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breakfastyellow-space Using Interactive Content to Create Higher Engagement   We are delighted to announce that the next Digital Breakfast of 2017 will be held on Wednesday 3rd of May. The topic will be: Using Interactive Content to Create Higher Engagement The speakers for this breakfast will be showcasing best practise for interactive content and discussing the advances in dynamic content, content apps, live video and more. SPEAKERS Marvyn Harrison, Content and Services Manager at Samsung Business UK Marvyn Harrison is a passionate and experienced content and technology professional with experience across content creation, distribution, strategy and licensing. Having seen how content has become essential to most businesses he is excited about being a part of Samsung’s place in the VR ecosystem in UK&I. Marvyn will be discussing the Samsung VR content platform and the role content plays in the Samsung product ecosystem. Paul Archer, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Duel Duel is founded by UK based Paul Archer-technologist, Best-selling Author and World Record-breaking Adventurer. Paul initially launched Duel the app – a photo challenge game. But it soon became clear that the gamification and crowdsourcing of content for retailers and brands was vastly untapped – heavily reliant on scraping social networks for content.  Paul set out with co-founder, Panagiotis ‘Naio’ Tsarouchis, and a team of game developers and brand veterans to build a platform that could place customers and their content at the heart of every retail, advertising and marketing channel. Paul has spoken at TEDx, SXSW, festival of media, Cannes Lions 2016, Social Media Week and numerous other conferences and events around the world. He’s currently researching his next book on the impact of innovation on the future of the global retail brand experience. Devices and platforms are evolving at a breath-taking rate, and we should definitely be swept away by what this means for the future of content. But ultimately, success for retail brands comes down to how consumers choose to engage with interactive content and its ability to drive sales. Paul Archer, technologist and founder of Duel, talks about how the impetus for brands to be more authentic in their marketing continues to escalate, and how emerging technology means that customers will be front and centre of brands’ best performing content.   More speakers to be announced. How to book your place: Please fill in the online booking form here. Host: Ashley Norris Ashley brings with him a wealth of experience in the content space and has worked with The CMA for several years, after being commissioned to write key feature articles, as well as editing our Industry Reports. He is now working as a content/social media/PR consultant for a number of clients mainly in the tech/media arena.   When? Wednesday 3rd May 2017 9am – 11am (Breakfast is served from 8:30am) Where? Etc Venues 51-53 Hatton Garden Clerkenwell London EC1N 8HN Cost?  CMA Members: £75 + VAT Non Members: £150 + VAT Testimonials “A thought provoking and future gazing look at the value of digital content and how to distribute effectively. Two hours of engaging presentations and new perspectives on the rise of online content with reach” Laura Heywood, Commercial Editor, Retail Week “Very interesting to see how major brands see their business and the future” Joe Riordan, Marketing Analyst, REED “Fresh, Brilliant and up to date” Gabriela Izquierdo, Digital Designer, Financial Times “Inspirational and thought provoking, a great way to spend a couple of hours. Well worth it!” Andrew Reeves, Founder, Reeves Consulting   Read more video marketing1 Video Content – why are we still searching for effective measurement tools? Last year the CMA produced a report that looked at the issues surrounding measurement of content marketing. Key execs from leading CMA member companies offered their opinions on how brands should track the performance of their content, while a large number of CMA members took part in a survey. The end result highlighted that we are still a long way from agreeing industry standards for the measurement and effectiveness of branded content. In the survey, for example, only half of the marketers agreed it is possible to accurately measure content marketing’s return on investment. A further 52% are unsure whether a universal metric is realistic. One area that was especially hotly contested was video content. On the face of it there appears to be a very easy metric for brands to evaluate the effectiveness of video content and that is number of views. But as many contributors to the report pointed out even that figure can be quite misleading. A key issue is ‘what actually constitutes a view?’ Different social platforms take differing views on this. Then there is the thorny issue of auto play. As Facebook users know videos leap to life as soon as a user hovers their mouse over them. Yet how many of them are truly being watched? What too is the level of engagement? And how does this generate action? A friend of mine recently told me of her addiction to the food creation videos of sites like Tasty and Bosh, yet owned up to never having once made a dish inspired by the content. So, brands can invest heavily in this type of content and attract thousands of views, but how viewers many actually create the dish, or buy the ingredients? Of course, it is easy for marketers to point to increased brand awareness, but once again that is also very tricky to quantify. There’s also the metric of viewing time. Surely the number of seconds a person views a video is the ultimate metric? Yet how do we know that the person is actually watching the video, and not off looking at another web page? Factor in the quirks of Instagram and Snapchat, alongside platforms admitting that they haven’t always been accurate in measuring video content, add click fraud, bot traffic and viewability and you have what sounds like the online equivalent of the wild west. Technological innovation Maybe the future will yield more workable and effective metrics? In a fascinating article in the CMA report Mark Thompson, Account Director, ITN Productions looked at the metrics that might matter in the future. He argues “facial recognition software, for example, along with heart rate and GSR (galvanic skin response) measurements, can provide a specific set of data allowing us to work out if people are really saying what they feel, feeling what they say, and which of our messages are really streaming into the subconscious mind and effecting behaviour.” There are also lots of technology companies experimenting in this space – Sticky leaps to mind – so maybe we will begin to see more sophisticated and accurate measuring tools arrive soon. Another company that might have an answer is Moat. If you read one article on content marketing week then I suggest that you look at Contently’s take on how to fix video measurement. Sure the feature creates almost as many issues as it answers, but it does highlight a potential solution in the guise of the Moat Video Score. As Contently explains “Moat incorporates how long someone watches a video, how long someone listens to it, and how much of the clip is visible on the screen. The metric consolidates the information into a rating between zero and 100, giving publishers and advertisers an easy way to measure complex insights. It also helps marketers translate results from different platforms. If a user watches a 30-second YouTube ad all the way through, in full-screen mode, and with the sound on, that gets scored a 100. But if someone watches that same ad on Facebook for 15 seconds and doesn’t turn on the sound, it would be less than 25, depending on how much real estate the video player took up on screen.” It might not be the ultimate solution that marketers are looking for, but at least it is a start. Surely, we should be able to soon match this type approach with other technological innovations to deliver something more effective. Commissioned by The CMA   Read more mastodon Mastodon – Another Social Network For You to Worry About? It has a tanking share price, falling advertising revenues, a reputation for giving a voice to trolls and abusers and is losing some of its highest profile celebrity uses. Yes Twitter’s board has plenty to worry about at the moment. So they could quite probably do without the recent rush of press articles about a new social network that some pundits predict could eat its lunch – Mastodon. If the name sounds familiar you are either au fait with prehistoric animals or American heavy metal bands. Quite which of the pair inspired the network’s developer, German Eugen Rochko is open to debate, but one thing is for sure, he has been very heavily influenced by Twitter. Open Mastodon’s home page and you are presented with something that looks a lot like Tweetdeck the third party Twitter web tool which the company liked so much it bought a few years ago. There are other similarities too. Mastodon is a microblogging network, where users post messages and have conversations – though the character limit is significantly more generous 500 compared to Twitter’s 140. Yet that’s where the similarities largely end. As Rochko explains Mastodon seeks to take the best bits of Twitter but improve on them. “I brought all my friends to Twitter back in the day. I kept promoting it to everybody I knew. I really loved the service. But it continuously made decisions that I didn’t like. So in the end I decided that maybe Twitter itself is not the way to go forward.” One good bit of news for the Twitter board though is that the Mastodon creator doesn’t seem overly ambitious, for now. In fact the site is largely financed by donations through the Patreon network – and Rochko has only asked for a paltry 800 Euros per month. The other thing about Mastodon which may be the thing that keeps it from becoming the social network that does cause problems for Twitter is that it is, well a little esoteric. The network is decentralised and split into various sectors  – think old school web newsrooms – which are called Instances. There are several hundreds of these and they typically revolve around a specific topic. So, for example, you can become  a member of the animal rights group, or try the cat group. So users get the dual benefit of being able to post on their own groups but also the “federated timeline.” This is analogous to a single Twitter feed containing everyone’s tweets (a.k.a. toots). Another reason why some fans rate the new service so highly is that it has really powerful privacy controls. So users can choose who sees individual toots for example, or issue a content warning with a toot, so anyone who wants to read it has to click to uncover the text. Not surprisingly the main users of the service are the type of people who were early adopters of Twitter – namely tech heads keen to find a space to share their in jokes without fear of being parodied or misunderstood. For the time being I think it is unlikely that too many more mainstream Twitter users will fancy joining them. However Mastodon’s rise does highlight a couple of key points. Problems for Twitter First is that Twitter really has failed to innovate. Sure it has made a partial success of some of its side projects like Periscope and Medium, but the actual core service channel hasn’t changed a great deal. And when Twitter has changed the service, such as moving from an chronological display of posts to one determined by an algorithm, the tweaks haven’t sat well with their users. Individual groups, better privacy options and longer posts are all things that should, in my opinion, have been integrated into Twitter. Perhaps more importantly Mastodon’s meteoric growth shows that even Twitter’s core audience is starting to tire of it. Writing the social network off seems very premature, but there is a growing disenchantment with the way it has not tackled some of its core problems –  such as the level of abuse dished out by people with anonymous accounts. Twitter should be a significant part of most brand’s social networks strategy. Yet for how much longer? It didn’t take too long before brand starting sizing up Mastodon (Wal-mart allegedly set up a account, though this might just be a hoax). If Twitter doesn’t finally address some of the concerns of both its individual and corporate users brands might start looking elsewhere. Commissioned by The CMA Read more future-fusion Breakthrough; combining science, innovation and Future Fusion The new UK Science Park Association magazine wows its readers With the recent launch of ‘Breakthrough’ Spring 2017, the first issue of its revamped member magazine, the UK Science Park Association (UKSPA) is already enjoying the fruits of its forward thinking decision to hire Future Fusion to revitalise its communications strategy. The Future team brings its modern blend of upbeat visuals with truly useful, high quality content written to engage and enhance target audiences. “I have just received ‘Breakthrough’ – and what a Breakthrough. Looks and feels fantastic!” Christopher Gooch, Identity Creative, Science Park Tenant Company “From our perspective, the new Breakthrough magazine is a welcome step change in the Association’s publication which has been noted by UNIP tenants.” Dr Mark Tock MBA, Operations Director, University of Nottingham Innovation Park (UNIP), UKSPA member “We have just taken delivery of the new magazine and I wanted to pass on my congratulations. We will be circulating to tenants tomorrow. Our initial reaction was wow! Initial thoughts are that both content and design wise it has been a big step forward. The balance of longer articles and shorter sections is particularly appealing.” Tom Beasley, Head of Bristol & Bath Science Park, UKSPA member Future Fusion is the in-house creative service agency of Future plc. Known for its trendy film, music and gaming publications, the Future team may not have seemed the obvious choice for a science-led member Association whose audience is oft imagined to still live their stereotyped lab-coated lives among vaulted hallways lined with dusty tomes, littered with references and lost in peer review. Luckily, the UKSPA team know who their members really are and understand they not only require comfortable, efficient and effective workspaces but enjoy a good read and funky visuals as much as anyone. So, it wasn’t too hard to select Future Fusion from the crowd of project bid submissions. “We received 17 quality tenders and many others that did not meet the tender specification, and after a short selection process decided to contract with Future Fusion. Their professionalism and enthusiasm totally shone through. Early signs are that they will be able to lift UKSPA’s communications ambitions to new heights where content, and relevance to the customer is of prime importance,” Paul Wright, CEO, UKSPA. With the launch of Breakthrough, UKSPA and Future Fusion are committed to delivering a quality communications experience. The publication has enhanced its readership potential which extends beyond science parks and innovation sites to tenants and external suppliers. It offers the opportunity for members, affiliates and their suppliers to contribute to the magazine with both useful, high quality editorial and advertising placements offering an effective return on investment. Download your copy of Breakthrough Spring 2017 here. All editorial enquiries for the Summer/Autumn issue (deadline 8 June) should be submitted to the editor, Sarah Lawton: sarah.lawton@futurenet.com All advertising enquiries (deadline 8 July) should be forwarded to David Parker; david.parker@futurenet.com To become a member of the UK Science Park Association, please contact Jim Duvall; info@ukspa.org.uk The UK Science Park Association (UKSPA) UKSPA is the authoritative body on the planning, development and the creation of Science Parks and other innovation locations that are facilitating the development and management of innovative, high growth, knowledge-based organisations. Founded in 1984 by the managers of the eight Parks that then existed, UKSPA has gone from strength to strength. In the last thirty years, the number of Science Parks has grown significantly (from two in 1982 to around 105 in 2014). There is still a strong regional, and local focus to their establishment. See more at www.ukspa.org About Future: Future plc is an international media group listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR). The Group operates three separately managed divisions: Media Brands, Magazines and Media Services. The Media Brands division focuses on building fast-growing, diversified revenues from advertising, eCommerce and events. With a number of market-leading brands including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Creative Bloq and The Photography Show, Future attracts an average of 48 million website visitors and a social audience of over 83 million people every month. The Magazine division has nearly 500,000 subscribers, with 66 monthly titles and more than 400 bookazines published every year. The magazine brands portfolio spans Technology, Games, Music, Film, Photography, Creative and Design, Field Sports and Science and Knowledge. The Media Services division focuses on content publishing, licensing, syndication and franchising, helping drive high profit margins as a result of leveraging existing content and IP. The Future Group has operations in London, Bath, Bournemouth, Leamington Spa, New York, San Francisco and Sydney. Read more REMARKABLE SQUARE LOGO It’s a Remarkable win at The Brand Film Festival 2017 Last week Mike Tamlyn, Creative Director at Remarkable was lucky enough to be rubbing shoulders with their new peers, who were representing brands such as Unilever, HSBC, Shell, Ford and Adidas. It became clear very quickly that Remarkable had stepped into the big league, with their Beyond Zero health and safety film for Associated British Ports being shortlisted. The Brand Film Festival made its debut in New York in 2016, celebrating the best of brand storytelling throughout America. As a result of the festival’s incredible success, industry leading brands PRWeek and Campaign introduced the festival to London. As it becomes harder to reach audiences through traditional media, innovative brands are looking to agencies like Remarkable to transform their marketing business with the use of brand films. A branded content film begins with an exceptional collaboration with a filmmaker with the ambition to deliver a visually powerful story that subtly delivers a brands’ message. Last week’s Brand Film Festival London showcased the best of Europe’s branded content films, ranging from John Lewis’ Christmas ad, ‘Buster the Boxer’, to Hugo Boss’ record breaking ‘SkyWalk’. The films that made this ‘oh so prestigious’ shortlist also featured cultural legends like Buzz Aldrin and Fifty Cent. In contrast, our entry featured Remarkable’s very own Adam Roberts, James Atterbury, Toby Vane and a small cameo by my good self. You’ve got to smile at that juxtaposition. Remarkable worked with Associated British Ports to produce a hard-hitting campaign that would change the health and safety culture amongst its 2,000 employees – and 84,000 others they work alongside – across 21 UK ports. As you can imagine, in any port environment daily risks to health and safety are high. It’s noisy, busy and fast moving, with potential for serious, even fatal, accidents. Remarkable needed to design an uncompromising video campaign to cut through the noise and demand attention. The aim of the film was to drastically reduce the number of injuries or accidents, whilst fundamentally changing the way ABP employees regard health and safety. The central theme – one accident affects many lives. The film takes a hard look at the impact of one incident – one moment – that creates serious, perhaps devastating, consequences for a victim, their family, colleagues – even the emergency services. Our 1:30’ film is produced in the style of a cinema trailer. It has the feel of an action thriller; fast moving, dramatic and tense with sharp edits and powerful sound design. The interwoven scenes and characters are linked by one incident, but the story is disjointed, jumping from scene to scene. We meet the characters and see the hints towards what is about to happen and the effect it is going to have on their lives. As the film draws to a conclusion, the relationships between the characters become clearer, yet the story is ambiguous – leaving the viewer wondering about both the outcome and the circumstances that led up to it. (ABP | Beyond Zero from Remarkable Content) I’m proud to say that this film has had a good run so far, winning at The International Content Marketing Awards and the RAD Awards, but being rewarded with a Bronze Award last week felt like a very special achievement indeed. Just to put this into perspective, ‘Buster the Boxer’ got a Silver, so I’m more than happy with our achievement. You can view the best of Europe’s brand films (yes, that’s us too) here: http://www.brandfilmfestival.co.uk/ A big well done to everyone involved, both at Remarkable and at ABP. Well chuffed. Mike Tamlyn, Creative Director, Remarkable   Read more 20170405_103224 Distributing Content Through Paid, Owned and Earned Media Creating content is one thing, but how do you ensure that the content gets read? That was the theme of the April CMA Digital Breakfast which was titled ‘Distributing Content Through Paid, Owned and Earned Media.’ Watch video highlights of the breakfast at the bottom of the page. First to speak was Neilson Hall, CEO and Co-Founder at Illuminate. Neilson started with a little personal background explaining that he has been in digital marketing for 12 years, originally in search but now as much in strategy. He recently set up a digital marketing consultancy. Neilson suggested that “clients tend to silo some of their channels (owned, earned and paid for)” which is wrong as they need to have structure where there is overlap to enable them to share information centrally. He continued “what works with one channel will often work for another. It is hard to put channels in a box.” He gave as his example SEO which is covered by earned media in some agencies, but in others it is owned. Neilson then explained that he was going to cover four areas; ‘distribution strategy, insourcing, tools and tech and the future.’ Distribution strategy Kicking off with distribution strategy Neilson explained that 74% of marketers do not have a defined content marketing strategy. Neilson added that sometimes this was held by the branding agency and not given to performance channels. To illustrate this point Neilson used the case study of Bremont Watches. He explained that they had a brand strategy that was seemingly at odds with what they were doing digitally. “Online they were not getting traction,” added Neilson. “So, they wanted to change that and wanted to do proof of concept on the America’s Cup.” Neilson explained that the first task was to assess the competition and look at audience insights. “There was lots of data, on audiences and demographics but it was not being used.” Bought – looking at PPC insights, paid social insights Owned – webmaster console had been over looked, but was good for data Earned – the brand mined Twitter, Facebook and blogger influencers etc Bremont then moved on to stage two – pre-campaign awareness prior to the America’s Cup Race.  They had a dilemma in that they wanted to feature in search engines, but didn’t want to give too much content away. So as Neilson outlined the company built a generic landing page about race and started building links to generic content. When the campaign launched, content was more specific to campaign. Bremont also relied on native advertising telling the story in engaging way. For earned media Bremont used influencers to put out teasers and predictions etc, and on the day before the race they created a one minute long emotive video which was placed on YouTube. The third stage was the actual launch of the campaign and Bremont harnessed bought media and bid on terms on high value. Earned media also released the details about the brand heroes such as Tom Hardy etc Trying to get longevity was the main theme of stage four with, post campaign follow up, interviews with winners with the articles used in native advertising. Ultimately though the biggest change from Bremont was the way in which they assessed the success of the campaign. They focused on customer metrics eg cost per second etc, dwell times, etc, leads and conversions. The campaign was deemed to be a success and Bremont has created a business case for future campaigns. Keeping up to date Neilson then went on to tackle the issues of insourcing explaining that only 32% of clients do not have an internal marketing solution. Brand and strategy is owned by clients – “where clients need help from an agency is from an execution point of view – largely as a resource to amplify the voice of the brand,” he argued. Neilson also stressed the importance of keeping up to date with the latest tools and tech as they sometimes evolve in interesting ways. An example is Skyword – which was all about managing freelancers and now is a way you can engage effectively with people in the social sphere. Finally, Neilson looked to the future and predicted total market upheaval – with clients moving more toward owned media rather than relying on amplification through other sources. He also cited AI content based articles – infographics, blog posts – which are in their infancy but could have major impact. Tricks and tips Next to speak was Vincent Haywood, Founder of VHDigital. Vince began by talking about content hacking and offered a series of tips, tricks and hacks to get content seen. He explained that he has recently set up a consultancy VHDigital, and works with agencies and brands on strategies and executions e.g. Nike, Harry Potter. He began by stressing that “not distributing your content is like shouting in an empty room.” However, he admitted that “repurposing, scheduling, data mining, targeting and production – all takes time.” Vincent stressed the importance of data and how it should be used to work out a formula for your content and help you build better content plan. Content marketers need to ask where are the audience, what are they interested in what do they react to, when are they online? He then suggested several tools that marketers could use. Fanpage Karma – this looks at formats that are working on their page, what is resonating with audience, engagement rates need compared with competitors etc. Word Cloud – this gives insight into topics that gives more engagement – it enables users to see how people post and how active their audience is. Answer the public – this is a free tool which based on Google searches and will show you the different content that people are asking around a topic. Similarly, Vincent added that marketers could use Google by asking ‘How does’ – and then seeing how the search engine autocompletes the question. Buzzsumo – this is a social-driven tool that illustrates what headlines have the most shares – the headlines that work. It is useful for social and shows who shared the most. Demographics Pro – this is a tool that’s good for insight and pitches. It digs into Twitter details – takes information from a Twitter bio, a person’s tweets etc to give a picture of them. Getting it out there Vincent also made suggested the audience evaluate consider the ‘Skyscraper technique’ for their posts 1. Find out what is the top post in your topic 2. Write a better one – add stats, animations, make it a wordy post 3. Find out who linked to original blog posts, who are they? 4. Scrape their email address from LinkedIn sales navigator – and then use Hunter.io email them. Write a well thought article, be personal, updates posts use stats etc. Vince also suggested that the audience duplicate their content on Slideshare and explore other traffic sources including; Flipboard, Stumbleupon and Reddit Make sure you listen The morning’s last speaker was Alec McCrindle, Creative Director at Yahoo Studio EMEA who spoke about content from Yahoo and Tumblr. Alec’s first key bit of advice was “if you don’t have much value to add, figure out how to add volume, if not just listen.” Alec then said that one of the most important things about Tumblr is its level of audience engagement. Though he added that brands make mistakes by emulating another content creator on Tumblr and other media too. Again, he reiterated “if you are not adding something a conversation – don’t do it just listen.” He did suggest that marketers keep tabs on Tumblr by keeping an eye on Popular-content.tumblr.com  Alec believes that what happens on Tumblr often informs the rest of the Internet and to illustrate this he pointed out that GIFs were huge on Tumblr before anywhere else. Alec then use as a case study the page Mensweardog. The creator works for a fashion label and dressed the dog up. He then asked why is this popular? Alec believes that it is because it is different and creative. Everyone loves dogs but the dog is on trend in what it is wearing and the hashtags accompanying the post reflect what was fashionable. Cleverly the creator mixes broad and niche tags. Alec then ran through some do’s and don’ts which he said are inspired by Tumblr, but apply to most social content. He said marketers should talk to people like normal people. He used as his example Nike which speaks in a very specific engaging way. Alec also pointed out the difference between Nike on Instagram and Tumblr, with the latter being more creative and fun on Tumblr. Alec then said marketers needed to be creative, to add value to blog posts, quality first quantity second. He pointed the audience to Denny’s Tumblr account – which he says boasts an innovative social strategy. They don’t post much but when they do post they create excellent visual puns about their core topic – breakfasts. Alec also said we need to communicate more visually, starting to use GIFs or other images and index them in our language, speaking using visual content, trigger the long-term engagement – utility. He said brands needed to start to work more with artists, making something that is visually creatively distinctive, Alec concluded by offering three key takeaways Give people three reasons to share – and use both popular and niche tags Use data – but be creative for the channel Join conversations like a normal person would Commissioned by The CMA Read more iProspect A Day in the Life of Andy Edmonds, Head of Engagement at iProspect 6:00 I was woken up from an amazing night’s sleep with aching legs after a personal training session last night. My morning routine is fairly consistent: alarm at 6:00, 10 minutes of mindfulness with one of my must-have apps Headspace, then downstairs for breakfast. My focus for 2017 is challenging myself. Fitness and health are a huge part of this, therefore breakfast has quickly become the most important meal of my day. Today it was scrambled eggs, tomato and avocado. During breakfast, I ask Alexa ‘What’s in my calendar’. The answer comes – apparently ‘Catch-Up’ is a common invitation title, although it doesn’t give an awful lot away. 7:15 Now to kick off the working day. I’m currently living in leafy Richmond, which is a joy at the weekends. It’s a short 10-minute walk to the station and then the Overground into Waterloo. I usually split my commute into two, using the first half to plan my day and clear my inbox and the second half to do some reading. I’m currently slowly working my way through Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed – a great read if you haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet! 8:00 I arrive at the office, set up my desk and finish sorting any emails before the rest of the team arrives. At 8:15am our Head of Owned Media usually arrives with coffee – my second of the day. Caffeine will help me prepare for a busy day of meetings! 9:00 Today my first meeting is with the team over at John Brown Media. I catch up with Matt Potter, Chief Content Officer, to cover off our current content opportunities and some exciting Intelligent Content projects that are underway. 10:00 Quick team meeting – we call it the 10@10. There are maximum points for creativity here. This is a chance for our content, digital PR, events and promotions teams to come together and quickly discuss the core objectives and priority for today. 10.30 We’re working on a piece with our blogger community, Talented Talkers, for the iProspect PR team. To ensure that we’re all on track I have a quick status update with Erica who is running the campaign for us. So far so good. The team is doing a great job of drumming up participants from our Owned Media channels. 11:00 I’m in a MAGIC session – a simple but effective process that the Story Lab team have created to ideate. At the moment, I’m working with the network on a great piece of new business, so The Story Lab is leading this session with iProspect, John Brown Media and Isobar to come up with a handful of creative concepts. We kick off with an orchestra of animal noises as an energiser and then head straight into the creative. When I left the house this morning, no part of me even considered that I’d be harmonising bahs, hisses and moos! 13:00 We wrap up the MAGIC session and I’m straight into a call with Ingrid, Head of Owned Media at our iProspect office in Norway. Her team was keen to see some of our work so in the spirit of collaboration we chatted through case studies and our preferred methods of working. 13:30 Back at my desk to catch up on this morning’s emails. 14:00 A quick meeting with one of our Creative Directors to ensure that we are all aligned and ready for an upcoming client ideation session at 15:00.  Our energiser is prepped and ready – today’s subject: Orlando and Las Vegas! 15:00 The team gathers as we kick off with a new energiser – apparently I spend my days being energised! Today we’re covering two destinations, one of which I’m particularly passionate about: Orlando. Having spent almost two years of my life in the Sunshine State working for the mouse at Disneyworld, I’m keen to share my behind-the-scenes knowledge of the state and local hotspots. Did you know… the number of visitors in Orlando each day is equivalent to the population of Atlanta – with half the interstate. Orlando’s population is 2.3 million. Forty-five minutes later and we have a ton of ideas which the team will research and write up for the client. 16:00 It’s time for an update with Stuart, who looks after our Promotions team and its cross-function operations. We skip the meeting room and head out for a coffee and stroll around Regent’s Park. It’s a great way to clear our heads and talk resource, finances, products, and the previous week. We end the meeting by chatting about things we expect to become a priority in the week ahead. 17:00 I jump on the Northern Line. On Thursday I try to leave the office around this time so that I can get home to change and get to Barnes for my weekly dose of Tag Rugby. Bonus – there are seats on the train! A benefit of leaving just before rush hour. 19:00 I’ve managed to make it to my favourite part of a Thursday: kick-off!  My team, Tagnificant are the reigning Tag Rugby champions this winter season and today we’re playing against newcomers Fancy a Quick Tag. So far this season we’re undefeated! The lads and lasses in our mixed team are keen to keep it that way. After the first 40 minutes of fast-paced tag we’re called on for a second game. I’m not one to turn down exercise so I spend the next 40 minutes in a friendly against established team Try Try Try Delilah. Two great games later I check my iWatch to discover I’ve completed 4.8 miles of running! Time to pack up, get back into the car and head home. 21:00 Finally home, I prepare dinner and then fall into bed! Ready to start it all again tomorrow…   Read more round-illustration-19 Guardian Changing Media Summit and AdWeek Europe 2017 The CMA and its members have been busy panelling away at two major set-piece events in late March, the Guardian’s Changing Media Summit and AdWeek Europe. Consultant editor Dominic Mills, who moderated content panels at both, reports back If there’s one theme currently dominating the media and advertising worlds, it’s that of trust. This plays out in various ways, whether trust in the media itself, consumer trust in the content – fake news alert! – and brands, and brands’ trust in the channels they use, the latter evidenced by the firestorm engulfing Google and the appearance of ads on extremist or terrorist sites. The latter led to the decision by a number of leading brands to pull their advertising off YouTube. They included the UK government, Channel 4, Jaguar Land-Rover, L’Oreal, RBS and M&S. Nor were they alone. In the UK, Havas took all its clients of the platform, and in the US huge spenders like Verizon and Johnson and Johnson followed suit. All this was front and centre of last month’s two major ad industry gatherings, the Guardian Changing Media Summit and AdWeek Europe. The CMA had a presence at both. At the Guardian, I chaired a panel examining the rise of brand partnerships with social media vloggers and the pressures this placed on trust. At AdWeek Europe, the panel looked at subjects including the consumer shift away from the virtual to real-world events and experiences; the rise of live events; and whether ‘fake news’ creates opportunities or threats for brands using content as a marketing tool. One longer-term issue raised by the boycott of Google/YouTube by major advertisers – we don’t know yet whether it will be temporary or permanent – is what they might do instead. Would, for example, they shift some or all of that media budget into content and distribution of that content? There are certainly convincing reasons for brands to do so, not least because it could maintain or increase their share of voice. The panels from both events included: Mark Evans, marketing director of Direct Line; Andrew Hirsch, CEO of John Brown; Yvonne O’Brien, chief insight and data officer at Havas Media; Jane Wolfson, director of Hearst Made; Jason Hughes, head of creative solutions and branded content for Sky; Sam Chapman and Nicola Haste, sisters who double up as YouTube social media stars Pixiwoo; and Phil Rumbol, founding partner of ad agency 101. You can see highlights of the Guardian summit here and the full AdWeek Europe debate here. In the hubbub of different voices, the one thing that drew universal agreement was the utmost importance of authenticity as the cornerstone of trust. This, of course, ties strongly into content marketing, perhaps the most real of all forms of marketing disciplines. Key themes Here is a summary of the key themes and learnings that emerged from both panels. In a climate of mistrust, whether about media or brands, content offers great opportunities to connect with consumers. The road to trust is about authenticity, meaningfulness, relevance and truly understanding consumers. Good content, from professional content makers, can do this. It’s helpful to think of content as the ‘worker bee’ of marketing, acting as the foundation layer for other activities. ‘Real-world‘ appeal is gaining ground as consumers turn away from ‘Brand Me’ perfection as portrayed on social media. Brands should focus on how their audiences behave in the real world as the starting point for content. There is a trend for smarter brands to contextualise their products in real-world settings. Examples include furniture retailer West Elm and fashion brand JW Anderson, which curated an exhibition at the Hepworth sculpture gallery. Brands are increasingly tapping into ‘live’ as a way of demonstrating real-world authenticity and the enhanced experience of immersion. Esquire Townhouse was a four-day live event in London with partner brands led by Dior. TSB, with John Brown, produced live content from its sponsorship of the Pride of Britain awards. Content generated from the both events was used extensively on owned and earned channels, including social. Working with Carling, Sky’s branded content arm produces In Off The Bar, a live Friday night football show. As well as being filmed live, the show goes out on YouTube, Facebook and Skysports.com. In all cases, the brands underline authenticity by working with professional content makers. Carling also generates authenticity (and therefore trust) by associating itself with a broadcaster with a long heritage in football. Print is alive and well, and works exceptionally well in the right context. Its revival may be linked to the preference for the real and the physical, as well as the prevalence of online fake news. Consumer trust is not only derived from the host channel, but the name and reputation of the content makers, film makers, editors and writers who assemble it. In theory, this should push brands towards using professionals to create and/or curate their content. Influencers, mostly via their own social media channels, are increasingly an increasingly important vehicle for brands to tap into. But both sides need to be careful: brands that they are not undermining the influencer’s credibility, or their own by choosing the wrong one; and influencers by being seen by their followers to sell out to brands. Brands can tap into consumers, especially millennials, by partnering trusted social media stars with large followings. But they must allow social media stars to speak with their own voices and convey the brand’s message their own way. Direct Line used Alfie Deyes, helping him pass his driving test, to promote its Safer Driving App to otherwise hard-to-reach younger drivers. Ad agency 101, working for retailer Game, used Inbetweeners star James Buckley on social media and TV ads that self-consciously parodied the idea of ‘selling out’. The current rules on vlogging state that only if the video is scripted does it need to state that it is an advertisement or brand promotion. In any case, millennials are marketing savvy, and are happy to be overtly marketed to if the value exchange is clear. Marketers believe the rules are sufficient and, if they broke them, they would themselves lose trust. Pixiwoo turn down more brand opportunities than they accept. They partner only with brands that are relevant, that they believe in, and that their audience knows that they (Pixiwoo) would like and use. This approach protects their integrity and authenticity, as well as that of partner brands. Proper business-related measurement of content marketing remains an issue – although for the right brands print impact can be separated out from other activities and measured. Brands and agencies need to focus on, and invest in, better analytics in order to move from softer, media-oriented, metrics to harder, business-oriented ones. Content per se is not necessarily the solution to ad blocking – the world doesn’t need more content – but good, professionally produced content can help ameliorate ad blocking. The big content trends in the next 12 months will be: AI-assisted digital assistants like Alexa; sound and voice; and AR and VR. Dominic Mills, Consultant Editor, The CMA Read more sky logo Sky acquires leading digital content producer Diagonal View Sky announces the acquisition of Diagonal View, a leading producer of social content, known for its popular online channels, including Alltime10s and The Football Daily, as well as creating innovative campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands. The acquisition will broaden Sky’s engagement with a younger, digital-first audience, while also enabling Sky Media to offer greater brand-safe digital opportunities to advertisers. With over one billion online views in the past year alone, the acquisition of Diagonal View will accelerate Sky’s online growth towards becoming a top five social destination for sport in all its territories and globally, building on its position as the number one destination for sport in the UK. Diagonal View has a dedicated online audience of over 15 million subscribers, ranging across content as diverse as quantum physics to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air; military history to Select Filesunexplained phenomena. Its main sports channel, The Football Daily, reaches hundreds of thousands of fans on a daily basis. Sky Sports reached one in five of the UK & Ireland’s total digital population last year, amassing over 2 billion views globally through its existing online platforms. The most popular video on Soccer AM, Sky’s dedicated soccer YouTube channel, shows New York Giant’s Odell Beckham Jr revealing his ‘outrageous’ soccer skills – racking up 5.7m views in just five months. Sky’s advertising sales arm Sky Media will be able to harness both the extended reach and content creation abilities of Diagonal View, offering brands more compelling and effective campaigns. While Sky’s credentials in sports will help amplify Diagonal View’s existing audiences and advertising partnerships. Diagonal View’s existing leadership team, including founder Matt Heiman, will continue to lead the business within the wider Sky Group. Supporting Diagonal View’s growth from Sky will be Jamie West, Sky’s Group Director of Advanced Advertising, and David Gibbs, Director of Digital Sports & News at Sky. Jamie West, Sky’s Group Director of Advanced Advertising said:  “The acquisition of Diagonal View marks an exciting step in enhancing Sky’s capabilities for reaching new social audiences and helping brands tell their story through bespoke content. Advertisers are looking for high impact, multi-faceted campaigns and want to partner with trusted brands with quality content. By combining strengths we’ll significantly enhance opportunities for branded content, building new and existing partnerships to a wider audience at further scale.” Matt Heiman, Founder of Diagonal View said:  “The Diagonal View team and I are excited to join forces with Sky. Our social channels complement Sky’s current portfolio – the prospect of our incredibly popular Football Daily channels collaborating with Sky, whose pedigree in this space is unrivalled, is extremely exciting. Sky brings rights, expertise and scale. Diagonal View knows how to make content that digital natives enjoy watching and engaging with, so this partnership feels like a natural win-win for both us and Sky. We are looking forward to working together in developing innovative campaigns and building on the success of our popular owned channels.”  Barney Francis, Managing Director of Sky Sports, said: “Last year Sky Sports reached one in five of the UK & Ireland’s total digital population and this acquisition will further our ability to reach new social audiences. The breadth and diversity of sports that Sky has rights to, combined with Diagonal View’s track record in building audiences from scratch will be a powerful partnership; benefitting customers and advertisers alike. Matt has an excellent team at Diagonal View that will complement our existing team of creatives and producers here at Sky.” About Sky Sky is Europe’s leading entertainment company, serving 22 million customers across five countries – UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. The company has annual revenues of £12 billion and is Europe’s leading investor in television content with annual programming spend of over £5 billion. From exclusive partnerships with HBO and Showtime, to Sky’s own original programming, Sky offers the best and broadest range of content along with the best viewing experience to suit each and every customer. Whether that’s through the multi-award winning next generation box, Sky Q, or Sky’s contract-free online streaming service, NOW TV, customers have access to the latest movies, drama, sports and kids entertainment wherever and whenever they like. This is all supported by Sky’s best in class customer service. Sky’s success is not just based on what the company does but how it does it. Named as one of the Top 10 Green Companies in the World by Newsweek, one of the world’s most recognised rankings of business’s environmental performance, Sky ensures its responsible business strategy is embedded right across the group. Sky has over 30,000 employees and is listed as one of The Times Top 50 employers for women. Sky is listed on the London Stock Exchange (SKY). About Diagonal View With market-leading expertise in content creation and sharing, our business is uniting global brands with an actively engaged global audience.   Read more WRG-logo WRG: Six trends defining the future Creative engagement agency WRG, which engages audiences through the creation and delivery of live experiences, strategic communications, video and interactive content, looks to the future. STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE OF EVENTS When the IPA Bellwether Report, the barometer of UK marketing spend, reported a record 13th successive rise in event market­ing spend, it became evident that live engagement is now firmly estab­lished as a strategic part of an over­all campaign. “Marketers are pre­pared to invest more in experiences for deeper and richer levels of audi­ence engagement, both consumer and employee, that simply can’t be achieved in other channels,” says WRG Chief Executive Russ Lidstone. “The role of face to face is becoming more and more relevant to brands as the level of engagement with the customer is so much greater.” The global communications agency cre­ates unforgettable experiences for brands across all sectors, including healthcare, technology, retail and fast-moving consumer goods, and was recently engaged in Hong Kong by adidas to create a Sportsbase six-week outdoor sport event. The activation exceeded client expecta­tion for participation rates with more than 65,000 people taking part and almost 22 million online views. INTEGRATING IMMERSIVE TECHNOLOGY From iBeacons to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to wear­ables, technology and event mar­keting are becoming perfect bedfel­lows, enabling audiences to be truly immersed in the brand message. Geo-location, virtual platforms, Oculus and instructional design are increasingly being deployed across sectors as diverse as automotive and healthcare to create impactful experiences. WRG used iBeacons at a client leadership event to track activity in a concept store, follow­ing customers as they experienced the event and triggering messages relating to the environment, push­ing messages to delegates’ apps and assessing in-store hot spots, right down to the detail of how much coffee was consumed. The gathered data was then fed back into the plenary content. Meanwhile, at Eu­rope’s largest cardiology congress, the agency put patients at the heart of the project by placing healthcare professionals in the mindset of a pa­tient, within immersive VR projection pods that recreated the sensation of a heart attack. As new technologies come to the fore complementing im­mersive experiences, agencies will need to build capability by partner­ing with the best-in-class suppliers or to form strategic alliances with specialists, such as WRG’s partner­ship with film, digital content and VR experts, The Moment. UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL The greatest engagement in a live environment undoubtedly requires a personal approach and for 2017 events will embrace all the small touches of the luxury and hospital­ity sectors to create a memorable experience. Be it a handwritten note from the chief executive, your favour­ite magazines and snacks in a room drop or a dedicated event concierge on hand for special requests, enhanc­ing the guest experience at events will grow to mirror the way brands are increasingly using data to personalise the consumer experience. This focus on customer centricity, the experi­ence arc and understanding the user journey will in turn manifest itself in the crowdsourcing of content, the rise of bespoke agendas and an ability for the audience effectively to curate their own event. “We’re now able to think about our audience as individuals – microcosms of supply and demand – whether it’s for Google or our health­care clients,” says Mark Jackson, WRG’s Head of Environments. SENSORY EXPERIENCES “Digital will become more sensory in the events sector,” says Lidstone, describing the blend of real and augmented reality that engages the senses to impact audience behav­iour, evoke emotions and influence choice. It was this approach that WRG deployed when Ricoh required a communications campaign and exhibition stand to demonstrate all the benefits that their digital production printing could bring to customers in 2016. The Open New Worlds campaign needed to demonstrate how Ricoh’s new, digital approaches to printing could change the way things are done to the better. WRG opted for a sensory and relatively low-tech solution to the challenge and, as Executive Creative Director Mark Gass explains, the results were all the more engaging. “A great compelling story is what grabs the attention, not necessarily the screen or device you use to tell it on,” he says. “Don’t be afraid of seeming out of touch if you choose to go low-tech. It can be very refreshing. You won’t overwhelm your visitors, there will be no barriers to engagement and, best of all, they may leave with something they’ll really value – a real human experience. Isn’t that why they came in the first place?” VIRTUAL APPROACH When virtual events were first mooted a decade ago, the events industry experienced a collec­tive shudder. Yet far from being a threat, the growth in virtual events has actually been a complement to the live industry, spawning in turn hybrid events. A virtual gathering can offer a cost-effective solution for large organisations holding in­ternal events and, as the interest in this surges, the focus for the year ahead has switched to how to make them more engaging, and to ensure audiences feel truly in the moment. Meanwhile, hybrid events help to overcome the isolation that virtual events can experience, with op­tions including broadcasting from a central studio into satellite audi­ences or using planning tools to en­hance audience engagement with the content. Lidstone explains: “Feedback, engagement, measure­ment are all possible in our virtual approach – it is no longer the poor relation to live.” RETURN TO REAL With an ambition to provide two million people with free training in digital skills, Google UK came to WRG and asked for a solution that would be easy to install in any public space. The Digital Garage design needed to be affordable and ac­cessible, so the agency combined raw untreated materials with simple, modular construction techniques to give these spaces a utilitarian and functional appeal. This practical, logistical approach underpins the “return to real” ethos that clients are now embracing as they switch back to some of the very basic principles of human behaviour. “We are now investing a lot of thought into cre­ating environments specifically de­signed to facilitate conversations. The latest science behind lighting, sound and seating becomes crit­ical,” says Lidstone. “There is something very special about live performances and it is becoming increasingly rare for audiences to share a real-time experience. When combined with technology, the ex­perience can be enhanced and am­plified to a wider group.” Read more Read More News Articles »
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