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#OnTheCouchWith… Augmented Humanity

onthecouchwith_episodeone-001-jpeg-001-jpeg-001[This is taken from the research project, TheFuture:Exposed (aka #onthecouchwith) which was kicked off by interviewing thought leaders in Dubai. This research will continue, on stage, at Dubai Lynx, the festival of creativity, on Sunday 5th March, 2pm, with two inspiring thought leaders, PK Gulati and Philippe Blanchard. Hope to see you in the audience!]

EPISODE ONE

https://youtu.be/_bn4GmIQ9co

In today’s world we’re all having to learn how to cope with the pace of change and how to respond. The pace of change is something that – as consumers – we adopt without blinking but as businesses, we get stuck with the legacy of yesteryear.

This is why adaptation is key and one of the fastest ways to grow is to understand the psychology of people and trends across this distinct and exciting region.

The region is exciting but without a sense of purpose it’s easy to drift rather than drive. The only way to drive in the right direction is to find a meaning to what you do. And then to fight for a way forward, fight until you win; fight like a gladiator. Continue reading “#OnTheCouchWith… Augmented Humanity”

Too much of an onus on big data?

 

Onus on data.png
This article was first published in Gulf News, Wed 9th March 2016

Last month I had the delight to be leading the Q&A at a gathering of 40 chief marketing officers and other big title-holders in Dubai. The premise for the gathering was an “uncomfortable breakfast”.

Now, if you’ve had breakfast at the Armani Hotel at the Burj Khalifa, it’s far from uncomfortable. But the topic was data-driven marketing. And that is pretty uncomfortable, especially since some of those present would have openly admitted they “know nothing” about data.

You see, that’s the problem: data is often unfairly awarded the epithet ‘big’.

It’s true that there is a lot of different sets of data in big business today. A company carries lots of data points that are easy to understand and use.

Sales data, web analytics, social media analytics, email databases, competitive research… and each of these sets tells a story. And the business analyses the story from a single data set, derives some insights and has a good idea how to do things differently.

Hopefully all companies can learn to conduct business differently over time. Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein have all been attributed the adage, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.” Continue reading “Too much of an onus on big data?”

When asked on radio, “how does advertising work?” how would you answer?

Not an easy one to answer, or is it?

If you have fifteen mins, please have a listen and let me know if you agree with how I answered it the other day on the Industry Insider segment of DriveLiveDXB show on Dubaieye103.8.

Yes, this is a podcast with Tim Elliott (@dubaitim) and Alex Hirschi (@radiohirschi), where the opening question sets the tone of the discussion: “how does advertising work?”

https://soundcloud.com/jamwel/industryinsider-dubaieye1038-feb2016

Continue reading “When asked on radio, “how does advertising work?” how would you answer?”

Adman: are you bored in your job? BBH shows the answer: get a TIE.

tie newsletter 1Adland is a fickle place. Employees don’t hang about. But there’s a way to fix this. A TIE. Yes, TIE (The International Exchange) has the answer.

Stats tell us that marketing directors are in their roles for 18-36 months – just long enough to make an impression. Or not as the case may be. And ad-men and women last about the same in any given role. Or less.

As team members, why do we stay?

The only reason to stay in any job is to make sure that the employment pie-chart is in fair-or-maybe-equal parts: earning, learning and fun. And if the parts move to much, it’s time to renegotiate and/or move on.

As employers, how do we keep the team?

While it should be noted that no manager needs a retention tool for the mediocre, we all need ways to supercharge those with true potential. In adland, there’s a tried and tested model to reinvigorate team players. The International Exchange does just the thing. Continue reading “Adman: are you bored in your job? BBH shows the answer: get a TIE.”

ADVERTISING IS DEAD… AGAIN.

ADVERTISING DEAD 1…or is adblocking not the end after all?

Advertising is getting a lot of stick again these days. For one fundamental reason: advertisers have by-and-large forgotten to engage, entertain and enthuse their target audiences. And therefore many people are frustrated with advertising and turning it off wherever they can. This is why adblocking came about.

Adblocking comes in two forms: First, where people turn on the Private Browsing, Incognito or Do Not Track (DNT) button in their web browser. This stops advertisers putting a cookie onto a computer so that the advertising that person sees is now random not tailored to the user. The other form of adblocking is to stop all advertising completely. Currently adblocking is mainly on Google Chrome and on Firefox, but Apple’s IOS9 Continue reading “ADVERTISING IS DEAD… AGAIN.”

Big Data Made Small: Automation and Gamification to the rescue

Taken from the intro to our presentation to the Market Research Society of Singapore to be held on 20th November.

Data represents a big business opportunity for the creative industries. In this presentation James and Graham examine how and why data should be embraced.

How do you photograph an elephant?

Just as the old saying goes, “What’s the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time”, we will look at some cases where data has been used to build business and drive communications.

Many brands are now feeding data-driven stories to consumers who are hungry for relevant content. We will discuss just three examples. Continue reading “Big Data Made Small: Automation and Gamification to the rescue”

The future of digital is divisible by the seven simple tenets

Taken from the intro to our speech at Digital Asia Festival to be held in Beijing, 7&8 November.

The speakers announced at the Digital Asia Festival, Beijing. Nov 2012.

James and Paul, collectively, know what the future of digital needs. And it’s in seven parts. eMarketer tells us that this year, global digital ad spend is forecast to top $105 billion, with Asia-Pacific accounting for $27.63 billion after North America ($40.3 billion) and Western Europe ($28 billion). So how should we maximize this expenditure?

To this end, James and Paul will bring to life the seven simple tenets needed to succeed in today’s world of data-driven digital communications. The seven simple tenets are: Continue reading “The future of digital is divisible by the seven simple tenets”

Data-led creativity: more than just hype, it’s the future

Taken from my intro to the Media Innovation Group’s Spikes Forum:

Overview: Data represents a big business opportunity for the creative industry.

Talking about the light at the end of the tunnel…
“Big Data” is just a euphemism for “too much information to know what to do with it all”

When media teams became independent of their creative agency siblings, not only did the media revenue walk out the door of creative agencies, so did much of the detailed customer and media knowledge. Only the smarter creative agencies are working closely with audience data insights gleaned from media planning and buying across all sizes of project.

Meanwhile, marketers are finding all data slipping into the “Big Data” category; most marketers have access to masses of data and not the resources to do anything with it.

Soon in Asia Pacific, we will all be given much more access to data in more forms. But will we know what to do with it to make our communications more engaging, more exciting, more successful? Or will we just use data to push product more effectively? Continue reading “Data-led creativity: more than just hype, it’s the future”

Should ad agencies advertise?

In 2006 I was on a project at Patts Y&R in Melbourne. The now-famous Russel Howcroft had just been appointed as MD. The receptionist asked me what project I was working on. I explained that I was working for Russel and, with a senior account director called Tobi, helping them articulate today’s stories for the agency and to find ways to package them up and disseminate them to prospective clients. The receptionist’s summary was succinct:

You’re advertising the advertising agency!

I use that line nowadays when people ask me what I am doing for a living. But in reality, we all know an advertising agency seldom advertises itself. Not in the traditional sense of paid advertising.

When it comes to the paid-owned-earned media debate, agencies just don’t pay for advertising space. Hell, we’re bad enough with our owned media (how many out-of-date websites are there and/or offices ‘soon to be renovated’). And few agencies are fabulous at sparking the conversation in earned media (what percentage of agencies goes beyond PR-ing breaking campaigns, updating a Linkedin profile and the occasional tweets?). But this piece isn’t about owned and earned media, not today.

Well, we’ve all thought about our own advertising and debated it. And this came up again recently:

I found out the other day that Encore magazine is about to be revamped and, on top of its usual readership, it’ll be distributed among the 4,500 senior marketers on the Australian Marketing Institute’s database. And I bet the All-New Encore Magazine will enjoy heavy promotion to an even wider marketing community via its sister title, mumbrella.

And so I spoke to the Encore publishing team and was duly sent the media pack with the rate card.

As it happens Innocean, the agency where I work, will feature since another now-famous adman, Sean Cummins, will scrutinise our latest TV ad for Kia, part of a multimedia campaign for an irreverent brand.

Here lies the debate. Should we also advertise in the publication? Well, it’s too late now, we’ve missed the deadline. So, should we have advertised? And what would should have been our message?

My immediate reaction was YES, let’s advertise. A resounding YES. What’s more, I had a brilliant idea for the ad. Creatives all cringe when ‘suits’ get ideas for advertising executions. Especially when the suit says it’s brilliant! And so they should – here’s what I created on my (t)rusty old mac:

My objection to running ads like this is Continue reading “Should ad agencies advertise?”

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