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12 June 2018

3 learnings from The Next Web Conference 2018

On the important day of May 25th 2018, not only did someone wish me a 'Happy GDPR-day', I also attended The Next Web (TNW) Conference in Amsterdam.

THoMer Stephanie Tang at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam
The Next Web Conference is Europe’s largest tech festival gathering around 15.000 people eager to meet and listen to some of the most inspiring tech entrepreneurs, marketing gurus and policy makers. All of that in an incredible setting that looks more like a big summer music festival.

Here are 3 talks I attended and would like to share with you.

1. David Mattin on how to spot successful innovations

“How to determine what people want next? What makes an innovation successful?” David Mattin from TrendWatching sure knows how to get his audience’s attention. Shall we ask people what they want? No, they will never tell the truth. Crunch data then? Hell no.

What should we do instead, David? Well, empathize. It means understanding the consumer, because great innovation and design start with core human needs and wants. The question you should ask yourself when coming across some kind of innovation is: “How is this innovation serving a basic human need in a new way? Back to basics it is.

2. Ron Faris on the future of retail and the digital community

Why should you be tied to a long-term commercial lease when you can do like Nike and create shops in the open space? Wait, what?

S23NYC, Nike’s innovation lab based in New York, strives to build emotional customer experiences on mobile phones for the most fanatic fans: the Hype Beasts, as they are called. Hype Beasts represent 20% of Nike’s audience compared to the 80% Style Seekers (read: Followers).

The sneaker community is emotional and obsessed with everything the brand does – and they  have another common characteristic: they would all line up for the latest products and then spread the word in a very passionate and genuine way. Based on the Pokémon Go model, Nike unleashed several pairs of limited edition sneakers out in the open and let the fanatical community hunt for them.

The result? In the US, Nike’s share of mobile commerce sales, also known as m-commerce, skyrocketed from less than 2% in 2010 to almost 25% in 2017. Bottom line, S23NYC isn’t just modifying how Nike sells its shoes — it’s definitely rethinking who Nike sells its shoes to.

3. Len Shneyder on how emailing can help you stand out in a crowded market

Len Shneyder from SendGrid shared tips on how email can win in a crowded market. Because email is cheap and fast, many companies roll out email campaigns, but how can you stand out?  

Email comes with challenges, from creative to technical to legal points of view, email might not be as easy as you think. According to Shneyder, there are 5 key factors for a successful email campaign:

  1. Design
    • Design for small screens and test!
  2. Content
    • Content starts with subject lines and preheaders
    • Choose your calls-to-action wisely: there should only be  one or two
  3. Context
    • Contextualize and personalize your content. Never send an email out of the blue
  4. Globalization
    • Understand the nuances across Internet Service Providers (ISP) and privacy regimes
    • Consider how your audience interacts with email: is it a culture where emails are only opened during business hours?
  5. Deliverability
    • There is no engagement without deliverability and only healthy lists yield high deliverability. How do you  keep your lists healthy?
      • Don't over-communicate
      • A/B test and optimize
      • Stop sending to non-openers
      • Never buy email lists


Do you  agree that the future is in innovation answering basic human needs, m-commerce and emailing? Well, then you, me and everyone at The House of Marketing have something in common. Disagree? Let’s have a talk.

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