The unsociable FSA’s Dr Pepper moment

The Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) latest guidance (this link downloads a PDF of the guidance, by the way) on the application of social web tools by regulated businesses was issued a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday, I was given the chance to offer my view as part of BrightTalk’s Thought Leadership Live programme. In The unsociable FSA’s Dr Pepper moment webcast, I explain why I think the FSA’s stance is counter-inuitive to its statutory objectives and principles, why the application of social tools can increase confidence in the market and improve consumer protection, and suggest three principles by which regulated businesses might consider adopting in their approach to the use of social...

Thought Leadership Live webcast: How to build a brand these days

I was really pleased to be invited to present my slide-deck called ‘How to build a brand these days’ as a live webcast yesterday as part of BrightTalk’s Thought Leadership Live programme. The presentation – which is roughly half presentation and half question and answer session – lasted approximately 45 minutes and is now available to view on demand. Unless you already have, you’ll need to register with Thought Leadership Live or BrightTalk to view the full presentation. To view it, just click...

Is Facebook the most overlooked free client communication tool by IFAs?

Picture: Avlxyz at Flickr I reckon my old school friends are just like the average IFA’s client bank. There are a lot of them, I only manage to stay in regular touch with a few and – until recently – the time and effort required to stay in touch with the rest was just too great to practically contemplate. However, over the past two years, I have effortlessly rekindled connections with almost 230 former friends and colleagues, simply by signing up to Facebook and LinkedIn. Now, I promise I’m not going to waste your time banging on about how Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube are the best things since sliced bread. But I will suggest three reasons why IFAs should not overlook Facebook fan pages as one of the most practical means of staying connected with potentially a substantial chunk of your client-base, which is – for now at least – free of charge. 1. Facebook vs The Press Your clients are more likely to use Facebook each week than read the Sunday money sections. Let’s suppose you have 100 clients. Based on published circulation figures, 21 of them may read the Sunday newspaper money sections each week, but 39 of them will visit their Facebook account at least once a week. That’s according to data gathered for the Government’s 2009 Digital Britain report, which said that 40 per cent1 of the UK population have Facebook accounts. Other studies support the figures claiming that 39 per cent of 16-65 year olds in the UK maintain a social web account. Either way, at least 19 million consumers in Britain have...

We’ve glimpsed the future. It looks like this.

Just like the legendary astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, we have all grown up in an era that has been subject to a dominant model. For Copernicus, it was the idea that the Earth was at the centre of the universe, so it related to the physical world and beyond. For us, it is manmade but has seemingly acquired ‘natural’ status. Because, throughout our lives, we have grown used to consuming content that is created and delivered via a mass media model of communication. We have grown used to the conventions and apparent commonplaceness of myriad forms of media – television, radio, cinema, newspapers, telemarketing, DRtv, video, CD, DVD, BluRay, game consoles, billboards, mailers, e-mail, the web – that have become fixtures in our personal and professional communication landscape. At its simplest, the mass media model is about transmission: a message is encoded, transmitted via media, and received and decoded by a recipient. And its pervasive grip means that, in our working lives, we all adopt an approach to product and communications design that is entirely geared to satisfying the rigours of the mass media model. So, in work, we pursue a predictable process which presumes that we identify the needs and wants of a population segment , create a product that apparently meets the demands or needs of that audience, package up a message for a particular audience, transmit the news via a single or blend of media, in order to effect a response from our intended audience. This lore of the mass media model has spawned an entire industry and culture that is interdependent. Newspapers, radio stations, television channels,...

Evolution by stealth

Thought visitors to the site may like to read my words of introduction to the event we hosted in South Molton Street yesterday evening. It describes how MRM – and the environment in which our agency operates – is changing to adapt to a dynamic and complex communications landscape: Many of you have been involved with MRM since I opened our doors and like many businesses, it started as a small enterprise. Over time, it has evolved. We’ve employed talented people along the way. We’ve expanded the range of skills and expertise at our clients’ disposal. And I don’t think it’s too big a claim to say it has become – not just a thriving young business – but one which enjoys a great deal of respect among journalists, broadcasters and…of course…business leaders across our industry. Certainly we don’t lack loyalty among our clients. Many of you here tonight helped lay the foundations upon which Andrew and I have subsequently built our business. Some of you are still with the businesses that you were with when we first worked together; others have moved on. What’s rewarding from my point of view – and I know it’s a view shared by the rest of the team at MRM – is that you have this habit of sticking with us, taking us with you and in some instances coming back. And we like that. Because it’s those kinds of relationships that we like to create… And those kinds of relationships are priceless these days. This year – of all years – I know how true that is. Because – during the...