Monday, 14 October 2013

 #FutureSessions 3 - The Age of the Second Screen

I enjoyed an interesting seminar last week entitled "The age of the second screen" - hosted by +Designate as part of the Future Sessions series.

I'm sure Designate will be providing a more thorough synopsis, including video of the event on their own site but here's some of my take-outs:

  • 70% of tablet owners use their tablet while watching TV.
  • PC and Tablet behaviour is quite different, with PC users predominantly focused on search (with a purpose) and tablet users more likely to just be browsing in "dead-time".
  • Coke's "Let's eat together" campaign in Romania, was a great example of a truly integrated Social Media and TV campaign:
  • Travelzoo advised that 33% of all their traffic is from mobile devices, and that is from a target market of generally over 50's.
  • Travelzoo also stated that from the mobile user base, 75% of their customers ONLY buy from a brand they trust .
  • Naomi Trickey from Brand watch encouraged us to look for "nuances" within data, as sometimes small data tells you more than BIG data. 
  • Neil Mortensen from Think Box insightfully reminded us that "conversations" were going on well before Twitter and other SM channels were invented. We shouldn't, therefore, only focus on measuring twitter conversations and forget that most people will be talking about stuff at home, work and at the pub etc.
  • The focus as adverstisers should be on creating something engaging and memorable - that might be shared on SM but also gets people taking beyond the SM space.
  • Both programs and advertising drive multi-screen activity.
  • There are 4 distinct activities for multi-screen users: Chat | Play | Discover | Buy
  • Social Media interaction has a definite younger audience participation.
  • 4 Now, Channel 4's new companion app for Channel 4 programs already has 9 million registered users and 60% of them are signed on when online.
  • With all the talk of time-shifted TV (Sky+ etc), TV is still watched live over 90% of the time - and that becomes very important for advertisers looking to use interactive tools such as Shazam and 4 Now.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Chemmy Alcott - not your typical Olympic athlete

Rob Thomas, Columbus the dog and Chemmy Alcott
I had the pleasure earlier in the week to week to spend a bit of time with British Olympic skier Chemmy Alcott. 

+Columbus Direct has teamed up with Chemmy to support her through (and hopefully beyond) the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Chemmy is widely regarded as the UK’s most successful alpine athlete, she's been the number one British woman skier for a record eight years, and is the highest ranked female British skier ever. She finished 11th at both the 2006 Turin and 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games and has her heart set on a medal in Sochi in February 2014. 

With all that in mind, it was surprising to hear that Chemmy receives no funding form any sporting body and relies almost entirely on her sponsors and supporters.

A few months back, during the early stages of the discussions with Chemmy and her team, I must be honest and say we were slightly sceptical of what value a "sponsorship" deal would bring us, assuming that it would likely mean signing a cheque and then hoping to occasionally see our logo on her racing kit. But as we spent time with Chemmy getting to know her better we were thrilled to find out that she saw this as a real partnership and that she would have to put some work into it too.

I'm not sure if Chemmy is unique in this regard but I get the feeling that her approach isn't typical. She even sees a future for herself advising fellow athletes about how to get the most out of their sponsors by really embracing a working relationship with them.

So for us at Columbus, the journey with Chemmy is just beginning. We are so looking forward to working with her to create great content for our customers, including tips and advice, videos, blogs and maybe even the chance to spend a day skiing with her (after she's recovered from her broken leg).

I have to say that I've rarely come across someone with such a positive attitude as Chemmy - even in the face of her latest injury set-back - and if Winston Churchill was right when he said "Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference," then who knows, maybe we will be celebrating an Olympic medal with Chemmy in a few months’ time.

You can follow Chemmy on Twitter: @ChemmySki



Thursday, 1 August 2013

Social media channels driving search for content for younger audiences

I was interested by the recent research results by Blinkx, a video search website. If the results are to be believed then marketers who are serious about targeting a younger (under 35 year old) audience also need to be serious about using social media platforms. Over 40% of those aged under 24 search for content on social platforms rather than via traditional search and a third of those under 35 also prefer social channels. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Columbus Direct #happytogothere TV Ad

Pretty pleased with the new TV we've been working on for Columbus Direct. Hopefully the start of a long and engaging campaign. 

Just a shame we could afford Harry Hill to do the voice over (what are the chances of that happening?)

Would love to hear feedback if anyone's got any.

+Columbus Direct

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

The Hoarding Gene and the Timeless Marketing Principle

Unfortunately I seem to have inherited my fathers “do-not-throw-anything-away-as-it-might-come-in-handy-in-the-future-gene” and so it was with a degree of trepidation that I started the task of clearing the garage over the weekend.

When we moved house 3 years ago, I was absolutely delighted that we’d, or rather I, would have a garage. Formerly we just had an 8 x 6 garden shed, so I believed that the vast expanse of my new 20 x 10 foot garage would offer ample space for my tools, lawn mower and sports equipment with possibly room even to park the car if we needed.

Well, three years later I’m faced with what would best be described as a hoarder’s grotto – and quite frankly I’d be lucky to be able to park one of my son’s toy cars.
Nevertheless, I was delighted when the first box I came across held the full course material and my precious notes from the +The IDM Diploma that I sat nearly 15 years ago.

While my days of handling large scale traditional direct mail campaigns are somewhat of a distant memory, there was so much sound and timeless marketing advice in that course that I couldn't help myself stopping to flick through my notes.

I was drawn to the “creative” folder and noticed my hand written scribbles all over the section that described how consumers engage with advertising, with the famous old acronym AIDA highlighted as The Key.

AIDA of course stands for:  Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

My notes referenced a seminar that I heard the fantastic @DraytonBird give that year. He said “sales letters or any DR Ad for that matter should always be written using that sequence. No exception. What’s more, it will never change, as long as the world keeps turning.”

I immediately thought of the new summer campaign we’d been working on at +Columbus Direct , with new London Underground tube car panels due to start running the following day. Had we forgotten these time-tested principles or would the ads stand up to the scrutiny of AIDA.

I’ll let you be the judge. Let me know if you think we've passed, failed or what we could have done better.

Oh, and the garage, well that IDM box was just far too interesting and after a good hour or so of reading I decided my dad’s genes were pretty comfortable and that the car was fine parked on the driveway anyway.