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4 highlights from Marketing Festival 2016

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Being digital marketer in Dubai has one disadvantage: there is lack of events with valuable, inspiring content. Therefore we have to travel literally all over the World to stay in touch with latest digital trends. Last weekend I was in Ostrava, Czech Republic attending Marketing Festival – world-class digital marketing event. How was it?

Marketing Festival is not just SOME event. For digital marketers in CEE it is The Event. It was the 4th edition and for the first time, it has moved to Ostrava. With 1,500 marketers of more than 20 nationalities, I was excited to see the best from the best. Here are my 4 highlights.

Day 1: CZ-SK speakers rocked the stage.

After small disappointment from Kevin Hillstrom’s speech (I think, we all have been confused by what my favourite Twitter columnist wanted to say) and programmatic panel, Czecho-Slovak speakers made the day.
Multi-Channel attribution is a hot topic but maybe one of the hardest to present. Until Lucie Šperková‘s (AdExpres) speach at #mktfest I have no idea what MTA really means. She showed us several different models and approaches out of the box Google Analytics. I will need to replay her speech’s recording several times to fully understand how it works and how to use the theory in real life.

Michal Pastier from Zaraguza showed us what he has learnt from Japanese cat and horse. He was by far the best presenter of the day and put all international speakers from Friday morning to shame. We saw what the word storry-telling means. By 2 short stories about the worst racing horse in the world and railcat everybody found why it is important to use characters in marketing communication. It was a great spoiler to the case study about Zaraguza’s epic campaign for Czech Non-Alcoholic Drink (yes, we’ve got something like that) producer Kofola.


Day 2: All is well that ends well

The day started with another disappointing presentation. The only thing I remember from Jim Banks’ “High Volume Media Buying Strategies From The Trenches” speech was: “Add me on Linkedin and endorse me for Public speaking”.  Sorry Jim, you have to deserve it 🙂
Frederick Vallayes at mktfest

Frederick Vallayes at mktfest showing how to predict conversion rates for shopping queries

But all PPC guys in the room got satisfied bit later. To be honest, I was afraid of Frederick Vallayes’ topic “Will Robots Take Over PPC? What the Future of the Industry Looks Like.” – it simply sounded  too broad. But Frederick showed us how PPC presentation should look like: data, examples, funny stories from his Google ages and more. He told us how to use automation to our benefits, not against it. He showed us what automation can do nowadays and how it might look in the future. He also showed that human intelligence can still win against all robots.


One of the greatest things on Marketing Festival is that you can meet in person people you have been following for years on Twitter. Frederick was one of those. In our short chat he mentioned he hasn’t been to Dubai yet. Maybe we found a speaker for next Dubai PPC meetup? 🙂
8 Czech PPC specialists with our headliner, Frederick Vallaeys.

8 Czech PPC specialists with our headliner, Frederick Vallaeys.

I guess for most of the audience, the best speaker came as the last. Since the moment Michael Lykke Aagaard (Unbounce) entered the stage, he owned it and he owned the crowd. The Danish Viking was by far the best performer, had perfectly designed deck (hope Jim Banks and other speakers were there) with an entertaining show. He told us about 2 decision systems humans use and how you should approach that in CRO / UX but also campaign design. It is not only about your website but about setting up right expectations and meeting them across all channels. This performance was inspirational not only by the content but also by the way he provided it.
Michael Lykke Aagaard at mktfest

Michael Lykke Aagaard at mktfest – http://unbounce.com/cro-viking/

See you @ #mktfest 2017?

About meeting expectations was the whole weekend. #mktfest is not just like any other conferences, we all demand the best from this event. And even if the price is ridiculously low comparing to US / UK / Dubai events, we expect the highest level of content, service, simply everything. Even people might be complaining about weak wi-fi and even some speakers might disappoint us, Marketing Festival is by far the best digital event I’ve ever visited. No matter when or where (but Ostrava doesn’t deserve such an event) the next episode will happen, I want to be there. And you should be there too!
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Founder at Jayid
Lukas founded Jayid after helping 100s of businesses both in MENA and Europe with digital marketing and building regional offices for international companies. He's passionate about developing others and his vision is to unlock digital for every entrepreneur and business in the world.