Google Squared: Week 2
Our second week at Squared was to be all things Mobile and the ever increasing significance of mobile technologies in digital campaigns. The first half of the week we were deeply involved in finalising and pitching our businesses to a panel of industry leaders, including our Squared Programme leaders. This was the first true test of applying the skills and industry insights we had learnt since being in the programme to an integrated business model – the feedback was positive and demonstrated a successful start to Squared.
We also heard a great talk from Jo Baker (Agency Industry Head, Google UK) on harnessing the power of Mobile for business. It was interesting to learn that how the power of mobile used as a tool for accessibility is underestimated by brands, and actually equates to a great deal of search volumes, conversions and social media exposure. We immersed ourselves in the Mobile Toolbox, which involved small pitch tasks on utilising mobile for a marketing objective, to present amongst our peers.
The calibre of speakers for us this week was particularly high. We were fortunate enough to have Shuvo Saha (Industry Director, Branding at Google UK) return to speak to us on ‘The Digital Landscape’, followed by Sir John Hegarty from BBH, on 10 reasons how agencies can shape digital. He has been responsible for some of the most successful digital campaigns to date and is truly a veteran to the changing landscape of digital marketing. It was a real privilege to hear him speak to us. We also met Paul Cash (Rooster Punk), a true digital entrepreneur who has adapted to the changing online landscape. He taught us a valuable lesson on ‘conscious capitalism’, which is something that resonated strongly with us. We were also set our second Squared project, to create a marketing strategy for a product from a major beauty brand that hasn’t been launched in the UK yet. We were given another fantastic opportunity to work on a live brief, but sadly this is all we can tell you for now!
Following on with the project from Friday my group decided that we would develop a money management app that would give rewards and discounts for consumers reaching their saving goals. In true Dragon’s Den style we pitched our idea to a panel of judges, along with the rest of our squares. The presentation went well until we asked if anyone had any questions and nearly half the room stuck their hands up, we quickly realised this was either a really good thing or a really, really bad thing. Turns out there were just a few holes (craters, perhaps) in our idea, but other than that it was well received.
While the whole Dragon’s Den setup was a bit terrifying we had a lot of fun working on it and it gave us an appetite for the pitching process, one which we would be emulating for our second and third projects. On Thursday we were given the brief for the second big project, unfortunately we’re not able to talk about it and so this may not make for a very interesting blog topic, but needless to say there has been lots of hair pulling and head scratching since we started working on it! My favourite speaker from week two was Sir John Hegarty. Having someone who had worked in the industry ‘since the Beatles were big’ present to us was really inspiring as he was able to recall all of the major developments in the advertising industry from the last fifty years. His talk covered the reasons ‘Why this is the best time to be in advertising’ and had everyone in the room on tenterhooks throughout, it really was one of the best presentations I’ve ever listened to.
The second week was a great time for me to develop my understanding on areas that I had very limited knowledge on. Mobile is a concept that I find isn’t recognised enough in terms of its contribution to business and marketing success online. I found the subject of ‘interstices’ really interesting – this is the time between activities that mobile or smartphone users are likely to browse or engage with sites, apps and information. This is a behaviour I am most certainly involved with, and found it to be an interesting opportunity for online campaigns, alongside the concept of ‘dual screening’. The talk from Sir John Hegarty stood out for me this week, as he has spent the majority of his life with the evolvement of digital, and it was inspiring to listen to his insights.
This week was a great opportunity to listen to pioneers in our industry – Sir John Hegarty especially was a privilege to listen to as he presented a number of case studies to us. The scale of some of the campaigns that BBH have produced demonstrates amazing creativity and captures the emotional connection consumers often develop with brands. Mobile has been a big learning curve, and the talks this week have opened my view on its importance to an overarching digital marketing strategy. The impact it has had on search alone is huge and is likely to continue, particularly with the rise of ‘dual screening’. It is very much engrained into our lives and should have as much significance in marketing strategies to mirror this.