In today’s guest post, Sarah Boustouller, Head of Marketing at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, reflects on her #SLManc16 experience and shares some of the key takeaways from the day.
I was fortunate to continue my ongoing learning journey last week when I attended the Search Leaders Masterclass, produced by the Marketing Masterclass Series. The morning event was held at the stunning Etihad stadium, a great venue for discussing the cutting-edge topic of notable change in search.
In my role as Head of Marketing at Stephensons, I strive to attend events and conferences that truly help me to make a strategic difference in steering my team and ensuring best practice in what we do as an in-house team. I also seek to maintain Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Status each year through continued learning and encourage others in my team to do likewise. It can however, be hard to find events that do not deliver ‘me too’ content that is already widely available.
The Search Leaders Masterclass, was different in its approach to other events I have attended. The event started with a keynote opening that was delivered by Andrew Halliday, Head of SEM at Satsuma Loans. This was fascinating because it provided me with a snapshot concerning how Stephensons’ appointed Search Engine Optimisation supplier/partner, Hitsearch works with us to deliver a technical audit at regular intervals. I gained some key takeaways from his talk.
The most insightful was his explanation in relation to the combination of tools that should be used when conducting a technical audit. Andrew explained that when you look at server logs combined with third-party tools such as DeepCrawl then you can gain the most accurate picture. The server logs will tell us, which pages google is crawling the most and crawling the site tells us where ‘404 redirects’ and other technical issues are identified. Combined this gives optimal insight. I gleaned other specific pieces of information from his talk to look out for.
The organisers at the event encouraged the delegates not to sit with any colleagues they know and we sat randomly at a number of roundtables. Again, a great method of learning and networking. I am always keen to hear from others outside of the legal profession, in marketing roles. Other sectors can often be early adopters of online marketing activity and therefore they act as predictors in terms of looking at what might give a competitive edge for the legal sector and Stephensons in the future. This is particularly true of e-commerce brands. It was great to have on my table a real mix of those in very technical roles from a cross-section of sectors.
A series of roundtable discussions then unfolded. Each roundtable was visited by a different agency who chose a key topic/challenge to discuss with the group. From this I took away several nuggets to inform my thinking moving forward. The discussion group chaired by Blueclaw is in line with our current online content strategy so it was great to have some reinforcing points. I also particularly enjoyed the next session, by Search Laboratory who spoke in part about attribution for online channels. Return on Investment is a topic close to my heart! Being able to demonstrate it helps demonstrate the power of Marketing, so the models they spoke about will make me think further on sharpening our own in-house techniques further at Stephensons.
The roundtable discussions fostered a relaxed atmosphere which allowed those with different levels of technical knowhow and different experiences derived from their sectors to be exchanged. We will continue to work into our Marketing training plans attendance at these events moving forward. Great morning.
*The Search Leaders Masterclass was produced in association with Home Agency, Search Laboratory, Branded3, Blueclaw, Greenlight Digital and Adam.
Sarah joined Stephensons in 2006 and became a Partner in 2013. During this time Sarah has been heavily involved with the evolution of Stephensons’ brand. In her role as Head of Marketing and Partner, Sarah manages a growing in-house team and provides marketing support to the departments across our ten offices based throughout the North West in Manchester, Leigh, Bolton, Wigan, St Helens, Altrincham and London.