We interviewed Ben Scotton, Executive Creative Director at DH Design (DHD), and Lukas Hall, Head of Global Conference Marketing at Argus Media (AM), to hear all about their successful brand-agency collaboration.
“Without Foleon, we would not have been able to offer what we see as the next step in digital marketing, where interactive, responsive, and trackable content is of major importance.”
Executive Creative Director, DH Design
Tell us about your organization and your role
Ben (DHD): Our expertise is creating Event Guides, Magazines, Exhibition Signage, Reports, infographics, and other web/print-based materials for a variety of industries - yet our core business is the conference industry. At DH Design we’ve always believed that building a deep relationship with clients is the way to ensure long term success.
Many of the businesses we work with today are those we began with more than 20 years ago. I’ve been with the company since the agency was founded in 1999. In my role as Creative Director, I work across the entire portfolio of client projects.
Lukas (AM): My name is Lukas Hall. I head up the events marketing team at Argus Media. I am ultimately responsible for ensuring that our conferences are well attended. Argus Media is a leading independent provider of energy and commodity price benchmarks that covers 25,000+ price assessments from across the globe for key commodity sectors and have been collecting data for nearly 50 years.
What content challenges were you facing prior to using Foleon?
DHD: PDFs had been around for as long as we can remember and they had never really progressed to offer what our clients had started to ask for. Including video in a PDF made them prohibitively weighty in file size and the interactivity was minimal.
We had, in the years preceding working with Foleon, used Flipbooks which were quite quirky when they were new - the client being able to turn the pages themselves, but we found that after a few years they were also getting a little ’samey’.
We were also finding that PDFs and Flipbooks, unlike Foleon publications, were very inflexible as they do not automatically resize to fit any screen, whether it be a mobile phone or desktop. This is crucial in this day and age when you consider that over 40% of digital publications are viewed through mobile traffic.
If you simply use pdfs for your online brochures you are potentially not engaging in a user-friendly way with a large part of your audience. Our clients were after a new and exciting content experience to stand out from the crowd - which is where Foleon came in.
AM: Our marketing brochures looked tired and outdated. Hence we started looking for a new way to communicate with our audience. That’s when we decided to adopt the new digital brochure.
Why did you decide that Foleon was the solution?
DHD: We chose Foleon simply on how it looked and handled content and what we believe the future has in store for the platform. After viewing the roadmap that is regularly updated on Foleon’s website it was clear that there is a steady incline on what features Foleon is bringing to the platform.
Once we shared our first publications interest grew at a very fast pace. We started rolling out multiple publications for more than one client using pre-designed templates which our clients had signed off. It was then a case of using the master branded template each time a new event publication was requested and populating it with new content supplied by the client.
Argus Media is a great example of this - during the course of a year, we can produce in excess of 20 event brochures for them. Designing and publishing a new online brochure takes on average 7 hours from start to finish, so the production costs are competitive and kept within their marketing budgets.
Can you say something about the various publications that you make?
DHD: For Argus Media, we built a master publication in line with their corporate guidelines and we use that master template as a base each time a new event brochure is requested.
Each brochure is aimed at a particular sector/industry and is full of researched market information valuable to the delegate in that field. Each publication adheres to the Argus branding so that the conference brochures have a synergy between them and are well recognized throughout the industry. The event guides have personalized URLs so that each of the publications' performance is trackable through Google Analytics.
AM: We pull upon our deep industry expertise and knowledge to organize events in the oil, natural gas, coal, emissions, renewables, power, fertilizer, petrochemicals, transport, and metals sectors. Argus events are researched extensively, based on input and feedback from contacts in the commodities industry, and are always evolving to best meet the needs of the markets.
This means our events are thorough, thoughtful, and deliver a comprehensive overview and understanding of the forces driving commodity markets. Our publications reflect all of these traits.
What is your favorite feature?
DHD: I think the parallax effect is really cool when it is used well - it instantly hit me as a very modern effect when I first saw it and I still think it is. Something else which works well is the URL embedding. It allows actual web pages from outside your publication to be viewed within an area of a page in our publication which has been really useful on many occasions.
What is the purpose of your publications?
DHD: With Argus Media, the purpose of the publications that we create for them is to engage their market audience and act as a bridge from reading about the event to directing them to the Argus media website booking pages. It informs the reader about the benefits of attending an event in an interesting and interactive way.
AM: Our analytical news, research, and pricing services enable us to identify the most topical issues in the markets. Additionally, our widespread network of well-placed industry experts means we can connect with the most interesting and knowledgeable speakers in any market or region. The digital conference brochures are a key way of imparting this knowledge base with our audience.
What measurable benefits have you seen so far?
DHD: The digital event guides have proved to be very successful and have become an integral part of the wider marketing strategy implemented by Argus to drive delegate sales. Increases in event attendance compared to previous years is growing steadily.
AM: After adopting the digital event guides, we have observed a significant increase in form fills. As we look to optimize our sales process, we have also noticed that our clients are engaging more frequently with digital brochures. The brochures are more aesthetically pleasing than before and have helped raise the profile of our events and ultimately strengthened our brand.
How does Foleon contribute to your company’s objectives?
DHD: Exploring new platforms in order to offer our clients something more than just static PDFs was crucial. Without Foleon we would not have been able to offer our clients what we see as the next step in digital marketing, where interactive, responsive, and trackable content is of major importance. With Foleon’s reporting dashboard we are able to monitor the success of the content we create and share the insights with our clients.
Do you have tips for other Foleon users?
DHD: Just go for it! You’ll soon be using all the tools and elements this platform has to offer. In terms of design 'less is more' is a motif that generally yields the best results. Keeping pages clean and simple usually produces the best publications.
This isn't always possible as a client may simply need a lot of info on some pages but it’s important to then try to segment that information into easily digestible chunks.