by Rebecca Perl

MARK Masters is bringing a conference all about customer loyalty to town next year.

The Daily Echo-backed You Are the Media conference takes place at the Shelley Theatre on May 24.

Rebecca Perl asked him about how he got a famous marketing name to travel from the US and why he chose to keep the conference local.

IF you work in local business, there’s a good chance you’ve already heard of Mark Masters.

He runs Poole-based content marketing consultancy The ID Group. His You Are The Media project started as a weekly email in 2013 and has extended into a thriving monthly lunch club with guest speakers. Mark is now busy preparing for the first You Are The Media conference.

What was your motivation for creating the conference?

First, I want to create a sense of place down here. Second, I wanted to build on the success of the You Are The Media project in 2017 and it was the obvious progression. It has taken me five years to decide the time is right, and to build an engaged community. If I’d have done this in 2013, nobody would have bothered coming because nobody knew who I was.

How did you persuade American marketer Mark Schaefer to speak?

I met Mark at a conference in Brazil in 2016. We were chatting and got to know each other. He’s a really genuine, nice, down-to-earth chap. I asked if he ever comes to Europe, and sounded him out about his availability. When I met him again at Content Marketing World, I made it clear my intentions were serious. It didn’t take much persuasion. He knew me, so it wasn’t a cold sell. People generally agree if you ask.

Why did you choose to hold it in Bournemouth?

I originally had a myopic view that to do something with credibility, you had to do it in London. I now realise that we should focus on what we’ve got here that London hasn’t – namely the seaside. I feel much truer to myself doing it in the place where I’m from. We’ve got delegates coming from around the country and a mix of local and international speakers.

How do you feel about 2018?

I’m optimistic about the opportunity we all have to build our own owned audience to create loyalty. I’m looking forward to learning. By June, I’d like to be able to say “I know how to run a conference!”

n You Are The Media conference is at Shelley Theatre on May 24, 2018. Earlybird tickets are available until December 31. The event is supported by the Daily Echo. Visit