Digital Gaggle 2021

03 November 2021

Posted in: Events

Digital Gaggle is a series of marketing conferences that brings the industry’s finest minds together in Bristol. 

The 28 October 2021 edition of the conference was a hybrid event, held in real life (IRL) at Bristol’s Watershed and virtually via Digital Gaggle’s online assets. It was sponsored by t&s creative communications, Noisy Little Monkey, Launch and Somerset Design

Seeker attended Digital Gaggle on 28 October 2021 and it was a big deal for us. 

It was the first in-person conference many of the team members had been to for, well, a really, really long time! 

Expectations were high. Trepidation was bubbling. Excitement couldn’t be contained. 

We summarise the five outstanding talks Seeker’s team members were privileged enough to watch at Digital Gaggle, listing our three key takeaways from each one.  


Talk #1: ‘Trying To Get Ahead Before We Get A Headstone’, by Gavin Strange

A screenshot of Gavin Strange's Twitter profile

Credit: @JamFactory


Gavin Strange (@JamFactory) is a Director and Designer for Aardman

He’s a multidisciplinary creative with the perfect attitude for advancing artistic interests — just do it, even if no one asked you to. This is what he covered in ‘Trying To Get Ahead Before We Get A Headstone’. 

Gavin’s wry, self-effacing and charismatic style gripped from start to finish. His incredible slide deck showcased his flair for directing and designing, with the blend of imagery and tonality both manic and choreographed. 

Gavin offered a lot of great advice in his talk. These are our main takeaways: 

3 key takeaways from Gavin Strange’s talk 

  • Cry-Gang-Quit: Gavin’s advice for people pitching creative ideas to stakeholders.
  • Do it now, apologise later: Gavin’s tip for getting stuck into projects at work. 
  • Focus on the work you believe: Gavin’s tactic for prioritising your own projects. 

We loved Gavin’s talk and his proactive attitude — though, it’s probably best not to “do it now, apologise later” when it comes to website migration! 


Talk #2: ‘Hold Up! Where Has My Organic Traffic Gone?’, by Helen Pollitt

A screenshot of Helen Pollitt's Twitter profile

Credit: @HelenPollitt1


Helen Pollitt (@HelenPollitt1) is the SEO Team Manager at iTech Media

She’s a multifaceted SEO expert with a gift for explaining complex topics simply and succinctly. Her comprehensive talk provided actionable tips for how to spot where your organic traffic has gone and how to fix the issue(s) — more SEO, duh! 

Helen’s precise, affable and sardonic style filled our minds with knowledge. Her ability to dissect the reasons for organic traffic falling and explain the solutions provided a blueprint to address even the most troubling drops with a cool head. 

Helen provided a lot of excellent advice in her talk. These are our main takeaways:  

3 key takeaways from Helen Pollitt’s talk 

  • Page speed as a ranking factor: Helen said that page speed can be crucial in situations where two pages compete for a position and are otherwise “equal”. In these situations, speed is the tie-breaker deciding which page ranks higher. We agree with this approach and found it a useful way of summarising the tricky debate.
  • How to fit in a link building strategy when time is short: Helen addressed the fact that there’s no point in building links to a site or page if it isn’t technically optimised and content isn’t on point. The reason for this is that the impact of links would be minimal or non-existent. We concur! 
  • Reporting errors are your nemesis: Helen opined that reporting errors are the biggest reason for organic traffic dropping. We agree 100%. One of the first things we do in the face of a traffic drop is compare website movement to other channels, this way we can look to immediately rule out reporting errors.

We adored Helen’s talk and her practical advice — she gave us plenty of useful tips that we’ll be looking to apply in our work. 


Talk #3: ‘Amplify Your Marketing Campaigns With Conversion Rate Optimisation’, by Shahina Meru

A screenshot of Shahina Meru's Twitter profile

Credit: @ShahinaMeru


Shahina Meru (@ShahinaMeru) is the Director of Conversion Rate Optimisation at Merkle

She’s an ambidextrous conversion rate optimisation (CRO) specialist who’s able to provide an argument for CRO that’s user-focused and data-evidenced. That’s precisely what she delivered in her talk. 

Shahina’s measured, informed and engaging style made it incredibly easy to see the value in focussing on CRO. Her real-life examples were simple and compelling, demonstrating how small changes in approach can have a big impact on results. 

Shahina imparted a lot of superb advice in her talk. These are our main takeaways:  

3 key takeaways from Shahina Meru’s talk 

  • Keep your promises: Shahina highlighted that if your page titles in a SERP tell a user that your product prices start at a specific amount then make damn sure that the product page matches up to this.
  • Don’t forget about local intent: Shahina explained that if you’re targeting local keywords then align this to the copy on your product pages. 
  • Convince stakeholders by demonstrating value: Shahina posited that if you’re having issues getting buy-in from stakeholders then you must demonstrate the cold, hard numbers that confirm the benefit of your proposal.

We admired Shahina’s talk for its user-centric approach — the user should always be the focus of your conversion strategy and this talk demonstrated the value of getting that right.  


Talk #4: ‘How To Make A Big Impact On A Small Budget – Marketing In Times Of Crisis and Beyond’, by Antonia Cross

A screenshot of Antonia Cross's Twitter profile

Credit: @antoniamaycross

Antonia Cross (
@antoniamaycross) is the Head of Marketing at Caring in Bristol

She’s an award-winning marketer, inspirational speaker on sexual wellbeing and one of Rife Magazine’s 30 Under 30. Her captivating talk was one of the finest seminars the attendees will ever see, one that will live long in the memory and inspire numerous marketing teams. 

Antonia’s magnetic, detailed and dynamic style took us on a journey that outlined her expert thought process for delivering successful marketing campaigns. It was linear but flexible. It was thorough but digestible. It was theoretical but human. 

Antonia presented a lot of sensational advice in her talk. These are our main takeaways:  

3 key takeaways from Antonia Cross’ talk 

  • Use marketing theories to help build your foundations: Antonia showed how she applies marketing theory to real-life situations to develop successful strategies. 
  • Understand what your audience wants from you: Antonia explained that there’s no sense in copying another brand — know what your audience wants and give it to them, not a rehashed campaign promoting the brand-driver of a different company. 
  • Underpin your campaigns with a human approach: Antonia’s talk was people-centric and that’s what made it so effective. We could connect with the stories because we cared about them. That’s what you must achieve with your campaigns. 

We cherished Antonia’s talk — she inspired everyone attending, leaving us with a thirst for revisiting our marketing textbooks! 


Talk #5: ‘Reuse and Recycle: How to Build a Sustainable and Scalable Content Creation Strategy’, by Purna Virji

A screenshot of Purna Virji's Twitter profile

Credit: @purnavirji


Purna Virji (@purnavirji) is a Senior Content Solutions Consultant at LinkedIn.

She’s a digital marketing guru, award-winning former journalist and winner of the 2019 US Search Personality of the Year. Her talk gave a scalable content strategy underpinned by advice from one of marketing’s most gifted minds. 

Purna’s warm, thoughtful and example-led style really brought her content creation strategy to life. She showed the audience how to enhance their own strategies and provided the evidence to demonstrate the success of her advice. 

Purna delivered a lot of awesome advice in her talk. These are our main takeaways:  

3 key takeaways from Purna Virji’s talk 

  • Get maximum value from your content by splitting it out: Purna used the example of a white paper to demonstrate how it could be split into a wide range of content pieces that cover a variety of mediums. 
  • Re-use your existing content by tweaking it for different platforms: Purna highlighted the effectiveness of taking a piece of content you’ve already produced and tweaking it to make it suitable for different platforms. 
  • Build from the ground up (not just the sky down): Purna noted that having big, detailed reports is great but you don’t have to begin with hero content. It’s fine to start with the smaller pieces, finesse them and build up from these assets.

We treasured Purna’s talk — she showed us we often have so many assets that we can get more value from, giving us a buzz for scouring through the content we have available to us!

Digital Gaggle (@digitalgaggle) was the first IRL conference in a long time for many of Seeker’s team. That brought both expectation and trepidation. 

Could it be as good as those conferences we remembered? And could we get as much from the talks as we once did? 

The answer was a resounding yes on both counts, with the consistent quality of Digital Gaggle’s talks among the very best Seeker’s team have witnessed at any conference — IRL or virtually.

If you want to see how we use our existing expertise and commitment to professional development to bring outstanding results for our clients then head over to Seeker’s services page

Whether you’re looking for outreach, SEO, content, digital PR or link building, Seeker can help your brand outrank the competition. 


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