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Digital Success Stories – An Audition

JW – looking pensive on train to Manchester

This is a story of how to ‘audition’ for a new job in digital transformation. Pull in favours from friends!

This is also a story of poor hiring policies: getting people to go above and beyond the call of duty when actually there is no job to apply for!

I’d applied to join an in-house digital transformation team. The team that is being built to drive change in a big retail conglomerate with an HQ in Dubai.

I’d had three face-to-face interviews by now, where we’d talked tech, experience and measured appropriateness for the role in Dubai. Then came the email from Group HR, asking for me to audition to be part of this business transformation. The email read:

We would like you to send us a Digital Audition through any digital medium of your choice. We would like this to be as flexible and convenient for you to complete as possible and some of the key things we are looking for from you are:

– An introduction to yourself
– What are you passionate about?
– How do you think you can impact our culture?
– What keeps you up at night
– What does transformation mean to you? How do you envisage it?

Continue reading “Digital Success Stories – An Audition”

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Great Balls Of Fire … On The Radio

It was late in the afternoon and I could feel that it was going to be a long night ahead at the computer… and then I started to flick through my Linkedin and Facebook feeds. Damn.

I became engrossed with a theme across several posts instead of writing that big presentation. It was all those posts about the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 spontaneously combusting again.

galaxynote7
Photo thanks to @aaronhsl, driving past the big hoarding on Sheikh Zayed Road, (SZR), Dubai. “Gotta be coming down from SZR soon right? It’s not smoking yet at least.”

Then my phone rang. I felt I should ignore a number I didn’t know because there was so much work to be done. But I answered, and a super-familiar voice said, “Hi James, it’s Vasti.” I knew straightaway why she sounds like a friend: she’s on that radio show. “Would you be available to come on the show again tomorrow morning and talk about…” Yes, the Samsung brand debacle.

So I did. Have a listen, it’s just ten minutes.

Continue reading “Great Balls Of Fire … On The Radio”

Six Significant Changes in Advertising for 2015

As the new year approaches everyone is wondering what will really happen in 2015. And only a few of us really know!

I’ll happily share with you a few points – and I’ll frame it as seven significant changes in our vocabulary because they just won’t need explaining any longer:

  • CROSS-SCREEN

    Second-screening. Wish I'd had this when at the Dubai Rugby Sevens yesterday!
    Second-screening. Imagine if I’d had this app on my phone when at the Dubai Rugby Sevens yesterday. Imagine if the data providers could tell what billboards were near me and play relevant data-targeted ads with reference to the environment, the outdoor billboards, the big TV screens etc…

advertisers will reach a point in May (why May? That’s another story!) where they no longer need to refer to “cross-screen” advertising. Why? Because everything will just work across all screens. ALL screens. And we’ll even be able to track advertising across all screens and all operating systems in a way that only Facebook, Google and Apple can today – albeit only across their operating systems at the time of writing.

  • DIGITAL FIRST

“digital first” will be an expression of the past. It’ll just be what we all think and do. Instead we’ll remember at the last minute before submitting any advertising proposal “what about TV and billboards?” Okay, maybe TV and billboards won’t be forgotten like that. But still, maybe it’s time for the 2005 prophecy by Joe Jaffe to come to life: Today, some 65 years after it was first used, the 30-second spot is like Sean Connery – still sexy as hell but not much of a long-term prospect.” Continue reading “Six Significant Changes in Advertising for 2015”

So Long, Singapore

So Long, Singapore!

Wow, the last two years have been exciting. But it’s time to say, so long, Singapore.

MBA vs real-world learning

In December 2011, I told some old friends that I was about to do an MBA in Australia – where I lived at the time – at an unheard of business school. They explained to me that it was too little too late: “You’re supposed to be turning 30 not pushing 40; you’re supposed to do it at a famous school with cool people, not a cheap school with average people.” Fair cop. They asked me why I was keen to get a Master’s in Business Administration anyway and I explained I wanted to use it to work out what’s next. “That’s an expensive way to procrastinate,” said one of said friends. Harsh, but fair.

So, three months later, I feigned a family holiday and instead booked a solo trip to Singapore. I met 35 people in seven days. And asked each person to introduce me to one more person, if they could.

Mumbrella, June 2012
Mumbrella, June 2012

One of those ‘one-more-people’ was the guy at WPP’s “other trading desk” the Media Innovation Group. The digital media tech company on the bleeding edge of digital whose tools were used by GroupM. And this bloke decided I was the man for the role to bring his business to life across Asia Pacific.

Soon enough it was announced in the press (thank you, mumbrella) that I would be moving on to embark upon some “real-world learning” to launch WPP’s Media Innovation Group across Asia Pacific.

Data, creativity and real-time bidding

The business at the Media Innovation Group was technical. And naturally, full of three letter abbreviations. The Media Innovation Group (MIG) was a real-time bidding (RTB) media buying shop – sometimes called a trading desk – with a state-of-the-art data management platform (DMP). Since those ‘early days’, everyone has started talking more about “programmatic”. But if anyone uses such language with you, ask them to explain themselves. Most can but many can’t! The tech-heads think media is all about tech. It’s not, it’s about results, of course.

Continue reading “So Long, Singapore”

Yes, we ALL should be mocking generic advertising

Dissolve is a library of stock footage for video.

They saw this piece by Kendra Eash on Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency site.

And made it into a film. (HatTip Mumbrella.asia)

 

What a gem.

Another way to mock generic advertising was taken by David Mitchell in 2009.

I’ve used this film in presentations Continue reading “Yes, we ALL should be mocking generic advertising”

The All-New Path-to-Purchase: The Virtuous Communication Cycle

Many shopper marketing consultants are wrong. The path-to-purchase is not linear. The path-to-purchase in days gone by was just a tool “to drive consumers from the couch to the shopping mall to the aisle.” The line was:

we’ll turn consumers into shoppers and shoppers into buyers

…often where “integration” meant a “matching luggage approach” to the creative work by a range of agencies.

Yesteryear’s Path-to-Purchase

Putting the matching luggage issue aside, this Path-to-Purchase, which we might call “yesteryear’s p2p” only works now for TOTALLY NEW products. You see, for the majority of products – from recognised brands – social media has changed the path-to-purchase for ever.

Today, we’re all familiar with the idea that there exists a myriad of new channels for consumers to communicate to each other. Brands now can thrive or die because of these interactions.

New channels should be considered as springboards for conversations, for the frequent, lightweight interactions that are vital in today’s socially networked society.

The path-to-purchase now starts with your current, engaged audience. Your current buyers. Continue reading “The All-New Path-to-Purchase: The Virtuous Communication Cycle”

Building brands through “frequent, lightweight interactions”

On-line, in-store and in-between!

Today, we understand that relationships are formed through regular, little stories and this is how products will become loved brands in the eyes of consumers. Across all consumer touchpoints (ie on-line, in-store and in-between!) we must therefore create and manage “frequent, lightweight interactions” *.

Clearly, the retail world is evolving. There are Continue reading “Building brands through “frequent, lightweight interactions””

Supermarket brands are not trying hard enough

Bloody hell, have you seen how Coles and Woolworths are out to woo shoppers into shopping with them. However, they are doing nothing of interest. I’m sure they have stats to show how their ads are boosting sales. Of course their agencies will find those and/or other stats. And I’m sure the research shows that this is the best advertising since etc etc.

Here’s the basic flow of a short presentation I’m about to share with Continue reading “Supermarket brands are not trying hard enough”

Cheap not classic

I chanced upon this on my way to a breakfast meeting this morning.

Is this a failure because it is so cheap? No. Is it cheap? Yes.

Do I like it? Yes. Continue reading “Cheap not classic”

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