Yesterday saw the start of our Digital Marketing Forum (DMF) at Olympia London, and with a huge turn out with a great variety of attendees from all aspects of the industry, we saw some fantastic panel content, along with a great atmosphere.

As we head into the second day at the Olympia, we look back on some of the highlights from the first day of the DMF.

The first panel session saw the covering of what an affiliate really is. With guests such as Clive Hawkswood, Chairman of RAIG.org, Gloria Cedera, Head of Commerical Sport at Catena Media, Guy Harding who is Head of Commercial at Oddschecker and Adam Bielinksi, CEO/Co-owner of iGaming Nuts, the collective delved into the fact that affiliates are no longer a lead generation panel.

The discussion saw the idea of affiliates taking on a broader function within the acquisition mix, where customer personalisation and conversation data is seen to be playing a much bigger role.

Our second panel saw the topic of Global Opportunities. Speakers came from a great selection of businesses such as Matthew Symmonds, Director at Web Analysis Solutions, Shane McGinley, Senior Business Analyst at Covers.com and Simon Pilkington, Head of International Markets at Kafe Rocks.

This panel was moderated by Catena Media’s Head of Strategic Events, Shona ODonnell, who said: “The event has been fantastic as I find it is really important to meet people face to face, there is no substitute for that.

“A highlight for me was moderating my first session. That went really well, we got some good insights and it has really helped people in developing their own knowledge, which is what these events are all about.”

Our Rise of the Millennial and Understanding Digital Culture panel saw our speaker, Nick Garner, founder of Rise.Digital share an incredible amount of stats surrounding gamer gambling and how they are engaging with gambling content.

The Big Search Debate panel covered the topic of how voice search is continuing to grow in popularity and also where it fits into acquisition strategy. The speaker here was managing director and co-founder of Rabit + Pork, John Campbell.

John explained how digital marketers can optimise their search engine strategies in order to accommodate voice activated search tactics.

The Esports panel was moderated again by Lee-Ann, where she welcomed Mark Reed, Managing Director of Heaven Media, Sujoy Roy, Director of Esports at Luckbox.com and Sarah McChesney-Gordon, client service director at Fresh8.

This discussion was one that expressed the massive opportunity in the industry but not in a traditional affiliate sense, however the fragmented market is still looking for community activation and return on marketing investment (ROI).

Towards the end of the day, the Future of Media panel highlighted that block chain is going to be used in more innovated ways, which include reducing costs on media buying. Zheng Zhang, CEO of Envisionx.co said how currently media owners are only averaging 64 cents in the pound on their media spend which is being targeted to the end user.

The final panel of the day saw Bonuses and Social Responsibility in Gaming. Speakers on this panel were Allan Turner, Founder of Mustard Digital, Ian Sims, Founder of Rightlander.com and Laurenci Dow, Head of Marketing and Affiliates at Jumpman Gaming. With the panel being moderated by Christina Thakor-Rankin, the panel touched on what’s changed and how are you implementing smarter marketing to incentivise, engage and convert customers.

Laurenci Dow, Head of Marketing and Affiliates, Jumnpman Gaming said: ” This was a very insightful event and it was great being on a panel with people who have been in the business for many years.

“The main takeaway is that we all have a responsibility to build stronger trust between affiliates and operators. Educational events like this is what we need for digital marketing success.”

For more information and round ups of what happens at the rest of the event at the Olympia London, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter here.