Brighton Digital Marketing Festival 2014: A Review


Last week, Inbound marketing assistant, Mark Longhurst and I (Susie Cox, Social media strategist) trotted off to the fourth annual Brighton Digital Marketing Festival. Part of the Brighton Digital Festival held throughout September, (we attended on Thursday 18) the event is a series of key note presentations and workshops held in various locations in the centre of Brighton. Here’s our review.

Dave Chaffey,

Dave made the statement that ‘digital transformation’ is the buzzword of the year and went on to discuss a number of digital trends for 2015. One key point Dave made was that businesses don’t need a specific social or search strategy, they need a strategy to engage consumers.

Dave focused on digital technologies and how these will contribute to marketing strategies further in the future.


  • Consider the many touch points of the customer journey, not just a single landing page. CRO needs to go hand in hand with the customer journey
  • Content marketing is still the biggest trend
  • Dave believes that wearable technologies will not make much difference to marketers. (Not sure that we agree with this here at Fresh Egg!)

Mark Beckwith, Financial Times

Mark used his presentation to discuss the data that the FT is collecting to help them understand their customers and their habits. Rather than just looking at page views, the FT has developed an attention metric for precision targeting. They score each user based on how likely they are to subscribe and use this formula to understand how ‘subscribery’ (as Mark said) a piece of content is.

If you can predict your customers’ habits, you can be relevant when planning what content to share via email and social media. Not every company has a team of data analysts like Mark’s, however the importance of understanding and predicting customer behaviours online for inbound marketing campaigns is as pertinent as ever.


  • Sending something relevant to a user at the wrong time will erode trust with that user
  • Nurture users with relevant content to increase engagement over time
  • Know when to get heavy: don’t come on too strong with the welcome email!

James Finch, Argos

Customer and digital insight manager at Argos, James Finch gave an overview of the new digital Argos stores for the tech-savvy, switched-on London customer, complete with iPads instead of catalogues.

Argos is gathering insight from social media monitoring platform Brandwatch to understand customer engagement with the new stores, which he said was generally positive. With Brandwatch they are able to segment by store and measure sentiment.

When questioned on the more concrete results of this, relating to ROI, James remained tight-lipped.


  • Roll with the times – just because your model is original and works, doesn’t mean it isn’t due an upgrade
  • When making a change, continuously measure engagement on social media to gain customer insight


Image source: Brandwatch

Stefan Hull & Robin Fry, Propellernet

This workshop, called ‘Hello SEO’ was a talk through the basics of technical SEO, with some digital marketing techniques thrown in. It included an interesting point that people share more on Google than they do with their loved ones, as they feel that no one is looking. These searches form the long tail and this can be harnessed to create relevant content.

Stefan and Robin gave a bit more background to current search behaviours with these stats:

  • 46% of people research on a mobile and buy in store
  • 47% of people research on mobile and buy on desktop pc


  • Follow Jonah Berger’s STEPPS framework to create sharable content: Social currency, triggers, emotion, public, stories. This point was about ensuring that there is an emotive element to your content
  • Search is about responding to people’s needs
  • Culture trends have shifted significantly. People now share their running routes on social media, they document trips and now take selfies

Katie Blackburn, Pure360

This was an interesting presentation on the email activity you can carry out at Christmas – that isn’t just about selling. If 30% more people are visiting your website over the Christmas period, then that’s an opportunity to collect 30% more data. The presentation also stressed the idea of tapping into themes that your target market will remember you for at Christmas: for example the Harvey Nichols 2010 Christmas campaign (see video below).


  • You can use Christmas as a time to ‘nurture’ your most loyal customers – it’s not just about capturing new data. (This fits in with the ‘delight’ phase of inbound marketing).
  • Re-engage your disengaged customers with incentives such as free delivery and discounts
  • 51% of people will open emails on Christmas Day – don’t forget to be in their inbox
  • Online sales are important in January when footfall is down

Jay Cooper, Bloom worldwide

According to Jay, there are three pillars of social media. These are: disruption, love and collaboration. He gave some examples of businesses that are currently disrupting the status quo and having great success doing it, including Uber, the German car-sharing company that is completely changing the transport market, along with AirBnB, Etsy, Kickstarter and TaskRabbit.


  • Have an always on approach to customer service, 24/7, on whatever platform they want to communicate with you on
  • “Sharing is the new selling”
  • Stop ownership being within the four walls of a business

Toby Brown & Tara Burns, Man Bites Dog

Toby and Tara at Man Bites Dog presented a workshop around the changing relationship between brands and consumers. Toby claimed that there is a fixation with the bottom of the funnel, and many brands are missing the fuel at the top, posing the question: what drives you to remember a company?

He explained that their job was to find ideas to help you build a brand, position you in your customer’s minds. A great example of this is Smarter Planet by IBM – it started as a small idea, now it is synonymous with the brand.


  • Come up with an idea that’s bigger than your products themselves, an idea that sits above the funnel and marketing campaigns
  • Don’t only focus on the quick wins and miss out on the big ideas
  • This idea shouldn’t self-promote, but still needs to be aligned with the brand and their capabilities 


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