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Digital Marketing took centre stage as marketing professionals and digital enthusiasts put aside all other business to focus exclusively on seizing the most exciting opportunities in digital marketing. It was a passionate, intellectually creative conference where delegates’ knowledge of strategic and tactical approaches to the practice of digital marketing was broadened. Organized by Simon Page Business School, a leading provider of professional business education in Nigeria, the digital marketing conference and exhibition was an interactive two day event which saw in attendance marketing leaders, key decision makers and astute business professionals across corporate Nigeria’s blue chip firms. According to Princewill Omorogiuwa, CEO of the School, “The reason why we put together this conference is to give marketers an edge that helps them remain at the very fore front of their industries. Digital marketing and its terms were alien to many people 7 years ago,” he enthused, “but not anymore.” Shedding further insights, he said, “The game for digital has changed forever and we are certain that in the course of the next five years, digital marketing will alter the modus operandi of many businesses around the world, creating new opportunities for enhanced customer engagement; that part of it that creates affinity between customers and businesses and to also obtain customer insight,” he concluded. Delegates heard first-hand from some of the most successful digital marketing practitioners in the country and globally. Headlining the conference panelists was respected global trainer on digital marketing Mike Berry whose expose was titled ‘The Big Beasts of Digital Marketing.’ He was joined by Stephen Boadi, the Digital Marketing Manager for PZ, Africa Region; Bukola Akingbade, CEO Bytesize; and Tola Ayanwale, CEO DraftFCB Interactive. They took delegates through real-world skills development including demos, tips and tricks, and how-to sessions that helped them learn how to use digital marketing tools more effectively and also identified the trends that matter, projecting them forward over the next 12 months and showing what marketers can do about them now. With the theme ‘Deploying Digital Marketing for Competitive Advantage’, delegates were clearly challenged to do more in this sphere. Bukola Akingbade spoke on being ‘Digitally Wired for Business Success.’ Her candid presentation revealed so much about how brands must understand that digital knowledge is changing the rules in marketing and that brands need to change their thinking. Tola Ayanwale then came on and with a case study revealed how DraftFCB was able, through the Sharp Sule project for its client, to reinvent consumer engagement using Social Media. The first external speaker, Stephen Boadi, gave an inspiring presentation- Don’t Be Left Behind. He said “DIGITAL works best when integrated into the wider marketing activity.” But more importantly he advised brands to “be out there and manage your reputation or one will be created for you.” Finally, the man a lot of people had been waiting for, Mike Berry took the stage and his presentation didn’t disappoint as he dwelt on what he called the big beasts of digital marketing  which received a lot of questions as delegates  sought to glean from his nearly twenty years experience in that field. The breakout sessions kicked off with Temiloluwa Sobowale, Lead consultant Intelligent Interactive Limited, discussing ‘Understanding Digital Marketing Risks.’ It was an eye opener for everyone as delegates were alerted to the damages that online brand fraud can cause to brands locally and globally, with data that could not be waved away. Delegates sat up when he revealed that “your Brand can be attacked from anywhere in the world by world’s leading fraudsters” and proceeded to show them how.  Gboyega Adelowore, the Nigeria Country Manager of Yookos capped the session when he looked at what works and what doesn’t work in social content marketing. An important highlight of the event was the prizes which were given away by Etisalat, sponsors of the conference and Samsung who gave out Galaxy Tabs during the event. The roll call of exhibitors who interacted with delegates included Samsung, Etisalat,Hotsauce, DraftFCB Interactive,, WSI-Axon and 3rdFloor limited (from Ghana). One outcome of thought leadership is that it often challenges. It features ideas that are out of the box, sometimes reflecting either dissatisfaction with the status quo or a refusal to take it at face value. The delegates left really pleased and signified a strong interest in next year’s event. Simon Page Business School, is a modern and dynamic institution offers professional business education and training, and also thought leading business and educational events such as conferences and seminars across Africa. It is the largest provider of   Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK, CAM UK (Marketing and Digital Communications), in Africa. Over the last three years in Nigeria, over 900 marketing and finance professionals from blue chip companies including all the Telcos, major banks and major FMCG’s have trained at Simon Page.

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This article was first published on 4th June 2013 and updated on June 7th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

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