Unveiling the Future of Digital Advertising: Key Insights from Brighton SEO’s Search and Social Advertising Show 2023

What I learnt at Brighton SEO

Brighton SEO’s Search and Social Advertising Show 2023 was packed with insights and innovations that are shaping the world of digital advertising. Industry experts and thought leaders gathered to share their knowledge and experiences, shedding light on the future of advertising in a rapidly changing landscape. In this blog post, I’m sharing my highlights from the event, including topics such as location targeting, programmatic advertising, the role of AI, and much more. The below notes are broken down by each speaker during the conference, along with some of my key takeaways.

Matthew Cocking: The Forgotten Art of Location Targeting

Matthew Cocking reminded us of the power of location targeting, a strategy that often goes unnoticed in the digital advertising world. His insights revolved around using location data to create hyper-targeted campaigns:

  • Bulk upload postcodes to target specific geographical areas.
  • Utilise geocode data to pinpoint exact coordinates.
  • Transform data into a suitable format for ads editor.
  • Showcase discounts and offers to users within a 1km radius of a location.

By mastering location targeting, advertisers can significantly enhance their ad relevance and engagement with local audiences.

Harriet Howarth: Programmatic Advertising in New Moments

Harriet Howarth took us on a journey through the exciting world of programmatic advertising, highlighting new and creative ways to reach audiences. Her insights included:

  • Leveraging in-game ads, such as Premier League boards, for increased visibility.
  • The remarkable success of audio ads, with a 60% listen rate via podcasts.
  • The immersive experience of 3D audio ads, leads to higher ad recall and awareness.
  • The effectiveness of digital out-of-home ads in boosting brand awareness.
  • Using weather APIs for reactive messaging, a hit amongst travel companies during unfavourable weather conditions.
  • The increasing attention consumers pay to connected TV ads compared to traditional linear TV.

Harriet’s talk emphasised the importance of creativity and innovation in advertising to effectively capture the audience’s attention.

Patrick Kearney: Leveraging AI for Paid Media

Patrick Kearney explored the role of AI in paid media and how it can be a valuable tool for advertisers. Key takeaways from his session included:

Whilst AI can assist in many aspects of advertising, it’s essential to strike a balance between automation and human creativity.

Sophie Howard: AI – Nature vs. Nurture

Sophie Howard drew parallels between AI and the age-old debate of nature versus nurture. Highlighting the importance of the relationship between humans and machines in the world of advertising. Her insights included:

  • Recognising AI’s role in bringing efficiency and saving time.
  • Embracing predictive analytics and the importance of data in AI and machine learning.
  • The need to evolve and adapt as AI becomes more integrated into advertising strategies.

Chester Young: Microsoft Strikes Back with Bing

Chester Young discussed the resurgence of Bing and its potential for advertisers. Key points from his presentation included:

  • The significance of Bing Chat, which reports a 3x higher click-through rate and longer interaction times compared to traditional search engine results pages.
  • The adoption of rich media formats and product ads within Bing Chat.
  • The growth of Microsoft’s mobile traffic and its impact on conversions and cost-per-acquisition (CPA).

Chester’s insights emphasised the value of exploring alternative advertising platforms beyond the usual suspects.

Fraser Andrews: Google Ads Efficiencies

Fraser Andrews shared strategies to optimise Google Ads campaigns for efficiency and better results. His insights included:

  • The importance of focusing on actual conversions and key business goals.
  • N-grams and quality score (QS) checker scripts for improving ad performance.
  • The significance of content in advertising, from searches to ads and landing pages.

Fraser’s presentation highlighted the need for precision and data-driven decision-making in Google Ads.

Vicki Jakes: Achieving Big Results with Small Budgets

Vicki Jakes showcased the success stories of small businesses in the digital advertising world. Her insights included

  • The prevalence of small businesses, with many being less than five years old.
  • The potential for growth and success, even with limited budgets.
  • The importance of patience and research for non-established businesses.
  • The value of broad audience targeting when using smaller budgets.

Vicki’s talk celebrated the entrepreneurial spirit and resilience of small businesses in the digital advertising arena.

Chris Ridley: A Guide to PPC Migrations

Chris Ridley provided a comprehensive guide to managing PPC site migrations. His insights covered:

  • Handling large-scale changes to final URLs during CMS and domain changes.
  • The use of Google Sheets and Ads Editor for automation.
  • The significance of SEO URL remapping and VLOOKUP code.

Chris’s presentation offered valuable guidance for navigating the complexities of PPC site migrations and points to consider before and during the process.


Brighton SEO‘s Search and Social Advertising Show 2023 was a testament to the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of the digital advertising industry. The event showcased the diverse strategies and technologies that advertisers are leveraging to stay ahead in the game, and it was great to be able to attend and learn from the different talks. One thing that was clear to me, is as we move forward, creativity, data-driven decision-making, and a willingness to adapt to new innovations will be the keys to success in this dynamic field.


Latest News & Blogs