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The #dotmailersummit was back again for 2018, and it was bigger and better than ever before. With 1200 attendees, it was a packed day. Inspiration was a key theme, with many talks focused around the psychology of marketing and consumers. Here are our 4 biggest inspirational takeaways from the day:


1. Tap into Homophily for Success with your Advertising Campaigns

This tip came from Nathalie Nahai, the award-winning author of ‘The Web of Psychology’. In the world of modern marketing, she has identified the 4 major problems facing marketers today:

  • There’s more information available than ever before.
  • Customers are using multiple devices and channels.
  • Users expect more from personalised experiences.
  • Users also have a greater expectation of privacy.

To overcome these, marketers need to attract and hold the attention of the right people, build relationships with customers and deliver great content and experiences over time. To achieve this, it’s vital to understand the psychology of decision-making:

Where thought conflicts with emotion, the latter is designed by the neural circuitry in our brains to win

R. Carter (1999) Mapping the Mind. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press

Regarding the relationship between brand and customers, Nathalie highlighted ‘Trust’ as the biggest area for marketers to focus on. To build trust you need to create an environment that makes customers feel safe, understood and enabled and supported. This can be achieved through Homophily: The love of the sameMessages that appear to be authentic, and reflect our personal experiences, allow consumers to relate to your brand, thus promoting homophily.

Some brands are already succeeding in this. Here are two of Nathalie's favourite examples:

Gap’s photography campaigns, particularly this photo set of a model with her child in between official shoots:


And Dove’s emotional shorts, that promote self-love and address everyday issues that their target market experience:


These examples successfully create homophily between the brand and the consumer. Ultimately, this builds that sought-after emotion, which is often missing from client relationships: trust.

For more detailed insights, see Nathalie’s full presentation here

This talk was conducted by Nathalie Nahai - Author of the Web of Influence.

2. Social Influence has a Greater Impact than Any Monetary Motivation

Social Proof is the practice of using consumers’ reviews and Word of Mouth in marketing communications. Social Proof can influence normative social beliefs and ease the minds of worried customers.

There are plenty of real-world examples of Social Proof beyond the digital sphere. For example, imagine yourself walking past two restaurants; one is busy, the other is empty. Despite the menu, prices or any other influences, 9 times out of 10 consumers will believe that the busy restaurant is better than the empty one. We see a similar effect when people are queueing for something, a tactic heavily utilised by Apple.

Apple Queue Social Proof

Photo Credit - green_kermit

You can utilise Social Proof in multiple mays, for B2B and B2C marketing, by collecting:

  • Reviews
  • Likes and shares
  • Trust symbols
  • Testimonials
  • Case studies
  • Celebrity endorsements

But how can Social Proof be so effective that it’s more persuasive than money?

As discussed in Nathalie's talk, human emotion always wins over rational behaviour. Your willpower is eroded every time you have to make a decision. This contributes to the success of impulse purchases at checkouts: by the time you have navigated the supermarket aisles, you have made so many decisions that your willpower is too low to resist the sweet treats on offer.

When displaying Social Proof, ensure that you use models and imagery that are familiar to your buyer personas. Also, introduce Social Proof the whole way through the purchasing journey:

At the top of the funnel, where consumers are still collecting information, introduce review extensions on adverts to have an impact on search result pages, such as star ratings in your Google and Bing adverts. On social media, promote normal people using the product in everyday situations, to create a feeling of acceptance and relation.

At mid-funnel touchpoints use more immediate social influence, like time-stamped reviews, to re-enforce that the Social Proof is recent and relevant. You can also use pictures that relate to each persona, to tell a targeted story. Introducing detail and promoting reviews, about specific features or experiences, can also boost the sense of authenticity. Ultimately, it’s important to establish a human connection through a digital medium.

This presentation was delivered by Neil Bayton from Trust Pilot

3. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

It’s the golden age of marketing - don’t miss it

Chris Kubby - Kubby&co

Marketing is going through a renaissance: we have more tools at our disposal than ever before, and more data has been created and recorded in the last few years than in our entire existence on planet Earth.

Chris’s message for this talk was simple: don’t miss out on what works by always chasing the new thing. It can be tempting to prioritise innovation over tried and tested functionality; but “new” doesn’t always equal “better”.

Kubby illustrated his point with a quick virtual trip to Hollywood:

You don’t have to be eagle-eyed to noticed that Hollywood posters all look the same; but this is not through a lack of creativity. Such posters are an example of a clear ideology: if something works, you should use it again and again until it stops working. There is no need to waste resources on researching and creating a new method if the previous method still achieves the end goals efficiently.

transformers .           transformers-movie-poster-md

Photos Creds: IMBD and Cinematerial


Chris urged us to stop wasting time on trialing new techniques, rather to review what currently works and run with it. In a world of trends and fads, stand out by doing what works consistently and acknowledge that newer shinier techniques often don’t last.

This presentation was delivered by Chris Kubby - Kubb and Co.

4. Karen Brady’s 6 Ingredients for Success

Screen Shot 2018-04-20 at 11.23.04

Photo Credit: dotmailer twitter


Finally, Baroness Karen Brady delivered a speech about how her career has been shaped by successes and failures. She claims that this balance came particularly as a result of her being a woman in a male-dominated field at West Ham football club. She takes pride in kicking down the boardroom door and holding it open for as many women as possible. Brady said that she owes her success to figuring out her values in her early 20s; luckily for us, she shared these insights in the form of 6 key ingredients for success:

Leadership (not Management)

Leadership is more than just delegation and management; leadership is about having a vision. Importantly, a good leader must be able to communicate and persuade that vision to their peers and colleagues.

Ambition (not Ruthlessness)

Those who succeed are compelled to get the most out of life, and they know that nobody is going to hand it to them. Ambition is driven by a spark of inspiration that pushes people to keep on being successful and not to settle after the first breakthrough.


Before success, it’s inevitable to experience defeat. But success comes as the result of determination and strength of will to keep going: get knocked down 7 times, stand up 8.


The most important aspect of a successful attitude is acceptance: change what you can and accept what you can’t. For every uncertain strategy, you must ask: “If I take this risk, what is the worst thing that could happen?” The right attitude will help to weigh whether the benefits outweigh the potential costs.


The whole world steps aside for the person who knows where they are going. Ambition must be directed towards a clear end goal, or else nothing can compensate for the hours you put into something. Only with a clear direction can success truly be measured and achieved.


To be a success, you must understand the value of independence and continually strive for it. It’s important to define what methods enable you to do what you want and when; after that, be sure to put those methods into action. Only you know the ways in which you work most productively.

The #dotmailersummit was a fantastic day, offering fascinating actionable insights. But, first and foremost, what we took away from the summit was inspiration, and a refreshed perspective on our own activities. I hope this summary of takeaways has delivered the same for you too. If you’d like to find out more about the summit, check out the summit online


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