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Data

“Moments of Serendipity” at an Uncomfortable Breakfast

TMSME_brekkieFurther to my piece published recently in Gulf News (see last blog post), here’s an update to the content at that event.

The Marketing Society Middle East sat down for it’s third “Uncomfortable Breakfast” to discuss the hot topic of data. You may ask why we call it such an off-putting name, “Uncomfortable Breakfast”.

It is, of course, a delicious breakfast held at an enviable establishment here in Dubai – such as the fabulous space we’ve been using for the past couple of events, the Armani Hotel.

The “uncomfortable” element is to find a topic that the marketing community knows is important but may not, en masse, discuss in an open forum regularly enough. For this reason there are no journalists present!

This forum brought together forty senior marketers with regional and local remits, and all came to hear more about the story behind data.

Today that’s the problem; we’re talking about data itself and not about the stories it can provide. Taking the latter approach, storytelling, Marilies Rumpold-Preining of IBM Commerce gave us some interesting insights: Continue reading ““Moments of Serendipity” at an Uncomfortable Breakfast”

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?”

The global reach of the small idea

This article first appeared in the Media Buzz column, GULF NEWS, 23 December 2015.JW_gulfnews_dec2015_v2

Across the UAE, one in three people uses their smartphone to buy products and services. That’s more than in many other countries.

As readers of this business section, what are we doing with this information? Actually, we’re doing well, we’re bringing our products and services online, onto the mobile web and producing great apps from which we can purchase said products and services.

We know that our audiences research online and are starting to buy more and more regularly online.

The UAE business community is providing its online consumers with banking, grocery shopping, the latest fashions, perfumes and consumer electronics. And if these consumers look hard enough they can find plenty of local garden furniture, barbeques and gazebos too.

Local offerings, when really sought after, can be found online.

But before we pat ourselves on the back too enthusiastically, we need to take a step back and realise that we’re building these beautiful, functional castles in the desert without taking as much care and attention to building the roads and signposts needed to find these castles.

Build it and they will come?

The ‘build it and they will come’ approach doesn’t work Continue reading “The global reach of the small idea”

Use data creatively and make the small things unforgettable

Small things count. Or rather, let’s start to appreciate that the small things count.

I was in a meeting the other day with Darren Woolley of TrinityP3. The project is an agency assessment – how to evaluate the relationships between agencies and this particular advertising client. Darren talked through the Issues Matrix.

The Issues Matrix
The Issues Matrix

“To build a relationship fix the big issues and fix the regular issues. If there are big, regular issues the relationship is over already! Fixing big issues might take time. But the regular, little issues are the ones that are unnecessary and will create a relationship breakdown.”

Think about the little things in life. Take a plane ride for example. When was the last time you sat on a plane and had someone a bit stinky sitting next to you? Continue reading “Use data creatively and make the small things unforgettable”

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”

We’re watching you. All the time. And that’s a good thing!

This is a the intro to a SPIKES.ASIA presentation about seeing the world from your consumers’ point of view.

New technologies allow us to watch people more closely and in real time…

James Breeze & James Welch.  Spikes Forum Room,
 Suntec 
Convention Centre Mon 16 Sept 2013, 4pm
James Breeze & James Welch.
Spikes Forum Room,
 Suntec 
Convention Centre
Mon 16 Sept 2013, 4pm

In this multi-media presentation, James Breeze and James Welch, will show off some gadgetry, tell a few stories and create some magic. The key gadgets that the two Jameses will show are new ways to carefully understand online – and Continue reading “We’re watching you. All the time. And that’s a good thing!”

Data-led creativity deserves more than just hype

The futures of data and creativity are fundamentally connected. While this eventuality seems inevitable and the statement may be even something of a platitude nowadays, the stark abyss between data and creativity is present across many industries – but none more than the advertising industry.

It has been noted by close observers of the many famous advertising awards ceremonies that effectiveness is now key to success, but still there are too few examples of data-driven creativity.

This post first appeared in Marketing Magazine, Oct 2012
This post first appeared in Marketing Magazine, Oct 2012.

There are five reasons that data – for the moment – might be removed from the creative process:

First, data mining is often too arduous and complex. As a result, it’s expensive to make data useful, hence there are many sophisticated data analysts who can charge like a wounded bull. Their outputs might be impressive, but their hourly rates scare off too many potential clients.

Second, data mining teams are often unglamorous and lack the cool-factor found in creative agencies. Or so the creative agencies believe. One creative director recently used the oil and water analogy, saying “we’re better off at opposite ends of the creative engine”. Continue reading “Data-led creativity deserves more than just hype”

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”

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