Worked in: Paris, London, Dublin
Name an innovative idea or business solution for which you are most proud. I have recently worked on a European plan to promote mobile memory card technology across a young audience who enjoys dance music. The twist to the brief is that the client tasked the agency to look at multiple objectives: drive interaction for a competition, boost awareness but also support retail across 6 very different markets.
The innovation of the plan lies in its ability to balance all the objectives:
- Bespoke video interactive formats
- Multi-tabulated formats
- Taking the targeting on Google and Facebook to new levels to make the budget work harder
- Integrated strategy to maximize reach
Also, an outdoor placement in key London stations will entice users to connect via Bluetooth to MMS and receive free dance music content. Definitely one of the most challenging and exciting projects I have worked on.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? Innovation, a bit like technology, should never be a gimmick but a facilitator. I always need to understand what this new idea or media solution can actually bring to my clients. One of the best examples of this issue is social media, a super buzz word in our industry. Not all briefs mean that Facebook or Twitter has a place in a media strategy, no matter how innovative the advertising integration. However, if an idea or solution helps achieve the clients KPI’s then it is my role to make sure innovation is integrated seamlessly to the benefit of the campaign.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? Clients project timelines and budgets often mean that innovation isn’t allowed to take more room in the media strategy. Innovation often equates to bespoke solutions which require more time from all parties involved. And, if the start date is key, then client often feel safer looking at traditional options where they have more experience and feel they can manage timelines.
From an international point of view, local specifics mean that a great digital innovation in the UK
for example may not apply to less digital mature markets. Multiple markets can make innovation even more complex to implement or just simply unworkable.
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? Innovation takes multiple forms:
- It comes first of all with an “outside-the-box” attitude to new projects, solutions and briefs. Never be afraid to challenge a brief as you may have media insights or creative ideas which mean that you are confident that the brief needs to be modified.
- Constant brainstorming sessions with publishers, creative agencies and clients are always the best way to keep innovation alive. This means you are adding all the pieces of a puzzle together which should turn into something comprehensive. This may take time and be frustrating so, when possible, allow for this.
- Understanding the techy side of digital so you can translate the immediate benefits to a client’s campaign. For example it is important to understand the full scale of Google Adwords targeting possibilities by setting up campaign to fully make the most of this solution. Never be scared to go on regular trainings to fully master all the many components of the digital world.
Any internationalist trivia about yourself? I found out the best way to network in the
London agency industry. Whilst still working on the publisher side in France, I invited key
personalities from top London agencies to join me for a 6 nations rugby game in Paris. We ended-up drinking until 4 am in the morning. Little did I know that my drinking buddies would become my future employers when I moved to London. Forget LinkedIn, try multiple drinks.
Follow JG’s blog at mediamint.blogspot.com