The day kicked off with EVP Global Development, Mark Haviland, welcoming attendees. From there Rakuten Marketing President, Stuart Simms, announced the launch of our integrated marketing offering, including paid search, during his executive remarks. His opening speech set up the conference’s key themes, touching on everything from global expansion to the power of innovative technology. If you didn’t manage to attend the sold-out event, fear not! You can check out our media partner PerformanceIN‘s live videos and read all of the Symposium London 2018 takeaways and key insights below.

Keep an eye on the future with the past in mind.

Next Generation Brands – Engage and Enable People in New Ways

Our first Keynote Speaker, Peter Fisk, explored the brands of the future. He spoke about the dramatic changes we are expected to see in the next 10 years, which will be even more progressive than what we have seen in the last 250 years. The world is progressing much faster than one could anticipate. On top of that, the expectations for ‘future focused’ brands are becoming higher and higher. It is imperative to be ever adaptable and keep digital at the forefront of future thought.

Understanding the Past to Create a Better Future

Next, we heard from James Chandler, CMO of IAB UK, on how to best look at the past in order to improve upon the future. He shared a number of invaluable lessons that showed the importance of perspective and constantly seeking out innovation. He touched on how numbers can often be deceiving when analysing change, sometimes it’s best to seek out patterns to track progress. Another lesson he shared was regarding past failures and their importance in driving future success. It’s always important to think about where the industry would be today if past mistakes had not happened. James ended on one last lesson, to always be conscious of what we put out into the world. It’s not worthwhile to fill the internet with things, we must make them meaningful.

If didn’t get the chance to see James Chandler live, you can view a summarised deck here.

From innovation to global expansion, here are the highlights from each of our sessions.

Anthony Capano, MD of Europe, shared his tips on how to expand in to the APAC market.

This session covered the latest in the APAC, emphasising the endless opportunities in the region. Alongside Anthony Capano included Alex Hart of 55Haitao, Andrea Forzieri of Forzieri, and Hanna Tuchnitz Stylebop to talk about how they best expanded into the APAC region. One top tip from Forzieri, who have seen great results from their campaigns,  was that the uglier the site, the better the response is from consumers, as they believe them to be more authentic and trust them. Anthony also highlighted how important it is to understand the unique retail calendar of APAC in order to best integrate into the market.


The top tips we heard during the Advertiser Innovation Session. 

The Advertiser Innovation Session was a quick fire session where some of the pioneering advertisers in our network spoke on the innovative nature of their campaigns and how they drive results in an increasingly competitive market. This session was lead by VP of Client Success, Nick Fletcher along with Davina Rigley of Figleaves, Genny Mynzhanova of Bally and RM’s own Belinda Aylward and Becca Harvey. Innovation was the hot topic of this session with Belinda speaking on how Bally has gone from being a very traditional brand to being a brand that produces current, cool, viral-worthy content, perfectly suited to the digital space. They focus on using attributed reporting to measure the success of programmatic campaigns and have moved away from a last-click view. KPIs don’t always tell all, one must take into account the full consumer journey through to purchase.

Davina from Figleaves shared that the best way to manage digital channels is to take a balanced approach between all and accept that failure is a possibility when trying new strategies. It’s necessary to not be afraid to fail! Trial and error after all is what you need to find the right publisher fit for your affiliate programme.

All the highlights from our publishers during the Publisher Innovation Session.               

Rakhee Jogia, VP of Partnerships and Supply Strategy for EU, kicked off the Publisher Innovation Sessions, that showcased four non-traditional publishers in our network who are shaking up the affiliate space. Susan Aubrey-Cound of Syte, Simon Bird of RevLifter, James Coggles of Dealmoon and Jack Lindley of R3Engage took to the stage to present their model and how they are innovating within the affiliate space.

Susan from Syte explored the benefits of visual search and AI for retailers looking to target millennials and Generation Z. She explained how visual search allows retailers to connect customer inspiration from social media back to their ecommerce store. Due to Amazon’s effect on retail it has become extremely pertinent for brands to create a lasting awareness among their shoppers.

Simon Bird from RevLifter explained how their technology is changing the way retailers think about how tactical discounting can work in the affiliate channel, and improve incrementality. Their platform allows e-commerce groups to deploy personalised deals and voucher codes by responding to consumer behaviour such as basket, location, customer status (new or existing). They have also been leveraging our Affiliate Consumer Graph technology to identify and target customers in new markets.

Continuing our global focus for the day, James Coggles from Dealmoon explored how retailers can engage Chinese millennial and gen-zers who are affluent, independent, and tech saavy. Dealmoon is the largest shopping advisory site and KOL for the Chinese consumer in the world and James shared insights into how retailers can tap into this market.

Lastly, Jack from R3Engage closed off the session by introducing their basket abandonment technology to the audience. Their platform allows website owners to target their abandoning visitors (at point of exit), with rich, fully customisable creative content, yielding additional opportunities for customer conversion, retention and monetisation.

Everything you wanted to know about the latest in GDPR.

The content of the day closed with VP of Client Success, Nick Fletcher, sharing the latest in GDPR  and how to best comply as we prepare for the 25th of May. Check out our most recent updates on our resource centre.

And lets not forget all of our amazing sponsors who made Symposium London extra special.

Sponsors from Symposium London 2018