prolific north live 2018

At seventy7 it’s vital to the business that we’re constantly expanding and evolving our team, bringing together a wide variety of points of view. Originating from Belgium, Annebeth Claes joins us as an Intern to the Communications Team and has hit the ground running at seventy7 Manchester and out at events across the city. Here, she updates us on a day spent immersed in the world of Prolific North Live.


Prolific North Live is the biggest marketing two-day expo organised outside of London. Marketers and business people from all over the country come to exchange knowledge and experiences and also to complete their current knowledge by attending the guest lectures Prolific North Live offers.

The EventCity venue in Manchester was transformed into a place where you can meet and network with other agencies and companies while drinking a delicious coffee or enjoying a tasty meal. Besides that, they of course also offered different “theatres” where the guest lectures took place. There was plenty of atmosphere and an awful a lot happening there!

As a full digital, content and photography agency we, of course, were also interested in what we could learn about the upcoming changes to the current marketing landscape by attending the different guest lectures. And we were pleasantly surprised by how much there was to learn!

I would like to tell you a bit more about what we were totally blown away by. To make that happen, let’s divide our experiences from the day into four categories: general business; digital, marketing and advertising; technology and unique business experiences.

General Business

We again got the message of how important it is to listen to your clients and also to do something with the insights they (in)directly give you. This was really good explained by Richard Kenyon who talked about how he as the director of marketing and communication at the Everton Football Club deals with all the information he gets from their audience and fans.

Besides this, knowing how your customer’s mind works could also be helpful while dealing with future customers. Martin Lucas from Mastermind explained that humans are still irrational creatures. This is also why personalisation often contains a certain amount of guesswork which can ruin their experience when it isn’t done in the right way. Attraction is, after all, a form of science and all people really care about is their ego and how other people see them.

Digital, Marketing and Advertising

We learned that not all agencies are only interested in the general opinion and profits they generate with their campaign but that there are also agencies who really want to change the world. Peter Mann from CDS explained how they as an agency really want to make a difference by taking part in campaigns around the Ebola virus treatment unit, the police force employment and many more.

Furthermore, getting the chance to meet the new digital marketing trends from 2018 is something we really shouldn’t turn down. Dave Chaffey from analysed the trends and advised us to look out for: optimizing our race lifecycle model, AI and machine learning, AMP’s (accelerated mobile pages), PWA’s (progressive web apps), CRO (conversion rate optimization), USP’s and OVP’s (unique selling point and online value proposition), Google Optimize and GDPR (general data protection regulation).

Apart from all this, Sarah Salter from Wavemaker pointed out the importance of start-ups in business. Start-ups are adapting more and more to different new business levels instead of working with the somewhat older but very effective ones. The consequence is that existing businesses have problems with adapting to these new rules and business models which can have negative effects for those businesses.


There is a lot happening in 2018 with technology. AI (artificial intelligence) will be more popular than ever and it will also be easier to apply this technology to your business. Ellie England from Bing talked us through the different trends concerning AI: voice optimization will become the norm (e.g. Microsoft Cortana which will function as a personal digital assistant). It won’t be necessary anymore to have Skype calls in the same language because AI will make it possible to talk in your own language and make yourself still understandable by the other party.  Lastly, she also talked about search intelligence as a part of AI which we all know as SEO, SEM and SEA.

Aside from that, Nick McAleenan from JMW made us aware that it is important to know what you’re getting into and who you’re working with. Trusting systems and people is not more than normal but as a company, you need to think twice before you team up with somebody or trust them with crucial information about your company.

AI is everywhere but not everyone sees it in the same way. Professor at MBE, Danielle George, sees new technologies as an ordinary combination of zeroes and ones.. She also talked about different ways those new technologies are being applied. For example Valkyrie, NASA’s robot, which will be our first step to having human colonization on Mars. Or the fact that AI is now able to play poker better than professional poker players. Besides all this, she also believes that most jobs will be automated by 2030 but that this will also create new jobs that would not be possible without those new technologies.

We were also introduced to Extended Reality (XR) by Caius Eugene from Corporation pop. Extend reality is an umbrella term for augmented reality, virtual reality and mixed reality. Virtual Reality (VR) is now being used by the CSI for virtopsy which is a virtual alternative for a normal autopsy. It is also applied to train employees. Augmented reality (AR) is a term we all know from the more than popular Pokemon Go app. Ikea now also uses AR for their app IKEA Place with which you can see how a piece of furniture will look in your living room, kitchen, etc. Mixed reality is a combination of virtual and augmented reality. This combination makes it for example possible to be applied for holo anatomy which is again another way to look at the human body and learn from it.

Unique Business Experiences

Finally, hearing people talk about their own experiences in the business industry helps us fully understand what has happened within that company and how they handled the changes. We learned from Alison Last from Kellogs about the importance of believing in your own company and telling your own story instead of spending all your time focusing on your competitors and the market itself. Adam Carolan from Xentum also explained to us the importance of keeping your personal life separate from your business life. David Ingram from Bring Digital spoke about the importance of conversations between companies and agencies. You should not assume things but ask them if you’re not certain. The common goal you all want to reach are great results and this can only be reached by talking to each other about what they understand by “great results”.

To summarise: Prolific North Live was a great event with very interesting topics and speakers. We learned a lot.

Imogen Gee

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