We’re not ones to show off at The Real Adventure. And I like that. It’s a down-to-earth and endearing quality that makes it a nice place for employees and clients alike. The flipside is that we have a low profile in an industry where profiles count for a lot. Newcomers describe us as a hidden gem – an agency that produces great work and delivers impressive returns, but is largely unknown because we don’t shout about it.
So to get our due recognition, we need to practise what we preach. We have a clear proposition in Clever CRM with multiple reasons to believe, which we should promote with confidence and pride. Self-promotion needn’t be arrogant or brash. Indeed, there are many ‘shop windows’ that allow us to display our wares whilst staying true to our grounded values.
Those of you who worked closely with Raz, our erstwhile Creative Director, will know that he left The Real Adventure back in August to explore new adventures, albeit near rather than far-flung given he has taken up residency at our sister agency EMO.
Since then we’ve been busy searching for a replacement. And I’m delighted to say we’ve been lucky enough to get our hands on the multi award-winning creative Ian Bates – known to many, and surely soon to us too, as ‘Batesy’.
The internet once told me if you’re going to be anything in life, be a unicorn. Now there is no doubting that unicorns are indeed fabulous, majestic creatures, but apart from the fancy headgear there’s not much else to them. It’s all form over function which, if you’re in the digital business, is a big no-no.
So, if I had to be anything in life, other than someone who was incredibly wealthy and handsome, I’d opt to be a chameleon. That may sound like a bit of a naff, stock answer for someone in a job interview, but hear me out – there’s reasoning behind it and that reasoning is apparent throughout our agency…
It seems like just the other day we were discussing the move away from the mouse to the touchscreen, but such is the current pace of technological change and innovation, that now the talk is of a ‘post touch screen’ world. New technologies are pushing the boundaries of what is possible without touching or clicking an interface – this gives us the opportunity to create more natural-feeling interactions than ever before, in scenarios that wouldn’t have previously been possible.
This blog post outlines some of the main technologies and interactions on offer, and how we can all benefit from them today.
With many of the South West’s leading names in digital gathering at Cutler’s Hall in Bristol, we knew the competition was high, but we were delighted to hear both of our Real Adventurer’s names called from the podium by Bristol Media CEO, Frazer Bradshaw.
Senior Web Developer, Matt, was first up and highly commended in the Digital (including mobile and web design) category for his “great range of projects… balancing research and development, and client work”.
Sam, our Social Media specialist, was then awarded the top prize in the Social Media category for his outstanding “strategy of engagement and creation of, and response to, dialogue” in social spaces.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. We’ve known that for years. So why do we expect everything we use online to be free?
Noticed more & more ads in your Facebook news feed recently? Especially lots of app install ads? No wonder Facebook’s mobile ad revenues are growing so fast. But I bet many of you aren’t so pleased with all those ads. Until you start to think that actually Facebook is providing you with a fantastic way to connect to loved ones and brands you love. And it doesn’t cost you a penny to use it. The (highly targeted and therefore relevant) ads are a small price to pay aren’t they?
Use Instagram? Love how ad-free it is? Well, not for much longer because ads are coming to Instagram. Of course, it was inevitable – at some point they needed a revenue model in order to survive.
Ultimately, we have to realise that all of these services take resources (technology and people) to create, run and constantly improve – so that we can continue to enjoy them. And that costs money.
But who’s actually paying?
The kids are back in school, politicians are back in Parliament and people are actually back at their desks. Planning for 2014 is in the air and next year is sure to be another challenging one.
If we agree with Mr Osborne that the UK economy is ‘turning a corner’ then it is even more important that we plan for the new challenges that we may face.
With this in mind, I thought that I would share some of my top tips on how to get to grips with, prioritise and manage your 2014 strategies so you are ready for the challenges ahead.
‘Better Together’… that’s the mantra of the Creston Group to which The Real Adventure belongs. It’s a brilliant sentiment: as a group we are stronger than as individual agencies. But too often mantras are nothing more than sentiments with little to no impact on the daily running and behaviour of a company…
…not so with Creston!
The agencies within the group recently took part in Creston’s ‘Next Generation’ programme – a group-wide induction and training programme, designed for people near the start of their careers who could benefit from a better understanding of:
- The Group – its vision, mission, strategy, structure and strengths
- Each division and its agencies – what it does, how it does it and for which clients
- The people – getting to know peers across the Creston Group
How to win friends and influence people
The ‘Call to Action’ (or CTA), is a ubiquitous marketing term used to describe a graphic or piece of text that prompts a user to take a desired next step. In print, a CTA could be a graphic at the bottom of a piece of direct marketing inviting the reader to dial a Freephone number. In the digital world, Calls to Action are more often than not buttons that prompt the user to interact with them some way.
Among the digital marketer’s closest allies, the humble CTA button is relied on time and time again for mission critical purposes such as enticing users to find out more information about a service, join a CRM programme, donate to charity, or make a purchase. We’ve all fallen victim to a Call to Action at some point, clicking that ‘proceed to checkout’ button to buy some shiny new trainers, or tapping a ‘find out more’ banner and subsequently signing up for a newsletter. The success of a CTA is often closely scrutinised – and rightly so for such a key tool in the digital world – so it’s important to understand what makes a CTA a success or failure.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that as a creative, I’d bemoan the whole concept of qualitatively researching campaigns and innovations.
Yep, I could talk about how the Guinness surfer ad absolutely bombed in research. Or that if you’d asked people even five years ago whether they’d share pictures of their lunch, they’d say you were mad.
But when handled correctly, qualitative research is worth its weight in gold. It can help creative take a massive leap forward. But equally, the outputs of a focus group can murder an idea. Sometimes gut instinct should be allowed to win through.