Google Bootcamp

First I should probably introduce myself; I’m Paul Morris, Head of Digital & Social Media at the Co-op.

This week I got on a train to the big smoke for the 1st CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) Digital Bootcamp hosted by Google. It involved circa 80 CMO’s from brands including Premier Foods, Lush Cosmetics, Bower Publishing, Weetabix & Vision Express.

I spoke on a panel in the afternoon session but first there were speakers from Wharton Business School, Boston Consulting Group, the Internet Advertising Bureau, eConsultancy and of course Google themselves.

And on that note here are my top 5 take out’s from the morning session:

advertising has changed

1/ The personal nature of mobile demands a different marketing mind set. Optimising for reciprocity is where it’s at.

2/ Big data is the wrong way of looking at it. We want better data. We should not be afraid of smart data compression and retiring data when it gets old.

3/ I really liked Eric Bradlow, Wharton School of Business, customer value model that expanded upon  ‘Recency. Frequency. Monetary value’ and added in ‘Clumpiness’ (how clustered are the purchase events). For more information visit his paper on the subject

4/ Google reinforced the need for a content marketing model online and promoted their YouTube ‘Hero, Hub, Help’ schematic; something we have been adapting for a while.

5/ Eric Schmidt’s (executive chairman of Alphabet) 70:20:10 Model was promoted as broad model for digital advertising and it’s something I think many companies could benefit from:

70% of time spent on what you know works
20% of time spent on what you think works
10% on experimentation

Moving on to the panel itself…

Google CMO digital panel
(I’m the chap on the right)

The 3 man panel included myself, Patrick Venning (Marketing Director for Pernod Ricard) and the chair being Eric Bradlow (Professor from Wharton School of Business).

It was an interesting discussion that focused on Digital ‘Quick Wins & Big Bets for 2016’.

After setting the scene with how Digital is used in our businesses we moved on to our biggest marketing challenges. We all felt a key challenge was an age old one; that of channel attribution and understanding the true impact of your marketing budget. At the Co-op we use some sophisticated multi click attribution and online/offline econometric modelling, however these models are certainly not infallible and I know many other organisations have the same challenge.

After a few more questions I got to my favourite part of the session; where I got to poke the excellent moderator with a pointy stick!

Eric asked the question of what did I used to believe was true and was no longer the case.

I replied that everything I heard in his earlier lecture on Big data I was starting to question.

Queue an awkward silence from the assembled CMO’s.

I explained that whilst I thought “Data was the new oil” and is hugely important to any marketer we needed to ensure that we did not optimise out “romance” or storytelling. If everything in marketing was quantifiable, automated, and predictable then you can have little fun with mystery, friction, and the beauty of the unexpected! Luckily Eric saw the point I (well actually I have blatantly stolen this view from Tim Liberecht’s book on ‘The Business Romantic’) was trying to make and of course correctly pointed out all that better data is what you built great storytelling and brands upon. I consider that argument a draw 😉

If you like my musings then please keep an eye on this blog or visit my personal blog; and I’m @searchmuse on Twitter.

Head in the clouds…

Have you ever heard someone say “you’ve got your head in the clouds”?  Well that was me – literally – yesterday.  I work as a UI designer/developer at the Co-operative in a growing Digital team based on the 11th floor of 1 Angel Square and while the rest of Manchester struggled with the gloom of the fog, we were almost illuminated by it.  I’ve only been with the Co-op for a month or so and am still amazed by my workplace – this unique and innovative building feels like the right place to be as we continue our digital transformation.

Angel Meadows, a hidden gem!
Angel Meadows, a hidden gem!

To say it is exciting times at the moment may be understating it and to not just work for the Co-op but be a part of it as a member adds an extra dimension.  I’m not just working for the company; I’m working for the members – you, me and everyone that has joined this historic establishment on the way.

A fantastic employer

In Manchester the Co-op has always had a fantastic reputation as an employer and as one of its newest employees I can vouch for it – the people are welcoming, loyal – working hard and always wanting to be the best.  My workplace environment, the equipment, (for starters on my first day a brand spanking new Mac Book Pro was waiting for me), tools to help me ‘do a better job’ never mind the ‘little things’ that make coming to work that little bit easier, it’s clear for me to see that the Co-op puts it’s staff at the heart of who it is and what it wants to be and who wouldn’t want to be part of that.

Co-op sent me to NUX4!

The history that surrounds the Co-op means that I’m proud to say that I work for them and even prouder and more excited to be part of its future.

Oh and a little bit about me…

I have a passion for designing and developing websites.  I’ve done this professionally for the last 15 years, cutting my teeth working for fast paced design agencies after starting off self employed to build my portfolio.  Along the way I’ve designed some big sites, the Citizens Advice and Advice Guide websites for example; I transformed the checkouts and subsequent conversion rates for N Brown’s group of e-commerce fashion brands by turning a 10 step multi page process into a 1 page responsive checkout.  Almost without realising it I transformed from a website designer to a designer that codes in the browser and right now, here at the Co-op, it feels like this could be my greatest challenge but I know we’ll achieve all we set out to do together.

Anything could happen

So – back to having my head in the clouds – it feels like anything could happen and any idea could be the one that really changes, improves and moves the Co-op to its next phase – I can’t wait to be part of it – what about you?

I’ll be writing regular blogs about UI design/development and my Co-op journey, find me on twitter @uxeskimo.

Work hard, have fun, make a difference… Join us at Angel Square…