The Turing Festival 2016: My 3 Top Takeaways

The Turing Festival is an annual conferenced in Edinburgh. This year was the first year I’ve attended and it was great. It was a two-day event, on 18-19th August. The first day was a product based day, with the second day being full stack marketing. I only made the second day.

The conference was based in the fantastic Central Hall venue and had around 500 people there on the Friday. The day was packed with some great speakers and I’m sure everyone went away with a lot of great takeaways.

It was especially interesting for me because I hosted a lunchtime workshop on Facebook advertising. It was just a short 10 minute talk, but was great to be part of such a great event.

I wanted to write this short article to highlight my main three takeaways.

Match your Content Goals to your Organisations goals

In Rand Fishkin’s talk, he spoke about content marketing and how there’s so much bad advice out there. We see articles like “10 tactics every content marketer should use” thrown about all the time. Rand wanted to offer better approaches to strategy, creation, and optimisation in his talk.

One of the things that stood out to me was when he spoke about our content goals. Normally we hear things like:

Go Viral!

Grow our traffic!

Boost sales!

But rather than having those generic goals, we want to be more specific and link them to our actual business goals. For example, if an organisation goal is to grow top-of-funnel for product ‘x’ by 25% this year, our content goal could then be something like: identify and create content that helps audience in our field.

Or if an organisation goal was: win more head to head deals with competitor ‘y’, we could create comparison articles and rank for us vs ‘y’ terms.

But that’s not the end, we then need to show the connection between goals and & metrics. Rand shared this slide which gives a great example:

It was a great way to show how content marketing can actually generate real business results. Especially helpful for me as it’s important for me to be able to educate my clients on why content marketing is so important.

As marketers, we need to understand human psychology first and foremost

Wil Reynolds started his talk, by taking us back in time. He spoke about how Michelin have been using ‘content marketing’ since the early 1900’s. The main premise of his talk was about how we need to stop focusing on trying to rank for keywords, but instead we should be trying to solve the needs of our audience.

We need to understand basic human psychology – understanding why people buy things. If we understand why people buy and what they may be searching for on Google before buying, we can create content that ranks on Google and solves their problem/question. But we must look at the problem first, and the keywords second.

Shown in one of his slides:


We need to market to the full funnel

Samantha Noble’s talk was titled ‘It’s not all about the endgame’. She spoke about how as paid media marketers, we often pay too much attention to the bottom of the funnel (acquiring the sale). We tend to neglect the rest of the funnel and by doing so, we’re missing out on a huge percentage of the market.

This is effectively what I spoke about during my lunchtime workshop. Only a small percentage of people are at the end of our funnel, yet we focus all our efforts on them.

Samantha used a great image of a funnel, to show the different steps to which we can market to. The majority of people aren’t going to be at that ‘buy’ stage. Most of them are going to be above that. So we need to tailor our marketing messages to every section of the funnel.


Her talk was focusing on Google Adwords, but the theory behind her talk could be applied to any sort of funnel or paid media, such as Facebook advertising. We can do this by sending cold audience to our content to make them aware of who we are. We can then retarget them with ads to ask them to sign up to a lead magnet and from there nurturing them until they convert into a sale (it’s not that simple, but that’s the basic premise).


Overall, it was a great day and I learned a lot. The team deserve a lot of credit for getting so many great speakers and putting on a great day. If you’re interested in seeing the presentation I put on, here is the slides:

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