Archive for the Thinking Category

Posted in POE, Thinking, Uncategorized on September 6, 2011 by Joanna Lyall

Video: Jo Lyall from Mindshare on Sticky Stories, Purchasing Paths – #AdVision – Microsoft Advertising Blog – Microsoft Advertising Community

Posted in POE, Thinking, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 6, 2011 by Joanna Lyall

Video: Jo Lyall from Mindshare on Sticky Stories, Purchasing Paths – #AdVision – Microsoft Advertising Blog – Microsoft Advertising Community.

Is Britain entrepreneurial enough to create social businesses?

Posted in social, Thinking with tags , , on July 25, 2011 by Joanna Lyall

In my opinion an entrepreneurial spirit is key becoming a social business.  When you consider that the big brand leaders in the social space they typically originate from the US or Asia; take Starbucks, Dell and Air Asia as just a few examples.  These brands and business have recognised that being social goes far beyond the boundaries of the marketing department and fundamentally is starting to change how they do business and connect with their customers.  The rub for many is that there is no blue print for getting this right first time so it requires an amplitude and appetite for failing, learning and trying something different in  a short space of time.  This approach take resource and takes courage for a company to re-engineer themselves to make this acceptable.  The fail fast attitude is one is that is often quoted from leading digital businesses like Google, Apple and Facebook, the idea that a project is never quite finished and is continually developed and improved is one that comes hand in hand with their business model.  There was a time where products were reviewed and updated periodically now through the power of real-time data products can change daily.  Apparently, Zynga’s business model is to advertise games before they go into production to  assess the level of popularity, this model combines focus group testing with real-time development.  In theory it should cut both cost and risk.

For traditional businesses to become social businesses they need to find a way to isolate and use the most insightful real-time data they can lay their hands on.  This insight allows brands to respond real-time to customers and to evolve their products around a need at any given time.

Culturally Asia is a natural birth place for entrepreneurs, their ability to make something out of very little is in their blood, you see it from the streets to the business world.  On the other side of the world the home for entrepreneurs in technology resides in California and it seems that some of the Silicon Valley attitude and approach to business development has worked its way into large corporations like Ford, Dell, Starbucks, BMW and many more.  In Britain there are examples of socially engineered businesses but they have tended to start out that way than have evolved from traditional models.  So I wonder if the big British companies or the global brands with significant business here in the UK have what it takes to change the model and re-engineer themselves to become social right at the centre of their being.

Digital and real world shopping experiences are getting closer

Posted in social, Thinking with tags , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2011 by Joanna Lyall

When I shop online it is becoming standard to see not only the product descriptions and maybe some reviews but also more often than not I will get some social context.  I can see how many people have liked the product and when I am logged in I can see whether that applies to my friends.  Social context appears to drive increased sales by stimulating impulse purchase and encouraging wavering consumers.  So I am increasingly interested in how this will be possible when I am in a real store.  I actually think that most of the technology is there and we are just waiting for retailers to make the connection or for consumers to demand it.  Some stores are ahead of the game; Allsaints and now the new Burberry store in Covent Garden are all teched up with digital screens that in theory will make this connection possible.  Allsaints have gone for the iPad option and Burberry have gone all out with huge digital screens and wi-fi throughout.  Both of these stores are making it easier for me to bring my digital and real world shopping closer together.  The other option I have is to use my mobile, I could use an app like Google Goggles to get access to any available information about any given object, assuming that the object owner is well optimised then I might be able to see all sorts of interesting information including what other people think about this product.  Augmented reality technology like Layar can also help bring these shopping worlds together.  Bings latest developments on their search engine are also geared to help bring more social context to shopping experiences; combining location with social data and recommendations.  Every brand owner should be thinking about how to make sure that they are ready and optimised for the new consumer demands…

Alternatively, if I don’t want to leave my home but do want the experience of trying things on before I buy then XBOX Kinect might just have the answer with its virtual shopping experience technology: http://solsie.com/2011/06/kinectshop-a-new-augmented-reality-shopping-platform-for-the-xbox-kinect/

Related post on Microsofts developments for social real world commerce: http://www.internetretailer.com/2011/01/26/e-commerce-tech-provider-escalate-adds-mobile-shopping-options

Uniform trumps female charm

Posted in Ideas you love to share, social, Thinking with tags , , on April 21, 2011 by Joanna Lyall

A friend of mine wanted to buy an iPad 2 last week and tried to do so at the airport.  She went into the store at the airport and spoke to the manager.  They had sold out for that day but said they were getting some in tomorrow, so she fluttered her eyelids and asked if there was any chance they could save her one.  The manager said ‘under no circumstances can we do that, it is first come first served’.  So she went away disappointed.  5 minutes later her husband went in to the same store wearing his Pilot Uniform.  He spoke to the manager and made the same request, and this time the manager said no problem and that he would put one aside the next day.  Obviously my friend was delighted and also slightly bemused about the power his uniform appeared to have.  I have shared this story because it made me think about the power of influence and the importance of context for getting results.  Who is saying it has more value that what is being said and when we build social marketing programmes this has to be at the centre of our thinking.  Quality over quantity will always be more powerful when it comes to influencing people to act.

Women in technology

Posted in Ideas you love to share, Thinking with tags , , on March 22, 2011 by Joanna Lyall

Today I attended the inaugural CWT everywomen in Technology awards and have come away inspired by the amazing work that women are doing around the UK with technology in their businesses.  Winners talked about mentors, finding inspiration and leading teams.  One of the winners (Nikki Walker from Cisco) shared a quote from one of her mentors; “you don’t need a title to lead’.  This really resonated with me and reminded me that it is about what you everyday to influence the people around you to make a better company and create more success, it is not about waiting for the promotion or title to make a difference.

When I stated my blog I chose to focus on how I think technology makes advertising better.  As I sat there today I was wondering if I felt out-of-place being from a media agency rather than from an ‘IT’ company and then I was reminded of this original thought.  Technology has slipped into the media world and taken quite a few of its inhabitants by surprise and I’m quite sure if asked they would deny all knowledge of working in the technology industry at all. 

For me having spent my career to date in digital it is the technology element that I find most interesting and it is that technology that is changing our industry beyond recognition. Technology affects both how we do business and what business we do.

Everyone in the room today was there because they believe in the power of women working in technology and want to see more representation for many reasons but particularly because on the consumer side it is women with the spending and decision-making power.  When you look at the billion dollar digital businesses (facebook/groupon) they might be run by men but they are driven by the female customers so it makes sense to reflect this in the business structure. 

Wendy Tan-White founder of Moonfruit and winner of the entrepreneur of the year award said that when she was in Texas last week for SXSW the VCs were talking about actively looking for new businesses being run by women.  So there has never been a better time for women in technology.  

If you are in Media then you are in technology (or at least I think you should be). The companies that our clients want to spend time with are tech based and if we as media agencies truly want to understand them we must become more like them.

Next year at this event I would love to see a woman from media winning an award for how she has developed or used technology to change something for the better.

The future of shopping

Posted in social, Thinking with tags , , on February 13, 2011 by Joanna Lyall

Connected, rewarding, personal and sharable.