Main Takeaways and Top 8 Most Important Quotes from Marketing Festival in Ostrava

Rasa Urbonaite
Oct 24, 2016 · 4 min read
Mktfest audience, photo credit

Last week together with team we visited Marketing Festival in Ostrava, Czech Republic. I was here two years ago and my mind was blown: so many technical, actionable and new insights in digital marketing that helped me grow and become better at what I do. However, this year’s Marketing Festival was like a roller coaster ride with some serious ups and downs where we sometimes felt inspired but at other times just bored (just like this other attendee). It seems that other people on twitter had similar opinions.

If you asked me what the main takeaways from the conference were, I would sum them up as follows:

1. Digital marketers need to go back to basics, i.e. stop concentrating only on what you think Google wants from your website but start with your customer and his/her needs. Think of user intent and his/her expectations from the website or specific landing pages. Stop trying to game algorithm with old school SEO tactics. You say “meh, nothing new there”? Sure, it’s not new but it feels great to have your tactics confirmed by industry experts and see where everyone is headed.

2. Data Modelling, programmatic, automation these were the main buzzwords that could be heard at almost every talk we attended. Everyone is investing in their own tools that help automate bidding processes and find optimal ways to move the user along conversion funnel. The speakers were sharing their own success cases of how much they were able to save and increase their own or their clients’ profit. I think that no actionable insights could be taken from any of the talks except the fact everyone needs to be doing the same. However, I think that it is not applicable for all businesses as a custom solution might be expensive to develop and maintain, so using a tool might be a better option. Someone from the crowd suggested using roihunter. I haven’t tried it but people said it was quite a good option. Frederick Vallaeys, ex Googler who is now a co-owner of Optmyzr expressed an opinion that Adwords bid automation is only worth the effort if you’re spending at least $ 10 000 a month. It could be done with lower budgets but it would require closer monitoring.

Bonus — The most important (i.e. relevant to me) quotes from the speakers:

Lucie Sperkova, photo credit
  1. “With Rank Brain in action, the factors driving success in different verticals are very different. No one SEO strategy works for everyone. You have to test it yourself.” SEO Has Changed Forever — Why User Signals and Content Relevance Became the Most Important Ranking Factors, Marcus Tober, his slides are available @
  2. “CR doesn’t tell you if people love your product, if they are going to buy it next time. Let’s try for better indicators. For example, you can increase CR with slashing prices, getting your mom to buy and/or stopping PPC campaigns and it doesn’t mean that your business will be better.” Data Science: For Fun And For Profit, Lukas Vermeer, his slides are available @
  3. “At work we usually only execute but don’t have the grounds for exercising/testing/finding new strategy. Have a process that helps you develop new products, services, approach.” How The Future of Retail is Like Professional Sports, Kevin Hillstrom
  4. [When talking about SEO for telco company O2 in the UK] “75% of traffic is brand traffic. Creating proper targets are very important as you can optimize the shit out of the page and there still will be not enough impact.” The bigger the business, the bigger the SEO challenge, Colin Woon
  5. [When summarizing PPC landscape today]:

a. Your competitors are all idiots, you need to exploit that.

b. Paid social is where the magic is happening.

c. Don’t wait until your website is pretty to launch as you can always change it after.

d. Shopping feeds create tremendous opportunities for marketers. You don’t need to have a product, you only need an image in order to show up in Google Shopping.

High Volume Media Buying Strategies From The Trenches, Jim Banks

6. [On developing your own Facebook automation tool] “API changes all the time, you get hardly any support from Facebook itself, nothing works. However, sometimes you find some features that are only available (are being tested) through API only. It means that sometimes you can get certain features years before they become publicly available on Facebook via its Power Editor.” Scaling e-commerce with marketing automation, Andrej Pančík

7. [On Google Adwords’ Quality Score] “It is still very important. However, marketers care too much about landing page component. Tidier ad groups influence your quality much more.” Will Robots Take Over PPC? What the Future of the Industry Looks Like., Frederick Vallaeys

8. “If you have no knowledge of statistics, buy statistics for dummies in order to make good decisions at work.” You’re Making My Brain Hurt! The Psychology Behind Terrible Conversion Experiences, Michael Lykke Aagaard slides available @

That’s it. These are the main takeaways and the best quotes from the conference. I’ve added the links to the slides that are already available. For other presentations you’d need to follow Marketing Festival’s twitter and slideshare.

Also Marketing Festival is very good at providing recordings of all presentations. I think last year it only took them a couple of weeks to have the videos up on their website so everyone interested will be able to watch the videos very soon (although you’d need to pay if you weren’t at the conference).

Now back to work. Inspiration may not last forever so let’s embrace it while is lasts!

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