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Interview with a Marketer: Griff Leader

An Interview with a Marketer called Griff LeaderAt the core of our business is a network of talented marketing professionals.

The skills, experiences and knowledge of this team enable us to provide a smart and integrated solution to many marketing challenges. It is what helps us to stand apart in a crowded market place – we won’t prescribe one solution to your needs just because that’s all we sell. You can find out more about our approach here.

Our ongoing success will be based on our ability to integrate new talent into our team, both full time staff and as part of our network. A recent addition is Griff Leader, a seasoned advertising industry professional with a deep understanding of the media landscape.

Griff strengthens our ability to provide media strategy, planning and buying services, which will no doubt be of value to our clients wanting to pursue brand campaigns.

I was delighted when Griff agreed to join the Klaxon associate network and asked him to introduce himself by way of a short interview. So here goes…

What’s your name and area of expertise?

My name’s Griff Leader and I’m an International media communications specialist.

Where did you learn your trade?

I have worked in agencies mostly, including MEC, Mindshare Worldwide and OMD International, but also in sales at Eurosport and IMG. In my experience I’ve managed client businesses for high-profile brands including Rolex, Hilton Worldwide, Ericsson, ABN AMRO and BP/Castrol amongst others.

How has your area of expertise changed in the last 12 months and how will it change in the next 12 months?

2014 has seen marketers start to think about how technology is changing consumer behaviour and their attitudes toward commercial messaging. With a growing ability for consumers to choose between brands, products and whether to engage with messaging, marketing tactics are having to change in order to remain influential and ahead of the competition.

For me, there are 3 key areas that have grown to almost dominate client/marketing conversations and will continue to do so over the next 12 months too:

1. Content

Increasingly, any marketing/owned collateral can be termed content and used in communications. As such, the race has been on to amplify messages in the same way as display advertising has gained rapid scale and fame for brands and products. Almost every brand now needs a content strategy and where this has been applied success has often been varied. This is because the evidence of a value exchange i.e. what does the consumer get out of having spent the time to engage with your message, has been mixed in many instances.

Some notable examples, for better or, often times, worse are:

DOVE Patches – following on from Unilever’s Real Beauty films, these films came in for a lot of criticism and even parody, with the Guardian describing the messages as “washed-down corporate brand of feminism”.

PADDY POWER – noted for it’s disruption marketing techniques, the betting firm went a little too far when they offered odds against Oscar Pistorius walking free from his trial for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp. The ASA even went as far as to say the campaign brought advertising into disrepute.

• BBC God Only Knows – whilst technically not an advert, this clever music video spans all music tastes and creates broad appeal using a song that no-one can dislike and has already gained almost 10m views on YouTube alone.

VOLVO Trucks – this series of epic films, the last one famously sees Van Damme do the splits atop the wing mirrors of two reversing trucks. For a B2B campaign, these films have gained significant fame, largely for their spectacular stunts that demonstrate features in an unexpected way. This has made them hugely shareable and popular, reaching viewers far outside what would otherwise be called ‘the target’.

Content driven campaigns are here to stay and agencies will need to harness and embrace all types and sources of content, including the consumer’s own in order to benefit their brands.

One of the keys to making content work is finding the occasion to engage with relevant content at the right time and increasingly importantly, in the right format through the use of e.g. responsive design.

2. Data

‘Big data’ has always existed i.e. since publishing began. There has always been more information than any human can consume or manipulate to create advantage.

This year though, technology has helped brands get closer to this data with platforms being developed that help not only historic data to be mined, but that will seriously affect future plans through modelling and ultimately prediction. Unilever’s hair care experiment with Google has yielded 90% accuracy in future 3-month trends, which has a significant impact on all aspects of the business.

Econometrics, digital pathway analyses and dashboards are all converging to provide simpler and faster data interpretation. This all has the effect of moving the work done in media and communications further upstream in a business, driving right to the heart of core advertiser business planning. The success of big data will be in no small part, down to an analyst’s ability to extract and apply meaning and insight.

3. Automation

I saw the greatest change in media agencies during 2014 than any other previous year. The rate of the shift to programmatic buying has had a significant effect on many aspects of resource from talent to tools, to scope and scale.

Talent – knowledge and skills of digital advertising tools, planning and execution is becoming increasingly normal and where agencies are not able to dedicate time to training staff, there is a greater reliance on learning ‘in the line of duty’. Future recruitment needs may look very different in a few years with data analysts, visualisers and programmers required for an agency to provide full digital services.

Tools – an increasing number of tools to support campaign planning, execution and reporting are helping reduce the labour intensive nature of digital campaign deployment and measurement. Fully meaningful and effective use of DMPs is not quite there but this will soon have a big effect on audience optimisation.

Scope and Scale – International agencies have started to consolidate resource into central teams that will surely have an effect on agency network strength in future. With seemingly only language being a barrier to central international campaigns, there is no reason why global or regional work will start to operate from single locations. With the scaling up and diversification of programmatic coupled with agency buying power to gain the best price, the focus of agency value has been exposed this year. This has resulted in big agencies trying to behave more like start-ups, oftentimes simply acquiring smaller, specialist and creative enterprises to be able to consolidate services.

What are the biggest challenges in the next 12 months?

Driven by technology and consumer power, I think it’s useful to categorise the challenges for 2015 in two ways: what we know and don’t know.

Certainties include:

• The inevitable increase of bandwidth and consumption of data

• Current digital generation is simply getting older and still learning

• Even greater access to industrial volumes of information and data

• Increasing power, functionality and proliferation of mobile, tablet and wearable devices

Known unknowns could be:

• The scale and direction of social media – how brands try and maximise loyal communities and newly monetised platforms like Instagram might drive a greater shift to the ‘ad-free’ platforms being executed successfully by the likes of Spotify and as being trialled by Google

• The development speed and social adoption of technological innovation. The most prominent of these being wearable tech and whether this will become more mainstream to provide real consumer benefit in the near future

• Our ability to analyse, process and apply digital data

• Continuing effect of fragmentation and how portable media will affect this

• The level of customisation / personalisation expected of consumers that legitimises brand’s ‘value exchange’. Using technology to personalise, almost predict, what consumers want/need might provide brands (in real-time) with the head start against the competition

• Privacy – how will the consumer demand to be protected and what regulation will be required to enforce this? Stats would show consumers are becoming more open to sharing data but their expectation for a reciprocal benefit will continue to drive access to their data.

What will be the big technology advances for the next 12 months, how will they affect the media landscape?

There are a lot of new technologies on the horizon, but for me the three biggest advances will be in apps, video and connected television.

1. Mobile Apps

86% of time spent on mobile is in apps, and just 14% on the mobile web according to Flurry (Source: Carat). Apps are becoming easier to use, less feature rich and are increasingly integrated with each other to share data. As marketers we are going to need to look more closely at our apps and app strategy: what are they for, which consumer groups, what benefits, how can they integrate with other technologies etc.

Facebook’s app is a good example of how the app landscape is changing. Its main app has most of the functionality of the desktop site, however it’s splitting some areas including messages, groups & local search, into single purpose apps.

Twitter and Facebook are also both making it easier for app makers to work with their platforms – both have built resources to help app makers produce apps that will have common elements that can integrate well. Twitter has ‘Fabric’ and facebook has ‘Parse’ which standardise more of the way that apps work across platforms and make it easier for apps to talk to each other.

If you don’t have an app, the very least you need is to make sure the mobile web experience for your brand is built on a responsive site.

2. Online Video

Online video has been steadily growing as a platform for advertisers – in the UK video ad spend grew by 59% in the first half of 2014, with mobile video being the fastest growing format (Source: Carat). Don’t be mistaken for thinking it’s all about YouTube too. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media sites, along with many newspapers, are all showing in stream advertising, or pre-rolls too. Next up are video ads in digital display and apps too.

Video content needs to be a little different to traditional TV ads. Online viewers spend less time watching creative so brands will need to make videos as impactful from the start. You are likely to need to create a lot more video content to keep viewers engaged across multiple platforms too. Online video is only going to get bigger this year.

3. Connected TV

If no are not in advertising, you may not have heard the term connected TV. It’s essentially where consumers use their television to watch content that is streamed online, so devices such as Apple TV, Google’s Chromecast or Sky’s catch-up service. Research from Carat found there are now more than half a billion connected TV devices in use around the world and this growth is changing the way we watch television. Remember the days of buying the Radio Times to decide what to watch for the next week, those days are over as you can simply switch on tools like the BBC iPlayer, or Netflix and watch what you want, when you want.

Viewing habits are very different with younger viewers now too as gen z and younger are just as happy watching short clips on YouTube as they are long form television at pre-determined schedules. These changing consumption patterns and new technology are fundamentally changing how advertisers can reach their target audiences.

How are these changes affecting B2B marketers?

Some consumer marketing developments remain similar for B2B marketers, especially in the area of targeting and mobile. Whether at work or play, they are still people who respond to communications and change behaviours in the same way, regardless of what they’re consuming.

Naturally, with B2B audiences being smaller, getting to know audiences enters the realm of micro-targeting/segmentation and being able to adapt messages accordingly when using e.g. dynamic or real-time buying platforms, is increasingly possible and important. It will really pay for B2B marketers to get to know their audiences better so they know what to say when, and how. This not only relates to display or content messaging in paid or social channels but importantly, to the more skilled area of CRM where the growing danger of being drowned by competitive narrow-casting is ever apparent.

Where differences do occur other developments may impact advertising success too. In the area of earned and paid placements, B2B messages will require more funding to gain greater distribution, reach and ultimately engagement. Changes to the Facebook algorithm in late 2013 have already produced a 44 percent decline in non-sponsored brand content in users’ newsfeeds. LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Pinterest now offer sponsored content placements and ads that promise specific reach.

Historically, B2B marketers have been better at CRM, developing strong tools and processes. When these get combined with audience tools that may currently favour B2C planning, therein lies great potential to optimise communications to benefit conversion rates.

A slightly older chart (courtesy of marketingcharts.com) shows how this is already on the increase:

B2B Content Marketing Drivers

Lastly, as brands are becoming more like publishers, it will be increasingly important to manage the quality of content being deployed. Smaller marketing teams are already stretched so spreading resource thinly may be a detriment to the messaging where content could be created externally and thereafter crafted to represent the brand before publishing.

Welcome to the Klaxon network Griff.

The Week’s Most Popular News Stories

See below for this week’s top news stories on B2B marketing as voted for by our followers on Twitter.

1. Do marketers need an automation eduction?

Technology is at the heart of everything digital marketing is achieving today, but there are still some subjects that are beyond a subset of marketers. Automation is one such topic where there is evidence of a knowledge, that is according to research by marketing technology provider Adestra, which revealed more than a quarter of marketers have never heard of marketing automation. In an era when customer experience is at the heart of everything a marketer does, automation has become an important way of leading consumers through the different stages of research, conversion and then on to satisfaction.

2. After acquiring mobile email startup Acompli, Microsoft launches Outlook for Android and iOS

Microsoft today launched Outlook for Android and iOS. The former is available (in preview) for download now on Google Play and the latter will arrive on Apple’s App Store later today. The pitch is simple: Outlook will let you manage your work and personal email on your phone and tablet as efficiently as you do on your computer. The app also offers calendar features, attachment integration (with OneDrive, Dropbox, and even Google Drive), along with customisable swipes and actions so you can tailor it to how you specifically use email.

3. Stop Procrastinating: It’s Time To Address Mobile SEO

I know, I know. We’ve been hearing it for years now: “This year is the year of mobile!” But for the first time in all of those years, I think we’re truly seeing mobile revolution for marketers. But mobile traffic isn’t isolated to just retail e-commerce sites. Whether your organisation is B2C, B2B, non-profit or other, there’s a place for your company in mobile.

Look out for next week’s most popular – brought to you by Klaxon!

If you have any questions, want to suggest a post, or are interested in how Klaxon can support your business, you can contact me here, on twitter @lauren_klaxon, or in the comments below.

This Week’s Most Popular News Stories

See below for this week’s top news stories on B2B marketing as voted for by our followers on Twitter.

1. How to Apply Statistical Significance in Business Marketing

Some tests are easy to analyse. Is Superman stronger than Charlie Brown? Maybe we know the answer going into it and just need to prove we’re right, or maybe the data is heavily skewed in one direction. But some tests are harder to analyse. Depending on the application and purpose of the analysis, analysts can be comfortable with a wide range of confidence intervals. But in business, when was the last time you were 95% confident that something was true?

2. The Year of Data-Driven Marketing: How to make it work for you

You know you need good data to inform your business decisions, but do you know where to find it? If you’re already investing in your social media strategy, you’ve got more valuable business intelligence at your fingertips than you may realise. Using social media data, you can tweak your marketing and sales operations to stay on top of consumer trends and ahead of your competitors.

3. Russia’s Internet: Clicking Away

America may be the land of the free, but Russia is the land of free Wi-Fi. From the airport express train to cafés and bars across Moscow, getting online is easy and on the house. This is one reason why, in recent years, only in the Arab world has the number of internet users grown faster than in Russia. Today the country boasts the largest online population in Europe. Hence the optimism among Russian internet entrepreneurs. But are social networks the gateway for digital marketing in the future? Digital marketers of Russia express their views.

Look out for next week’s most popular – brought to you by Klaxon!

If you have any questions, want to suggest a post, or are interested in how Klaxon can support your business, you can contact me here, on twitter @lauren_klaxon, or in the comments below.

Klaxon Christmas Opening hours

It’s been a great year at Klaxon. We’ve brought on new staff, achieved goals for new clients and had great business opportunities; now it’s time for a well-deserved break.

We’re going to be closed from… 5pm today (December 23rd) until 9am January 5th, in which time calls and emails will not be answered. If you have an urgent technical issues on a service provided by Klaxon, please email support@klaxonmarketing.co.uk, and it will be dealt with as swiftly as possible. Please note that it is the Christmas period, and requests may take slightly longer than usual to resolve.

Most importantly, everyone in the Klaxon teams wishes you a wonderful Christmas, a Happy New Year and a great 2015.

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving Folks.

To all our friends, family, colleagues and clients in the US, we wish you a happy thanksgiving.

“May the good things of life be yours in abundance,
not only at Thanksgiving but throughout the coming year.”

We found this excellent guide for first time cooks in charge of roasting the turkey this year. We hope it helps and good luck!A Visual Guide to Roasting Your First Turkey

Yiannis Pelekanos Joins as Marketing Technologist

Hi everyone,

For regular readers you might have noticed a few posts of mine in the last few months – trust me, there are plenty more to come – because, as of last week, I’m a full member of the Klaxon team – the new Marketing Technologist. Making your marketing more trackable, accountable, improving online reach. From now on you’ll be getting a post from me every week (likely going up on a Friday), but more importantly, you’ll see an expansion to the service we’re providing here at Klaxon.Yiannis Pelekanos By strengthening our digital marketing services, through more detailed tracking and analytics, combined with rock-solid development, advertising and search engine marketing, we’ll also be able to provide a richer offline offering.

One of the biggest draws for me about digital marketing is its highly data driven nature. Almost anything can be tracked, and with that information, it’s becomes clear which services are boosting key metrics, and which areas need to re-prioritised. Ever-increasingly, it’s also possible to take this approach with offline marketing, tracking interactions, conversations and engagement in ways which were previously impossible. I hope to marry the highly data-focused elements of digital marketing, with the conversational and relationship aspects of offline marketing, to produce better results, going forwards.

With that in mind, you can read one of my earlier posts “The Three C’s of SEO“, I hope to write many posts like this one in the future, breaking down the work we’ll be doing digitally into easy-to-digest posts which allow better conversations to happen around marketing. I couldn’t be more excited to start working with the great team here at Klaxon, with their highly developed networks, I feel as though many opportunities have been opened to better address business marketing needs.

If you have any questions, want to suggest a post, or are interested in how Klaxon can support your business, you can contact me at yiannispelekanos@klaxonmarketing.co.uk , @yiannipelekanos on twitter , or in the comments below.

Caitlin Hurst Joins the Klaxon Team

Caitlin Hurst

Klaxon is pleased to announce that Caitlin Hurst has joined our team of B2B marketing specialists as Account Executive. Caitlin brings a fresh perspective to our team following her consulting projects working with blue-chip clients – including PepsiCo, Beiersdorf, and Fonterra – that have earned her international accolades.

Caitlin’s strengths are in experiential marketing and strategic business / marketing analysis. She gained these skills and experiences through her degree in International Business earned at John Molson School of Business in Montreal and work experience at strategic marketing agency FIVE33 in Los Angeles.

Andy Bargery, CEO of Klaxon said: “We are experiencing strong growth which should accelerate as the economy continues to perform well. Now is the right time to bring someone with Caitlin’s skill-set into the team. Her experience will allow us to deliver the service and results our clients demand.”

Klaxon specialises in providing B2B clients within the technology and construction sectors with results-oriented marketing campaigns – blending strategic insights, with creative engagements across events, digital and design. It has been working with clients such as Xerox, Vodafone, IBM, Oracle and Philips since 2006.

Caitlin Hurst said, “I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity and being apart of Klaxon’s unique business model which brings together a network of extremely talented individuals. I look forward to learning from the entire Klaxon team and being able to add further value to their impressive ability of being able to objectively assess a client’s real needs and deploy a team that is custom-built to address their challenges. This is a really exciting move and I’m delighted to be involved in what promises to be a very interesting journey.”

Klaxon Appointed to Provide Event Marketing Consultancy

Event Marketing for b2b company Genie Connect

We are delighted to announce GenieConnect has appointed Klaxon to provide event marketing consultancy services.

We are often asked by clients to help them with event marketing and speaking opportunities, which is exactly what GenieConnect has appointed us to do. We are initially researching and planning a roadmap of events taking place around the globe that reach GenieConnect’s core target audiences. From this initial roadmap we will be guiding the client through which events we consider worthwhile targeting for free speaking opportunities, sponsorship and exhibitions.

We are delighted to be appointed by GenieConnect, a company with an innovative and impressive technology product.

If you are new to GenieConnect and you are a marketer with an event remit, it’s well worth checking them out. Essentially GenieConnect has built an event app product that makes good events better. You can add networking, personal scheduling, exhibitor info, mapping, notes or live polling to your event via its mobile app. Check them out online here.

A big hello to the GenieConnect team from all at Klaxon. 

Hello ‘Digital Visual Communications’ pleasure to be doing business with you.

Digital Visual Communications logo

I love new clients who work with tech — especially clients who have the expertise to present technology which not only makes work easier, but also more enjoyable. We’ve all bought useless gadgets over the years – I’m sure I’ve still got a Tamagotchi laying around somewhere – that’s why it’s so inspiring to see technology which works. That’s why Klaxon and I are proud to be working with Digital Visual Communications

Digital Visual Communications provide feature rich, aspirational technology for business which are a joy to use. They’re not your standard projector selling, video conference providing company, priding themselves on knowing how all the component parts of the Audio Visual industry fit together, to give a quality, tailored service, rather than just parts — a complete solution.

If I’m being honest, I’ve already mapped out in my head where I’d place my own interactive whiteboard… I guess for now I’ll have to put up with the traditional version… I can dream though.

Let’s get down to business.

Carys Strong, Business Development Manager at Digital Visual Communications approached Klaxon to provide search engine optimisation services, focusing on generating leads, and helping to convert from an already existing website.

We’ve already put the wheels in motion, with the help of Dan Coulthard to get the site optimised, not just to be adored in the eyes of search engines, but also to make the experience for users quicker and more engaging.

There are three main areas that we are working on with Digital Visual Communications:

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) — Adapting the current site and the ecosystem of connected platforms to improve rankings for keywords, whilst continuing to improve usability and accessibility of content.

Creating content — Producing new posts, with the goal of not only generating leads, but also informing, and showing the wide range of uses which Digital Visual Communications’ products and solutions provide.

Strategy and Education — In tandem with ongoing work, we will explore new avenues for Digital Visual Communications to broaden their reach online and reach new audiences. This will go hand in hand with education, to allow existing content to reach new users; driving conversation, through comments and social media, to better utilise the knowledge of Digital Visual Communications online.

Let’s talk about conversation.

Initial work with a new client is largely about getting to know each other, finding out about their sector, but also understanding areas which they can develop upon.

In the coming months we’re going to take all the great things that Digital Visual Communications is doing — and multiply them. Take their great product knowledge, and make it available on their website. Take their ability to remove the hassle from a large AV build, and show you through Twitter. Though most importantly, show that they’re a pleasure to work with, and tell as many people as possible.

On that note, let’s introduce you to a few people in the team at Ditgial Visual Communications:

Carys Strong — Business Development Manager

Rhys Gwillym — Sales and Marketing Director


Sarah Baverstock — Education Account & Marketing Manager

 

Over the coming months, you can expect more helpful content, more interesting conversations and more demonstrations of how a great service starts with temptation over a product, but leads to complete satisfaction with a solution and it’s design.

You can see new posts, and comment on developments in AV technology on the Digital Visual Communications Blog.

Guide to Great Teams features Klaxon

Technology company Citrix recently wrote a book on team working and included Klaxon.

We were delighted to be asked to take part in the ebook. We’re proud of how our team works: using the latest technology to help us work together remotely. We communicate, share files, manage projects, track time, do our accounting and everything else that goes into running our b2b marketing agency online.

You can read the ebook below – or as our friends as Citrix introduced it:

“If want you to be able to create a team that has the capacity to be as awesome, in its own field, as the world’s top teams. Read our new ebook, The Citrix Guide to Great Teams, to take the first steps.”