BrightonSEO underlines convergence of marketing disciplines

Chris Lee
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BrightonSEO VW camper
BrightonSEO's iconic VW camper (Source: Chris Lee)

Last Friday, 3,500 marketers descended on Brighton seafront. What started as a search marketing get-together with 30 people in a pub is now an internationally-renowned, Twitter-trending event. BrightonSEO epitomises the multifaceted nature of marketing in 2017 and underlines why many organisations still need to knock down their internal siloes.

Several years ago I went along to the second-ever BrightonSEO. The event had evolved from a small gathering in a Brighton pub to a rooftop meeting space in an office block.

At that second-ever BrightonSEO I was possibly the only one with a PR background present at what was, after all, chiefly a search marketing event. It has moved venues several times since to accommodate its growth and now occupies the huge Brighton Centre, welcoming 3,500 visitors in April 2017. What has happened in the interim is indicative of how Internet marketing and the art of persuasion in general has evolved.

The biggest shifts are arguably the increasing prevalence and evolution of mobile coupled with the changes Google has made to its search algorithm: the way it ranks links and presents them back to the user. As I wrote recently in City A.M., this now plays to PR’s strengths as it majors on quality content, the user experience, and authoritative and diverse inbound links.

Now you see sessions at BrightonSEO around mobile app development, paid media, ecommerce, branding, content marketing, local search, influencer relations, psychology, and much more.

While it pays to major in an area of specialism, marketing and PR directors do need to be all-rounders, at least from a comprehension point-of-view. They need to understand the complete customer journey, and that’s a multiplatform, multichannel journey.

While the technology and culture of connecting with audiences is in the midst of an unprecedented rate of change the core principles remain: know your audience and understand people. The technology might change by people do not.

Founder Kelvin Newman describes BrightonSEO as “one giant discussion. The event is designed to provide delegates with the suitable tools and advice in order for them to go away and formulate their own opinions on what they’ve and to put what they have learned into practice.”

BrightonSEO returns in September.

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