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’.
Big Data: it’s been around all along
Over the last couple of years, countless headlines have screamed about a new beast we call ‘Big Data’. Some say it’s too big to handle, others claim it should be considered as the planet’s new natural resource. One author even compared it to cocaine.
We can all agree that the age of ‘business intelligence’, as we knew it, is dead. So much of what constitutes Big Data today isn’t even in numerical form, it’s unstructured data such as videos and images (I’m looking at you Vine and Pinterest).
At The Real Adventure, our experience handling large volumes of data reaped rewards with our recent work on the ‘My Walkers’ CRM programme. We appended social influence data from third parties to an already information-rich database, which enabled us to segment one million consumers to personalise and also prioritise CRM communications.
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.
Earlier this month, Matt and I gave a presentation to one of our clients on the subject of ‘The Future of Shopping’, intended to provide inspiration and provoke discussion about which aspects of e-commerce its brand should embrace.
I was keen that social commerce should form part of our thinking. Often misunderstood as purely ‘buying via Facebook’ and therefore dismissed as being a bit of a slow starter, I felt the time was right to seek a reappraisal of what opportunities social commerce potentially offers brands. After all, 74% of us say we rely on social networks to guide our purchases. And for those of us interested in how to drive more engaging consumer experiences, social commerce is a space where the distinction between ‘engagement’ and ‘purchase’ is increasingly blurred.
I thought I’d share 5 examples of digital properties which are really starting to grasp this potential.
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.
A recent paper from TNS re-explores the old maxim that we humans are creatures of habit, that “most of the time, what we do is what we do most of the time”. Our brains like not having to ‘waste time’ making routine risk assessments and decisions every second of the day. We become accustomed to our environment and it can take a considerable and conscious shift in mindset to change our behaviour.
As a personal example, my Wonderful Wife recently suggested we move our kitchen cutlery to a different drawer close to the kettle (where we regularly need teaspoons for making tea!). Three weeks later we were all still opening the ‘old’ drawer to look for cutlery. We’ve since moved it back – it’s hard to stir tea with a roll of tinfoil.
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.