a4uExpo Europe 2011 – some thoughts

I’ve just spent the last two days checking out A4uExpo Europe, and I must say I am highly impressed. Even without the contacts made at the networking events, the event is well worth the fee and taking the time off to visit. It was my first a4uExpo event, but probably not the last !

Some of the talks I attended :

Day 1 @ a4uexpo

  • Google On-Page Optimisation : Likes & Dislikes by Sepita Ansari from CatbirdSeat : who brought people through the SEO Periodic Table, focusing on on-page factors. Sepita was good at explaining some of the key SEO fundamentals.
  • Persuasion: Surefire Psychological Tactics To Boost Your Conversion Rate by Stephen Pavlovich from Conversion Factory. This was a really interesting talk, about how to eliminate the barriers to entry and exit. Stephen talked about the Chivas effect, where they upped their price and changed the label, and they noticed increased sales. Brand and perception of your brand is quite important.
  • SEO Crystal Bowl : Working On A Long Term Strategy Panel with Martijn Beijk, Onetomarket , Sam Crocker, OMD, Roy Huiskes, Chapter42, Kelvin Newman, Site Visibility. This was quite a frank talk between some pretty smart SEOs about where Search & Optimisation is going in the future. More on this session can been seen on State of Search by Sam.
  • Common Mistakes: Stagnating Your Affiliate Programme’s Growth by Geno Prussakov, Affilinomics. This talk was a great guide for best practice for merchants, but also served as a good guide for affiliates for picking “good” networks and merchants to work with. Geno highlighted potential leaks to affiliate income (unoptimised landing pages, confusing processes, cannibalisation with other ads, etc) , and how to spot them. I was lucky enough to get a copy of his new book Affiliate Program Management: An Hour a Day.
  • Kick Ass SEO: An Entertaining Discussion on Trends and Insights with Dixon Jones, DixonJones.com & MajesticSEO, Gary Beal, Blueclaw Media Ltd, Alexander Holl, 121Watt, Bob Rains & Marcus Tandler, Tandler.Doerje.Partner. This was a nice panel talking about trends for marketing. Marcus (aka mediadonis) almost speaks as fast in English as he does in German. I really liked some of the things that Gary mentioned, and he was happy to give me some tips after the session.

Day 2 @ a4uexpo

  • Facebook, Twitter and Blogging: Secrets for more Followers, more Traffic and more $$$ by Dave Cupples, FatCowBusiness.com. Dave has lots of energy, and probably makes some nice money as an affilate (sharing his affiliate links in your presentations probably helps him). But the overall message wasn’t really
  • The strategic use of Search ” the emergence of Search as a true Performance Marketing channel and the rewards from greater, more focused, integration by Pete Newman, Found. This was a good look at up coming changes in advertising for affiliates. One of his examples was the twitter account for a product, namely Westend Musicals, where they buit a social product and website to complement the social interaction. The product was basically another way to get people into purchasing the product.
  • KEYNOTE : Applying Behavioural Economics to Affiliate Marketing: “It’s easier to change behaviour than opinions” by Rory Sutherland, Ogilvy Group. A great keynote speaker, I was blown away. He talked about the aspect of heuristics being applied to affiliate marketing. We are all decision engines, but it isn’t really something that can be easily or accurately measured. We don’t really know why & how decisions are made. People aren’t inherently logical. Rory talked about decisions like how to purchase a TV. Where people are almost afraid not go with a brand, even after doing their own research. One of my favorite quotes was “If women like men with expensive vehicles, they would all date lorry drivers“. He believes that the real tech revolution has peaked, like how the car industry has failed to be really innovated since the 1930′s. Some of the cool ideas he covered was an app from, Westpac Bank, called “Impulse Saver”, which at a press of a button moves money from your current a/c into a savings account, using the idea of impulse saving instead of impulse shopping. See below for a cool video that Heathrow Airport & IBM produced during Wimbledon last year. For more from Rory, check his talk at TED in 2009, titled Life lessons from an ad man.
  • How to Build Links Which Look Natural: with Kevin Gibbons, SEOptimise, Kelvin Newman, Site Visibility. Not only are they great lads to have a few beers with, they had some interesting ideas about gaining links websites. One tip I particularly liked, was to get Universities to syndicate your open job positions, or using sites like toluna.com to get quick survey information gathered. Kevin’s slides can be seen here, and Kelvin’s are here.

So that’s a quick post about my thoughts on a4uExpo Europe, sit back and enjoy the video below. Video from shared in Rory Sutherland’s Keynote : IBM’s Wimbledon Lotus T5 campaign.

Update : Added Dixon in there, sorry mate !

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