Think Visibility 8 Round-Up

Think Visibility 8 Round-Up

3rd September 2012

#ThinkVis, #SinkVis, #DrinkVis, … whatever your preferred hashtag – this weekend a whole lot of online marketing rockstar, ninja, guru types headed once again to the Alea Casino in Leeds for the Think Visibility 2012 Autumn Edition.

As always a selection of high quality speakers (including our very own Bas van den Beld) shared their knowledge on a variety of topics from the world of affiliates, PR, Market Research, SEO, Link Building and more!

Host with the most Dom Hodgson provided the lunchtime quiz show entertainment, this time in the form of Rankety Rank with sponsors Manual Link Building  dressed in cardboard costumes (including Rhys Wynne as a squirrel). As usual he then filled our brains with his wackiest online venture yet.

Using crowd Sourcing and gamification, Dom intends to fund his upcoming wedding with his unique spin on reality TV show ‘Don’t tell the Bride’ – ‘Don’t Tweet the Bride‘. Give the man a fiver to get access to unique content as wedding plans progress, but if you’re feeling generous for £15,000 you can choose the middle name of the happy couples first born ‘within reason’.

So without further ado – my round up. I didn’t attend every talk, but I have sourced as many slides as I can from other sessions for those who missed it.

Talks I attended

  • Subconscious Marketing: What and How – Bas van den Beld
  • Shit My SEO Says – Andy Barr
  • Coolhunting: How To Predict The Future Mining The Social Web – Steve Lock
  • From Affiliate to Merchant – Richard Kershaw

Subconscious Marketing: What and How – Bas van den Beld – @basvandenbeld @stateofsearch

A fascinating and entertaining look at messages that ‘they’ are giving us and our kids every day to make us want stuff and make us buy it – lots of it!

Great insights into timing, triggers, and being there when people are at their most receptive. Bas always brings in amusing examples to make the point, from the village in Switzerland printing out the facebook likers to an example of the dutch supermarket playing ‘kiddie’ songs that parents tune out but with the lyrics suggesting that you  can ‘Buy this fun stuff- go tell your dad’.

Whether we like it or not, we are all sheep, and the marketers know exactly how to make us do their bidding…

  • Serendipity – those two celebrities wearing the same dress is more than just coincidence – it sells product with endorsement
  • Rituals – people like to collect – think foursquare and football stickers
  • Doing Good / Feeling Good – making a product appear to help you achieve a level of ‘goodness’ works
  • Authority/Trust/Word of mouth – marketers and online marketers have data to show us who we are connected to, who are our influencers – check out the girls intelligence agency to see how peer influence is being targeted aggressively by stealth. The film ‘the Joneses’ is all about a made up family moving to the burbs to market products by appearing to be the perfect looking family
  • Exclusivity – Perfect looking assistants with a French accent in every store is all part of the Louis Vuitton strategy
  • Psychological Triggers – using the example of a screen with the word YAWN on it – the fact that you may now be thinking of it is an illustration of powerful psychological triggers. Childhood memories, being there when times are fun are all part of lifestyle triggers to shift or associate products.
  • Personalisation – we love it when people know our name, recognise us and make us feel special

Shit My SEO Says – Andy Barr – @10yetis

” SEO’s know the value of putting the boot in to PR people, LinkBait wise. PR’s are too scared to stand up for ourselves against you bullies “

Andy Barr – ‘Defender of the PR Faith’ fed up with always taking a kicking for PR’s not understanding SEO, Andy turns it back towards SEO’s and he has a point!

’10 shit tips from SEO’s about  PR Tactics’

  • Use
  • Add morre keywords to the press release please
  • Same release for wires and journos
  • Add images
  • Pitch via Twitter
  • Put long links into your release
  • How do we make thei go Viral
  • PR’s don;t like asking for links – SEO’s do
  • Forgetting to tell the PR agency about a linkbait campaign
  • IF we get enough bloggers to write it up, journos will too
  • Get it on techcrunch

Some Sneaky Tips PR’s don’t want SEO’s to know

  • There are only two good consistent wires in the UK
  • Good PR’s make it easy for themselves
  • The Sell in is more important than the release writing
  • Always look abused when someone uses the term ‘go viral’
  • Lean on experienced Journo Freelancers
  • Face to Face relationships is still key
Slides for the presentation can be found below:


Coolhunting: How To Predict The Future Mining The Social Web – @stevejlock – Analytics SEO

Design, LifeStyle, Fashion, Culture – what is going to be the next big thing or ‘must have’ first world accessory? That’s where the coolhunters come in to make predictions about current and potential future trends.

Steve Lock takes an interesting look at Coolhunting and how it is being used to predict box office takings, game stock markets, influence product development and/or anything that has a market.

Much more than market research, coolhunting takes into consideration swarm creativity and collaborative innovation networks (COINs)

10 steps to becoming a coolhunter

  1. Download The Slides
  2. Read PeterGloor’s Research & Books – coolhunting, swarm creativity, coolfarming
  3. Learn about Swarm Creativity and COIN’s
  4. Start your own COIN
  5. Learn the tools of the trade
  6. Coolhung an online community
  7. Analyse your own COIN
  8. Become a Coolfarmer
  9. develop python skills
  10. Become a Data Scientist


From Affiliate to Merchant – Richard Kershaw – @qualitynonsense

” In the words of Alan Partridge, I was ‘Clinically fed up’ of being an affiliate. “


A quality opening to a quality ThinkVis session. Richard Kershaw from takes us on his journey from being an affiliate to taking the plunge and becoming a merchant.

Being an ex ‘dirty affiliate’ myself, this was one of my favourite talks of the day and packed full of info that might encourage everyone to hang up their affiliate shoes and tackle the world of ‘Spa Days’ and ‘e-vouchers’ for themselves.

Richard set up with colleague Stephen Pavlovich in 2011 to provide unusual experience gifts including the now legendary Zombie Shopping Mall, Zombie boot camps. the controversial weekend away for 3, and more recently the terrifying Werewolf Experience.

With endorsements from Zombie lovers like Simon Pegg and Jamie Oliver, you know that this affiliate to merchant venture is already a great success.

Things that might get you motivated to Merchant:

  • Being the Boss
  • Bigger Margins = more money
  • Google Hate Affiliates – Panda & Penguin are not going to make life easier
  • End your Google Dependency

Top Tips:

  • Decide what are you going to sell high margin or interesting & fun
  • Track the product as an affiliate first – get some real data as to how tough it is in this are
  • Find the angle – find something where you aren’t going to be boring – get a USP
  • Get a good team – most affiliates are used to working on their own – it is hard to do well without a team of people – delegate to experts
  • Keep costs rock bottom – no fancy offices or business cards – be ruthless about keeping costs low “overheads can result in overyourheads”
  • Real artists ship – don’t be an eternal startup – start selling early
  • Do the opposite of everyone else
  • Listen to customers – they will tell you what they do and don’t like and give you reviews! Use their questions to build your content and get actionable insights
  • Keep it simple – you can’t do everything well
  • Read the Lean Startup by Eric Reis
  • PR works – PR is often the start of linkbait for SEO (see above session from 10 Yetis) – Google organic traffic is not the biggest referrer- mostly it is people searching for the brand or products that have had PR coverage. PR content also does extremely well for social media.
  • The process – Magento open source e-commerce $0, cheap hosting $80 pm, cheap off the page theme from Thailand $119, developers £2000, lawyers £2000, £3000 on content, Domain £8000 – the best investment due to obtaining a short memorable domain name

Slides from the talks I missed

Large-Scale WordPress: How To Do It Right! – Bastian Grimm @basgr

Content Marketing – Beyond the Bullshit – Hannah SmithDistilled

What types of links do you need to rank post penguin – Chelsea Blacker – Quaturo

The Changing Face of SEO – Brands as Publishers and the Power of Good Ideas –  Simon PensonZazzle Media

Photos of the event:

ThinkVis Photos from the event courtesy of @sk8geek
My ThinkVis Photos on G+ just to annoy Paul Madden 🙂
More great photos from Martin88


Written By
Jackie Hole is an Award Winning Search Marketing consultant specialising in Paid Search, Conversion Improvement and Organic Search / SEO for the USA, Canada and European markets. Starting out in Multimedia & Interface Design, Jackie has over 15 years experience in online marketing and was recently awarded European Search Personality...
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