Google Squared: Week 3
Our third week at Squared was spent focusing on project work and expanding our knowledge of Search. We spent the majority of the week finalising our projects for our pitches on the coming Thursday, but we also spent some time looking into Paid Search with a particular focus on Google AdWords. Learning about the fundamentals of strong keyword groups, flexibility of paid search campaigns and the importance of learning from testing were just a few of the topics we covered over the week. Elly and Alice were involved in a separate project, addressing the question: ‘Do agencies understand the true value of search?’ which uncovered some interesting findings. We also listened to an insightful talk on Econometrics and the value it can provide to measuring success metrics across marketing channels, from a representative at Holmes and Cook.
We were also lucky enough to be involved in an industry debate, held at the Squared offices, discussing whether ‘Brands are Naturally Successful in Integrating Digital Channels in the Communication Mix’. A great breadth of industry professionals were involved, including senior representatives from Diageo, Karmarama, PHD, Kraft Foods and Matt Bush (Head of Agency Sales, Google UK). We were encouraged to take an active role in the debate and share our own thoughts and opinions with each other. We eventually came to the conclusion that brands are certainly trying to integrate digital communications into their marketing mix and are becoming more and more successful at doing so, but there is still a gap between brands being ‘digital’ for the sake of being digital, and truly embracing conversation and online consumer behaviours, and utilising them to create truly innovative strategies.
We pitched our cross-channel marketing strategies for our second Squared brief to a representative from the beauty brand we were given the brief from, our Squared Programme Leaders and our project mentors, with great success. We had picked up a significant amount of learning’s from the exercise as we had to explore certain areas of marketing that we are not generally exposed to in each of our roles.
We began the week with an all day workshop on Search. As some of us worked in search we were sent to a separate room to explore the question ‘Do agencies understand the true value of search?’ As we had been with the same group for the past couple of weeks it was good to work with some new faces and I got the chance to work with Elly who I hadn’t before. It was nice to work alongside someone from iProspect and learn a few things along the way too.
The next couple of days were spent working on our second project which was at times quite intense, it felt like there was more pressure than there was for the first project because it was a real client brief and none of us wanted to mess up or reflect badly on each other. However, when it came to pitch day we delivered our idea clear and concisely and the presentation went well. We were given some tricky questions to answer but managed to hold our own (just about), and it gave us further exposure to the kind of situation we might face when pitching to clients in the future.
The industry debate was really interesting and because of the format of the morning we were able to have some questions with the four debater’s one on one, which was another great opportunity to pick the brains of some very interesting and intelligent people. On Friday we were put into new groups for our third and final project. We were to try and increase engagement and revenue for the charity Shakespeare for Schools Foundation (the people that we worked with in the first week) and will be presenting next Friday- more to come next week!
I found this week to be a steep learning curve, as I explored areas of marketing that are unfamiliar to me – in particular Media Planning and Buying. I also developed a much more rounded view of large scale marketing campaigns. It made me realise more clearly the fantastic network we have within Aegis Media for cross-channel campaigns, not only online but offline.
My confidence also grew this week from the pitch we delivered, and I really learned the importance of a strong narrative to tie in our digital recommendations in pitches as delivering a shared passion and story behind a campaign is something that will resonate with a client much more effectively.
The debate was really interesting to take part in from not only an agency perspective, but also from a client’s view within one conversation. There is a risk of brands just becoming more digital for the sake of the behaviour of their competitors – this seems to particularly be the case with social media, in my opinion. However, grasping this can make such a difference to awareness and reach of campaigns, which brands are most certainly adopting (with some completely embracing this), but this is a continuous learning process for both agencies and brands.
The brief we have been set is exciting, as it made us look at the larger scale and see the effect of a multi-channel marketing campaign for a big global client. I have learnt that the story and message you put across to the client during a pitch is as important as the proposed strategy you formulate. This is key to leaving them with something powerful that will keep you at the forefront of the client’s mind. This was a challenging brief for us all, but we took some really valuable learnings and insights from the exercise. It broadened my knowledge on how to become more strategic with campaigns, which is something I hope to bring back to iProspect.
The debate was also a great way for viewpoints from agencies and clients from various levels to formulate a conclusion we were all comfortable with. I was able to form a much more informed opinion on this, and was a great way to exercise our new found knowledge.