A WEEK AT WHAT MARKETING | WEEKLY D #001 | 11.3.17
It’s always busy, but now it really counts. This week we’ve kicked off two new social media campaigns for clients, been filming down in London and had a day’s videography up in Manchester too, participated in FoodnFilm Manchester and celebrated International Women’s Day. We also flew to Berlin and had our flights cancelled. Things are heating up for What Marketing Company. Also – Would you pay £1899 to fly to the Maldives to do litter-picking? Find out who would in the closing paragraph.
Like I said above, people are always ‘busy’ but there’s many types of being busy and there are probably many more types of being busy doing mundane tasks or having extended coffee ‘meetings’ that either aren’t adding value to what you’re doing in professional landscape. Over the past two months at What Marketing Company we’ve almost had a monumental shift from being busy seeking new clients as we start to build to being busy working on campaigns and generating creative media for our new clients. I know which kind of busy we all prefer.
It’s super important for any start-up agency, whether in marketing, creative, PR etc. to service their client base first before seeking new business. New business is great, but comforting and cuddling your existing client base will be so much more effective in a macro-long term landscape.
This week kicked off with a meeting at the Trafford Centre amongst the Quays Marketing partnership group. A group consisting of decision-makers and representatives of numerous companies/organisations within the Salford Quays area such as Hotel Football, Waxi, Copthorne Hotel and many more. It was a six-hour meeting, something I usually would say is entirely unnecessary. Since we recently joined the group, it’s become apparent that there is an immense amount of value we can contribute. There was a real lack of any depth within a digital/online capacity – which is outstanding for a Marketing Group – so I was really happy to have agreed with the group that What Marketing Company will be overhauling their website, delivering new social media strategy and potentially seeking a new staff member in collaboration with the group to allow someone to add much more time and value to the group and the groups business’ on a whole new level.
Many of the organisations where very traditionalistic or seeking to leverage off of other big brands within the Salford Quays area that were not part of the group (because they were so big that they don’t really need to be) such as the likes of the BBC, ITV & Manchester United – which is totally understandable – but I got my point across that there is little value in the Group attempting to use these ‘big names’ to promote the group as a viable way of getting people to pay attention to their businesses. My argument was that the group needed to focus on producing original content about what they and their business are doing on a day-to-day basis and sharing it with the online community consistently in an effort to build a bigger brand message and identity. I’m excited to see how this develops. The thesis here is stop attempting to pay to leverage others audiences to get interested in your offering without first putting your own stuff out there and getting a response. Putting your own stuff out there allows you to create your own, engaged audience as opposed to syphoning off pieces of a larger audience at price that may or may not be interested in what you have.
How many of Manchester United’s followers on Twitter are genuinely going to be interested in weddings at Ordsall Hall?
Tuesday was a long day for What Marketing Company’s Creative Director, Chris Townsend. He drove all the way down to London for a shoot and managed to spill coffee on himself within the first hour of the drive. A VR company based in the south-west of the UK, started by Connor Handly-Collins who studied digital architecture and has grown his business with three of his friends into something really awesome that’s changing the way property developers and house buyers go about purchasing and designing homes. They were exhibiting at EcoBuild at the ExCell in London so Chris travelled down to produce a piece of video content for them to showcase their offering.
Whilst Chris was journeying back up North, myself and Ben Wild, our Concept Artist & Visual Storyteller (Check out his Twitter @iBenWild) attended FoodnFilmUK at the Hard Rock Café in Printworks. FoodnFilm is a concept developed by a friend of ours, Scott Hadden. It’s effectively a way of allowing professionals to network that have a love of cinema and good food to meet and network in fun and casual environment. This week’s film was Logan. I’m not writing a film blog so I won’t go into details, if you’re interested in films though check out our Twitter account @FILMBible.
The following morning, I was up at 5am to go and pick the keys up for an apartment we rented through AirBnB to conduct a day’s worth of filming for a client. The apartment was located on Cambridge Street sandwiched just between Deansgate and Oxford Road in Manchester. Our client is soon to be launching a product that we know will change the way people take certain vitamins and nutrients.
In order to ensure the content that we were filming was aesthetically appealing to the World of Instagram and Facebook foodies, fitness fanatics and healthy lifestyle gurus we enlisted the support of specialist Food Art Director one Richard Brown. When not directing Food-related video shoots, Richard runs Spinningfields based restaurant Beastro. It’s based at Leftbank and is in the process of switching to the other side of Leftbank (no, not Rightbank…) – Coincidently, they are having a launch party next week, if you’re interested in attending I’d suggest happily dropping them a message via their Facebook or just nipping in one morning and picking up a Full English Breakfast wrap.
To highlight the importance of having an expert in food decoration on hand, here’s a sample of what we created on the day
Coming to an Instagram or Facebook Ad near you soon…
Filming didn’t end until about 7:30pm but I had to shoot off earlier as I had been invited to attend an event at Veeno off Deansgate to celebrate International Women’s Day. It was hosted by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam of Making You Content and Heather Gray – Any event where you get greeted with a couple of glasses of red wine is good in my opinion but what made this event more special were the speakers who discussed challenges they faced as women building businesses and how those challenges have changed/evolved in the last five years. There was also a good range of types of enterprises talking, from Foodinate, an organisation campaigning to help feed Manchester’s homeless to Tangerine PR.
As usual, I attended the event with Ben who naturally stirs up a crowd and a buzz by being a stupidly talented artist for his age. Seriously, if you haven’t seen some of his work check it out (Shameless plug #2 for you Ben) @iBenWild.
The event ended at around 10pm and we concluded things by going for dinner and more wine at Gusto round the corner.
Fast forward five-hours later and I was in a taxi with Chris heading to Manchester airport. We were on our way to Berlin to do some networking, attend a tech event and I was part of a panel at the ITB Berlin discussing how to communicate with Gen Z. Traveling in style as always with our JIMBAGs.
After landing at Berlin SXF and sleeping for the entire flight we visited Soho House, about 5 minutes from Alexanderplatz where the big TV Tower/Space needle is. It’s a very ‘Berlin’ co-working area/members club. If you’re in Berlin and need somewhere to go and spend a day working from I would suggest checking it out. Shout out to Luke Grimes from Webantic for helping us arrange working from there.
It was after leaving Soho House and going for food at one my favourite restaurants in Berlin, the Hofbrau Haus. It’s pretty much like an authentic Bavarian Albert Schloss – if you’re not from Manchester and don’t know what Albert Schloss is, then it’s effectively just an authentic Bavarian tavern that can seat probably 600 people and serves a 20inch diameter tray of sausages, pickled vegetables and stewed pork for €20 a head with typical German ale to wash it down with. The downside of this meal was we discovered that due to groundstrikes in Berlin our return flight the following evening was cancelled. Luckily, we managed to get transferred to the first flight out of Berlin on the Sunday and were put up in the Sheridan Esplanade for the two nights – so not the worst situation ever.
Later that evening, we were at an event at the Twitter HQ in Berlin. It’s a building called Factory, home also to Pinterest and Soundcloud. The event was hosted by VivaTech which is a tech festival about to go into it’s second year. It’s hosted in Paris in June and it’s ‘mission’ is to connect tech start-ups with investors on a global scale. It’s worth checking out and looks as though with over 45,000 attendees across the week is an awesome marketplace for any investors/VCs as much as it is an awesome opportunity for start-ups seeking that first round of seed funding.
What was really interesting was hearing a totally new perspective on the way the tech scene currently is. It’s very easy to get caught up in a bubble when you attend events within the same city week-in-week-out and consistently hear the same threads of topics projected by the same people.
Blag-artist Chris Townsend met with the owners of VivaTech following the panel and it looks as though we will also be part of the 45,000 attendees come June. For more information on VivaTech check out their website here – They are also pretty active on Twitter (@VIVATECH) and do lots of pop-up events promoting their event around Europe.
It was now around 10pm and we had received an invite from some contacts at ITB Berlin that there was a jungle party taking place at Paymentwall’s offices in downtown Berlin, naturally we jumped in a taxi and made our way there. It was on the top floor of an office building overlooking the city. We met with travel bloggers from all over the world and had exciting conversations with a group of travel bloggers from Romania that push all their content out via Instagram. They were saying how collectively they are trying to create a start-up event in Romania that will attract travel-savvy bloggers, writers and publishers to country for a week during the summer to effectively network and engage with one another whilst also push out a lot of content around Bucharest.
I think it’s quite refreshing that although these travel bloggers we were talking to have an organic outreach of over 100k people just through their Instagram and get paid to travel around the World they are still determined to raise the profile of their home town and country.
The next morning saw us jump in a taxi and head to the Messe Berlin for the ITB. ITB is the leading travel trade show in the World and attracts over 10,000 visitors each year. There are delegates from almost every single country exhibiting, hosting meetings and negotiating with suppliers. It’s goes on for three days for tradespeople which is probably the same amount of time it takes you to get around the venue. I’m not joking, it’s literally the size of about 20 football pitches.
I was speaking as part of a panel on behalf of What Marketing Company discussing how to communicate with Gen Z. I felt comfortable and confident since the other co-speakers weren’t in positions where they directly communicate with that generation on a day-to-day basis. We covered topics including new Apps Gen Z are using, I offered my opinion how it’s becoming notoriously more difficult for any App to break into the Top 10. The reason being that Facebook will either clone your App and distribute it to their audience or they will build in whatever your Apps USP’s are to their existing Apps and out-do you. Just like they have with Snapchat where they now offer the exact same USP across WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and Instagram.
Offering an audience value and delivering insights from my industry to an audience where for them it is so important to understand how the demographic they want to market to works is so important. Engaging with people following the discussion, I had people asking me about whether or not they should begin paid advertising on Facebook, should they set-up a Snapchat to broadcast testimonials or do they create a weekly vlog featuring their latest groups biking expedition across the desert and the answer 100% is Yes. Do it.
I would imagine in travel there is a 99% chance if they broadcast what they are doing it’s going to work and have an immense amount of value, but unless they give it a shot and attempt to target that audience on Facebook or upload a video to YouTube of their latest groups expedition they will never know this for sure. I also recognised that many people within the travel industry that I met yesterday had attempted publishing content through social and given up after 3 weeks because they didn’t get 10 RT’s or posts didn’t get any Likes on Facebook – what I don’t think they understood was that it’s important to be patient and consistently test different parts of your market with new and alternative content.
It might take 3 months before they find that niche that for example, wants to spend £1899 flying to the Maldives to pick up litter out of Mangrove forests but I 100% guarantee you it’s there. (If you don’t believe that there is a market for people that want to pay that money to go and volunteer to do litter picking on an island in the Maldives visit Camp Maldives – we sent over 25 people there last year through finding the right audience across three different Instagram accounts)
There is a massive market sitting in-front of their laptops everyday or scrolling on their phones every evening or early morning ready to digest your content, but it’s important to be patient and test.
Meanwhile, it was nice to know that Ben and Caspa back at the office were on top of things and enjoying that Friday feeling we try to promote...
- Dom Carter