Reflect Digital is delighted to have hosted our first Brunch & Learn event of 2024 - Looking Ahead: Ask the Experts Panel Discussion on the 8th of February 2024.
To kick off our Brunch & Learn series for 2024, we welcomed five familiar faces from across our core disciplines, including:
With so many ways to elevate brands and marketing through digital channels, who better to get the latest insights from than the people at the forefront of the industry? As we all tucked into our delicious brunch box, our experts talked about digital trends, challenges, ideas for the future and disruptive strategies.
We were joined by over 30 attendees, including several of our partners, clients and colleagues. Brands such as Love2Shop, Travelopia and Give a Grad a Go also tuned in to learn about the future of digital in 2024, AI, audience segmentation and so much more.
Paolo from Carter Jonas said, “The panel was so much better and more interactive than a traditional presentation.” and another attendee said, “Please run these at least once a quarter!”
Let’s take a look at some of the key takeaways from our latest Brunch & Learn session!
Kicking off our Brunch & Learn event, we looked straight into the future of digital marketing. If you want to be an innovative, industry-leading business, you always need to be thinking three steps ahead of your competitors. So, what does the future look like for behavioural marketing?
Our Behavioural Strategist Kiran believes that the future of digital marketing lies in hyper-personalisation. As a brand, you should always be personalising to your target audience, however, hyper-personalisation takes this a step further by using AI and algorithms to personalise to individuals rather than groups of people. This is particularly ideal for eCommerce businesses.
According to Kiran, personalisation and data privacy are going to be two of the biggest challenges in 2024. While brands want to get more personal with their marketing, people, quite rightly, are becoming more conscious of how their data is used. Kiran believes that brands need to be more transparent about their use of personal data. People don’t want long terms and conditions, they want simple, clear and concise information.
Other key takeaways from Kiran included:
Speaking about the future of Digital PR, Joanna believes it’s going to be more important than ever to take a human approach when it comes to creating campaigns. With AI being used more and more, journalists are looking for a personal, human angle that can’t be created by ChatGPT.
ChatGPT was a hot topic of conversation during our Brunch & Learn event. Jo’s opinion? It’s brilliant for research and brainstorming but you need to err on the side of caution. Let’s delve deeper:
We had lots of fantastic questions asked to all our experts by our attendees, including one for Jo about measuring Trust Flow and Citation Flow. Jo’s top tips for dealing with backlink profiles included:
In 2024 and beyond, Jo believes the biggest challenge in Digital PR is being the first. With lots of brands leveraging both reactive and proactive PR, it can be difficult to cut through the noise and secure coverage from relevant, high-quality publications. How can you overcome this challenge?
Our next expert gave attendees a wonderful insight into the world of content creation. For our Creative Director Gary, the future of video lies in Employee Generated Content (EGC). Some businesses are already taking huge steps towards this, such as Deloitte who are training staff to be LinkedIn influencers. He also emphasised the importance of having a personal brand within the B2B sphere in 2024, highlighting that if you can create human-first video, you can cut through the noise of competitors.
When it came to discussing the topic on everyone’s lips, Gary shared similar thoughts to Jo about using AI for ideas but not output. Gary’s top tips for incorporating AI into the video content production process included:
During our Brunch & Learn event, Gary also shared some key insights about marketing to Gen Z audiences:
According to Gary, the biggest challenge brands are facing in 2024 with regard to content creation is not creating enough video content. His top tips for solving this problem?
Lisa Sendall from Sunsail said: “It was one of the best panels I’ve watched in a long time, particularly Gary’s insight into content creation.
“[It was] really thought-provoking about how much businesses can/should adapt with the use of AI even for internal processes.”
From ChatGPT to Answer Engine Optimisation (AEO), Andy covered a plethora of pressing topics during our Brunch & Learn webinar.
Named as both an SEO trend and a challenge, AI is taking the world of SEO by storm. According to Andy, AI is becoming much more prevalent in SEO and he sees this trend continuing into the future, although, like Jo, believes we need to lead with caution. AI is particularly popular for content creation, however it is time consuming as you spend more time editing the content than you would have spent writing from scratch.
Instead, Andy and our SEO team have been using AI for branded documentation and streamlining operational processes. Also, very specific tasks such as writing meta descriptions in bulk have been made easier with the integration of AI.
With the increased use of AI for content creation, Andy believes the biggest challenge for SEO in 2024 is demonstrating experience. What can you do as a brand to show your expertise and authority to both Search Engines such as Google and users? Andy suggests creating:
Andy also answered a question from one of our attendees about Answer Engine Optimisation and whether brands should already be optimising for it. His short answer: Yes, brands need to be thinking about AEO already. Why?
What does the future of Paid Media look like? Our Head of Paid Media Lotties believes we’ll see a shift towards AI integration and machine learning, where AI can come in to enhance delivery. New formats are already coming in and Lottie thinks we’ll see a continuation of this - AI and machine learning won’t overtake completely, but will be a big factor going forward. Audience integration is also going to become more prevalent, as Lottie highlights there’s going to need to be a delicate interplay between an audience-led approach to Paid Media and automation.
When it comes to B2B Paid Media, Lottie is already seeing a move towards account-based marketing, whereby you start with a smaller group of targets at the start rather than a broader group. Why is this positive? Account-based marketing helps with maximising budget as you’re starting with a smaller but pre-qualified subset.
Armed with plenty of topical questions for our experts, one of our attendees asked Lottie about how to start thinking about audience segmentation in a world where we’re advised not to be too niche. Lottie’s answer?
As we look to the future of Paid Media, what is the biggest challenge Lottie expects businesses to be faced with? While measurement is always at the forefront of people’s minds, GA4 is going to be a challenge for big brands in particular. How to make the transition from Universal Analytics to GA4 smoothly? Lottie believes it’s important to quantify the difference between the two and to spend time educating Senior Leadership Teams, board members and key stakeholders to ensure everyone understands.
So that’s a wrap on our first Brunch & Learn event of the year, and we’re already excited for the next one!
If you want to uncover industry insights and find out how to rise above your competitors through digital innovation, come along to our next Brunch & Learn webinar. When you sign up for an event, you will have the opportunity to select to receive a pre-packaged box of goodies including waffles, honey, orange and more to enjoy while you hear from our specialists. Keep an eye on our events page for more information about our next webinar.
Loved listening to our experts and want to work with them to elevate your brand’s digital marketing? Whether you’re looking for a sizzling SEO strategy, wanting to level up your Paid Media game or hoping to increase brand awareness through Digital PR, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can collaborate with your brand and reach for the stars in 2024.Contact Us
Wordsmith Morgan joined the Reflect Digital team fresh out of University and is learning about the world of digital marketing while supporting the SEO team with highly engaging content. With a background in website administration and social media, she also brings a broader perspective to her clients.More about Morgan