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The Customer Journey Roadshow

By  Sophie Mattinson

Wise Words From Even Wiser People

  • Name of event: Creating The Ultimate Customer Journey Roadshow
  • Organiser: Mixing Digital
  • Speakers: Mike Bainbridge, Robin Carlsson, David Woods, Stewart Townsend, Paul Squires, George Loannou, Tim Beaver.
  • Date: Tuesday 9th September, 2014
  • Location: The Place Apart Hotel, Manchester.
  • Cost: Free
  • Course content: 2.5
  • Quality of speakers: 3
  • Audience Interaction: 3
  • Venue: 5
  • Value for money: 5

Overall Rating: 3.7

Pro’s: Absolutely cracking buffet.

Con’s: Some talks were thinly veiled attempt to tell their services.

Suggestions: Focus less on selling and more on educating the audience.

Would I attend the next Creating The Ultimate Customer Journey Roadshow: Yes.

Mixing Digital hosted a free conference in Manchester to help businesses give their customers the best experiences possible. The conference looked at both the internal and external factors which can affect the customer’s journey and how to boost your Return on Investment (ROI).

Subjects covered during the talks included hosting, hybrid technology, review technology, and a whole host of other factors which can affect your customer. The event itself managed to be free due to its sponsors from the companies Rackspace, SLI Systems, Feefo, dotMailer, and Vaimo.

Mike Bainbridge, Rackspace.


Above: Mike Bainbridge, Rackspace

First up was Mike Bainbridge from the hosting providers Rackspace, who were here to talk about, surprise surprise, hosting.

Mike explained that hosting in this modern age is now seen as a commodity, like electricity or water. So, if we are provided with a slow service, our reaction is equal to that if we had no hot water.

When it comes to customer and clients, there are three main elements that will attract them towards your brand:

  • Site performance. How long does it take to load? Users expect less than 2 seconds.
  • Site Interface. Provide a good user experience, is your site responsive?
  • Marketing. Are you attracting people to your site through other mediums?

The better these elements are, the higher your conversion optimisation will be, the happier your customers will be, and the more successful your business will be.

Quite honestly, I didn’t gain much knowledge from Mike’s talk. Most of his points came down to common sense. Although, I did like his explanation of hosting as a commodity, which I think is very true in our modern age. At least Mark gave us a warning his talk wasn’t going to be glamorous.

Robin Carlsson – Vaimo


Above: Robin Carlsson, Vaimo

Robin Carlsson, the UK manager for Vaimo, held a talk that focused on the mobile revolution, about how it has affected us and how we need to react to it. Robin’s talk was my favourite from the day.

Here are the key points from Vaimo’s talk:

  • Whether we like it or not, our mobiles phones are an extension of ourselves. Most of us cannot think of the last time our phone was more than 20ft away from us, in fact if we don’t know
  • the whereabouts of our phone, we experience ‘separation anxiety’.
  • We’re now living in what’s known as the ‘post-PC era’. Our phones have taken pride of place as the number 1 device.
  • 52% of e-commerce traffic is now mobile and 36% of sales are made on a mobile. These stats alone are enough for you to make your site responsive.
  • Social apps take up 25% of a user’s time on their mobile.
  • Robin profiled the average mobile user. It is a female who uses native apps 88% of the time. She is tech savvy, alone, and anxious without her phone.
  • Build brands trustability with personality and personability.

Robin’s talk was full of new information, in particular, the amount of e-commerce traffic on mobiles was eye opening. He stressed the importance of responsive sites and, as an impatient person who mostly browses the internet through a mobile, I can wholeheartedly agree. I’m still shocked when large companies don’t have responsive sites, as they’re cutting off half of their market!

David Woods, SLI Systems


Above: David Woods, SLI systems

Apart from being funny and attention grabbing, David’s talk offered a lot of insight into gaining customers, making their journey easier and giving them what they want. David’s main points included:

  • Get to know your clients. It will make your life a lot easier.
  • There are three challenges when it comes to gaining customers. These are: getting visitors onto your site, converting them into customers, and turning them into repeat customers.
  • Make sure you have a 404/zero results page which offers a customer a possible solution to their problem e.g. asking them to do another search and providing some suggested searches.
  • Analyse what people are searching for on your site. Are people searching for something which you are not providing?
  • Know your top 20 search terms and focus on those keywords.
  • It’s not just written content which ranks highly anymore. Images, videos, social media referrals, and testimonials will increase your visibility.

David’s talk was not only useful but packed full of actionable information for his audience. His 404 page and search terms advice made me realise how important a smooth customer experience actually is. I’d recommend checking out David’s slides as there’s lots more information there.

Stewart Townsend, Zendesk


Above: @stewarttownsend

Stewart demonstrated that the customer should always be in the forefront of our minds when it comes to our brand. We need to help them interact with us, gain their trust and be personal. His main points included:

  • The way in which a customer interacts with a brand has become generic and transactional. Stand out and as a brand be human and personal.
  • Expand the channels in which you can be reached; phone, email, live chat, social, website, forums and in person. Each one will appeal to different people.
  • Offer to remove the pain and frustration for a client. Show them their problem and offer them a solution.
  • Build relationships with your clients whether they are current or potential clients. Putting a face to your customers will prove for a more personal relationship and help you humanise them, too.
  • As a brand, be transparent. Own up to mistakes instead of trying to hide them. This will build your client’s trust.

Stewart demonstrated that transparency may highlight unhappy customers, but it is key to building trust in the long run. It’s how you deal with those customers that counts.

Paul Squires, Feefo

Above: @paulsquirescom

Paul Squires made a very convincing argument as to why it is so beneficial to have reviews or testimonials from previous happy clients and customers on your website. These were his main arguments:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of customer reviews. They can easily sway a customer into buying or not buying a product.
  • Reviews on your website will make your brand transparent, this relates back to Stewart Townsend’s point of increasing your trustability.
  • Google Adwords stars increase click-through rates by 17%.
  • Negative reviews are an opportunity to engage and demonstrate your fantastic customer service. Again, this adds to your brand’s authenticity.

I am a convert. Not only did Paul convince me of the power of customer reviews, he reminded me that embedding Tweets from customers onto a website is a great way to persuade potential customers. A review, whether it’s good or bad, can completely change a customer’s buying journey.

George Loannou, Digital and Wise


Above: George Loannou, Digital & Wise

George Loannou covered A/B multivariate testing and how it can benefit your company. He also discussed why type of content should be shown to visitors from various referral points. His main takeaways included:

  • Ensure you don’t distract website visitors away from the goal of your page. Keep your website easy to use and clean.
  • Don’t trust what works best for other people, test what works best for your brand and your website.
  • Start using A/B multivariate testing on page layouts, navigation, content, special offers etc. Segment and target your visitors.
  • If a visitor is referred from a social site, make your content more chatty and informal. If they are referred from a business or financial site, keep it formal.

The subject of A/B testing was completely new to me, so it’s safe to say George’s presentation taught me a lot. I’d never considered the amount of thought that goes into small details, such as the colour of a buying button.

Here is the full slide deck from George’s presentation: George’s Slides

Tim Beaver, BCS Agency



Above: Tim Beaver, BCS Agency


One of my favourite presentations of the day came from Tim Beaver, who covered the subject of content and how it can be used to increase the discoverability of your brand, and why it’s so good for SEO. Here are his main points from the closing talk:

  • People prefer engaging, personable brands.
  • 70% of companies plan to increase their content marketing in 2014. Increasing content makes your brand more discoverable.
  • Low content means low domain authority. SEO is the main driver for producing good content.
  • Earned media marketing is achieved through strategy, social media, content, SEO, UX/UI, data, and PR.
  • Find a balance between your content for being fun, informative, and providing value.
  • Build a community and brand loyalty through customer engagement.

From a subject I knew nothing about, to a subject I’d like to consider myself well versed on, Tim’s talk helped me brush up on my content marketing knowledge. He tied together the subjects of SEO and content marketing together and threw in a few facts to convince businesses on the power of content.


Even though most of the presentations and talks themselves were tailored towards e-commerce sites, lots of the information given was certainly applicable to service-based brands and their online presence.

Free steak is all I’m saying

Apart from having to put up with a few sales pitches from some of the presenters, it was an enjoyable day which Nuttersons learned some valuable information from. The venue, in particular, was great, and who can forget that beautiful, beautiful buffet. Free steak is all I’m saying.

This post was tagged with; Events, Manchester Digital, marketing.
Sophie Mattinson
This post was brought to you by: Sophie Mattinson

Sophie, aka Social Sophie, is our social media savvy digital marketer and blogger who loves to dip her fingers in more than one pie. She has been described on more than one occasion as creative and bold member of the Nuttersons family. View more articles from Sophie Mattinson

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