Sex, trust and mind reading – my highlights of MarketEd Live 2019

To open your own conference talking about getting off with people at conferences is an interesting move for sure. However, Paul Ince wasn’t just using cheap jokes for the sake of titillation. Biz Paul’s opener at his conference: ‘MarketEd Live 2019’, was an intelligent analogy for the way social media can sometimes affect us:

likes, shares and comments make us feel good at the time but that emotional state doesn’t last.

How many times have you posted on Instagram only to pick up your phone 10 minutes later to check how much engagement you have? We should be focussing on the long term reactions, not just if people like the latest picture of our dog, cat, gecko etc.


Paul referred to ‘drive by engagement’ in a bid to explain how we should go ‘deeper’ in our interactions on social media and try to build proper, lasting relationships.

Paul encouraged us to:

Be Selective

Go Super Personal

Don’t just give canned responses

Choose unscalable methods

Rob Temple and Kennedy (in their crazy mind-reading gig – but more on that later), took this concept to the sales process. They reminded us that it is easier and more lucrative to serve existing customers than it is to spend time trying to sell to new ones.

We got more sex in Gavin Bell’s talk.

‘You can’t walk someone into the bedroom if they don’t know who you are’ or, for the more sensitive members of the audience: ‘You have to get to know someone before you marry them – you wouldn’t marry a stranger.’

No Gavin, you certainly wouldn’t, and nor would you want to do business with a stranger either.

So how do you build up those relationships with people you’re never going to meet in real life? How do you get them to know you, to like you and to trust you in the digital world?

Here are my

8 take-aways from this amazing conference

to help you do just that


Liz Stokoe gave one of the most fascinating talks I have possibly ever heard (yes really, thank you Liz!) in her talk on language. Liz and her team spend hours listening to and transcribing all kinds of verbal interactions from suicides to sales.

So, if you give your audience the information before they ask for it, you will build security and therefore that all important trust.

I’m sitting writing this blog in a café near my house and I’ve just experienced one of Liz’s examples. I ordered my brunch and my coffee, it arrived quickly and I began to tuck in whilst typing. I realised I would like some water. The waiter was looking the other way so I got up and asked him if he could bring me some. It was no big deal.

When a couple sat on the table next to me their waiter brought a carafe of water over with their menus – they hadn’t asked for either menus or water but the waiter anticipated their needs. As Liz would have said – the outcome was the same but their journey was very different from mine.


on the customer, anticipate their needs and you’ll start to build that trust.


In order to anticipate your customer’s needs you need to know what they are. How do you do this when, as Gavin said, everyone wants something different; some people want cats, others want cucumbers.

Well, you could employ Rob Temple and Kennedy to read your customers minds. Yes, just after the break when we were all in that slightly sleepy post lunch haze, BANG! Rob and Kennedy started to perform magic tricks!

Poor Amir from Apricot Video Marketing had his inner most thoughts blasted out for all to hear. Luckily it was just his shopping habits which were revealed; Kennedy spared Amir’s blushes!

Were Rob and Kennedy really reading people’s minds or being very clever at reading their behaviour? I think the latter, (although when pressed for their techniques, their lips were sealed!). This is difficult to do in a digital world so there is another way you can find out what your audience want: you could ask them! Crazy idea but yes, why not?

Why not ask your audience what they want to know, to buy, to learn?

Ask them what their problems are and see how you can solve them. Be careful how you ask though as you want to get the right response. Use words and phrases that your audience will find easy to understand.  Ask in the wrong way and you could get answers that are not relevant to you.

As we know, marketing isn’t about us, it’s about our customer, our audience so make sure that everything you do is done with them at the forefront of your mind.


Phylecia Jones talked about how being seen builds trust. It’s the ‘know’ part of the journey. Have you ever bumped into a celebrity in a store or on the street and said ‘hi’ as if they were your next door neighbour? It’s highly embarrassing (believe me!) but we do this because their face is so familiar to us.

When you meet someone in the flesh that you’ve been connecting with on social media, you really do feel like you know them right?  So, use this knowledge. As Phylecia succinctly put it:

Teresa Heath-Wareing talked us through her process of:

Get seen

Get emails

Get sales

Get fans

I’m not sure why but Teresa always makes it all sound so easy!

How do we get ourselves heard in the busy digital world? 

Fili Wiese to the rescue!  Fili’s talk was technical but comprehensible (thank you Fili!) and also a little controversial…

Fili explained how Google literally ‘crawls’ different web pages constantly and that the longer you can get Google to crawl on your pages, the better chance you have of someone seeing your pages in a Google search.

Fili gave us some amazing tips:

  • Your website needs to be fast, accessible and secure
  • Only have high quality content on your site – don’t fill it with ‘fluff’ just to pad it out. Make every word count.
  • Don’t repeat words and phrases
  • Your web server needs to be fast enough to handle the speed at which Google searches
  • Don’t rely on java script – it should be an add-on, not a dependency
  • Give each web page a different header

and the controversial piece of advice from Fili:

  • Guest blogs do not increase your SEO – well who thought he was going to say that?


If you provide value without asking for anything in return, people will take it (well, who wouldn’t?!). Once they’ve sampled your wares, they’re beginning to know you, they’re getting closer to you. This is the beginning of the sales journey. 

How often have you been into an ice cream shop, been offered a sample of one or more of the flavours and walked away without buying any ice cream? Erm – never? 

You’ve literally had a taster and you want more, your appetite has been whetted. Wanting more of something that works for you is a very basic human reaction.


Natalie Hayley from Hot Content talked about how people increasingly want personalised content – content that they can really resonate with. Make people feel like you’re talking directly to them. Use ‘you’, not ‘we’ to bring people closer to you.

Talk to people as individuals, not as a tribe or a group. (Biz Paul). If people feel as if they’re part of a process, they won’t feel close to you. If people don’t feel close to you, how can you build up that all-important trust with them?


In her talk on Diversity, Jordie Wildin highlighted that every family represented on ‘Christmas ads’ on UK TV in 2018 featured one white skinned parent, one dark skinned parent and mixed race child/ren!

Whilst the agencies think they’re being inclusive – are they going deep enough when it comes to cultural insights? Are they just being tokenistic rather than adopting a holistic approach to diversity?

Your actions must match your words.


Your content shouldn’t be about YOU or your team – your content should be about what your audience want. Put yourself in the shoes of your (potential) customer. Whenever you’re thinking about content, think about it from your customer’s point of view.

James Dixon of Cartwright Communications warned us how easy it is to get ‘too enamoured by your own brainstorm’. Build in time for different voices and different perspectives.  Include members of your team into your creative processes, irrespective of whether they are junior to you they could still bring their insights to the table.

Constantly think whether you’re offering your audience a good experience, if you don’t think you are, go again.


Don’t disrupt your audience’s journey: add to it. Create content which will make them laugh, smile, cry – whatever but don’t annoy them! If you do, you’ll lose them.

Here’s an example I think you can all resonate with.

No matter how many times you’re served ‘that’ ad while you’re searching YouTube, telling you how easy it is to create your own website, I bet you click ‘stop seeing ad’ as soon as that pop-up appears.   If any of you have actually bought a website as a result of searching for videos on YouTube I would love to hear from you!

So there you have it – a whole day of incredible learning compacted into one blog! It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t come next year though, the conference was much more than just learning!

What else did MarketEd Live give the attendees?

  • Biz Paul (who doesn’t love our favourite marketing non-footballer?).
  • The content – each speaker offered a variety of content and some of the talks were completely different from anything I’ve seen at social media marketing conferences before.
  • The friends – of course it’s not all work, work, work at these events. There is a large element of meeting up with friends, meeting new friends and sharing information. Some call it networking!

What was my absolute favourite part of the day?

My favourite part of the conference however was Biz Paul’s announced intro!  As Paul walked into the room to go on stage the PA system announced him as if he was a rock star. It was such a professional start to the day!

Thank you Paul Ince and all the other speakers, the organisers and helpers for a great conference! See you all in 2020.


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