox and like a certain genre of game. One thing we have not profiled is whether people skydive. But we can.   

We run a profiling service that, free of charge, can screen 30,000 to 50,000 people in a two-week window. The skydivers can then be directed to a survey about parachutes, knowing that they will qualify. They get to make their opinion known, and give us high quality information—because their survey experience is quick, easy and on target.

We know the people who answer our surveys are living, breathing humans who have many things competing for their attention. When we invite them to share their opinions with us, we don’t want to waste their valuable time. We want them to be able to do what they came to the community to do: share their point of view on topics that interest them.