Attended the last-ever EADIM (“European Academy Of Direct And Interactive Marketing”) conference from October 10-12, 2013. Presented by the great Drayton Bird, this was a three day event choc-full of stimulating, insightful and entertaining presentations highly relevant to anyone involved in direct response marketing.
I confess that my main reason for attending was simply to hear what Drayton had to say and he didn’t disappoint with a session looking back over lessons learned from his long and eventful career.
Here’s me with the great man…
But there was much more. One of the consequences of Drayton’s long and varied career is that he knows a lot of very talented people, a number of whom he managed to persuade to make a presentation at the EADIM conference.
Every one of those presentations contained useful insights and information and at least one key idea that could make a significant difference to any business. The three standout ideas for me, were…
1. The importance of understanding the customer
Of course, every direct response marketer and copywriter will suggest I’m stating the obvious and merely repeating one of the fundamentals of the discipline. True, but all to often marketers often fail to do this.
Martin Chillcott (“HotChillyMarketing”) gave an outstanding presentation on this topic, one of my favourite sessions. The idea of the “Customer Journey”, how people buy when they are ready (not when you want them to) and understanding the different groups within your customers were just 3 of the points in the session.
2. How to market yourself effectively
Whatever business you’re in, you’re involved in “selling” in some form…and frankly, most of us could improve in this are.
Two sessions on this broad topic. The first from Ian Brodie (“IanBrodie.com”) on “5 Simple Ways To Increase Sales”. His first tip is startlingly straightforward…get more sales meetings…BUT with a twist.
Think for a moment about the biggest problems facing most business people today. Probably “not enough time” came up as one of them. So, if people are busy, why would they want to see you? The simple answer to that is you have to provide value in the meeting itself in some way.
Ian has a free report on his site if you want to know more.
The second session was from James Hammond, author of the Sunday Times best-seller “Branding Your Business”. Before hard-core direct response marketers and copywriters tune out, let me say that his approach to branding (and marketing) is totally consistent with the principles of emotional direct response copywriting. James’ focus was very much on “Personal Branding” and was a very worthwhile session. Highly recommend the book and more about creating your brand at the website BrandHalo.co.uk
3. Why it’s especially important for marketers to deal with stress and safeguard their health
It can be stressful being a marketer, especially if you’re in business for yourself. Now, stress isn’t all bad…if it wasn’t for deadlines most of us wouldn’t achieve anywhere near what we do! I confess that certainly applies to me. BUT not properly managing stress can be highly damaging to your health and well-being long and short term…and detrimental to your business. After all, if you lack the energy to get out of bed in the morning, it’s going to be hard to do what necessary to succeed.
So a presentation from Mark Davies, was welcome and timely. Mark was once the CEO of J Rothschild International, so he knows all about high-pressure jobs. Now he creates health and well-being programs for large organisations (more at “7Futures.com”).
No great surprises in the importance of the right diet and proper exercise. Also, how meditation can play an important role in handling stress and improving your overall health. I confess, that I was somewhat surprised to discover that one big fan of meditation is non other than…Clint Eastwood!
I’ve posted on this topic before, but not for some time now. It’s an important so I’ll cover Mark’s presentation in more detail in a separate series of posts.
There were also great presentations from Nikki King (MD of Isuzu Trucks), Natalie Calvert (customer service ace), Andy Bounds (how to make truly effective presentations AndyBounds.com) and Howie Jacobson (Google Adwords maven…did you know even the experts have been totally thrown by Google’s recent changes to Adwords?).
Drayton’s business partners Gerald and Alastair also delivered reports from what’s working in the marketing trenches now…and the man himself closed the event with “149 Mistakes To Avoid In Business, Marketing And Creative”.
Finally, one vital component to the overall success and value of the event was…the people who attended. People had traveled from as far away as Australia to come to EADIM 2013 and it was great to mix with and discuss business with a very talented and motivated group.
So, the last ever EADIM conference…in this form. Drayton promises not to have an endless series of “farewell” events! However, the welcome news is that it is likely that there will be 1 day events in the future on specific topics. To wrap up, a great 3 days that re-charged my “marketing batteries” and provided a great opportunity to meet with some great, like-minded people. Most importantly, I got some great, practical ways to produce more new business for myself and clients.
More about Drayton Bird and future events over at DraytonBird.com.