Wednesday 21 March 2018

DMX: speakers from Lego, Cosmo and Atom take to the floor

Delegates in lobby of DMX conference
Delegates in lobby of DMX conference
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Farrah Storr opened her keynote speech with a tale about how her mother used to religiously buy the glossy magazine.

 "I grew up in an inner city suburb outside Manchester with skyscrapers of Cosmopolitans lying around the house,"  she told the crowd at DMX at the Aviva Stadium.

 "The shopkeeper would hold on to a copy for my Mum and she would come home and devour the magazine. She got all her fashion and beauty advice from Cosmo. I don't really want to think about it but she probably got all her sex advice from it too."

The packed President Suite - primarily full of women - warmed to the editor who explained how she faced the difficult task of 'resetting' Cosmopolitan when she was appointed to the role.

Despite facing a print culture who saw digital as a competitor rather than a collaborator, Storr has managed to make Cosmo visible across a range of online social platforms since her appointment.

Her efforts have managed to return Cosmo to the number one women's magazine slot in the UK for the first time in 17 years.

INM booth in lobby of DMX conference
INM booth in lobby of DMX conference

"I think it's ludicrous that papers like the Guardian charge you for their content. Snapchat and Twitter and the digital sphere are not our enemies," she said.

"If you're serving content, wherever you're serving it, it should all feed back at some point."

Just under 1,000 guests are attending Ireland's largest marketing conference DMX Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.

For the delegates, manoeuvring around the speakers rooms has been made easier by assigning relevant names and colours - with helpful related arrows - to each of the five streams.

At the heart of the activity is the blue President's Terrace where big brands and global impacts are being discussed by speakers such as Social Chain's Steven Bartlett, and Lego's Peter Kim.

Atom Bank's Lisa Wood also showcased her financial firm's innovative digital offering for her customers. The DMX crowd heard how to build a 'Customer Obsessed Brand' from Atom's Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) - not to mention her thoughts on rapidly advancing technology, including AI and virtual reality.

"Virtual reality is going to become more commonplace - it's going to become more than just a fad," she said.

"As a consumer, if I don't want to go out in the pouring rain and I want a new way to do my weekly shop from my living room, that's going to become an option."

HubSpot's Christian Kinnear and Tourism Ireland's Mark Henry also feature as part of the red President's Suite stream where the future of retail and tech is explored.

The other three streams in the Henry Dunlop (green), O'Connell (yellow) and Aviva Box 442 (orange) where speakers such as YouTube's Ross Mooney and BBC's Richard Bowman discuss the evolution of collaboration, key leadership skills and the death of digital.

Social Chain's CEO and co-founder Steve Bartlett spoke to before the DMX event kicked off and we asked: What is unique about the way your company tailors 'The Thunderclap' that had led to such dramatic wins?

"With the Thunderclap, this was one of those times where we looked at the conventional way of how things were done. In this case, advertising, and we thought there was a better way for it to be done, so we went with our instinct," Mr Bartlett told

 "This is something that we’ve always done throughout the history of the company, and it’s no surprise that this way of thinking has led to great results for us, when we first executed a Thunderclap, nobody had ever advertised on Twitter, on communities like that, in that way before, so how could a book tell us the correct way for that to be done?

 "It couldn’t, so we had to trust that we, as young people, with a great understanding of how that platform and those communities worked, would understand the best way to talk to other young people and have the most impact.

 What draws clients to Social Chain - why is it so unique?

"At Social Chain, we own such a diverse and large range of communities online that we are lucky to be able to tailor each campaign to the client, offering them communities which fits their target audience," said Mr Bartlett.

"We have access to deep data that pins down the demographics of our audience, utilising industry leading social software such as Crimson Hexagon and Tubular.

"When Dom and myself started Social Chain, we knew we were onto something special. For a while we never actively targeted the media, we started out working with some of the biggest clients and as this expanded, the media cottoned on that something pretty unique was happening.

"The media has definitely steered our trajectory, we never felt the need to shout about what we were achieving, so the media focused more on our culture, people and the environment in which we worked. Social Chain follows an unconventional model in terms of how we employ, our office space and our ethic here, so that in itself attracted a large degree of attention."

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