Welcome to the Interact Congress Blog. We have invited some leading European guest bloggers to share their observations on interactive marketing and communication skills within the integrated experience. The blog also offers you a first opportunity to interact with your peers.

For more information about the congress, please visit www.interactcongress.eu

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Wedding Direct Marketing

Have a look at this case study of The People’s Award at the Festival of Media Awards: "Ha’Poalim Mortgage Bank identified weddings as a key moment in which to reach out to this potential target market. It [...] sent out dozens of representatives to weddings across the country to [take] advantage of the tradition of putting cash or cheques in envelopes into gift boxes, [by posting] a congratulations card, an Ikea gift voucher and an invitation to meet with the Ha’Poalim mortgage team to discuss the special mortgage package. [...] For eight weeks representatives targeted hundreds of weddings in the Tel Aviv area on Thursdays – the traditional day for weddings. Twenty-five percent of the couples approached called to set up a meeting, and many more came into bank branches. Ha’Poalim will be targeting weddings again in 2009."

I hate it when a super intrusive Direct Marketing campaign like this boasts such a high success rate. Think of it: these sales representatives crash wedding parties to anonymously put a commercial offer in the gift box? It's almost as evil as the sales people who roam the corridors in maternity hospitals to collect post addresses of young parents, so they can come over with their sales pitch later. I had that once when my son was born: she rang at the door one week after birth pretending to work for one of those maternity consultancy services. I almost killed her when I found out she talked herself into my house to sell me cleaning products.

Weddings, births, funerals are important events in people's lives, and most are forced make important buying decisions around these events. But is this really the right time to cross the border between personal and public life?

Friday, 12 June 2009

Podcast with BBC.com managing director, Kym Niblock

There was a fair bit of discussion at the Interact Congress yesterday that referenced the BBC's iPlayer platform. I thought you may be interested in the podcast I did with Kym Niblock, managing directior of BBC.com recently which covered innovations which majored on iPlayer, the challenges of an international site, social network opportunities, convergence and more.

Find out more with links to listen, download, subscribe and read transcripts here.

Other podcasts in the series here.

Posted by: Nicholas Gill | bluurb.wordpress.com

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn |nr_gill@hotmail.com

Makers and thinkers

Paul Isakson, the Director of Brand Planning of Minneapolis digital agency space150, used the Venn diagram above to illustrate the possible value an ad agency could add. In his blog post The Core Competencies of an Agency, he concludes: "I think the days of getting by on great service are done. If I were a client, I'd nix the retainers and pay for ideas and execution of those ideas. I'd hire people and agencies great at thinking and get them to give me their best ideas. Then, I'd find the best makers and get them to bring them to life. I wouldn't want to pay an agency to suck up to me with a bloated staff. Just bring me great ideas and if you can't make them, help me find someone who can."

I'm not sure if I agree. This strategy depends a lot on the skills and knowhow of the client. Maybe he's easily impressed by the "wow" ideas, but cannot assess if, e.g. it is technically feasible and scalable. Or picks a subcontractor who is unable to interpret the "wow" idea into a working web concept.
What do you think?

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

What's stopping the URL landgrab on Facebook?

Remember the court cases that went on around brand protection and ownership for URLs? Is the same thing about to happen with Facebook? As of the wee small hours on June 13, you will no longer be a number. You can be a name. But you’ve got to get up early to make sure you get yours. Do we really need this? Of course we’ll all do it to preserve our own personal branding but I’m fucked if I’ll promote myself as NicholasGill423 just because all the other Nicholas Gill’s are better at getting up at 05.01 GMT than me. Frankly Twitter, blog and Linked In are better personal branding starters.

But the real question here is not about me or individuals. But brands. What’s stopping me grabbing all my clients and super star brand names and then charging them extortionate fees to buy it off me? It’s like the late 1990’s again and one that was always close to my heart as I worked on the brand then was Mr Nissan. Whose surname was actually Nissan and therefore had every right to the nissan.com URL. Lawsuits and millions of dollars later, Nissan realised they should have been nice to him rather than starting with a letter from their legal team but there we go. Shell have the same issue with one of their former employees. Deja vu with Facebook?

I’m sure in the c. 44,000 comments (!) there’s reference to this but I, for one, am not trawling it. c. 35,000 like it too so a good baromoter of getting the people’s vote.

All I can suggest is you get your online reputation management dudes geared up to wake from their slumber early on Saturday and get registering. Who knows what’ll be left for me.

Posted by: Nicholas Gill | bluurb.wordpress.com

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn |nr_gill@hotmail.com