Key Growth Takeaways from WebSummit 2017 and the Lisbon❤️ Experience

Lisbon is the most charming conference place I have ever visited. Cute one-cart trams climbing up cosy streets and countless little cafes and bars where you can have a divine Pasteis de Nata or Vin du Verde make WebSummit Lisbon a real retreat. My main focus on WebSummit was growth techniques and inspirations. See my main takeaways and some general thoughts about the conference below.

Lisbon makes the WebSummit experience so much better

This event is HUGE. With 60,000+ people from all over the world and a countless number of talks, panels, and side events, one can only dream of a good night sleep when back at home. However, Lisbon adds a special kind of cosiness to the WebSummit experience. This city will chill you out after a long day of talks, taking notes, and networking. Why have I never been to this city before? I have no idea but I know I will come back.

How to stay on track among the crowds

Long lines and crowds surrounding you everywhere is something one needs to get used to during the event with 60,000+ people. However, like with everything else, there are ways around it. For example, you could come an hour before the first morning talk to avoid the lines. Creating a „bubble” around you also helps. What’s the bubble? It’s an invisible coat that you put on when you’re getting close to the venue. It helps you keep focused on the talks and networking meetings. Plus, you get to the talks you planned to attend. Focus is very important during WebSummit. If you lose it you can miss some great talks and opportunities. You should also do your homework before coming to WebSummit. Knowing the people you want to talk to or reading the speakers’ bios beforehand helps to get the most out of this event.


Key Growth takeaways from WebSummit 2017


1. Customer Care is the new marketing

A cool marketing campaign won’t help your branding if your product or customer relations sucks. While it might be difficult to change the product immediately, companies should focus on the customer success. Providing relevant information in the time when users need it is very important.

Ragy Thomas from Sprinklr showed some interesting numbers to back up this theory. The world spent $563 billion on advertising in 2017. By contrast, we spent $9 billion on customer care. Another fact is that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your existing customers. When you compare these numbers, the fact that companies spend only 2% of the budget on improving relations with existing customers and 98% on acquiring new ones seems unsound.

“Marketing walking hand in hand with customer care is the key to growth.”


For all those interested in marketing and branding (including SEO), PandaConf will be a great conference to attend. Not only it featured some of the most interesting predictions for 2018 but it was also very well organized (i.e. no major delays in talks, many seats available).

2. Be contextual

Consumer is mobile. Millennials check their phones 150 times per day. They expect fast answers and entertainment. Being present on social media is not enough. It’s about collecting feedback and serving a relevant information in real time. A brand needs to know exactly where and when their consumers are.

Hilton’s mobile app is using data about the customer to provide personalized experience. Thanks to that Hilton’s customers can get their favourite cup of coffee without even asking for it. According to Geraldine Calpin, Hilton’s CMO brands should focus on omnichannel and gather data from different channels to better understand a customer.

3. Get feedback and respond

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s CMO explained how the low cost airline went from a very poor digital experience to one of the best in the market in just 2-3 years. Kenny Jacobs says this wouldn’t be possible without listening to the customer. Ryanair is asking customers about their feedback via their mobile app, among many other research initiatives. One of the research techniques he mentioned was mystery “flying”, a mystery shopping for airlines. He would fly with top airlines to check their service and see if there is anything that Ryanair could adapt because he says there’s nothing wrong in copying solutions that already work.

4. Google is still the king of search

Rand Fishkin, CEO & Co-Founder of MOZ gave one of the most actionable and data-driven talks during WebSummit 2017.
Google rules in search (62%). Facebook (5.9%) and (5.0%) follow but search on these two channels went down slightly since last year.
Mobile still has lower CTR: 2% from paid and 40% in organic vs desktop: 2.6% paid and 62% on organic. There may be more traffic opportunity from desktop still due to higher CTR. 2017 is trending 10-15% higher than 2016 in United States.

In 2017 we are observing the move from Google ranking to Google features. In 2017 there is more feature opportunity than ever before. One of the case studies I found on the Internet was 20-30% increase in traffic while using featured snippet with revenue from organic traffic increasing by 677%.
See full presentation here:


WebSummit is the place to be if you’re looking for inspiration and new ideas for almost every aspect of your company. I found many actionable insights for branding and growth. Lisbon is the place to be for… everyone! This place works its magic and makes you want to come back.