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Turing Fest 2019

6th September 2019 by Scott McPate | News & Events

The ever-growing Turing Fest returned to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (August 27-30), showcasing some of the best speakers in marketing and technology. A few of us were lucky to attend the event and hear from the brightest minds in the industry. Here are a few notes of some of the speakers we heard from.

Meri Williams - Beat your competition with this one weird trick: inclusion

Meri Williams, Chief Technology Officer – Monzo
The subject of inclusion was the basis of Meri’s presentation. Not centred on designing for humans look at inclusion in Mar-Tech but instead on the diversity within an organisation.

Talking through the difficult subject of white privilege, Meri highlighted that diverse team win within the workplace. She quotes from McKinsey & Co that “a healthy balance of men and women are 15pc more likely to outperform their competitors.”

Moving on to creating an inclusive environment Meri suggests 3 questions to ask when looking at a workplace:
1. Am I expected here? Think company website, job ads, company events, visible employees
2. Am I respected here? Think recruiters, interviewers, observing employees interacting. Do people like me work here?
3. Can I be myself and be successful here? Think meetings, day-to-day interactions, managers, reports, customers.

All these touchpoints can have an impact on the type of person that will apply for the job or will successfully integrate within a team. So to ensure you have a high performing diverse team that you can retain it’s important to remember “Don’t just be an ally, figure out how to be an accomplice!”@DURETTI


Tiffany DaSilva - Unmasking Imposter Syndrome: 6 Lessons From a Marketing Fraud

Tiffany DaSilva, Founder FlowJo

In this Interactive session, Tiffany asked the audience to stand up if they ever felt imposter syndrome in the workplace, (most of the room stood up) then asked the CEO, directors, managers etc to raise their hand. It transpired that those who feel imposter syndrome are in a senior management position.

Tiffany went on to explain that “70% of people experience imposter syndrome at some point in their careers”. But encouraged the audience to find a group that you can share your professional concerns with to overcome imposter syndrome. This is called the Shine Crew, the premise is to:

  • Help each other with jobs, conference speaking, promotions. 
  • Keep each other in check. Don’t be afraid to speak your truth, share your views (no matter if they go against the group), and share your unique perspective in life. 
  • Bring in people you trust. This is a democratic group. It’s not about creating a large group of people, it’s about creating a small group of YOUR people. You will be sharing EVERYTHING from salaries to hardships, to your mental state. You should trust everyone in your group and should all agree on the people you bring in.

There’s a great video similar to the TuringFest talk from Tiffany here: https://learninbound.com/videos/tiffany-dasilva-2018/ 


Phill Nottingham - Big budget video marketing on a small business budget

Phill Nottingham, Wistia,  Brand Marketing Strategist

Phil’s talked through the main issue for most organisations as they should focus more on brand affinity and less on brand awareness. In the context of video, that means you should evaluate what you measure as a success for example – don’t look at how many views your video has, look at how long someone has watched the video for. 

Another suggestion from Phil was to create videos that centralise around a topic that can be divided into a binge-able series – instead of creating an expensive brand promotional video, follow a Netflix-like experience. As well as this he says that you should focus on creating content on a unique niche to appeal to specific audience communities. 


Paddy Moogan - How to build a team culture that people leave, and then come back to

Paddy Moogan, Aira @paddymoogan

Paddy took us on a journey of how they defined company culture at Aira – which was a long and quite difficult process – but has got them to a point where they have a culture that they can be proud of, and people come back to!

He quoted Marshall Goldsmith ‘What got us here won’t get us there’ which stuck with the audience – meaning that although the company culture has developed over time and worked so far, it’s not guaranteed to get your company to the next stage.

A big focus of the talk was about the importance of solidifying your company culture values. Paddy called out the ‘bullshit’ abstract buzzword terms such as ‘ambition’ ‘fun’ ‘teamwork’ and stated that the importance should be about behaviours that you value.

How to start defining your company culture:

1. Map out what your team need from you

2. Map out what you expect from your team

3. Look for the behaviours that make you what you are

‘Your culture is happening, observe it, shape it and make it concrete as you grow’

He shared the importance of everyone needing a next step and being transparent about progression. Aira defined exactly what’s expected of all staff members at each level and clear progression paths, 360 reviews and guidelines to getting promoted.

He also talked about the importance of recognising and celebrating each other – for Aira this included the ‘I didn’t fuck it up’ award and monthly shout outs on the internal newsletter. They also concreted company culture within an internal company handbook.

Culture comes from the Latin word ‘cultus’ meaning care, and Aira take this very seriously. They teamed up with Sanctus, a mental health charity who come in to have one on one sessions with the team.


Magnus Nilsson - Fireside Chat

Magnus Nilsson, Co-founder of iZettle

Whether it’s paying for you meal deal lunch or snagging some independently designed t-shirt the iZettle devices are everywhere, making our card purchases that little bit easier. The smartly designed POS devices tie in with the company culture as Magnus explains that they wanted to create a “Scandinavian company with a Californian touch.”

While most banks and companies dismissed the invention, iZettle pushed ahead and gained a strong reputation in Sweden in particular with small to medium businesses. However, they realised that to grow big they would have to expand into other markets. Magnus touched upon the success of the company is down to “developing a strong culture of innovation while bringing in strategic hires at the right time.”

To close Magnus imparts some advice for succeeding in business by pointing out that you need “relentless focus and saying no to opportunities that aren’t worthwhile. Be willing to take the leap yourself.”

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