Dublin Web Summit Update

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Xava had a front row seat at the Digital Stage at the Dublin Web Summit. It was an exciting time in the Xava lifeline as it allowed me to hear from experts what is current in the world  of digital business and marketing. I updated the live blog on both days with quotes and tweets so this write-up is more a collection of my thoughts from the two days.

The digital stage had a variety of speakers from companies like HubSpot, SEOMoz, ABC Networks, Unruly Media among others.

The over riding message from the digital stage was

“The future of business is digital and all innovations are taking more and more businesses online in the direction of direct customer engagement and relationship building leading to greater penetration of the business name in today’s society. It is also equally important to measure that interaction to ensure that the engagement levels remain high allowing customers to further strengthen your brand name”

Social media networking might have started as a way for college students to stay in touch but it has become the single most important way of reaching out to customers.

In a way it was inevitable that social media would become so important because essentially it is just an extension of human society into the cyber world. You might be forgiven for wondering why it is essential at all – why cant people just talk to each other? The simple answer is that online social interactions can reach a truly global audience.

The reality is that internet has become pervasive. It has left the humble desktop PC and is with us through out day on our smart phones, tablets, TVs game consoles and or course the desktop PC. People are spending more and more time on the internet. Also the internet allows people to reach all corners of the planet like never before.

I personally check restaurant and hotel reviews on Trip Advisor before making decisions about where I am going to eat and stay while on holiday in a new country. The internet allows me to read feedback from a variety of backgrounds allowing me to make a more informed decision about my dining choices thus allowing me to make the most of holiday. Social Media Networking relies on the fundamental need of all humans to be social and involved in conversations. It is just that the conversation has now moved to the internet.

Social media has played an important part in historical events in recent history. People from Egypt/Libya etc have used social media to create an unbiased awareness of the goings on in their countries. Banning social media avenues did little to stem that tide because people wanted to put an end to tyrannical dictatorships and live in a democratic society. Global reach was within their grasp only because of the Social Media Networks available to them.

A second aspect of today’s digital economy is that it is not enough to have a presence – it is vital to measure the impact of the various channels available to us for communication with customers and the outside world. Website analytics data plays an important part in helping a company allocate resources efficiently and to tailor the web experience for its businesses resulting in a higher conversion rate.

The definition of conversion rates has also moved away from the traditional in that it is not enough to just turn customer contact into sales any more  Companies are trying to engage with customers at a level that was not possible before the advent of online social media networks. Companies give weightage to customer engagement because social media allows for an excellent brand building opportunity that did not even exist before the internet era. Companies now track online sales funnel right from the first interaction all the way through to the final sale to understand why people bought and more importantly why people did not complete the purchase process – this information allows companies to continuously improve their online offerings.

Essentially website analytics provides a way of continuously improving our digital business world.

I also met some very interesting people including

  • Fred Ducrot of Dokker – this internet startup specialises in helping people share documents. Well it is not just about sharing document but it is about sharing expertise at writing professional documents. Fred saw a gap in the writing of professional documents. He noticed that people were reinventing the wheel trying to create professional documents so he decided to address the issue. Now you know that if you need a template for a business plan that has been used before and has been successful – all you need to dfo is to log on to www.dokker.com and let Fred help you from there.
  • Mike from my1login.com – We have always wanted something to remember our passwords securely and my1login is the answer. It was an inspiration talking to Mike’s story behind my1login.com because he personally funded the company for 3 years before deciding to go full time with my1login – I hope his hard work and dedication pays off. It does help that they have an awesome product too and can compete with some of the established players in the password protection remembering space.
  • Andrew Reid is a co-founder of SponsorHub – The company matches sponsors needs with the amount of money they spend on sponsorship to help them maximise ROI on their sponsorship spending. Andrew started his first company in China and has never looked back. He is on his 5th company – what we might call a serial entrepreneur and I would like to wish him the very best also.

I also met some wonderful people being part of the Live team covering the web summit. It was encouraging talking to like minded individuals who had different perspectives on the internet related business but the common theme was that everyone was very supporting of all the small businesses that were represented because these are businesses that will drive the global economy forward as the digital economy expands around the world.

Last but not least, a huge thank you to Paddy Cosgrave and his team for organising such an event in Dublin – it really gives us all an opportunity to see whats the best in the world of technology and how we can all benefit from it.

And I would also like to apologise to any disappointed readers that this blog has been more of a reflection on my part than what the title, Dublin Web Summit Update, might have suggested 😉

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