Our inaugural Smart Talk event welcomed great attendance, with marketing and digital teams from brands such as Gibbs & Dandy, Birmingham Airport, Mitchells & Butlers and Bristan giving up their afternoons to come along and share in some inspiration and insight, not to mention a drink or two along the way.

Here’s a quick overview of our four guest speakers who took to the floor to enlighten, inspire and entertain.

Steven Gregory (Co-founder of Love Sugar Science) talks the power of ideas

Steven drew on his experiences and knowledge of the current landscape to highlight the challenges that are faced by modern marketers, noting that consumers have become easier to reach, and yet harder to motivate. They see thousands of ads per week, and therefore become quickly uninspired, which is evidence as to the importance of the power of ideas and great creative.

Callum McGuire (Brand Strategist at AdYouLike)

Callum shared insight into the growth of Native Advertising and how it means different things to different people. It may refer to branded content, which allows brands to seek a direct relationship with consumers, InFeed Native Display, which is an in-feed ad that matches the surrounding content, or Content Recommendation. He also explained how Native Advertising can lead to better user experience, and in turn, better performance for your brand.

Niki Webster (Influencer and Founder of Rebel Recipes)

Founder of Rebel Recipies, Niki is one of the most renowned influencers in the midlands, who works with numerous food brands and restaurants to create engaging and effective food content. Niki drew on her experience as an effective influencer to demonstrate why Influencer content is out-performing brand-related content. Influencers offer the chance to drive brand awareness by being able to access a targeted and engaged audience, also offering the chance to create high-quality and cost-effective content which will benefit the brand.

Sonya Gonzales Mier (Senior Brand Manager at Henkel)

Sonya challenges the question of why brands matter. Brands such as Google and Apple, currently show that a strong brand is key to driving success, and the key to building a strong brand is the trust that consumers place in the brand to deliver to expectations. Sonya gave some great examples of smaller brands who use their purpose as a competitive strategy against larger rivals whose brands have historically been tied to product quality.

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