On Friday, I traded places with Carolyn and made my way over to MMU for the second instalment of SAScon. This was my first experience of the digital event and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Below I’ve highlighted the main thoughts I took away from the day:
Big Data – big decisions?
Day 2 of SAScon got off to a great start with a Keynote on Mobile, Big Data & The Cloud from Cindy Krum, CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie. She delivered an excellent talk sharing lots of interesting stats on the Cloud and insights into the direction and possibilities we can expect to see from Big Data in the years to come (as well as the things that people are using data for now which we have no idea about.)
Cindy discussed the opportunities that Cloud presents to society and those who collect the data. Clearly, the cloud has proven to be a gold-mine for many, but the main thing I took away are the seemingly conflicting feelings people at the top in this industry have about it. With so much potential for businesses to grow and benefit from using and selling Big Data, Cindy acknowledged that on a personal level the possibilities scare her.
Many of us are currently unaware of the amount of personal data that is being stored and sold by companies, between countries, and without a huge amount of monitoring or limitation – which is slightly disconcerting when you think about it from a security or privacy perspective.
There were so many examples given of the advantages to be gained from collecting and sharing data however, that it became extremely hard to see any other outcome than for everyone to embrace it.
However, although the message was ‘jump on-board if you don’t want to be left behind’, my personal stance is that it would be wise for us all to tread cautiously. The full impact of this industry on society and the businesses currently benefiting are not yet certain – it’s all very well jumping on-board, but not great if the boat sinks soon after.
A coming together
I’m pleased to say that as the day progressed the sense of foreboding diminished! Instead, a great deal was said about the dynamic between SEO and PR as well the relationship each of these specialisms have with writers and bloggers.
There was definitely a sense that a combined approach should be encouraged for producing content – PR’s shouldn’t disregard the importance of SEO and vice versa. This is certainly something we at Fourth Day keep in mind when producing content and I think it would be naïve and simply wrong for PRs to believe SEO isn’t important.
Of course, the importance of creating content that has a purpose and that people actually want to share and read was noted frequently. Whether this has been brought about through an SEO specialist or a PR, all content placed online should be of a high quality.
Targeting the right places was also highlighted as an issue that is too easily forgotten. It’s something we often discuss at Fourth Day as sometimes a piece of content can’t always be measured by the circulation or its ranking on Goggle. For instance, a niche and targeted piece of coverage can often be a must have for a business trying to target a particular reader.
As Carolyn mentioned in her summary, it was great to see such a wide range of specialists from the industry; SEO’s, digital marketers, PRS from B2B and B2C and bloggers. What I appreciated most was the common ground in each of the talks. As there is so much overlap between our fields, developing an understanding of the wider digital landscape is really important. It’s great to be aware and up to date with all current industry trends and developments.
My first SAScon experience was a great one and I am really excited to enter the digital community of Manchester and beyond. So yes – I would recommend these events to anyone who wants to be part of the digital conversation.
Lizzie is an Associate Director in the Manchester team