Interview with a Marketer Archives - Klaxon

Interview with a Marketer: Mitch Joel on Life in a Digital World

I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing one of my marketing heroes last night.

Life in a Digital World with Mitch Joel

I felt a bit like a cross between Seth Godin and Michael Parkinson – all be it with a fraction of their wit and intelligence – when I had the pleasure of interviewing Mitch Joel at the London Bloggers Meetup. We had an audience of 50 or so bloggers, marketers and comms professionals all keen to get the lowdown on everything and anything digital.

Mitch is a well known personality in the digital marketing world. He’s President of digital marketing agency Twist Image, a frequent blogger and podcaster at Six Pixels of Separation and now an established business book author too.

Mitch joined us as the London Bloggers Meetup to talk about ‘Life in a Digital World’ and to introduce his latest book Ctrl Alt Delete. It was far from a book pitch, in fact it was much more thought provoking and inspirational than that.

Mitch shared his perspectives on everything and anything we threw at him to do with digital, fielding questions for an hour before he was whisked away to a client dinner.

Early on in the interview Mitch set the tone of the conversation by saying ‘marketing is a function of digital’. This nicely elevated the conversation above social media marketing which is surely by now a rather hackneyed topic.

In Ctrl, Alt, Delete, Mitch gives an overview of his ‘five movements’ that are changing the face of business. You’ll have to read the book the get the full story, but essentially:

1. People want direct relationships with brands

2. Consumers want utility and value from marketing

3. There are passive and active media channels to explore and a right and wrong time for both

4. Data is fundamentally changing how brands interact with consumers

5. We are entering a one screen world

These make a lot of sense to me. However the data story particularly resonates. Having recently produced a conference on the theme of ‘next generation research’ I’ve had my eyes opened considerably as to what information is available to marketers and what this means from a marketing optimisation point of view.

The digital data trail we leave behind as we navigate our lives online is really quite staggering. I’m in two minds as to whether this is a good thing or a bad thing, but as consumers we all have to realise there’s nothing free on the internet. If you want to use Facebook, twitter or any social network without charge, the trade off is you give them a licence to use your data. Get used to it, or get off the net.

You can read a much more in-depth review of Mitch’s thoughts and ideas from Phil Szomszor here. This is one event where I would have liked to be in the audience as well as being the interviewer.

Mitch was everything I expected of a marketing maven, but to my surprise and delight he was also really quite self-effacing too. No diva behaviour at all and this only heightened my admiration for the man.

Following on from Mitch I chaired a panel session with David Keene (Head of Enterprise Marketing UK & IE, Google), Phil Szomszor (Head of Business and Digital at Firefly PR) and Rob Wilmot (Entrepreneur and investor) where we embellished on the topic and discussed the Google stories du jour: G+, Hummingbird, authorship, how enterprise is using G+ and more.

We also had a chance to play with Google Glass which was an experience. I’m not convinced I’ll be a customer when it launches, but you have to admire Google’s innovation.

Overall a truly great evening. Hat tips to all of our speakers and to Google UK who hosted us at their splendid offices in Central London.


Interview with a Marketer: Mitch Joel on all things Blogging

This week I had the enormous pleasure of interviewing Mitch Joel, President of digital marketing agency Twist Image.

Mitch joined me on the London Bloggers Meetup podcast with my co-host Bernie Mitchell to talk about his 10 years of blogging. It’s an interesting look at his journey, from starting out to build a platform for his fledgling agency, to what it is now: a voice to be reckoned with on digital marketing.

If you are looking for an example of great b2b content marketing, Mitch and his Six Pixels of Separation blog and podcast is a fine place to start. If you just want some ideas to ramp up your digital marketing I highly recommend you subscribe.

To listen to the interview jump over to the London Bloggers Meetup site here.


Interview: Mark W Schaefer on Blogging

LBM AudibleAt Klaxon we started blogging back in 2006, just before blogging became a fashionable marketing and communications platform. Not long after that we started running a little known community of bloggers called the London Bloggers Meetup (affectionately known as LBM).

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Interview with a Marketer: Miguel Adao

miguel adao photographThere are times in your career that you meet smart people, people who you know are going to the top. The subject of this week’s ‘Interview with a Marketer’ is one of those folks.

We first came across Miguel when he joined HP’s European communications team and he made an immediate impact on how we as the agency worked and the results we all achieved. Miguel’s background of big brand employers told us he was going to be on the ball and he was exactly that. Since then Miguel has moved to San Diego to market HP’s great looking Smart Marketing Suite product and also spending some time in the printing division too if I’m not mistaken.

Usually not short of conversation, Miguel has answered our interview questions in a quick to the point style, so feel free to ask for more detail in the comments and we may just glean some other pearls of wisdom. (I for one would love to know more about the trials in augmented reality Miguel mentions).

1.      What’s your name and where do you come from?



2.       What are the key marketing challenges you’re facing over the next 12 months?


3.       What marketing tactics have been most effective for you in the last 12 months?


4.       What metrics have you been using to measure the success of your marketing campaigns?


5.       How has your marketing strategy evolved with the advent of new social media tools such as twitter and facebook?


6.       Are you planning on using any new marketing technologies in the next 12 months? (e.g. marketing automation, augmented reality, QR codes)


7.       What are the key elements of a strong agency client relationship?


Interviews with a Marketer: Dirk Kelly

Cunard logoOver the years we’ve worked with and for some pretty interesting and impressive marketers. Most of our experience is in the b2b space, but we have also worked with large b2c brands and those SME captains working their magic with much smaller budgets.

The one thing they all share is the ability to perform in the marketing stakes, whether the goal is building brand awareness, generating sales leads, developing new products, or other. They all have some valuable experiences and skill sets we’d like to tap into.

Consequently we’re going to be asking these marketers to share their knowledge with a series of ‘Interviews with a Marketer’ blog posts. We’ll be asking a handful of short questions covering strategy, tactics, measurement / ROI and of course that all important area of social media.

We’re kicking off the series below with Dirk Kelly, Customer Relationship Marketing Manager for Cunard. Dirk’s marketing career ranges from the travel sector, to financial services, sports and home ware and he’s been in the business for over 12 years. We’re confident he has some serious value to add. He also works for one of the great global travel brands.

Enjoy and please add your comments and questions below.

1. What’s your name and where do you come from?

Dirk Kelly, Customer Relationship Marketing Manager, Cunard Line, Travel sector.

2. What are the key marketing challenges you’re facing over the next 12 months?

With our new vessel, Queen Elizabeth, which entered service in October 2010 we have the challenge of filling an extra 36% of capacity in a touch economic climate. Key for us therefore over the next 12 months is getting the right level of newcomers into the business while ensuring our existing guests rebook in sufficient volume early to maintain yields and brand values.

As an international brand with passengers sourced from four keys markets – UK, North America, Germany and Australia – changes in oil prices, political unrest etc. adversely affect our business model and thus the challenge is to keep nimble so if things change we can adapt to fill our ships.

3. What marketing tactics have been most effective for you in the last 12 months?

Our traditional marketing tactics such as Advertising and DM are still where we invest the vast majority of our marketing spend and continue to produce the greatest return on investment. However we have seen some great results through email, PPC, SEO and with our social media channels.

We recently sponsored an area at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show with early indications that this has been successful and met our objectives.

All in all we still largely operate within traditional means, but with the new marketing tactics increasingly coming to the fore. Already next year we will be investing more in PPC and SEO than ever before. Competitions also work well for us.

However if we could launch a new ship every year we would. Nothing compares to the PR and airtime (both tv and radio) that we get worldwide when a new Cunard Queen enters service!

4. What metrics have you been using to measure the success of your marketing campaigns?

We use a whole suite of metrics to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns. We’re a B2C company and we’re fortunate to get all of our customers’ data, allowing us to track and attribute results to the correct channel.

Direct Mail: We use a variety depending on the campaign – booking conversion to numbers mailed, revenue, £ ROI, %ROI, number of voyages featured vs. £ ROI from each voyage.

Email: Cost per booking, booking conversion to numbers emailed, revenue, open rate, click rate and click to open rates.

Brand Website: Total visits, unique visits, time on site, conversion rate (direct bookings) and lead generation.

SEO: Cost per click, cost per lead, cost per acquisition, click through rate, conversion rate (direct bookings).

Advertising: Cost per booking, cost per lead, cost per acquisition and number of brochure requests.

Social Media: number of likes, followers and watchers, number of times we were mentioned in posts and the number of people who would see that, number of tweets we were mentioned in, number of our tweets that were seen and retweeted, clicks to links, number of bookings and revenue generated.

5. How has your marketing strategy evolved with the advent of new social media tools such as twitter and facebook?

As a business we have fully embraced the new world of social media and have a dedicated full time resource managing our social media strategy across all platforms – blog, facebook, twitter and YouTube.

We fully believe in letting our guests and newcomers talk to us when, where and how they want. Over the last few years more time and investment has been put into social media and our strategy has changed according to developments in the social media space, in some instances feeding off the traditional marketing we are doing and vice versa.

For example recently we have held interactive voyages where our social media executive and some key bloggers travelled on board a voyage. We asked our followers to dictate what they did on board and they reported back via blog post updates during the journey. This was spectacularly successful for us in terms of content, interaction and number of likes and followers, but we also utilised the content in our emails, DM and loyalty magazine with successful results.

6. Are you planning on using any new marketing technologies in the next 12 months?

We aim to be more customer centric in our approach to communicating with our database. As such in the next few months we will be implementing a new database that covers all Carnival UK brands (P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard Line and Ocean Village) into a single customer view.

A result of this is that we are purchasing SmartFocus to plug into our new CRM system to drive our communications strategy. We hope this will get us to a place where we are talking to our guests and providing them with the information they want, when they want it, that is relevant and personalised. We expect this to translate to improvements in both acquisition and retention metrics.

This new technology enable us to capture a great wealth of customer data in one place, providing us with a greater understanding our guests and the ability to improve the targeting of our marketing campaigns. It has been a four year project and only now coming to fruition.

7. What are the key elements of a strong agency client relationship?

Trust and open and honest communications.