Friday, 12 February 2010

Belgium's Agencies on Strike (Kinda)

In an interesting twist, Ad Age reports that Belgium's creative shops have taken down their websites in protest at client-side marketers ignoring 'pitch rules' negotiated by the industry some time ago.

Spiralling pitch costs are point of industry debate globally, and following talks a charter was penned containing 'rules of engagement' to make the process fairer, including things like clients inviting no more than 3 agencies to pitch for work, and contributing to pitch costs where reasonable.

Its sounds like things haven't panned out as expected, and agencies have taken the unusual step of taking down their sites and replacing them with a linked open letter that takes people on a journey from one site to the other to read the whole thing. You can start it at Famous, and continue from there, or if you're short of time, I've posted screen grabs below. Interesting stuff, and no doubt going to get tongues wagging around the world - what do you think?



Sunday, 29 November 2009

ADMA Awards Making Waves

Not many people know this, but ADMA is far and away the largest marketing industry association in Australia. Historically, perhaps unfairly, seen as the less sexy side of marketing discipline, the industry has really hit its straps in recent years and the recent ADMA Awards highlighted how far the organisation has come. A black tie affair on the Pyrmont wharves in Sydney attracted over 800 of the industry's guns from both agency and client-side, and the awarded work was bloody inspiring. Make sure you check out the website to get a look at the winners. There's perhaps not as much performance/effectiveness information as I would like - participating companies are usually (understandably) pretty cagy about campaign financial data so only the judges get to see the full breakdown, but we know effectiveness is one of the main criteria for many of the award categories.

Clemenger Proximity scooped the Grand Prix with their 'salad made of plate' (catch mUmbrella's article with the full award list here) along with around a dozen other awards to make them a clear winner with daylight second.

All the winning campaigns were notable for the fact they weren't stereotypically DM campaigns, but were great combinations of creative strategy and multichannel execution. Top marks for innovation should go to Tequila CD Russ Tucker and the TBWA gang for their augmented reality campaign for Nissan. Amazing stuff - check it out here.

Closer to home,  congrats to Lauren Halliday from SA Lotteries for picking up the state Young Direct Marketer of the Year award. I also wrapped up this semester's ADMA Digital Marketing certificate course with the exam on Wednesday night - hopefully one of our graduates will pick up a gong or two in years to come. Already looking forward to next year.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Marketing Week 2009 Wrap-Up

Now that the dust has finally settled, the tattered streamers and bits of burst balloons have been picked up and the empty bottles sent off for recycling, let’s take a look back at the week that was…
But before we delve into the recap, I should take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Rob Frost and I am currently interning at Via Media. I am studying Writing and Creative Communication and UniSA and will be contributing to this blog whenever I can think of something pithy to say.

And so back to Marketing Week.

Marketers, advertisers, communicators, business managers and students of all of the above from around the country convened on Adelaide’s Holiday Inn Hotel to learn, gain inspiration, network with their peers and colleagues and, importantly, have fun. Whilst I do not have any definitive numbers at hand, I can tell you that it was a very busy conference, with many of the sessions at, or near, full capacity.

The hotel proved once again that it was more than up to the task of accommodating the throngs of attendees over the five days. Event organiser Virginia Webb, of the Australian Marketing Institute, and her team, did an absolutely magnificent job of ensuring a smooth registration process as well as keeping the break out sessions, workshops and lunches running on time.

Renowned professionals from all over Australia (and beyond) presented ideas and strategies about how the creative industries can lead a valiant charge towards recovery from the global financial meltdown.

I particularly enjoyed Malcolm Auld’s typically candid presentation (although I wasn’t the only one in the room who spotted the irony in Malcolm downplaying digital marketing trends whilst proceeding to provide, almost exclusively, digital case studies of his own recent work), as well as listening to insights from Jenny Williams and Phil Smith from Ideagarden.

I also found the presentations from Michael Ebeid (ABC) and Gus Seebeck (Network 10) fascinating as they detailed how they built up their respective media brands from conception to launch, both in the online and digital TV mediums.

Guest speaker Rod Redenbach offered some sage words during a sumptuous closing lunch: "Action beats reaction". Reactive companies miss opportunities, instead wondering what they should do and where they should go. Active companies seize opportunities and make mistakes, always learning and innovating to differentiate themselves from the competition. How did I do in his 3-second leadership test? Well, I hesitated and, to borrow from an old cliché, ‘he who hesitates is lost’. Time for action, I think.

All in all, it could be said that Marketing Week 2009 was another great success for the industry, and for Adelaide. The entire Via Media team enjoyed participating and we look forward to continuing to support the event in 2010.

Stay tuned for more blog posts and the kick off of the Via Media newsletter very soon! Please send all spelling, grammar and syntax issues to the contact details below.

Rob Frost

mobile: 0439 884 131
twitter: @robfrost618

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Marketing Week 2009

Planning is well underway for the annual Marketing Week conference/love-in at the Holiday Inn in Adelaide - with the theme of 'A Marketing-Led Recovery' likely to generate a fair bit of interest both here and interstate.

Whether touched by the GEC/GFC/FinancialArmageddon or not, many businesses are seriously questioning the currency value of traditional marketing methods and looking for more measurable ways to connect with today's customers - whether in a B2B or B2C environment - and SA's flagship marketing event is a good place to get a rounded view on some of the opportunities available.

Marketing Week's speaker list is fairly impressive, with a lot of focus on consumer research and accountability to follow up last year's digital bent. I even heard a couple of comments last year that the event should be renamed Digital Marketing Week - which is kinda puzzling. Specialisation and niche markets are one thing, but as an industry we need to stop treating 'digital' and 'traditional' as two different animals. There will always be a place for both - digital may be on the steeper growth curve, but ultimately all clients want to know is how to make meaningful connections with their customers, regardless of the channel. And that's what Marketing Week is all about.

And in the theme of traditional marketing activity, there's a fat business lunch on the Friday. Got your tickets?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

A Marketing-Led Recovery

It's been a little while since our last post, perhaps a function of increased activity in the marketing sector - specifically the digital and direct marketing sector - over the last couple of months. It provides food for thought - are people turning to more accountable methods of marketing because of the GFC, or is it simply a continuation of the trend of the last few years? Logical thinking dictates that remaining visible in a time when everyone else is slashing budgets, means cut-through should improve. But the age old question is where to direct our efforts?

Recent consumer preference research from Open Mind showed consumers still prefer to receive marketing information via personalised direct means over any other form. Email was the big improver since the benchmark version of the study in 2003, with newspapers and television showing the most rapid decline.

The study, commissioned by Australia Post, supports a move towards information-based marketing at the expense of broadcast media. Perhaps not surprising given the sponsor, but the research group and its methodology is well regarded, and it importantly offers the comparative benchmark against the same survey framework from five years ago. Trends + Statistics = Guidance.

So at the risk of sounding self-serving (being in the information-based marketing industry and all...) I'll sign off for now, but with Marketing Week coming up and a recent lecture by MercerBell principal Nic Mercer reinforcing the issue (150 marketing bods at a breakfast in Radelaide - who would have thought?!) it seems like a topic that's not going away any time soon.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Skill Up in a Downturn

It's that time of year again. In case you've been ignoring all those new year notions of self improvement for a month or two, it might be worth checking out the ADMA Certificate in Digital Marketing (of for that matter, it's original sire, the Certificate in Direct Marketing). Both are related, and having been through each of them I can honestly say both are worthwhile.

With all the hoo-hah about the technology, people often forget that digital is really just a pure form of direct marketing - the same basics apply. (As Phil Smith from IdeaGarden pointed out in last semester's course, all digital is direct, just not all direct is digital...yet..)

I also caught up with Phil's business partner Jenny Williams (p.s. the ideagarden blog is worth a read) at the ADMA board meeting in sunny Glenelg last week where part of the focus was on building on ADMA's strength in the digital space. Much is often made of industry bodies being very Sydney-centric, but I think the fact the meeting was here in Adelaide is testament to the association's commitment to supporting members and marketers from around the country.

And back to the education focus of this post, both Certificate courses start next Wednesday and run for 14 weeks if anyone is wanting to make their marketing dollar a little more accountable!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Media planners twitch over new publically accessible stats tools

A few years ago I brought to the attention of a certain Media Agency the growth in online media buying in the US and Europe, allowing advertisers to access inventory on tv, radio  and in newspapers  and magazines.

Now digital publisher, Social Times , has released a new tool that allows you to look at the demographics of Facebook users in real time across countries.

Just a few minutes playing with the tool you can see the power of open accessibility to statistical data, made easy through a simple interface design.