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Key developments in digital marketing

Top 8 Takeaways From Wolfgang Essentials 2019

IRP Commerce attended the increasingly popular annual event run by Wolfgang Digital for marketing professionals across Ireland.
24 April 2019 - 7 min read

On Friday 12th April 2019, over 350 digital marketers attended the Wolfgang Essentials event at the Google Foundry in Dublin. The event has been running for a number of years and has grown in popularity every year. It is an annual event that Wolfgang Digital put on for their clients and to which they invite digital marketing professionals from across Ireland. The event sold out within 30 minutes of going live.

The overall theme was about the key developments in digital marketing and trends for the future. After a full day of talks and presentations, here are some key digital marketing themes that emerged.

1. The pace of change of advertising platforms

Digital marketing is one of the fastest-changing industries in the world and it promotes continuous learning, as Alan Coleman, CEO of Wolfgang Digital, mentioned: “The only sustainable competitive advantage in digital marketing is to learn faster than the competition”.

In 2019 the two largest digital marketing platforms with the most ad spend, Google and Facebook, have released 19 new ways to advertise to your audience. As new features are released, it is important to test these iteratively to see how they work with your audience and how they compare to your current advertising methods.

2. In the ecommerce world, Amazon is Google's biggest competitor

Danielle and Lorna from the SEO team at Wolfgang Digital discussed Amazon which is the world's second-largest search engine. Over 54% of ecommerce-related searches begin on Amazon. In 2018, Amazon pulled their Google shopping ads and are now encouraging sellers to drive external traffic to Amazon.

For Amazon, this sounds like a great business decision but, in reality, this is making it more and more expensive for retailers to sell through Amazon.

3. The importance of speed for improving user experience

Alan Coleman, CEO of Wolfgang Digital, discussed the release of 5G in the next 12 months which will make the internet 200 times faster. The objective was to get the audience to think of how a user's experience will change and how connected devices are increasing in popularity.

4. Automation can be hugely beneficial for everyone in digital marketing

Brendan Almack, Director at Wolfgang Digital, gave a fantastic talk on the benefits of automation and how automation doesn't replace jobs, it replaces tasks .

A lot of press paints automation in a bad way, noting how it will reduce the number of jobs but automation has been around for years. Industries that have already been impacted by automation have actually seen the number of job opportunities increase.

Automation can only be a good thing – it will allow digital marketers to work on more important and impactful work.

Automation has been adopted across various industries throughout Ireland. The proof is in the statistics, with Ireland's unemployment rate being at a 10-year low.

5. The importance of the marketing funnel and optimising at every stage

Digital marketing and customer experience have become more and more important as the web has developed over the years. A lot of the time, if a number of retailers are selling similar products, a customer's choice will come down to the website that provided the best experience – and there are so many factors that influence this at every stage of the customer journey.

Awareness → Interest → Action → Advocacy

6. KPIs have changed over the years

All business owners and management teams are usually focussed on monthly and quarterly KPIs but it was interesting to see how these have evolved in the digital marketing world over the years:

  • 1994: Impressions
  • 2000: Clicks
  • 2005: Conversion Tracking
  • 2012: Revenue
  • 2019: Profit

A key quote from Beth Quigley from Wolfgang Digital: “Profit has been the most important business metric since humans began trading, but it is rarely considered a digital marketing metric”.

7. D2C ecommerce is on the rise

Direct to Consumer (D2C) companies have been increasing tenfold in recent years as brands have realised that they are able to sell directly to the consumer whilst maintaining more of the profit from each sale.

The rise of D2C has come down to brands wanting to provide a much better customer experience and having full control of the user journey.

8. Favourite quote

A number of quotes were used throughout the talks but the one that stood out the most was:

“Revenue is vanity, Profit is sanity, Cash is reality”

One of the companies showcased during the presentation was Voya, an Irish organic beauty company that launched their first product in 2006 and that has grown from strength to strength. Voya uses the IRP ecommerce platform to allow them to trade internationally from their offices on the West Coast of Ireland.

Overall, the event was fantastic and was run very slickly by the Wolfgang team. Lots of tips were picked up throughout the day and it was great being able to meet with other digital marketing professionals.

Photos from the event

*All photos courtesy of Wolfgang Digital Twitter:


Attendees of Wolfgang Essentials 2019


A key fact from the Wolfgang 2019 KPI report (


Maeve Larkin from Google explaining that smart creatives and smart bidding help to deliver the right message to the right user at the right cost.

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