As a follow-up to the Gallery Camp 13 event, Birmingham City University are holding a Makey Makey workshop.
As a follow-up to the Gallery Camp 13 event, Birmingham City University are holding a Makey Makey workshop.
As we mentioned in our last blog post, on November 5th we sent two members of our team to the Mobile Convention Brussels. Our representatives went to the Marketing & MPayments stream which focused on mobile marketing and advertising in addition to mobile payments.
To provide you with the full “Mobile Convention Brussels Experience” we have summarized the conference in relation to the three main themes that were covered across the talks:
(1) The shift to mobile leading in digital marketing
(2) Mobile as a social contributor
(3) Importance of companies adapting to the changing digital environment
The first speaker to grace the stage was Oscar Fernandez, General Manager of Spain’s M.M.A (Mobile Marketing Association) and CEO of his own company, Muchomove. Oscar went on to explain his belief that mobile has enabled an irrevocable change in consumer behaviour leading to a heightened awareness in conjunction with higher expectations. In relation to Google and their strategy, he highlighted that in today’s society there was a need to think mobile as the world is constantly connected. So what do we feel has fuelled mobile’s rise? Oscar drew light on how he believed social media has offered a catalyst for change, enabling and encouraging mobile to be utilized on a daily basis. To round off the presentation he offered the audience examples of where mobile had truly revolutionised the internet with reference to the amplification of customer review sites and loyalty systems.
— Future Media (@BCUFutureMedia) November 5, 2013
Following Oscar’s presentation was Renate Nyborg-Bartlett. She spoke about her company, Pleo, which was created to address the common problems companies face in this new mobile-era by providing them with comprehensive solutions. The reason for creating such a company, as Renate explained in her presentation, is because the “mobile internet is going to disrupt business models all over again.” “Digital users are shifting from desktop to mobile first or even mobile only.” She concluded that “mobile is fast becoming the glue that binds all our actions: online and offline.”
Monetizing mobile payments was the topic of conversation presented to us by Ainsley Ward of Clear2Pay; a payment solutions consultancy. Following the theme of companies needing to adapt, Ainsley shared a message of the pitfalls of foolishly approaching mobile payments, Painting a picture of a world full of failed high profile finance and communication relationship initiatives. Ainsley drew our attention to the naivety of banks and the realisation that there was less money in mobile payments than first thought. In hindsight, he was able to address the issues that banks faced and how companies needed to react if they were to make the most out of mobile payments. If there was anything to be learnt from what Ainsley said, it was that data and information was key to the success of mobile payments, something which the banks understood but did not know how to solve. Ultimately, this need for a social understanding was something that was carried across into Dan’s presentation.
Dan Armstrong from Takashi Mobile, spoke about how eCommerce has changed over the years, particularly in regards to mobile payments (also known as “MPayments”). He explained that a customers trust is key and without it, no company can succeed in business these days. This is a problem when it comes to MPayments because it has yet to be a trusted method of transaction by consumers. He explained that NFC doesn’t work well for mobile payments from the customer’s point of view. He explained that the way we thought mobile would turn out was very different.
Dan Armstrong @MoCoBrussels: NFC should be like SMS; it should substantially contribute and be something new.
— SMS.nl (@nl_sms) November 5, 2013
— Future Media (@BCUFutureMedia) November 5, 2013
The next speaker was Mark Brill, lead partner at Brand Emotivity and Senior Lecturer in our Future Media course. The main focus of his presentation was the importance of creativity and innovation in mobile. He explained that unless we are solving consumer problems, mobile strategies will never work. To support his argument, he asked everyone what branded apps they have on their mobile devices. His point was that a lot of brands have created apps, but for all the wrong reasons. If the app doesn’t solve a consumer problem, it is an ineffective mobile strategy. For this reason, companies need to start focusing on the people, not technology!
Next up was Matthias Vermiere to discuss mobile and interactive installations. His presentation consisted of various case studies to demonstrate the 3 areas his company focuses on:
1. Connected Apps (CMS & CRM connected, mCommerce, tools & services, B2B, sales…);
2. Advergames (high quality, mostly single level, games providing an unique brand experience);
3. Interactive Installations (installations with a mobile device at the heart, mostly connected for CRM/sales objectives).
Matthias’ presentation covered varying ways consumers can interact socially through mobile, it also drew on the variety and flexibility within mobile marketing.
Quintin Schevernets, CEO of Layar, spoke about connecting the physical world and the digital world using augmented reality (AR). According to Quintin, Layar’s mission is “to connect the physical and the digital world to make life easier and more meaningful”. To do this, he claims that with AR, marketeers can re-think print in a number of ways:
1) Print becomes the start of a multimedia experience;
2) Print becomes the start of a sales funnel; and
3) Print becomes the start of a whole new interactive experience.
In this way, he emphasised the need for print companies to evolve to meet the demands of a digitally conscious society and the way Layar could aid that process.
— Hakim Zemni (@HakimZemni) November 5, 2013
As a jury member of Mobile Lions Cannes 2013 and Head of Digital Arts at TBWA Brussels, Xavier was well suited to leading us through the best and worst cases of mobile campaigns presented as part of the competition. Firstly he explained that what he considered mobile for the category, was not merely limited to a device, and could be found anywhere. This was demonstrated through truly inspiring award winning case studies which dealt very much with the social impact mobile was making. A particular favourite was SMART textbooks, which was able to bypass the smartphone and provide students from impoverished background with traditional sim cards that contained working textbooks. It was liveable, relevant and made a significant difference to people’s lives. It also emphasised the ability for mobile to be a social contributor without the need to advance technology.
Following on with the social engagement theme was Kris Hoet, Head of Digital and a Change Architect at Duval Gullaume. His presentation focused on the question of how to make the mobile phone a social object again. He challenged the nature of mobile, arguing that to make truly wonderful mobile content you had to recreate a social process.
— Future Media (@BCUFutureMedia) November 5, 2013
The last speaker of the day was Bart Van de Vel from Facebook. He explained that companies need to think differently about how they work on Facebook because social should not be the objective. According to him, the “secret” to working with Facebook really, really well is to (1) define real business objectives, (2) create amazing content for News Feeds, and (3) make sure a ton of people see your content. So how does this relate to mobile? Well, while Facebook started as a website, it is becoming increasingly more mobile. According to him, Facebook is now a mobile company first and foremost, meaning that content companies share should be tailored with a mobile audience in mind.
All in all, the event shed some light on the common issues that exist in mobile today, particularly in regards to marketing and payments. We learnt about the inevitable shift to mobile, and how businesses had to adapt to cope. Inconjunction with this, the need to discovery and understand mobile as a social benefit to make the most of it.
Today’s conclusion: mobile is bypassing other digital channels; if you want to differentiate focus on content and users #mocobrussels
— Cronos Mobile (@MobileCronos) November 5, 2013
If you are someone who wants to know what is going on in the mobile, we highly recommend going to Mobile Convention Brussels next year, or attend the original convention that is held annually in Amsterdam. If you want to see some of the other presentations from the conference, you can access them here on SlideShare.
We’ll be taking care of this space and sharing with you our experiences, visions and findings concerning all things digital.
Having come together from different cultures and disciplines, our combined skills and experiences will help us create our own unique take on the digital world.
Our Future Media Masters program runs like a real digital agency with creatives (MA students) and strategists (MSc students) taking on live projects with clients. Join us on our journey of discovery as we break down walls and shape the future of digital media.
Oh wait, before we start, we thought we would introduce ourselves properly. So here it goes, a little bit about each member of the team:
After graduating with a BA (Hons) in History and Politics, Ben studies MA Future Media to understand how digital marketing is altered by cultural perceptions. Having previously lived and worked in East Asia, Ben plans to develop a digital skill set to allow him to maximise career opportunities in this region. Achievements include producing a N.A.S.T.A runner up student television documentary in 2010 and winning the C.I.M.A Global business challenge 2012. Ben is a compulsive tweetaholic and K-pop addict.
Caprene completed a BA in Dance and Theatre and a course in buying and merchandising before studying the Future Media MA. Alongside her studies she dances, works for a marketing agency and a retail company, doing sales, personal styling and visual merchandising. Caprene loves fashion, music, the creative arts and enjoys socialising with her friends and travelling. She wishes to develop her skills in digital marketing, social media, brand and marketing strategies. Caprene hopes to establish herself as a creative.
After several years in various London based marketing and advertising roles, Steven is studying MSc Future Media to specialise in digital, mobile & social media marketing, focusing primarily on planning, strategy and UI/UX. He graduated with BA (Hons) in Design Management way back in the day. He loves great design, enjoys good music and travels on a Vespa.
Gillian graduated with a BA (Hons) in Communication Studies and a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations. She chose MA Future Media as a way to expand her knowledge in the field of online marketing. She hopes to broaden her skills and knowledge on an international scale, particularly in regards to digital, mobile, UI/UX design and strategy. Gillian enjoys photography, listening to 90’s pop music and watching romantic comedies.
Working in digitalmarketing agencies since 2010, Juliana completed a BA Hons in Journalism and now studies MA Future Media. Passionate about technology and enterprise, and fascinated about using data to drive creativity, Juliana is particularly interested in Big Data and Digital Strategy. She’s currently the Digital Marketing Strategist for Yamination Studios, a start-up animation studio based in Birmingham. Juliana speaks 4 languages, plus fluent geek. MakeyMakey and Lego are her favourite toys.
Nabaneet has completed a BCA in Computer Applications and an MBA (Dual) in Marketing & HR. He has over 5 years of corporate experience across M&E conglomerates such as Corporate Communications, Media Sales, Advertising, and Digital Media. He served clients across India & abroad with his digital media venture; during which he was nominated for IAMAI 2nd India Digital Awards 2012 under the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India & also received critical acclaim from The Guardian UK for one of his work. He is an avid marketer, strategist, art director & copywriter. Niku considers music as a universal language of mankind and follows it sacredly.
Poojahas a background in media and psychology and aspires to be a creative enthusiast in the world of advertising and marketing. She’s currently pursuing MSc Future Media and, because of her love of water, has a secret desire to be a marine photographer.She believes life is for living and lives it to its fullest.
Pleased to meet you, hope you enjoy the ride!
Mobile Convention Brussels (MCB):
Your chance to discover the mobile landscape (along with moules frites and chocolate).
Why should we care about mobile?
The landscape is a rapidly changing one in technology and user behaviour. This creates both opportunities and challenges for brands. In this fast paced world, how do business keep up with these changes; and for that matter, as students, what is the best way for us to learn? Mobile Convention Brussels (MCB) offers the chance to understand and apply innovative mobile. And who best to learn from than veterans of the digital age?
With this in mind, two students from the Future Media team will be going to MCB on November 5th. After the success of 4 years of Mobile Convention Amsterdam, MCB has taken the show to Brussels and we couldn’t miss this big opportunity to get involved. Here at Future Media we believe mobile is now and the future, and who best to hear about this than from pioneering brands and digital companies such as Facebook, Microsoft and Layar, amongst others?
So what can you get from this event?
At MCB, attendee’s will hear from a range of speakers and attend workshops focusing on how mobile plays a role in marketing, payment, and service. Along with presentations from experts and innovators covering a range of industries, attendees will also have some excellent networking opportunities. Meeting other like-minded people is often as useful as the formal presentations. Coming from the UK, it is always good to hear a more European view on the potential of the mobile channel. For more information and for a full list of keynote speakers, visit http://www.mobileconventionbrussels.be/speakers.
How can you get involved?
If this sounds like the event for you, order tickets now while there is still time! We want to see you!
To order tickets visit:
For those of you unable to make it, you can still stay informed about the conference via our twitter updates @myfuturemedia and blog posts on this site. Don’t feel scared to drop us a line to send us your thoughts about mobile and any questions that you want answered.
For further details visit the conference website here:
The Future Media team carried modelling clay, beans, fruit and tech to the Birmingham Made Me exhibition last week. Lead by Mark Brill (Future Media Senior Lecturer) and Mei-Ju Yao (MA student) we were there to persuade a bunch of grown adults to get their hands dirty and techy with a little bit of kit called Makey Makey.
We have written about Makey Makey before but for the uninitiated it is a clever little PCB with a USB connector and a pack of wire and crocodile clips – imagine that bit from Lethal Weapon with the car battery and the wet sponge and we are probably in the right zone. The cool thing with this kit is that rather than electrocuting Mel Gibson the creative type can use the contents of the box to turn anything into a switch…
After a brief introduction to the contents of the box and the facilitators for the session we let loose 6 groups, with a Mac each, a table covered in the offspring of a Blue Peter demo and a last minute shopping trip to the 24 hour garage.
— shreyas joshi (@AdMadChey) June 19, 2013
Having provided our delegates with the materials of mass chaos, a “responsible” support worker, a brief outline of the what, why’s and how’s of the kit and a team name related to social media channels (see the clever way we link this all together…) Mark set the challenge.
Each team had to use any or all of the items on the table (plus begged, borrowed or stolen additionals) and the Makey Makey to create an answer to one of the briefs:
#1 Being more active is fun
#2 Get kids to eat more fruit
#3 Help older people
#4 Better business networking
#5 Train a pet
#6 Help build a team
Perhaps wisely, Shrey and I decided that we would live-blog the event rather than risk the potential danger of electrified seats… Into our usual mix of Vine, Twitter and Storify we thought we could try filming and doing a live edit onsite and then showing the results at the end of the session. More on that later…
It says something for the concept of the tech that by halfway through the introductory session normally mature adults were devolving into giggles and making obscene things out of play-doh and pieces of wire.
As a kinaesthetic exercise it was interesting to see the way groups approached the problems from a 3D perspective. Cardboard houses and earthing strips of aluminium foil were the most visible and the air was filled with fruit drums playing alarm klaxons.
— shreyas joshi (@AdMadChey) June 19, 2013
Whilst I was madly videoing bits and bobs on the iPad mini and wondering if I would be able to edit them all with the i-movie app, Shrey was busy making vines of the chaos and tweeting (he was alone in this as the groups seemed far too busy to start hash-tagging instagrams and tweets.)
So what was produced?
Team Instagram came up with a variation on the game controller for Pacman – a boisterous project that involved play-doh pads, metal carpets and a serious lack of vertical stability. The demo team of Jon Hickman and our own Neil Horne had clearly engaged in similar silliness previously…
Team Facebook developed a Pavlovian approach to childrens diet with a fruit / audio reward system.
Team Pinterest and Team Foursquare combined electrocution and pet care into a pair of Woodhousian behaviour training systems.
Did we change the world with the event? Not really but it did prove that there is an innate element of creative solution building in all of us. Sometimes it is just fun to regress slightly and try solving problems without resorting to Microsoft Office products – and maybe this is where we need to think about re-focussing on how we learn with technology.
Did the self contained video production system work? Watch below…
Makey Makey is an invention kit comprising of a small circuit board, some wires and crocodile clips that can connect to a variety of materials. This allows you to turn everyday objects into interactive tools which can then be used to control games, make music and even train dogs!
Makey Makey appeared at this years Birmingham Made Me Design Expo to give delegates an excuse to play with their food.
Future Media students Shreyas Joshi and John Seedhouse attended the event and have collated their live Tweets, Vines and Instagram photos from the day to take us inside the Makey Makey workshop. See what they got up to on their Storify blog here.
On the Future Media MA you work on live briefs, what’s that like?
At first you work on real briefs but simultaneously alongside the lecturers. The client never sees your work so you are free to make mistakes and learn as you go. Another benefit of this is that you have an inside knowledge of the company you are working on as our lecturers have actually worked on these briefs so they know what the outcomes will be. They can guide you and mentor you more easily as they know the project inside out.
Working on the live brief for Bridgestone was good because it really helps to prepare us for when we are more experienced and working on real briefs. As you are working with guidance you gain the confidence to try out ideas you may have been afraid to by yourself! You have freedom to go crazy with your ideas and test them out without the fear of making a mistake and if you do get stuck you have a team to help you out.
What were the challenges of this project?
We had three things to consider in the brief that we were given. Firstly Bridgestone are currently running a competition to meet Valentino Rossi, the Superbike Rider who they sponsor, all you have to do is purchase some tyres. They have created a campaign to promote this featuring a ‘Yellow Man’ who stalks Rossi. We needed to use this in our social media strategy.
Bridgestone also sponsor skiing events and have a giant ski sculpture made from tyres that is available for promotional use over the summer – when this campaign will run. The challenge here was to figure out how the ski sculpture could be used, A – in the summer and B – in the UK where you cannot ski.
Our third challenge was how to target female customers.
How did you manage all of your ideas?
We met with key Parker at their office in Lutterworth to discuss Bridgestone’s social media strategy in the UK. Their social media presence in the USA is really strong so we looked closely at their campaigns. The team; Neil Horne, Richard Duffy and myself, then went away and came up with 15 ideas. We went back and presented these to the agency during a tissue session where they separated the good ideas from the bad. During this session 7 good ideas were chosen for development so we went away and worked on those. When they had been fleshed out we went back and presented them again and the best one was chosen.
How did you prepare for the big pitch?
We all worked together to perfect the final idea and make sure all the details were exactly as we wanted ready for the pitch. It was exciting and also scary as the director of the company was there but we were prepared and confident with our campaign.
Bridgestone liked your idea! What now?
We have been asked to work alongside Key Parker over the summer to help with the execution of our campaign. We will be attending events where we will get to witness our ideas in action and see the project through to the end.
Digital Marketing and Communication Assistant
Key Parker, a long established and successful midlands agency, work with Bridgestone across Europe and support them with their marketing on and offline. As the worlds largest tyre manufacturer Bridgestone are always looking to the lead the way not only in tyres but communications too.
With brand values such as Serving Society Through Superior Quality and the desire to reinforce the brand position of Toughness the Future Media team were briefed to deliver a full pitch around a number of events and occasions coming up in the Bridgestone marketing calendar.
Bridgestone sponsors Valentino Rossi, the Superbike Rider, and a campaign has been created around The Yellow Man – Rossi’s new persona. How can this be driven across UK & Ireland and extended as a social campaign?
We also have a giant Ski Sculpture made from tyres, how can we best utilised this in the summer? We want to talk to females also, how would we do this in a non-intrusive environment? Promoting safety is key through all of this, what are the approaches we could take?
After an initial briefing meeting with Key Parker on the Bridgestone brand, the company philosophy, position within the market and the key company values the challenges were shared with the Future Media team. These challenges were formulated into a brief and the work started.
Desk based research around the competitors, the consumers and the products took place whilst at the same time research into the market from a digital perspective was undertaken too.
Armed with this information the Future Media team began to look at solutions and platforms that could deliver on the brief for Bridgestone.
A ‘tissue session’ was held at Key Parker with there Social Media Manager where the Future Media team shared all the concepts and ideas – some 15 or so! The meeting helped to trim down the ideas to workable solutions, combine certain ideas into campaigns and overall give a temperature check on the direction. The Future Media team was on the right track and hotting up!
With the insight from Key Parker the final ideas were worked up and visualised in to high-resolution images whilst alongside the pitch presentation for Bridgestone’s marketing team was developed. On the pitch day the Future Media team took the Bridgestone team and Key Parker through the history on the project, the ideas to date, the outputs of the ideas, the results that could be expected and ultimately how these ideas would benefit the brand, customers and meet the initial objectives of the brief.
At the end of the pitch the Bridgestone team were very complimentary about the ideas, the thinking, the work that had been put into the concepts and relayed that they felt the background work by the team was also strong.
The Future Media team have been asked to work with Key Parker to take the ideas to the next level and bring them to life from a design and feasibility point of view. The client’s want to see how everything would work in the context of the real world and how much investment they need to put towards.
The Future Media team will be working closely with Key Parker over the coming weeks and months to not only bring the ideas to life but to execute them and also go to the events and exhibitions where the team’s ideas will be delivered to the trade and public for the first time.
Exciting times for the team lie ahead!
Senior Lecturer in Digital Communication and Future Media
At the heart of the Future Media course is a planning methodology that belongs to one of the world’s most successful advertising agencies. That methodology is a five-step process, developed by McCann Digital and it forms a sequential workflow that covers almost every consideration in a digital communications project.
The five steps cover: Discovery, Planning, Design, Development and Deployment (DPDDD)
In both industry and academic terms, this progression forms a proven model from an authoritative source that demonstrates a logical pathway from concept to conclusion. This route forms the first of the ‘New Rules of Digital Communication’ in this module since it determines every participant’s four-week journey through the pre-production, production and post-production phases of creating their own branded video content, for their own online social media marketing. Put simply, this means making a ‘shareable’ video résume of themselves and their brand.
In the Discovery and Planning phases (week 1) students are given their brief to write, produce and direct their social media videos as well as deliver a formal written report of their progress throughout the project. As part of aligning their learning objectives to their learning outcomes in this module, students also receive in-depth lectures and seminars on the branding principals, creative approaches, technical specifications and multiplatform strategies essential to the final delivery of a measurably useful and enriching extension to their online profiles.
These sessions, given by industry practitioners, link to previous modules and field trips as well as providing insight and strategy into the actual production process in hand. The overall aim here is to develop a holistic approach to convergent content creation whilst utilizing the DPDDD methodology in practice.
This approach translates into establishing and positioning a brand within a competitive market, developing concepts to carry that brand, identifying targets and effectively delivering messages to and via those targets. This last point is key since the “new rules of digital communication” give online marketers the opportunity to both ‘pull’ audiences ‘in’ to their message (through ‘sticky’, “get it here” exposure on ‘closed’ channels like TV) and ‘push’ audiences ‘out’ with their message (through ‘sharing’, “recommended” exposure on ‘open’ social media channels like YouTube). This is a lucrative and cutting edge arena in today’s predominantly mobile marketing universe; and here, students are exposed to both professional and academically useful research, as well as the experiential practice of creating content that is both ‘sticky’ and ‘shareable’.
As this pre-production phase segues into production, (week 2), students begin to exploit the Design and Development options in the DPDDD methodology. In line with their brief and brand, students’ concepts and messages become visualized in mood-boards and treatments and, in turn, their treatments become scripted into copy and storyboards for peer and target audience feedback. This process keeps the creative direction of each project on brief whilst at the same time refining their overall strategies and the allocation of resources required to deliver them. Importantly, professional resources and expertise are put in place to maintain the momentum and quality of the creative production process. A commercial image bank and music library is made available to download licensed pictures and compositions for example, and whilst students might source shots from their own archives or shoot material on their iPad minis, there is also the option to shoot ‘links’ in commercial studios with industry camera operators using broadcast quality equipment.
This is important because high-end production resources require thorough preparation and accurate decision-making, particularly when budgets and schedules are tight. In addition to saving money and time these disciplines also add authority to every stage of the project, especially end-user perceptions, by establishing high production values from the outset.
In the post-production phase of the project, (week 3), all the ‘Design’ and ‘Development’ preparation from the DPDDD model is funnelled into its ‘Deployment’. Here, students corral their carefully selected media into folders for non-linear editing. As an added discipline, they compile these choices into detailed ‘edit scripts’, pinpointing all the precise video and audio clips required to make the completed linear timeline of their production. The ‘edit script’ offers students the chance to make a ‘rough-cut’ of their productions or, more usually, organize all their creative and editorial decision-making before committing to the finite resources of an online edit session in a professional high-end edit suite.
Working with professional video editors and sound engineers at broadcast facilities, students are allocated a single four-hour slot to cut and mix their completed productions. This practice is, (in addition to their earlier filming with industry camera operators), valuable experience of creative collaboration at a professional level. Here, specialist know-how and expertise enhance students’ decision-making as well as adding contextually relevant experiential learning through knowledge transfer amongst all the pressures of an operational environment.
On completion, the finished productions are saved at high resolution (along with all their associated materials) and then exported in web friendly codecs ready for uploading to targeted destinations. Students may choose, for example, to upload a high-resolution .mov file of their final cut to Vimeo for industry professionals whilst also uploading a lower resolution .mp4 file of their final cut to wider audiences via Twitter, You Tube, Linked In and Facebook. In all cases, they are ramping up their online presence and exposure as well as consolidating their brand and its proposition. As ‘hits’, ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ build, so too does the amplification of their messages across their target audiences and social networks. In one case, within hours of upload, a ‘like’ from a student’s ‘first’ Linked In connection (Visiting Tutor) triggered an unprompted ‘like’ from the same student’s target media organization and more specifically, target individual! Hard evidence for the power of recommended views over browsed views and DPDDD methodology in creating branded content for ‘social video’.
In the final phase of the project, (week 4), students write up their experience in a 3,000 word ‘portfolio of practice’ that combines their academic research and learning in this digital arena with their experiential learning. This is, essentially, a reflective document that serves two functions; it consolidates the DPDDD methodology in ‘real’ and contextually relevant circumstances whilst delivering an industry standard project report as proven preparation for their final module in the Future Media MA and MSc courses: Masters by Practice, where working with industry partners, students deliver an integrated, multiplatform campaign for a commercial brand.
Mike Villiers-Stuart BA, Prof. Cert. TLHPE, FHEA.
Senior Lecturer Future Media and Digital Communications.
Emma Scott is the Women’s Wear Marketing Manager for ASOS in the United Kingdom. Her job is understanding what customers are doing and thinking. That is, matching customers desires with ASOS products, as well as providing info and content which engages and inspires.
Emma also has to be on top of the latest innovations in technology, keeping a close eye on what competitors are doing. Day to day Emma and her team help plan and deliver promos and decide on marketing stories for the next few months. “We liaise with Buyers and Merchandisers then brainstorm ways to engage the customer with in house Editors and Creatives or maybe contact an external agency”- says Emma. Then the team has to decide what needs to go on the site and loop in UX (User Experience) brief assets required – for site, email, social and anything off the site, making sure links are tracked and reporting on campaigns when they are complete.
“I got into marketing and then moved sideways into fashion retail from publishing. I started to get involved in ecommerce when I was at Dorothy Perkins as I worked in Customer Relation Management and wanted to develop a magazine that you could shop… and then moved to Tesco to work on their online business and this is my first pure-play retailer.”
The new channels and technologies have meant a great opportunity for business like ASOS, but life is not all peaches and cream. Keeping up to speed with the changes, trying to second guess where their customers will be and the sheer volume of places makes it a challenge. According to Emma social platforms are just the tip of the iceberg: “There used to be stores and mail order catalogues, maybe with a call centre. Now there are stores, web, m-commerce, tablets, apps etc. Then there’s interactive video and with apps like Aurasma or QR codes or NFT, every surface can become interactive and shoppable. It’s about keeping all the plates spinning right now!”
Which is the profile for this job, then? “Passionate, driven, creative, inquisitive, innovator. An ideas person and a ‘doer’”
What is the next step for an innovative brand like ASOS? “We want to make the shopping experience richer, more social and fun. And we want to be the first place 20-somethings go to for fashion”. What will we see on mobile in 2013? “Mobile marketing is something everybody talks about but nobody is actually doing anything about it. I remember once, we were working on a brief where it specified “mobile”, but nobody realised it till a few days before finishing the project”.
At this point, I want to know what somebody who works for an online store thinks about brands which don’t do social media at all, like COS or Primark. According to Emma, there’s still room for a physical store. Topshop is just one brand who are still opening stores – with a huge new space in LA. However it’s likely the store experience will change and become more ‘experiential’ or service driven. “Stores like Primark are doing well without an online presence but my feeling is brands like this will sell online eventually, if not with a stand-alone site and then via a third party” she says.
Spain is the European country with more mobile devices, even more than the UK, but the penetration of e-commerce is only 27%, compared with 71% in the UK. How can you increase online sales in this society? Is it an organic process or a deliberate action of the big online companies like ASOS? Emma thinks certain things need to be in place. Fast Internet connection – whether web or mobile – and good devices at affordable prices. “Plus, there needs to be a bit of a cultural shift”, she ads, “Fashion Up is going to be launched in Spanish sometime this month. We are sure it will have a good reception but some countries are more about outdoors and meeting friends than shopping alone at home!”
So what does ASOS think about the actual debate of companies sharing their Big Data? “It’s going to need a big investment to upgrade process and systems”.
Written By Future Media Student: Julia Ivorra
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