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Lily Thistlewood – Head of Performance Marketing, Adanola
Talk: From Corporate life to startup chaos and everything in between

Lily started her career at Very in email marketing 10 years ago and has come full circle to now working in performance marketing for Adanola. Part of Lily’s career journey was what she calls her “Entrepreneur era” when she launched her own performance marketing agency in 2020 called Reform the Fold. The agency worked with some of the UK’s fastest growing e-commerce brands including Michael Kors and Simply Be. She decided running the agency wasn’t quite for her due to a plethora of reasons and embarked on her current role at Adanola – a brand she followed on every platform and wanted to help grow. She’s still working in consulting and nearly a year on, she’s the happiest she’s ever been. Lily then went on to discuss the exponential growth of Adanola and the huge sales they’ve achieved.

Download slides here.

Ecommerce Panel

With Claire Stanley-Manock (connective3), Lily Thistlewood (Adanola), Azeem Ahmad (ASSA ABLOY) & Chris Nightingale (

They discussed: 

  • The media landscape is changing incredibly fast, what are you as ecommerce brands finding to be the biggest challenge when driving performance?
  • Attribution has always presented a challenge, how are you measuring performance across the media channels and how are you connecting this to your wider business objectives?
  • Would you say you are ready and GA4 and how do you see the shift in the platform impacting your business?
  • First party data is definitely one of this year’s buzz words, how is FPD enriching your marketing strategies?
  • Looking at what’s coming in performance marketing in the next 12 months/what are the innovations we should be looking out for as search marketer?
  • With the future seemingly AI focussed, how do you see the future of media changing the shape of the talent required?

Speakers on stage at Up North's Ecommerce Panel

Adam Oldfield – Founder & CEO, Force24
Talk: It’s time to think differently about email

Adam can fix the world with email, he’s CEO of Force24, the UKs fastest growing marketing automation platform.

Some key points from Adam’s talk:

  • On average people in the UK receive 150 emails per day
  • Noise and competition in the inbox is the most it’s ever been
  • You need to make sure you’re adding value with every touch
  • Email has a recall of about 12 hour – our brain consumes the very basics of the message
  • Simplifying the message – directing the brain to get the message across in as few words as possible
  • Right person, right message, right time is personalisation
  • Most marketers focus on the wrong form of segmentation – the bar of competency has been raised
  • Reduce the noise, improving conversion rates, reduce marketing execution costs
  • Marketing should be about doing stuff that people want

Download slides here.

Adam Hetherington – Senior Agency Manager, Google
Talk: AI Powered Ads

Adam is a Strategic Agency Manager at Google and works with top key partners in the UK and Ireland. He helps agencies understand what’s happening now and future proofing accounts. Adam explained how Google has been an AI first company since 2015 and that AI is the next big shift. AI will help to organise, visualise and write with new additions coming to Gmail. Adam delved into PMAX, explaining PMAX helps to reach touchpoints at the right time and to be agile across the different properties

Key takeaways:

  • You’re not competing with AI, you’re competing with marketers using AI
  • Think openly, how can you take advantage of it?
  • The future of search is going far beyond the search box to help people make sense of the world in more natural and intuitive ways

Claire Stanley-Manock – Paid Media Director, connective3
Talk: Humans vs machines: AI in paid media

Claire started off her talk by emphasising that the dawn of AI is upon us, she explained that it can be a help, a hinderance and an unknown, but harnessing it correctly in Paid Media will lead to great performance wins. Claire focussed on where AI is present across paid media, pitfalls to watch out for and provided hints and tips on harnessing AI to drive performance.

Key highlights:

  • 56% of campaigns performance can be attributed to creative
  • We all scroll the height of the statue of liberty everyday
  • Test creative before it goes out with AI
  • File names are important, make sure you include the keyword, one of Claire’s campaigns experienced -44% CPA by just changing the file name
  • Use learnings from paid social media into PMAX campaigns
  • Not all conversions are equal – you need to look at lifetime value and focus on what metric is most valuable to you

Key takeaways

  • AI doesn’t know what’s most important to you and your business
  • AI can help our campaigns work harder and find new opportunity
  • There is nothing like the human touch especially when it comes to creative

Download slides here.

Abi Carey – Head of Paid Social, Overdrive Digital
Talk: Preparing for Q4 success now

Abi Carey is Head of Paid Social at Overdrive Digital. In her talk she explained how no-one knows what Q4 2023 is going to bring. We can sit in the corner and cry OR we can get our Meta ad accounts in the best possible position ready to tackle whatever Q4 throws our way. She provided the audience with loads of actionable insight and advice.

Download slides here.

Helen Pollitt – Head of SEO, Car & Classic
Talk: Unlocking Growth – The Power of Company-Wide SEO Education

With 15 years’ experience in digital marketing, Helen explained to us the importance of training your team in SEO so it stays at the forefront of their minds when making big decisions.

Whilst that might sound intimidating – to both the trainer, and trainee, she made it clear that despite SEO being a broad subject (and not just keywords and meta) not everyone needs to know everything, and it’s important to identify those who can impact SEO within your business and group them by their training needs – whether they need more of a contextual overview or skill specific, in depth training.

Not only does SEO knowledge amongst your team prevent mistakes and correct misinformation around SEO, but can look great on employee’s CVs.

Download slides here.

Dan Morehead – Lead SEO, Channel 4
Talk: SEO For Streaming

What do you call Channel 4’s streaming service? 4Od? All4? An amalgamation of them both?

If you said any of the above, you’d be wrong. Channel 4’s very own Dan Morehead explained that Channel 4 are changing the name of their video on demand service again to simply ‘Channel 4’. Why? For SEO purposes of course!

Through the streaming service’s many names and identities – they noticed that they were consistently seeing searches for ‘channel 4 iplayer’. Dan walked us through the rebrand of the site – which is the UK’s biggest free streaming service, and how one of their primary focus is to optimise the site for live events (such as sports events) through the likes of stingers, creating brand pages and reaching put to affiliates to link through to the page.

Sanjay Purewal – SEO Manager, CAVU
Talk: How to use the SERP to guide your organic strategy

Working in SEO since 2016, Sanjay used his talk to explain why we should use the SERP to influence and guide our organic strategies.

He explained that SEO is like a house – whilst the technical side is the foundation, it’s the content and links that complete it (and are also the parts we see!). One of his key points was to keep it simple, and more descriptive search terms will bring up more transactional results than informative. He used phone insurance as an example, that ‘phone insurance’ is searched for 4x more than ‘iphone insurance’ likely down to more people looking for information around phone insurance than the product itself.

He stressed how important it is to invest in different types of content for your site – especially in informative content alongside using a content calendar to publish the right content at the right time.

Download slides here.

Samantha Mutongi – Digital Content Strategist & Social Media Expert
Talk: If your content is so good, why isn’t it working?

Samantha is a content creator on both YouTube and TikTok, frequently creating content for different brands. She pointed out that 91% of those with mobile phones have social media apps on them, so it’s important to embrace this in your content marketing strategy, and gave us some excellent pointers on why our content may not be working on social media.

From starting with consistent, useful and attention grabbing branding alongside a strong to marketing strategy to proper promotion across social channels, emails, online marketing and collaborations, there is a lot that goes into successful content.

Other factors Samantha included were ensuring that your content is providing value to your consumers, and that it’s quality over quantity.

Kenny Metham & Andreea Popa – Senior Social Media Manager & Head of Paid Social, connective3
Talk: The Secret To Driving Value With Social

Connective3’s very own Kenny and Andreea walked us through how to use organic and paid social together to drive results.

They taught us that it’s important to factor boosting ads into your content plan, and to treat organic as a playground – analysing what content is doing well to inform your choices on what should be boosted and what shouldn’t.

They explained that the key overlap is a trusted source in the middle – especially if your audience is Gen Z, with most of that age range trusting influencers and ‘everyday’ people they see on social media over brands, even if they’ve been paid to talk about the product.

Download slides here.

Lauren Hughes – Head of Strategy, Social Trinity
Talk: TikTok: The misconceptions, where brands are getting it wrong and how to get it right

As much as we might not want to admit it, TikTok is here to stay, and as marketers – we need to embrace it.

Lauren talked us through the misconceptions around TikTok, and that it isn’t only just teenagers that are using the app, with more and more people spending the most time on it out of any other social media app, as it shows consumers material they want and like through it’s AI algorithms. It also can make a difference to a brands revenue – using Duolingo and their iconic TikTok’s as an example. Even Instagram, who adopted a similar AI algorithm for it’s Reels feature, has reported that it’s a driving factor for consumers spending more time on Instagram.

She explained that users prefer authenticity over aesthetic, and whilst having consistent and eye-catching branding is important, jumping onto trends and sounds popular on the app (if it links back to your message or product) is a great way to get your content to those who will appreciate it.

Download slides here.

Check out the full event wrap up here, the overview of stage one here and make sure you’re following us on social to keep up to date with everything that’s going on.