2 days / 15 talks
Awesome and great blog

January 25-27


Gianpaolo Lorusso is a PPC and CRO freelance professional. He has been involved in web marketing since 2003 and has never looked back. In 2012 he created ADworld Experience and today it’s the largest PPC-cases-only event in the world.

He was one of the first Italian web professionals who got involved in Search Engine Marketing in late nineties. He contributes to several PPC industry-specialized blogs and speaks regularly on international web marketing events.

Gianpaolo was working as a Marketing Manager with one of the largest web agencies in Italy until 2008. Later, he started working as a freelance professional, handling various marketing tasks with SME (Small & Medium-sized Enterprises) and multinational companies. Finally, Gianpaolo found his calling in AdWords and Conversion Rate Optimization (If you want to learn about Conversion Rate Optimization, find our post – WTF is CRO anyway)

Gianpaolo is a keynote at 3XE Digital Conversion Conference on 8th February 2018. His presentation at the conference is on ‘Methodology to Objectively Measure an AdWords campaign, Regardless of Its Structure’. Pay per Click advertising campaigns allow you to maximize your company’s visibility and boost conversion rates. In this interactive talk, Gianpaolo will cover everything you need to know about Pay Per Click Google AdWords and how to achieve maximum value from your Pay Per Click AdWords account campaigns.

He is now actively working as AdWords & Conversion Rate Optimizer for many important companies and Non Profit organizations. His latest project is, an AdWords performance monitoring tool available in free beta.

3XE Digital: What will you be speaking about at 3XE?

Gianpaolo: At 3XE I will show a simple, but extremely powerful and scalable methodology to check all kinds of AdWords accounts, I patented last year in USA.

3XE Digital: What are the 3 takeaways that you think delegates will get from your presentation?

Gianpaolo: They will learn:

1) how to check the optimization level of a PPC account (AdWords & Bing) in minutes, regardless of its structure.

2) which areas of the account need more attention

3) have some quick tips on how to optimize all of them.

3XE Digital: What emerging trends will affect your business during 2018?

Gianpaolo: Both AdWords and Bing Ads are making a major shift towards automation. As PPC professionals we will soon be asked to move from creating & managing campaigns to build effective strategies and optimize conversions. That’s why the new edition of ADworld Experience (which will be on 12-13 April 2018 in Bologna, Italy – or available on live online streaming) is focusing on these topics.

3XE Digital: What websites and people influence you on a day to day basis?

Gianpaolo: There are a lot of valuable resources to stay up-to-date on PPC & CRO. I do a weekly video recap of all major updates and post the videos on my blog page.

3XE Digital: How was year 2017 for you? What are your plans for this year?

Gianpaolo: It was excellent. I wrote a book on AdWords which will be available exactly on the day of 3XE Conversion Conference. Currently, it is available only in Italian but in 2018 I’ll also have an English edition of this book.

PPC expert, Gianpaolo Lorusso will talk on ‘Methodology to Objectively Measure an AdWords campaign Regardless of Its Structure’ at 3XE Digital Conversion Conference on 8th Feb 2018 at Croke Park, Dublin.

Take a look at the event schedule – 3XE Digital Conversion, 8th Feb 2018

Gianpaolo’s Blog on PPC and CRO updates –  


Achint Sehgal is a Certified Information Privacy Professional and a Privacy Engineer at OneTrust. He is globally responsible for solutions engineering at OneTrust. In his role, Sehgal advises many of the world’s leading organizations on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) solution implementations with extensive experience building and scaling enterprise-level privacy programs.

On a regular day at work, he liaisons with Privacy, Product, Marketing, R&D, PSO, and Sales teams for driving product roadmap and working directly with their customers, while also offering GDPR solution implementation best practices. Sehgal frequently speaks at industry events, including global PrivacyConnect workshops, where he provides deep insight into regulatory issues and practical approaches to compliance.

Achint Sehgal is a keynote at 3XE Digital Conversion Conference on 8th February 2018. He is speaking on the much-discussed topic in digital industry – GDPR: How to Tackle Consent and Preference Management. Consent is an active area that many organizations are currently struggling with in GDPR (and ePrivacy). Consent impacts both B2B and B2C marketing activities, as well as deeper business activities that may require consent such as automatic decision making, processing special categories of data, or cross-border data transfers. This session will help clarify why consent is so unique in GDPR, when you do (and don’t) need consent, and practical case studies of how to tackle consent, re-consent, and preference management in practice.

GDPR Consent by OneTrust at 3XE Digital Conversion

OneTrust is a global leader in enterprise privacy management software, enabling organizations to operationalize privacy compliance. The platform is used by over 1500 organizations worldwide to demonstrate compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Prior to OneTrust, Sehgal spent several years as a solutions architect at global technology organizations, where he implemented infrastructures in the Human Capital Management, Procure-to-Pay, and Order-2-Cash Saas spaces.  He holds a M.S. in Manufacturing Systems and B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ahead of the conference, we had a quick conversation with 3XE Digital keynote Achint Sehgal about his outlook on digital developments and his participation with 3XE Digital:

3XE Digital: Tell us about your journey in the digital world and one thing that inspired you here.

Sehgal: Beginning with education, and through industry experiences, I’ve constantly been involved in design and implementations of B2B & B2C solutions, with far reaching audience. I’m most inspired by individuals committed to providing the best products on the market.

3XE Digital: What will you be speaking about at 3XE?

Sehgal: I will be speaking about practical approaches to managing Consent as required under GDPR.

3XE Digital: What are the 3 takeaways that you think delegates will get from your presentation?

Sehgal: Delegates will get:

    1. How Consent is specifically defined under GDPR
    2. Practical ways of getting consent from individuals
    3. Regulatory requirements for Consent and the overall consent lifecycle

3XE Digital: What emerging trends will affect your business during 2018?

Sehgal: We believe that the upcoming ePrivacy Regulation and the enforcement of the GDPR will impact the privacy industry – also impacted by the increasing awareness amongst people about their rights under these regulations.

3XE Digital: What websites and people influence you on a day to day basis?

Sehgal: LinkedIn’s Daily Rundowns, World Economic Forum, Product Hunt, Your Story, and Humans of NY. I’m most inspired by leaders such as Elon Musk and Jeff Weiner.

3XE Digital: How was year 2017 for you? What are your plans for this year?

Sehgal: 2017 was a year full of personal and professional growth. Looking forward to the rest of 2018 with advances in global professional footprint and traveling to more places around the world.

Achint Sehgal is speaking at 3XE Digital Conversion Conference on Thursday, 8th February in Croke Park, Dublin.

Find the event schedule here – 3XE Digital Conversion, 8th Feb 2018

Last few tickets available – Book Now


Frederique Hugonnet is a Partnership Manager at Pinterest. She helps Irish and International partners advertise on the Pinterest platform. Frederique has been part of Dublin’s progressive international IT scene for past 8 years. She started as a campaign manager at Yahoo! and has also worked with Adara, a travel data-based advertising platform. Before joining Pinterest, she was working as an account manager with Twitter. With a little more than a year at Pinterest, Frederique manages the top Irish and multinational accounts. She says ‘I love the constant evolution of this industry and the ever-learning aspect of working in digital marketing.’

Conversions with Visual content at 3XE Digital

Pinterest is a catalogue of ideas and a source of inspiration. Their mission is to help people discover and do what they love.  Frederique tells, ‘We help people search through more than 100 billion of the world’s best ideas, and then incorporate those ideas in their own lives.’

Talking about the emerging digital trends for 2018, Frederique explains ‘There is a move from keyword search to voice and visual search. And then there’s the evolution of measurement from online multi-touche to include offline sales.’

Frederique Hugonnet is a keynote at 3XE Digital Conversion Conference held on 8th February 2018, in Dublin. At the conference she is speaking on how to ‘Drive Online Conversion Through Visual Discovery with Pinterest’. Visual content plays a major role for modern day brands. Images and videos are an absolute requirement as part of messaging and presentations. Pinterest has been at the forefront of this development for the past 5 years and continues to help brands in innovative and thought-provoking ways. In her presentation, Frederique will share some case studies and examples for best tactics to use imagery in the marketing mix and how Pinterest is fast becoming the platform of choice for smart marketers.

When we asked Frederique for the 3 takeaways that the delegates will get from her presentation, she kindly quoted ‘Delegates will be able to learn how significant is Visual Discovery for the future of search, how Pinterest can help using visual discovery to drive conversions, and best methods to adapt the creative strategy online to reach the objectives.’

3XE Digital Conversion Conference on 8th February is the opportunity to raise your digital techniques by learning effective usage of visual content by Frederique Hugonnet.

Frederique will be one of our morning speakers. Read the entire conference schedule here – 3XE Digital Conversion, 8th Feb 2018

If you still haven’t booked, don’t wait any longer to reserve your spot. Click here to buy tickets – Book Now


Adrian Marks is a serial entrepreneur, customer acquisition specialist, author and public speaker. Having built and sold two multi-million pound businesses, Adrian is an engaging, brutally honest, forward thinking speaker on sales, social media, digital marketing and business growth.

His background in behavioural selling combined with his relentless desire for commerciality provides for a profound understanding of how and why people buy, what makes people tick (and click!), and how to create compelling stories, messages and brands in this social-digital world.

Adrian’s company ‘enjoy!’ is a specialist Customer Acquisition Agency.

When enjoy! started in 1998, they believed – ‘Return on Investment (ROI) is everything; for our Clients’ success and for our own’. That remains the same even today. From an expert mix of psychologists, marketers, sales gurus, strategists and creative thinkers all driven by an insatiable desire for commerciality and results, enjoy! has grown from a small consultancy with one Client into the UK’s leading Customer Acquisition Agency.

enjoy!’s journey into digital was as much by accident with Adrian developing a series of unique Behavioural Selling Strategies™, mixing that with traditional media our modern selling techniques, when implemented, increase levels of consumer engagement, generate more enquiries and ultimately increase sales conversions providing unprecedented results.

On 8th February, at the 3XE Digital Conversion Conference, Adrian Marks is giving an insightful talk on ‘Behavioural Selling Strategies – How People Tick and Click…’ In this exciting presentation Adrian will be sharing Behavioural Selling Strategies to deliver a mix of lead generation marketing, digital strategies, social response marketing and referral marketing – all geared towards a relentless focus on return on investment.

Adrian is delighted to be attending 3XE as a keynote. He will be speaking on how people are irrational, emotional and impulsive in 90% of their decisions – yet almost always logically justify every action they take. ‘Why’ people buy and what you need to do to align your marketing and sales activity to fit this behavioural process will be at the core of this impactful, insightful, and story filled presentation.

People will be able to take away the 3 following points –

  1. To quickly implement behavioural selling strategies based on consumer behaviour.
  2. They will come away with tools to be used alongside their current marketing activity and strategies within those tools to dramatically increase their sales.
  3. Lastly, they will come away thinking differently about how/why their customers buy.

Mark your calendar to meet Adrian Marks at 3XE Digital Conversion Conference on 8th February at Croke Park, Dublin.

Find the entire conference schedule here – 3XE Conversion Conference, 8th Feb 2018

And if you’re YET to book your tickets to 3XE conversion conference, click here – Book Now


Bastian Grimm is the CEO and Director Organic Search at Peak Ace, where he oversees SEO as well as Performance Content Marketing.

Bastian who enjoys travelling and meeting new people, had started his career with software deployment. Having more than 15 years of experience in online marketing, Bastian still enjoys all the aspects of technical digital marketing.

Today he is a renowned digital expert for large scale international SEO, handling sites with 1 million+ pages in highly competitive industries.

Peak Ace is an international Performance Marketing agency based in Berlin, Germany. An award winning company, Peak Ace gives a strong focus on “all things search”, serving customers in more than 20 different languages. Bastian shares ‘With more than 90 employees, we implement native speaker level campaigns in these different languages and we are among the fastest-growing technology companies in Germany.’

On 8th February, at the 3XE Digital Conversion Conference, Bastian Grimm will be telling us about the fast changing Google Search. Naming his discussion topic ‘OK Google, what’s next? Getting control over the unexpected!’, Bastian will cover the most important features of Google search. As Google is getting smarter, he’ll also talk about the impact of new technologies on user behaviour and best ways to marry your efforts with CRO and great User Experience.

On our recent conversation with Bastian Grimm, we learnt more about him, his interesting work and his participation with 3XE Digital:

3XE Digital: Tell us about your journey in the digital world and one thing that inspired you here.

Bastian: I started in software deployment back in the day and ended up online in 1999. I was building websites at the time and at some point, got pretty annoyed about not having any visitors on those. Which was kind of my first touch point with search and actually SEO as well. I worked as an affiliate, moved in-house (amongst other things I was working for a company called Jamba / Jamster which sold mobile phone ringtones at the time; good old times!), went freelance again and now I’m heading Peak Ace AG.

3XE Digital: What will you be speaking about at 3XE?

Bastian: I’ll be touching on how search and user experience are coming more and more together as Google is getting better and better in understanding what users expect and really want. I think to create successful businesses, therefore a long lasting online business is critical. Of course CRO plays a major part in building successful businesses and their monetization strategies, so this will be the core of my talk. I’ll speak on how to integrate these practices and make it most beneficial for all parties involved.

3XE Digital: What are the 3 takeaways that you think delegates will get from your presentation on Google Search?

Bastian: The three major areas I’ll be talking about are: Convenience, Instant and Familiarity. I’ll be showing why they are relevant, how to utilize them and what they mean to your day-to-day CRO work.

3XE Digital: Which websites and people influence you on a day to day basis?

Bastian: I think it’s really hard and actually would be unfair to just pick one; I think in jobs like ours (in general, with any marketing role) it’s essential to have a trusted network. You need like-minded peers to bounce ideas or to just quickly “sense check” some of the things and thoughts that come along. Conferences such as 3XE Digital are actually a great tool to build and extent exactly this – so for me networking at events is absolutely key.

3XE Digital: How was year 2017 for you? What are your plans for this year?

Bastian: Pretty crazy to be honest – but that’s probably true for previous years as well. We almost doubled in staff again, got various awards and will now be adding just another office location in Berlin. So, it’s really going very well and we’re super happy and thankful for our clients and their trust in our work, which allows us to grow and develop further.


Don’t miss the opportunity of enriching your organic search knowledge, shared by Bastian Grimm at 3XE Digital Conversion Conference on 8th Feb 2018 in Croke Park, Dublin.

Find the Conference details here – Conversion Conference Schedule


If you’re yet to buy the conference tickets, click here…



We have a fantastic delegate list coming to 3XE Digital Conversion Conference. Here is a small sample of some of the companies coming to hear about the very latest trends in digital marketing.

The 3XE Digital Conversion conference will be held on 8th February 2018 in Croke Park, Dublin. Best in industry speakers will address the various aspects involved in improving the Conversion Rate.


Facebook’s changed news feed algorithm has created a commotion in the digital market. Businesses are panicking as Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will give preference to posts from friends and family, over content from businesses and brands.


Local businesses, international organizations and marketers are dependent on social media marketing for brand awareness, better customer relationships, more exposure and also for improved sales. And among various social media channels, Facebook has continued to be an optimal platform for achieving business goals.

With the new Facebook algorithm in place, a post will reach fewer people if we aren’t aware of the strategies to make it work. Some marketers say that engaging content will be the solution, while some say that paid marketing will the only way to achieve results. Sighting the uproar among digital marketers and businesses, 3XE Digital Conversion Conference convinced digital expert Robert Farrell to come and share his authoritative suggestions on effective ways to respond to updated news feed algorithm of Facebook.

Robert Farrell is the Course Director of The Digital Marketing Academy of Ireland.  Previously, he worked with the Digital Marketing Institute, lectured with Dublin Business School and ran training projects with the Irish Computer Society. Robert likes to stay up to date and is a judge for the eir Spider awards, Digital Media Awards, PostGrad Awards and several others.  Never happy to sit still, he works with several Irish colleges by reviewing and approving their courses. A nerd at heart, Robert loves keeping up to date with Digital Marketing trends and is happiest chatting about them in class or at conferences.

At 3XE Digital Conversion Conference on 8th February in Dublin, Robert Farrell will conduct the workshop titled ‘Facebook – How will the changed Facebook News Feed impact your Conversion Rate’

Talking about his workshop, Robert tells ‘Facebook is changing its news feed algorithm and the digital marketing community is divided. Some believe that producing highly engaging content is the key to forming lasting relationships with audiences, while others believe that paid support is the only way to be seen in a pay to play world. Find out what this means for you and decide where you stand on the divide.’

Apart from designing content, structure and assignments for the various course offerings of DMAI, Robert Farrell manages the tutors who are again industry experts. Robert also, looks after the day-to-day running of courses at DMAI. Mentioning about the academy, Robert says ‘we’re helping people to improve their understanding of digital marketing, so that people can implement the practices in personal businesses and achieve their career goals. We do this by teaching our students the latest practices in digital marketing.’

Regardless of whether you’re studying in a classroom or online environment, DMAI offers plenty of opportunities to engage with expert tutors and fellow students.

We recently had the opportunity of listening to the knowledgeable and engaging thoughts of 3XE Digital’s keynote speaker Robert Farrell. Excerpts from the interview:

3XE Digital: Tell us about your journey in the digital world and one thing that inspired you here.

Robert: Several years ago, before getting into digital marketing I spoke with several agencies. A friend from college then gave me some great advice. She told me to find an emerging area that would be big in the future and get in early; for me that was digital marketing.

I love how digital marketing can level the playing field. It doesn’t matter whether you are a global brand or a small local company – digital marketing allows you to have an online presence and communicate with customers around the world.

3XE Digital: What will you be speaking about at 3XE?

Robert: The main focus of my talk at 3XE will be on how and why Facebook have updated their News Feed algorithm. This change will impact how brand content will be ranked and displayed, so I will be looking at what this means and how brands can respond.

3XE Digital: What are the 3 takeaways that you think delegates will get from your workshop?

Robert: Delegates attending my session will leave with:

  1. An understanding of the current trends and changes on Facebook.
  2. A clear idea of how to use a two-pronged approach to succeeding on Facebook.
  3. Up-to-date knowledge so that they can confidently speak with their clients or other stakeholders about these changes

As part of the workshop, Robert is gathering feedback from the industry and have created this survey. Please feel free to send it to your delegates and/or post to social media – results will be discussed at his 3XE workshop next week.

3XE Digital: What emerging trends will affect your business during 2018?

Robert: Our students’ user experience is a big focus for us in 2018. We are investing heavily in upgrading our existing student platform to make the user experience even more intuitive and interactive.

3XE Digital:What websites and people influence you on a day to day basis?

Robert: There are so many. Every week I tune in to ‘Winners and Losers’ from Professor Scott Galloway of L2 Inc. I also read a lot from The Drum, Social Media Examiner, Hubspot, eMarketer, Marketing Week and AdWeek. Gartner, McKinsey and the Harvard Business Review produce some really good research but it can be strategic and less tactical.

3XE Digital: How was year 2017 for you? What are your plans for this year?

Robert: Last year was a great year. We grew our student numbers significantly and improved our internal processes. This year I’ll be building on the achievements of 2017 with growth, internal improvement and I’ll also have student experience at the top of the agenda.

Robert Farrell is giving a comprehensive workshop on New Facebook Algorithms, on 8th February 2018, at 3XE Digital Conversion Conference in Croke Park, Dublin.

Find the Conference schedule here –


Connect with Robert Farrell:

Twitter: @RobertFarrell_


Check out his blogs at




Among various jargons and acronyms in the digital world, one that draws a lot of attention is CRO. When online space is all about optimising, we are going to look at one specific optimisation that is closely related to your final goal of online content, marketing campaigns and business revenue.

Topics Covered are:

  • What is CRO?
  • What actions form part of CRO?
  • Does CRO make a difference to you?
  • What are the Benefits of CRO?
  • One effective way to improve your Conversions!

What is CRO

CRO stands for Conversion Rate Optimisation. When you’ve an online presence with a website, social media channels and marketing tools, there are viewers who come to your website through the online platforms to consume the content and decide if it is of any use to them. When readers find useful content, they take further actions that you offer, which could be a product or service offered by you. But when the content on your website doesn’t interest them (there’ll be various reasons for it!), they leave your website without continuing till the last stage of your offer. This is where CRO plays a crucial role. Conversion Rate Optimisation is the method of improving the performance of your website, that increases the percentage of visitors who convert into customers.

Actions that form part of CRO

The end goal that you wish to achieve from your website may be different, similarly, the approaches to achieve good conversion rate will differ from business to business. What you want the visitors on your website to do, is your idea of conversion. It can be purchasing a product, downloading an ebook, subscribe for the newsletter, book your service and the list goes on.

CRO makes a difference to you, if you’re:

If you’re a digital professional, online service provider, company with worldwide impact, local business with an online existence or a new entrant to the online market, Conversion Rate Optimisation has to be on your radar. While you might have great content, exceptional product or service to offer to your online viewers, unless you’re having an effective system to target your audience, every piece of content, product and service will go unnoticed by your viewers. There will be varied factors that affects your conversion rate, like, the placement of content, colour of call to action button, navigation method, etc. CRO involve ways of analysing different elements of your website’s ‘landing page’ or ‘destination page’ to come out with measurable solutions to maximise the percentage of clicks on the ‘call to action’ button, in other words, improve your conversion rate.

Benefits of CRO

As mentioned before, CRO is the process of achieving higher percentage of conversion. And while you’re in the process of getting more visitors turn into consumers of your specific goal, there will be following benefits to you:

  1. As a Digital marketer or an online business owner one of your important goals is to increase revenue of the business you’re managing. CRO helps you achieve that.
  2. To serve your customers better, you’ll make efforts to understand their requirements in a deeper way.  This will result you in improving your relationship with your readers.
  3. As you start speaking the language that your customers want to hear, you’ll end up attracting more people from your target market towards your landing page. This will result in directing your web traffic to the preferred direction and increasing the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
  4. While you’re aiming for better conversion, you’re testing on the appearance and website navigation to optimize it. Doing this you’re improving the user experience that help your viewers to conveniently browse through your web pages and complete the action desired.
  5. Though focus on conversion helps in enhancing the user experience and providing right content to your target audience, it also helps in gaining customer loyalty. Happy customers like coming back for similar experiences in the future.
  6. Indirectly, Google is delighted with your performance. When viewers start finding your optimized website purposeful and they start utilizing your services, without heading back to google search to find something else that will be relevant, Google sees you as a good source in that particular search. Therefore CRO can improve your search ranking.

An effective way to improve your Conversions:

As a digital professional, you might have different pitfalls to deal with in order to improve the conversion rates of your business. There might’ve been situations when you’re unable to find reasons of the downturn in your conversions, because numerous factors affect a conversion rate. In another situation, you might have had a stagnation in the conversion rate and various attempts haven’t improved the percentage.

Focusing on the importance and need for Conversion Rate Optimisation, we’ve gather the industry leaders to enlighten you with tried-and-tested CRO tricks. Speakers from leading digital companies together to talk on effective CRO practices at 3XE Digital Conferences in Croke Park, Dublin.


If you’re new to 3XE Digital Conferences, take a look at the short video of one of our previous conferences:



Fergal McHugh who found his mojo in digital consultancy, is the Head of Strategy at leading Irish performance marketing agency – Arekibo.
Fergal is responsible for overseeing Arekibo’s innovation and growth strategies. He works with the team at Arekibo on their digital strategic approach of, what and how to offer to the market. Working with their key customers, Fergal McHugh advises on efficient methods to shape their digital strategies that will support business growth. Giving a gist of what he does, Fergal says ‘It involves a range of activities from helping customers to understand their costs, developing associated business cases, to promoting digital programmes within the customer’s organisation.’

Headquartered in Dublin, Arekibo has an extended customer portfolio in Ireland, UK and Europe. Their core services range from digital strategy, overall planning to executing large-scale digital programmes with their customers. With Arekibo’s primary focus on online, they cater to digital marketing platforms, lead-generation strategies, investor relations platforms, large corporate websites and customer portals.

Fergal mentions, ‘I think that one of the key things that distinguishes Arekibo is our focus on programmes. The work we do with our customer, plays a significant role in getting them closer to their business goals. What this means in practical terms is that, we put equal emphasis on medium and longer term digital strategies, and not just on achieving short term goals.’

Recently, we had a compelling conversation with Fergal McHugh on Arekibo and his participation at 3XE Digital as a keynote speaker for the Conversion Marketing Conference on 8th February 2018:

3XE Digital: Tell us about your journey in the digital world and one thing that inspired you here.

Fergal: I started out as developer but I quickly realised my real interests were in consultancy. For me digital is at its most interesting at the intersection between commercial, marketing and technical visions. It is about finding the right balance between these elements.

3XE Digital: What will you be speaking about at 3XE Digital Conversion Conference?

Fergal: I will be talking about digital transformation programmes, how to get them off the ground, and how to get support in your organisation. I will also be talking about the ways to anticipate and manage the organisational changes required to make them work.

3XE Digital: What are the 3 takeaways that you think delegates will get from your presentation?

Fergal: I hope they will get a sense of both, the challenges that are faced in trying to get a transformation programme funded and started, and some effective ways in which these challenges can be met. Some takeaways could include:

  1. Address real problems in B2B: In a B2B space you’re going to work with prejudice of sorts, like, what you’re doing will cost a great deal of money, with a very little return to business! It is important to tackle these concerns head on. These worries are often found in real work experiences and in many cases, they are focused on high-risk possibilities. We have to work with this.
  2. Data supports decision: A ‘data data data’ mantra is quite prevalent now. Data has a crucial role to play in winning over stakeholders but it is not the whole story. You need a compelling vision too, and you may not have a data-point for every part of it. Ultimately the role of data is to support decision making, not to replace it. For example, in a B2B space if you want to pioneer change, it will involve a certain amount of ambition and willingness to take on some risk.
  3. Big picture of Transformation: There is a need to challenge the ‘narrow’ views on transformation. For example, to implement a new best-in-class digital marketing platform that integrates all your customer details, is not just about purchasing and rolling out technology. But it also involves building teams, changing job descriptions, processes and practices. It requires real change. Of course, it is important and sensible to contain and manage the impact, but you don’t want to neutralise either of the aspects. When you want to make a difference on online channels, actual power in the organisation has to be allocated.

3XE Digital: What emerging trends will affect your business during 2018?

Fergal: Talking primarily about the Irish market here –  I think we are at a watershed moment. Confidence is regained, and firms want to be effectively positioned to take advantage of it. It’s a simple fact that a great many Irish firms are not where they need to be on digital – and they are starting to recognise this.

A certain amount of stagnation over the last eight or nine years has not helped. What we are seeing is a desire to remedy this neglect. Now, we are getting the opportunity to offer platforms and services in this market,  that had very little traction previously, because of the investment required.

For instance, in space of Digital Content Management and Digital Marketing Platforms, Irish firms are now looking at products that lead the market globally – they are no longer satisfied with ‘good enough’, they want premium.

3XE Digital: What websites and people influence you on a day to day basis?

Fergal: I think you have to get insights in whatever way you can. I like to go broad, and a great deal of what I’m interested in will not be tagged as digital. Some of what passes for ‘thought leadership’ in digital is quite superficial – it’s topical but it lacks depth. You need to dig deeper and join the dots.

The people I learn most from, are our customers. At Arekibo we are typically interacting with very senior people in the customer’s organisation and they have difficult, complex roles. They also tend to know their business and their markets inside out. Obviously, we are there to support, advise, coach and so on, but the task is as much about translation as it is about bringing in something new.

How was year 2017 for you? What are your plans for this year?

2017 was an excellent year. We acquired a significant amount of new business, here and in Europe. We made serious progress on a new strategic goal, the roll out of a digital marketing platform offering with the Sitecore Experience Platform playing a starting role. Also in 2017, we established a new partnership with a leading Dutch digital transformation agency Macaw. This partnership is a real meeting of minds and we’ve already done some great work together. I am very excited about where it is going.

2018 is all about digital platform. We are making a huge push on delivering structured digital transformation programmes to our customers. The fact is that, digital transformation can be incredibly challenging, but we want to make it easier for people. We’ll help them break the challenges into chunks and get the opportunity to demonstrate real progress.

We are predicting that digital spending, in particular spending on digital platform will be going up significantly in 2018. Some of this is linked to recovery and overcoming previous neglect as I talked about earlier. But I also think that as an industry, we are doing a better job of letting people know what is possible and I think the market is responding.

Connect with Fergal McHugh and learn the most trending conversion insights from Irish leading performance marketing agency – Arekibo at 3XE Conference, on 8th February in Croke Park, Dublin.

Full agenda available at:


Darren McManus is a Digital Marketing Strategist at Arekibo. Darren’s journey from his home county Galway, to studying Business with Marketing in University of Limerick, to pursuing Masters in Information Systems Management and then to landing his first ‘real life’ marketing role with DAA (previously Dublin Airport Authority), has been an interesting one.

Along the way, Darren McManus honed his digital marketing skills and today at Arekibo he is a Strategist who specialises in Search Engine Visibility (SEO & PPC) and Web Analytics. He works with some of Ireland’s top organizations on web analytics strategies and custom web analytics tracking environments.

Arekibo is a data-driven digital agency. Their four specializations are Digital Strategy, UX Design, Technology (Platform Strategy, Enterprise CMS, Managed Services & Hosting) and ofcourse Analytics. Darren McManus tells Arekibo’s competitive advantage is that they have an internal expertise in each of the four areas. This gives Arekibo the ability to study all the aspects of digital environment even when they’re working with a client on only one of the elements. Quoting with an example he says, ‘we have the ability to identify possible technology-based blockers to potential design or SEO recommendations at an early stage, rather than making recommendations that are fine in theory, but later turn out to be a difficult reality.’

Darren McManus is speaking at the upcoming 3XE Digital Conversion Conference on 8th Feb 2018, and we used this opportunity to learn more about this digital marketing wizard:


3XE: Tell us about your journey in the digital world.

Darren: While studying at the University of Limerick I had an eight months placement with Supermac (in marketing department) at my home county of Galway. After that I pursued Masters in Information Systems Management and had the chance of working with children’s charity Hand in Hand on a pretty successful SEO strategy, among other things.

My first marketing role was with daa (formerly Dublin Airport Authority) where I worked in the Consumer Marketing team in a largely digital marketing focused capacity. I worked on a number of analytics and website projects with Arekibo (daa’s digital partner) who I later joined in my current role as a Digital Marketing Strategist. Here, I work on web analytics, SEM and digital projects with a wide range of clients such as daa, Electric Ireland, ESB, eumom and Mercer.

3XE:  What will you be speaking about at 3XE?

Darren: My colleague Karen McHugh and I will be hosting a workshop on Our Trust Issues With Google Analytics (unless we think of a catchier title in the next few weeks!). The premise of which is that whilst Google Analytics is the number 1 analytics tool used by our clients for a bunch of good reasons (marketing insights, usability insights, target audience insights, budget allocation, etc.), often organisations end up distrusting Google Analytics because they fail to get the valuable insights that they expect.

We will discuss the two key reasons for this distrust, as we see it:

  1.    Lack of customisation of the out-of the-box Google Analytics configuration
  2.    A misunderstanding of what particular metrics mean

We’ll discuss the most common examples of these issues or misconceptions, as well as engaging the audience with their own examples from personal experience. We’ll look at ways to deal with these issues in a way that delivers both valuable and actionable insights.



3XE: What are the 3 takeaways that you think delegates will get from your presentation?


Darren:  1.  Understanding the importance of aligning your web analytics tracking with your organisation’s particular goals.

  1.  A better understanding of some commonly misunderstood Google Analytics metrics.
  2.  Some shiny new alternative engagement KPIs relevant to their business which they can measure, thanks to Google Tag Manager.


3XE: What emerging trends will affect your business during 2018?

Darren: I’m going to be really original and go with AI… But I think its short term impact in the digital marketing world is going to be relatively boring compared to the potential long term impact in the wider world.

One area where AI’s influence will continue to grow, to the frustration of many digital marketers who will be desperately trying to keep up, is in the realm of search engine algorithms. The old hard and fast rules of SEO are long gone and the lines between good SEO and good UX are blurring quicker than ever, thanks to the continued AI-driven evolution of Google and other search engines.

Another trend that has had a significant positive impact on my work towards the end of last year is the steady stream of new features being released for Google Tag Manager.  Since September we’ve seen new YouTube video triggers & video variables, new scroll depth triggers and my favourites, element visibility triggers and variables. These 3 updates alone have opened up huge opportunities for more detailed tracking of user engagement in particular.

3XE:  Which websites and people influence you on a day to day basis?

Darren: There are loads of them. But the two that stand out are:

Simo Ahava ( for all things Google Tag Manager & Google Analytics and Rand Fishkin of MOZ ( for all things SEO.

3XE: How was year 2017 for you? What are your plans for this year?

Darren: 2017 was a hectic year for anyone working in digital marketing in terms of keeping on top of new trends and technologies. That’s the nature of the business though and it brings with it a constant stream of new opportunities to learn, test out new tools and strategies, and ultimately try to benefit ourselves and our clients.

2018 shows no signs of being any different even at this stage with plenty for us to worry about – Facebook’s new-found focus on people at the expense of organisations (how dare they?), GDPR and ePrivacy regulations, mobile ad blocking and its impact, AMP and a mobile-first focus in general, chatbots, voice search, augmented reality, the list goes on…

Personally, over the course of 2017, I was lucky enough to work on some really interesting web analytics projects and some really challenging & successful SEO projects for a really broad range of clients and I’m hoping for more of the same in 2018.


Meet Darren McManus at 3XE Digital Conversion Conference on 8th February 2018 at Croke Park, Dublin.