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9 November 2023

Building Brands 2023

We went to Building Brands 2023. Here's what happened...
Building Brands 2023

Yesterday members of the team from Optix Solutions had the privilege of attending Building Brands 2023, the premier Marketing Conference in the South West.

This event, sponsored by Your Digital Future and hosted at Exeter University, was expertly organised by Dave Briggs and Chris Bentley with an array of keynote speakers and tonnes of value for marketers new and old.

Here are the top three things I learned during our time at Building Brands 2023.

Ai with Marketing by Al Banks

Number one, there's a lot of awesome features in the paid version of ChatGPT GPT that aren't available in the free version (or version 3.5). The first talk of the day was Ai within marketing by our very own Al Banks.

Al spoke to us about the power of generative Ai and gave some clear examples of how to implement it in our daily lives. Al gave a unique perspective by taking on the lives of Dave Briggs and Chris Bentley promoting building brands. He covered everything that would be needed from a marketing content plan to a job specification for an events person, to business case and so much more. It was clear to see that when you put time and quality into Ai you can get a lot out of it.

Al also showcased paid features like Dall-E (Ai generated images). There’s been so many times in my agency role now where I've looked for stock images and I've just not been able to find anything. This can be really frustrating and I’m tempted to sign up for the paid version for this benefit alone.

Al then outlined that the paid version of ChatGPT now links with Bing so you can get live information that’s up to date. Again, there have been so many times when I've tried to search for something, and I've only found that data goes up to 2021. There's a lot of things that have changed in that time post-pandemic so this is a huge benefit!


Park Life by Pete Bracegirdle

My second highlight was Pete Bracegirdle’s talk about an iconic Nike Football advert in the UK. Pete discussed everything from the ideation of the campaign to the challenges they faced, the pressure of this golden opportunity and more.

At its core this talk was a great reminder to focus on the core values of your market, and that no amount of Hollywood glitz and glam should change that. Put yourself in your customers shoes and fully understand who they are to produce something special.

I loved hearing about how they actually spent time on Hackney Marshes to get to know the real people around them whilst drawing on their knowledge of the beautiful game.

Thank you Pete for the important reminder that whilst you might have the budget and resources to produce the best ad ever, sometimes it’s just about putting yourself in your customers shoes to fully understand their needs to find the best solution.

Which Means that by Andi Jarvis

The last talk I wanted to touch on was by Andi Jarvis. Andi touched on something that I’ve fallen into the trap of before which is just listing features of a product in your marketing copy, rather than focusing on the actual benefits for the customer.

I knew listing feature after feature was flawed; I just didn’t know the better alternative. But now I have a tool in my marketing toolkit to help overcome this.

  1. Start by turning a piece of paper landscape and listing all your product features down the left side.

  2. Then write “which means that” after each feature and find the advantage to that feature.

  3. Then write “which means that” after each advantage and find the benefit to the customer.

  4. Then flip the sentence around, remove the “which means that” and Jazz it up a little.

For example…

600W vacuum which means that it sucks up more germs which means that your family will be healthier. “Keep your family healthier for longer by removing dust and germs from your home with our stronger 600W vacuum.”

I wish I had known this years ago and I will be using this moving forward.

Final Thoughts

Above and beyond these great talks, the delicious buffet and generous freebies, it was great to meet so many new people.

As someone who's new to the digital marketing agency scene in Exeter it was great to meet new faces, catch up with old friends and some put faces to names of people I’m connected to on LinkedIn too.

I think in post-pandemic era we've kind of got a bit too digital and at times we can be very keen to stay digital, but face to face human interaction will always have its place. And it will always have a place in great marketing

9 November 2023
Barnaby St Anton
01392 667766
Optix Solutions
1st Floor, Alphin Brook House,
Alphin Brook Road,
Exeter EX2 8RG


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