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This year’s SAScon was as popular as ever with marketers, with over 300 delegates attending. With so many digital marketing experts in the same building, it was inevitable that we would come away with some valuable insights to take back to the office.

Here is a snapshot of some of the sessions that ran on day 1:

The state of PPC marketing in 2015 & beyond
Larry Kim, founder of WordStream

There are 5 key trends impacting PPC:

  • Price and inventory increases
  • CPCs are at an all-time high in established markets
  • Apps are taking over search with over 50 per cent of search taking place on mobile
  • On mobile searches the quality of clicks is decreasing, site can utilise retargeting, i.e. RLSA and use display for cheaper CPCs and increased volume
  • Rise of identity based advertising

The future for marketers: Creativity, technology and strategy
Paddy Moogan, co-founder of Aira

  • Artificial intelligence is growing
  • It filters what we see on laptops and other devices
  • Websites need multiple traffic sources e.g. organic, referral, direct, social, email, paid, search, display
  • Customer loyalty becomes the goal
  • Google Now predicts what we want to see
  • AI learns real signals from us so spam will become harder
  • Mobile isn’t really about mobile – we may not be thinking about mobile in the right way
  • Mobile search is overtaking desktop
  • 77% of mobile searches are in a location where people have a PC available to them
  • Still not about mobile – it’s about search. We use our mobiles to search for information
  • People spend more time on mobiles BUT desktop gets better conversion so we need to think about the experience we’re offering
  • It’s not just about ‘viral’ content
  • It’s not just about knowing the technology, it’s about communicating the message in the right context
  • We should optimise mobile content for mobile users – it has to work well for the user


How SMBs can win in competitive SEO sectors
Aleyda Solis, founder of Orainti

  • SMBs have advantages and can diversify easier
  • They have the ability to make quicker decisions and adopt a flexible approach
  • What matters is traffic/sales
  • Small business content can be fast, flexible and more targeted
  • Small businesses can implement, learn, and iterate faster than big brands and can use this to their advantage

CRO: Simple changes, radical results
Trent Yunus, head of conversion strategy at twentysix

  • Structured data is becoming more important
  • Small changes can make the biggest impact
  • Optimising conversions = optimising engagement

50 shades of shopping
Elizabeth Clark, CEO of Dream Agility

  • To be a shopping expert you need to forget everything you already know about traditional text ads
  • Local inventory ads and the opportunity to be localised is important
  • Clicks through to text ads are declining

Paid search moving from keywords to audience
Wes Emmison, PPC group head at Mediacom and Matt Wright, director of paid media at iProspect

  • Gathering info is key to delivering a strategy which is informed and considered and delivers an increased quality of traffic and ROI
  • Utilise demographics in search
  • Combine approaches with the different terms relevant to the conversion funnel
  • PPC is shifting towards display in terms of targeting

Social media – Is it worth it?
Kristal Ireland, head of social at twentysix
Panel members: Bryan Adams, Anna Wilson, Andy Barr

  • It’s important to have a social presence, but be realistic if people would be interested in the product/company, e.g. are people going to follow a company which sells paper cups?
  • “Paid social is the best thing ever” – Bryan Adams
  • Users expect a social response from a company within 60 minutes
  • Customer Service must be at the forefront of any social media strategy
  • The price of being able to manage negative comments is huge
  • Andy Barr applies the pub factor to any social campaign “Will people talk about this down the pub?”
  • Facebook video is increasingly important – we need to convince clients to not do a TV advert, but to invest in Facebook video instead
  • If you’re willing to be brave on social, you can get great results


What talks did you find most interesting on day one? Let us know in the comments below.