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Decoding Digital: Steph Bridgeman and ‘Competitive and campaign insights from search listening’

The next Door4 Decoding Digital event is fast approaching (15 December in fact – find out more or register here).

We took time to talk to one of our featured speakers, Steph Bridgeman – communications measurement specialist with over 20 years’ experience.

Hi Steph, thanks for agreeing to take part in December’s Decoding Digital event – for those not familiar with your work, could you tell us about what you do?

I’ve worked in the measurement industry for over 20 years and currently run my own consultancy based in Rossendale, working with global businesses in sectors such as technology, pharmaceuticals, NGOs and FMCG.

I specialise in showing organisations how their media coverage is adding value, provide guidance on media messaging and highlight how consumer mentions and search behaviour can be used to inform communications output.   

And was your ‘pre-digital’ experience in a similar field?

Yes, pretty much straight after university I went into what was then quite a niche industry, measuring the impact of print PR and earned media. Now 20-plus years later I’m still involved in what has become a multi-billion dollar industry.

My degree was actually in the history of art, I wanted to be a museum curator – but now I curate digital dashboards and information, they still need a human to make sense of them for clients.

So do you think the explosion of digital information has helped or hindered your industry?

When I started out there was a certain number of print titles in any given sector, so the amount of potential media coverage was finite. The internet and social media changed that potential to infinite. That exponential growth has meant our industry has been able to flourish, while automation has enabled businesses like mine to work smarter to process and read significantly higher volumes of media mentions for our clients.

Is that the sort of thing you’ll be talking about at Decoding Digital?

I’ll actually be focusing on just one of the things I do; ‘search listening’ as it’s probably quite relevant to several of the Door4 audience.

What’s that?

Well you might have heard of ‘social listening’ – monitoring what is said about your brand on social networks, whether that’s positive or negative, then using those insights to inform your content and messaging. 

Search listening is an even deeper dive into what people think and do – people will ask Google things they wouldn’t even ask their spouse – so this information is incredibly powerful and valuable to many brands.

Google Trends, autocomplete suggestions and more can all be mined and interpreted to help paint a pretty comprehensive picture of brand awareness. If you know how to combine information from several different data sources, you can put together a holistic view of an organisation’s communications performance and how it can best reach its potential customers.   

I’ll be highlighting some local examples of how we’ve helped Lancashire businesses in this way.    

So are you from Lancashire then?

No, I’m originally a Londoner but I’ve almost lived up here longer than I was down there, so I’m an adopted Lancastrian even if I’ve not got the accent. 

I actually first met Leon on a group Zoom call for industry professionals in the Burnley area, then later bumped into him in person at a different event. 

I think we’re both excited about how digital businesses in our region are having an impact on a national and even international scale. I’m especially proud to be one of three representatives from the northwest to sit on the global board of AMEC, the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication. . 

Thanks Steph!

Book onto ‘The Performance Blueprint!’

Our expert guest speakers, Steph Bridgeman, James Hayes, Roger Longden and Tom Morton, each explore a wide angle view of performance for modern marketers – register now.

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