So in April, I made my way up to Bristol to attend my first Digital Gaggle event, needless to say, it was fantastic so I clawed myself another ticket to attend a second time this September.

Digital Gaggle is a series of events held in Bristol bringing together the best digital marketing minds in the South West. Upon arrival, you are met with tonnes of like-minded people ready for a day of inspiring & educational talks from industry experts.

So buckle up, I’m going to take you through some of the amazing talks & takeouts I got from Digital Gaggle!

Look into my eyes: how to influence buyers to grow your profit

Jon payne - noisy little monkey

Jon took us through some psychology in his talk and it was very insightful. Above all, the talk very heavily featured his adorable dog which is a massive win in my book. (who doesn’t want to start their day with dogs?)

He spoke about System 1 & System 2 types of thinking. If you aren’t aware of this concept:

  • System 1 is automatic thinking & usually done without realising, doesn’t really need energy, or attention but is prone to biases & errors (like making a sandwich).
  • System 2 is a slower but more controlled way of thinking, it requires a lot of attention (like if I asked you to calculate 14 x 237 on the spot) but once engaged, system 2 overrides system 1.

Jon highlighted that you should play to system 1 first because system 2 wants to pick and analyse and then pick again.

We then moved on to the ‘law of least effort’ where you want your website journey effectively to be so simple to use, that when your users are looking at it, their system 1 is able to navigate it, because like mentioned - system 2 wants to pick & analyse. Therefore provide a natural next step & ideally only one, because if a decision needs to be made, guess what part of the brain weighs in. Highlight the intuitive next steps to enable cognitive ease.

Then Jon took us through some great examples of websites that are set to display the most relevant selection for the user as default.


dropbox marketing cognitive ease

Like how when signing up to purchase Dropbox for Business it has automatically selected the advanced option as the best value for me as its user. This way they might get to catch a quick win from £10 for the standard to potentially winning me over to advanced for £15 by simply doing it for me & telling me that it’s the best value.

This is called Anchoring - presenting information for the brain to make a decision with.

Give - Get

Give - get means delivering value at every conversion.

This is comparable to many things, even outside of marketing. For example, a marriage proposal, give a fancy ring, get a yes. To put it into a more relatable perspective; give information in the form of a free eBook, get user info like an email address!

anchory marketing in the guardian

Here where The Guardian has asked me to donate money to support them they have set a few defaults. Firstly, monthly has been selected as a default over a single payment. Secondly, £5 has been selected over £2 but also put in the middle of a £10, the £10 option being there makes £5 look considerably cheaper. Finally, it has a default set to direct debit as it’s more effort to cancel a direct debit than it is to cancel a PayPal.

Overall, an awesome talk, thanks Jon!

Why we should be scared of Google - and what we can do about it

Arianne donoghue - edit

Arianne kicked off her talk in comparing search to the housing market. SEO is comparable to a mortgage, in investing in SEO you’re investing in the long game. In the same way, PPC is comparable to renting. In that way, Google is our landlord.

Google has changed its relationship with website owners. It used to be that we supply Google with information and in return, we’d get traffic through to our sites, but the tables have turned & Google has broken that unwritten code due to the number of searches that now don’t end in a click.

94% of the search traffic is via Google properties and they’re increasingly hoarding it with 50.33% of searches from June 2019 resulting in 0 clicks. If you think about the number of properties owned by Google they cover search engine, browser, mapping, email, mobile, analytics, advertising.

Google is dominant.

Google is the lack of insights that Google shares with us as advertisers.

Plus this information is getting less and less, especially in automated campaigns. We don’t get much in terms of data for a responsive search ad, but also in a smart shopping campaign, we don’t get search terms which would be quite helpful. Without the insights & data we need we aren’t able to optimise our work to its best, and as Arianne quite rightly pointed out, no one ever has blindly said ‘Hey Google, just run this campaign for me’.

Without data, Google can’t be held accountable because we don’t know enough.

So what can we do?

  1. Influence where we can

  2. Contribute to open-source projects - shape the web by helping to build it

  3. Make alternative choices such as:

    • Different browser options: DuckDuckGo, Firefox, Explorer.
    • Different search engines: Bing, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia (ecosia donates ad revenue from searches to plant trees & donates profits to nonprofit organisations that focus on reforestation).
    • Different advertising: Bing, LinkedIn, Facebook & Instagram, Pinterest, Quora, Reddit, Amazon, Snapchat, Tripadvisor, eBay, Twitter, Twitch.

But most of the time if any serious competitor comes in to disrupt they get crushed or bought out.

Overall, Arianne should have finished her talk with a mic drop.

Don't do a pepsi: how to be inclusive with your marketing

Joyann boyce - the social detail

In Joyann’s talk she took us through what inclusive marketing is & gave some tips on how to be a bit more inclusive with our marketing. It was a very eye-opening, food for thought type talk.

Inclusive marketing is ‘creating content which is inclusive of the diverse audience your brand or company services.’

70% of millennials and gen z will choose one brand over another if it demonstrates diversity in its promotions.

You’re accountable for your content, consider the context.

What can we do to help?

  1. Ensure genuine representation

  2. Avoid appropriation

  3. Avoid disingenuous representation

  4. Tokenism

If anyone's unsure of what tokenism is, it’s when brands change their logo to have an LGBT flag just for pride month, it’s a nice gesture but it isn’t really backed up by any substantial effort to make a change.

  1. Be a vocal ally

  2. Show your support on relevant causes important to the community

  3. Be representative in your promotional campaigns

One tweet away from the sack

John thornton - innocent drinks

This talk, which I’m sure you can imagine if you’ve ever seen Innocent Drinks' social media, was hilarious.

innocent drinks social media marketing

John spoke us through his social media strategy at Innocent, and here are some key takeouts:

  • You are competing for attention - dogs are your competitors.

  • ‘Never underestimate the power of nonsense’

  • Advertise brand not product, entertain, inspire, inform.

At Innocent they plan vaguely in the sense that they know when Valentines Day, Christmas, Halloween etc. are but they don’t plan that much. A lot of what they do is based on keeping up with trends & what’s popular, like The Great British Bake Off & they live-tweet it, no matter what the time is. They don’t have sign off on what they do because the trends are too quick-moving & there’s no time.

  • If you’re 70% sure, then go for it.

  • Reply to everyone, they pay your wages so it seems reasonable

  • Have a personality. (corporate robot doesn’t count)

Digital experience optimisation: leveraging data-led decision making

Molly evans - plusnet

Molly from PlusNet held a great talk, covering how to leverage data to make better decisions and gave a lot of insight into an effective testing strategy.

To actually get valuable data that you can use to make decisions you need to measure correctly, analyse effectively, communicate clearly & optimise continually. I’m going to shed some light on how you can do that.

  • Regular Reporting - a clearly defined measurement strategy informs regular tracking of key performance indicators to spot trends over time and key drivers of success.
  • Data Democracy - automated access to bespoke data for each stakeholder, providing a consistent single point of truth which is curated and quality controlled.
  • Reactive Analysis - interrogating behaviour on a purely reactive basis, responding to observed movements in KPIs in order to understand granular drivers.
  • Proactive Analysis - exploring nuances in quantitative data to understand the complexities of user behaviour for specific segments, supplementing with rich qualitative data sources.
  • Actionable Insights - making decisions based on the insight we derive from the data we collect providing recommendations on how we optimise our campaigns and channels.

Because we saw x-Data we can expect that x-Change will cause x-Impact

I also went away with a lot of knowledge about circumstances in which to run a test, and questions to ask yourself at each point of running a test, even after.

Considered creativity: how to supercharge your ideas to drive better results

Kirsty hulse

Kirsty made a very good point at the beginning of her talk, it is really hard to do marketing when everyone uses ad blockers, less than half of Google searches results in a click, Google's ad revenue is skyrocketing and voice search is continually growing.

MRI scans show when evaluating branded content, consumers primarily use emotions (feelings & experiences) rather than information (features & facts).

Emotion enhances our recall of a brand or product.

Ideas and emotions are essential.

We need creativity to have ideas.

We can't just expect creativity to happen, it's a skill that needs to be worked on and it will be an imperative skill in the future.

There is a strong correlation between creative thinking ability & self-reported creative aptitude therefore if you think you are not creative, you're not.

Creativity is a skill that can be learned, developed and applied.

There is little correlation between IQ and creativity, there is a much greater correlation between obsession and creativity.

Ideas need a quiet mind because they are inherently quiet, inward-looking ideas come when we have time to reflect and not worry about what is happening externally, people are less likely to notice broad information when stressed.

There isn't one creativity area in the brain; creativity is the interplay of brain activity across multiple systems.

No one solves complex problems at will. The answers always suddenly arrive, either as you fall asleep; in the middle of the night; as you wake up; as you exercise, shower or drive; or while you do something pleasant and repetitive such as gardening or cooking’ - David Rock - Your Brain at Work.

If you want to have more ideas you need to reduce the overall ‘noise’ in peoples heads and create a space for people to reflect.

Brainstorms: you’re effectively putting a group of people in a room & saying ‘okay now be creative’ and it doesn’t work like that.

Why brainstorms fail: production blocking - your brain is focusing on listening and remembering rather than generating.

Free/overriding - when members rely on or take over.

Evaluation apprehension - avoids sharing due to a risk of criticism.

People are actually more creative on their own as they have space in their brain to reflect.

Overall Digital Gaggle was a brilliant day of learning new things & feeling inspired, a massive thank you to Noisy Little Monkey for all the effort that goes into running the Digital Gaggle events. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend the next one too.

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Meet the author ...

Maddie Crawford

PPC Manager

Maddie has worked in digital marketing since her apprenticeship in 2017 but quickly realised her true passion was in the PPC side of things! Since then she has worked across ...