Webinar World London: Q&A with Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights

When it comes to content and its role in the marketplace, Dave Chaffey has a few opinions. The founder of Smart Insights — and prolific author on all things marketing — will speak at Webinar World London. Before his day, though, we sat down with him to suss out a few insights on what he’ll talk about, what he’s looking forward to and which marketing trends are catching his eye.

Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got into the marketing world.

I’m co-founder and Content Director at Smart Insights, co-ordinating creation of our marketing strategy advice. We have other 200 guides, templates and e-learning resources that are used by members in over 100 countries.

I originally got into marketing in the mid-1990s when the Internet was first being explored as a marketing channel and have enjoyed sharing best practices, initially through my books, training and consulting and more recently via our learning platform.

What are you speaking on at Webinar World London, and what are you most excited about this summit of marketing leaders?

I’m looking forward to talking on Integrating Webinars into Modern Lifecycle Marketing, reviewing examples and best practices of integrating webinars with other inbound marketing activities

How do you think B2B marketers better leverage webinars in order to increase engagement and drive revenue?

I think all too often, webinars are treated as a separate campaign activity without the integration to get the best results from them. I’ll describe our RACE planning system which gives a framework to integrate them.

What are some of the trends in marketing today that excite you most?

Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning are the most exciting, but I still love learning about the latest across all content marketing techniques.

What about GDPR might marketers have overlooked or need to watch for? Is there a silver lining?

Well, the silver lining is that we have to be more transparent about how we use customer data and the customers are looking for.

Some aren’t aware of the follow-on ePrivacy Legislation which will add further details on how we communicate via website and messaging – it’s an update on the 2003 Privacy and Communications Regulations and will have much in common with GDPR.

Beyond GDPR, what are the marketing challenges of the EMEA region?

In a word, ‘Engagement’. Finding the best communications strategy to keep visitors engaged.

There’s a constant struggle for marketers trying to scale personalized, human engagement. What are the steps you’ve taken to try to make every marketing interaction meaningful?

We’re a big fan of using personas to understand our audience interests more and then using content mapping linked to Marketing Automation so that we can best customize our communications.

What’s your one prediction about how marketing will fundamentally change in the next decade?

Although we talk about automation a lot, much automation is rules-based with creative and messaging set up in advance. True automation will select the most relevant contextual communications. We’re a long way from this at the moment.

What’s the most important change you’ve seen change in the marketing industry in the past five years?

In larger businesses, many have belatedly realised the need for company-wide digital transformation programmes to determine changes to marketing operations for them to remain competitive.