What will have a greater and lasting impact?

Will watching a TV advert have a more meaningful impact than someone watching a video on Facebook or seeing a billboard at Piccadilly Circus? Are all impacts equal? The day job that sometimes strays into the night time (9-5 what’s that?) is within the marketing and advertising industry and I’m often asked by clients what will help me achieve the most meaningful interactions with consumers – in other words what will lead to more people buying my products. It’s been almost 100 years since John Wanamaker famously coined the phrase:

“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

…and now with a far greater number of variables in this digital age we live in, many are still no closer to truly understanding what works or what will contribute to achieving the greatest success. Of course there will be stark contrast depending on the different products and brands being advertised – and no interaction remains isolated (if you’re reading this on your phone, I imagine the TV is on in the background). It’s amazing how effective we’ve become at multi-tasking – well selective multi-tasking anyway. There isn’t a one size fits all approach.

This concept of identifying more meaningful interactions in a cluttered advertising ecosystem got me thinking about the importance of building and maintaining meaningful relationships with friends and family. Just as advertising impacts differ, what will help me achieve more meaningful interactions with those I care about. I’ve recently been caught out on a few occasions trying to have a conversation with my wife, whilst thumb surfing on the iPhone. Needless to say I haven’t yet mastered this art of multi-tasking and nor should I ever want to! We need to ensure that we lay aside the distractions and focus on being in the moment, to build long lasting memories and relationships with those we love. No one ever started a story with “Remember that time we were on our phones…….” Ditch the phone, have daily chats with your other half, read your child a bedtime story from an actual book, go for a walk and admire your surroundings – make lasting memories that will have a greater influence!

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” Stephen R. Covey


A slightly different approach to Dry January


I had every intention of writing this on January 1st – well I’m a few days late, but then I also said this time last year that I was going to write once a week in 2016.  I nailed that with a whopping one post!  So here’s to reaching greater heights in 2017!

A few days into ‘Dry January’ now but not in the traditional sense.  I don’t drink anyway so I decided to take the spirit of this annual movement and apply it to Facebook.

Facebook.  I find myself spending countless time trawling through a newsfeed that no longer provides much of anything really.  Fake news, Brexit debates, US election outrage, advertising galore – oh and the occasional photos from a distant acquaintance.

So on December 31st, i deleted the app from my iPhone, logged out from both work and personal laptops and vowed to go a month without it.  Am I missing it?  I can’t say I am, I don’t feel like there is a huge void or anything.  Having recently become a parent to the most adorable little girl, I am mindful of making sure that family time is prioritised over screen time and saw this as a good step in the right direction.  I think all of us can benefit from an occasional digital detox.

I’m hoping to use the hours this month of reclaimed Facebook time to:

  • Actually take some quiet time out to think and reflect.  This might sound obvious, but ask yourself just how often you do this – it’s few and far between these days I’m sure…
  • Read.  Be it blogs, books, inspirational articles, podcasts, TED talks (sometimes my eyes get tired)
  • Learn how to actually use the Nikon DSLR i just bought and take some amazing photos of my daughter.  Warning – if I do go back to Facebook in February, your newsfeed will be spammed with these photos.

Five days in and still going strong and I’m hopeful that Dry January can establish some ‘better’ habits and set the tone for 2017.




The Past, the Moment and the Future!

I heard this the other day during a workshop at work, as to how different social channels can be mapped to different times/occasions.  Facebook is about sharing what you’ve done in the Past, Twitter is about living and being part of the Moment and Pinterest is about dreaming and planning for the Future.  Sounds so obvious when you put it like that!  On a side note, Google + is all about……….yeah the jury is still out for that one – #whoknows!

When Christian Met Randi


Last Monday I attended the latest SMLF (Social Media Leadership Forum) event with Randi Zuckerberg where she was talking about her new book Dot Complicated – I don’t think I need to add any introduction with a name like that!  I’ll admit I didn’t know a lot about her, and had assumed that she was simply riding on the coat tails of her brother.  How wrong I was!  She joked that unlike her brother, she did graduate from Harvard and worked for Ogilvy in NYC before moving out to silicon valley to work for Facebook.  After 6 years of tirelessly building the social giant, she has subsequently started her own media company – Zuckerberg Media.

My last post talked about living in an ‘always on’ society with technology replacing human relationships.  Taking it a step further, Zuckerberg called it ‘Electronic Cocaine’ – where we constantly need to get our daily digital fix!  When someone likes something on Facebook that you have personally posted – the brain receives a little burst of dopamine – the reason gadgets have become so addictive,

I’d personally witnessed this unhealthy obsession with my own smartphone, and it was so refreshing to listen to someone else talking in the same vein.  It was a little ironic that someone who had spent years working to build up a social network, was now voicing concerns around the unhealthy obsession we have with it.  But listening to her speak with genuine concern, I managed to look beyond that.  It was fascinating hearing story after story of working at Facebook: the Hackathons, visits from Barack Obama, tying up with media networks during election campaigns and helping to create what we have today.

One of the things that stuck with me the most was the concept of a ‘Digital Sabbath’ where each week she encouraged us to unplug technology for a period of time in order to think, be creative, work on an entrepreneurial project or simply have quality time with loved ones and friends and be in the moment.  It’s just what I need, and so I’m going to give it a try.

I managed to get a signed copy of her new book, Dot Complicated – I’ve read the first 50 pages and it’s a fascinating read and I highly recommend it.