Friday, November 14, 2014

Brands need to 'Change the Conversation'

Andrew Roberts (Originally featured in The Guardian

Mad Men’s leading man Don Draper’s maxim that “if you don’t like what’s being said, change the conversation” really stands the test of time. Brands are now controlled and shaped by consumers, and being part of this conversation is critical for brand success.

The problem is that far too many brands have misunderstood the point of this conversation economy. Yes, they are creating relevant and interesting activity, but most are simply joining the conversation. Given that organic reach on Facebook has reached a lowly 1-2%, being engaging has never been more important – and that means “changing the conversation”.

Change is a deliberately big word. Brands need to create new or refreshingly different experiences, using their content and channels carefully, to guide them through the fragile gap between awareness and dismissal.

That’s why we have our own principles for how we work with our clients to change the conversation.

Connect emotionally

The best way to a lasting committed relationship is to connect with people the way a close friend would.

Show, don’t tell

It’s not enough to talk about what you do or how good you are; you need to demonstrate it, directly, with impact and meaning.

Own something

“If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” Choose something relevant and focus on it.

Context is queen

Context is your best friend or worst enemy. Choose it wisely, study it well and be respectful.

Give, give, give, take

Take nothing for granted; in order to ask something of anyone you must earn their trust and respect first.

Give options

Don’t expect everyone to be the same; consider offering different levels of involvement.

As Oscar Wilde said: “The only one thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” It’s a sagacious observation that applies as much today as in Don Draper’s day.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fierce, fearless and female - Really Nils ?

We had a lot of conversation and debate recently about Nils Leonard's article in Ad Week deliberately controversial or toe curlingly patronising or just downright sexist ?

If you haven't read it here are some interesting 'highlights':

She is a thief of new technologies.
A murderer of trade unions and waiting lines.
A radiator of energy and believer in the genius of 3 a.m. tequila, when it all matters a little too much.
Her best friend might be a planner.
Her lover might be a producer.
And like all star players, she will always be on loan. Never yours.
One day, the perfect modern creative will have enough of us.
Because ultimately she will want to create something sacred for herself.
And she will go and do it.
And we will love her for it.

Of course this set the girls going
and we thought it was worth sharing the pov - what do you think ?

Micheala Macintyre:

I appreciate the sentiment and understand this was written with good intentions, but I find it hugely patronising and insulting. "Her lover might be a planner". Fudge off. What has that got to do with it?!

This isn't the dream "creative of the future". There are already wonderful creative women in the industry, just not enough of them. And they aren't all whispily floating through agencies questioning how they are put together because they just can't get their pretty little heads round it all.

Don't get me started on his use of "This GIRL gets none of us are as smart as all of us". Seriously? In a piece where he is trying to champion women in creativity he chose to use "girl"? 

"She won't allow pay grade to (affect her from doing good work)" - what the fudge is this suggesting?!?!

No, Nils. Nil pointe from Kays.

Georgia Zervudachi:

Like what it is supposed to be saying, but I think good points are lost in the wankery around it – vague and paternalistic, although I suppose its a subject that is always going to raise heckles. Could have been written in the 80s. Or 1919. Or the 1790s. 

It's more like what this person feels like the work force needs (Why just limit it to creatives? Is it just women who are going to do this?), and is almost surprised there is a push for it coming from the female quarter, as gals get a bigger voice in the workplace. Thanks, internet and YAY DISRUPTION. 

Hard work and intelligence (book, emotional, street smarts) in all spheres are increasingly important as everyone has similar qualifications, as well as population growth and the unfashionable-ness of nepotism. and that's why it's so darn competitive, because all of these types of intelligence and understandings and insights need to be proved and I think people in general are appreciating ALL THAT more.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The convergence of social

By Richard Anderson

I recently attended ‘The Convergence of Social & Mobile’ at IBM’s suitably suave offices as part of Social Media Week 2014 and will here focus on Anne Salz, Matthew Candy and Nick Pestell’s discussions plus some mind wanderings from me. Whilst Anna and Matthew focused on great examples of how mobile & social continue to impact our social interactions, Nick gave us a more pragmatic approach about how our mobile/social interaction has caused marketers to react in order to remain relevant. A theme that emerged was that we should no longer see ‘mobile’ and ‘social’ as separate entities but rather begin to accept them as a type of consumer behavior.

First up was Peggy, who gave us a reminder of what being mobile actually means (in context of tech):

1.     Personal – we choose our mobiles, their model, how they look etc and they gradually become an extension of ourselves. 
2.     Portable – Moveable and thus with us all the time.
3.     Pedestrian –  Not dull, but a way of carrying out mundane tasks (Salz described our smart phones as ‘life managers’)
4.     Participatory – They enable bringing people together.

Talking about ‘Pedestrian’, I particularly liked Salz’s example of Amazon’s new ‘Mayday’ service which she labeled a type of ‘Outsourcing of our brains’. Users who encounter a problem with their Kindle can connect straight to a live Amazon advisor who visually and audibly guides you through the problem. It’s Sulz’s opinion that these kinds of technological improvements raising the bar in their industry that will have an impact on those well beyond mobile. Say we all like and begin to value Amazon’s Mayday’, isn’t that just going to annoy us off when we’re playing on our next gadget that doesn’t offer it? When we encounter great experiences, we gradually come to expect ‘great’ all the time, no matter what the technology. Thus brands are going to have to rethink customer services in an attempt to keep up with those brands doing the best job digitally.

This kind of outsourcing our brain is a trend Sulz expects to continue, and to be driven largely by mobile. Desktop and PC’s have got us so far but their usefulness is obviously constrained by proximity where mobile technology is not.

A great social ‘Participatory’ example that Matthew Candy, from IBM, later spoke about was Boston Hospital Open Pediatrics, which is a free interactive digital learning platform that provides medical education to over 100 countries. By connecting people worldwide, this technology performs social good by empowering people with knowledge. “Data is the new oil”, was a phrase I found thought provoking, though perhaps more understandable in a commercial context. At IBM they have recently partnered with Tesco’s to create a sharing platform for all Tesco employees, a simple but effective way of pooling knowledge and encouraging collaboration. It’s Matthew’s belief that businesses are too compartmentalized in the way they look at embracing social learning and that opportunities are being missed.

Next up was Nick Perrell, an agency representative from Facebook who impressed us with some Facebook stats. Perhaps the most striking for mobile and social’s convergence is that 63% of Facebook’s revenue is now driven by devices that didn’t even exist a year ago. So if we’re increasingly adopting social on our mobile devices, there’s clearly still growing potential for brands. In fact, the average user is now checking Facebook 15 times per day. However, Nick made no secret of the fact that brands increasingly need to be savvier with their posting strategy, “The gap between content created and the time to consume content is widening”.  Given this plus the (widely known but not admitted) understanding that brands’ reach is being ever-cannibalized, he stressed the importance of content needing to be ‘atomized’; regular and easy to dip in and dip out of. That, and the need for it to be in tune with how consumers want to consume content.

Consumption of video content has changed dramatically over the past year and represents a significant shift in our mobile behaviour. Nick revealed that during the #IceBucketChallenge; 17 million videos were shared on Facebook - an unprecedented volume, with mobile no doubt playing a huge part, be it the recording device or the player. It’s no surprise that brands have followed this video trend, with 70% of marketers now using video in their advertising.(Marketing Tech Blog 2014).

Focusing lastly on mobile’s role in the customer journey, Nick explained that 67% of digital purchasers begin on one device before moving to another. He suggested that if brands aren’t fully mobile-friendly, then they’re not even at the start of the customer journey and won’t capitalize on their mobile acquisition. I tend to agree, however, I’m unsure where social fits into this, if at all.

The last speaker, Mick Rigby (CEO of Yodel Mobile) summarized nicely, that he felt social wasn’t the silver bullet for mobile marketers but that it would continue to be an driving part of the mobile mix especially as usage increases exponentially, with half the population expected to have a smartphone by 2017.  His 3 point strategy for marketers across mobile and social is simple he says: ‘Acquire, Retain, Advocate’.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

‘Stories without words…don’t just be seen, be remembered’ #SMWLDN

This was the (rather fluffy) title of a talk I went to during Social Media Week last month.

Hosted at the National Gallery by those advertising big boys based a touch further east down the Thames from us, Ogilvy & Mather, this was an hour long talk hosted by a rather eclectic assortment of individuals, each one a leader in their own respective fields. 

This resulted in a rather dishevelled looking panel headed up by O&M’s Group Head of Social, Leo Ryan; Martin Stabe, Head of Interactive News at the FT; Dr Susan Foister (Deputy Director at the National Gallery and Leo Bofkin, CEO at Global Street Art.
Saturday, October 4, 2014

“Social used to be a thing. Now it’s everything.” #SMWLDN

By Georgia Zervudachi - Graduate Planner

I was lucky enough to attend 2 #SMWLDN events, which covered both the facts (The Future of Social Intelligence presented by Will McInnes from Brandwatch) and the fuzzy (Truth Talks: Locating a Brand’s Core Purpose with Nik Roope of The Poke). Although the focus was theoretically different, there was a fair amount of common ground, and some key points and trends were raised, covering the current social/digital landscape and the way it’s going. The ones that I found most relevant were:
Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Psychology of Persuasive Marketing Videos - And How to Get People to Watch Them #SMWLDN

By Joana Couto 

As everyone know, there’s a button that everyone loves:

So, the question is: How can we make the audience to watch our videos?

The presentation was divided into 3 steps, first one:

So, the question is: How can we make the audience to watch our videos?

The presentation was divided into 3 steps, first one:

Creating impactful social interactions before, during and after events #SMWLDN

By Roos Wijnen - Graduate Account Executive

Today, I went to Social Media Week London, where I attended a presentation on how technology can help you encourage more social interaction by your target group around events, to maximize impact. Let me take you through the key points…

So, what do you need to do to get people talking about your events?
Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Changing the conversation: Engaging consumers and making genuine impact. #SMWCTC

As part of Social Media Week London 2014 we hosted 3 events at Gravity Thinking - the final event was entitled 

The impact of digital and social media means that brands are shaped by consumers now – their voice is heard loud and wide, this is both a brands greatest opportunity and greatest challenge. Competition for consumer attention exists not only within the brand category but also within other categories and wider consumer experiences. This means your brand is competing against global giants such as Nike and Burberry as well as other entertainment platforms, both online and off line so how do you compete ?