dye hard

Back in Business!

Half-way through ‘Squared Online’ a new challenge was lying ahead; compile a multi-channel plan (with focus on digital practices) for Squarelle Tonacity! A brand new, high-end, DIY, multi-tonal home hair colouring product, accompanied with a bespoke application tool, which helps busy professionals get salon-quality results at their own homes.

Apart from our multi-channel digital marketing plan, the main idea was to work also on non-digital tactics and touchpoints, and try to figure out how different mediums – television, print ads, editorials, posters and PR – could all integrate with social and digital in a seamless way, managing carefully a quite generous budget!

Squarelle Tonacity

Source: Squarelle Tonacity – Group 12

The team incorporated many tools trying to come up with ideas of how to successfully promote this high-end product before launch. Like working on Google AdWords in order to identify those exact keywords which would help our Tonacity team reach the right audience, or checking how methods like BirchBox and BzzAgent could be used to generate mass reach and trial, and boost consumer advocacy/NPS through word-of-mouth, along with the power of blogging and social media to drive our reach even further.

Tools which helped us recognise the best ways to set up accounts to match the product’s potential customers, and also identify their position in the buying cycle. Tools which we will all try to implement in our current and future digital strategy planning adventures.

Check it out and start dying!

better late…

Than never! Part of our Squared Online Module 2 was to come up with a successful new online business idea; our ideas had to be creative, demonstrate innovation and relevancy, and show an in depth understanding of our client’s needs and branding objectives.

Every Squared was allocated to a group, and had to start interacting with his peers in order get to know one another, propose an original business idea and vote for the one that we could all see work! So, apart from coming up with an original idea that would potentially work and produce great results, the true challenge was to work in harmony and peace within a diverse team of nine Squares!

As expected, many strong business ideas were presented, which could be successful in the real world. And after several Hangouts and Google+ discussions, we’ve finally decided: let there be ‘Pitchalicious’! A cloud based web application that allows users to create and share rich media pitches to win new clients or business, following a Software as a Service (SaaS) revenue model.

Pitchalicious

Source: signup.pitchalicious.com

‘Pitchalicious’ has to be fresh and new and different in order to succeed in a very competitive market, with well-established players. In order to tackle this difficulty, we knew that our product had to be unique. We tried to identify those characteristics that would help us diversify our product from the rest of the pack. A fresh, user-friendly product with an intelligent and well-rounded support team, and a very active community which will offer valuable tips and networking opportunities.

Our objective is to attract the entire working population – particularly small and agencies and freelancers. We strongly believe that there is some serious investment potential here, particularly with regards to the size and accessibility of the target market. And even though we aim high in terms of investment capital, I strongly believe that our team presents a viable business idea, which shows serious prospects, and would soon attract  investors!

Are you interested?

disconnected

I hate not being able to follow news and current affairs, or not being up-to-date with current (and future!) technology. And, for some time, I was actually worried I have already been left behind. I adore my devices and applications, blogs and sites, and I truly enjoy being connected 24/7 with family and friends, business acquaintances and now fellow Squares, and it feels that I somewhat need to know what goes on in the world. I must admit I genuinely hate missing out on anything ‘trending’.

On the other hand, though, I’ve noticed I have started taking onboard some social media ‘habits’ I disliked or made fun of previously, like sharing pictures of my food or immediately posting a video of a concert I was attending… Well, at least I haven’t bullied anyone on social media, and I definitely haven’t ‘checked-in’ anywhere yet – and I’m quite proud of that!

However, for the two previous weekends that I have been travelling abroad, I’ve tried to stay away from my phone and laptop as much as possible (actually, at some point I didn’t even have a choice), I visited family and friends,  and – after a very long time – I met and actually started talking to interesting new people on the street and Christmas markets, on ethnic food stalls and relaxed cafés and (maybe not so) fancy restaurants! And, I must admit, I really enjoyed not being glued to my screen for once.

The best thing was that I didn’t even feel the need to look for a wifi connection – I just enjoyed communicating again like ‘the old days’. No emails, Shazam, Google Maps, Weather updates or eBay (yes, I’m obsessed with eBay!) – I know I might have annoyed a few people that we interact digitally on a daily basis, but I had a lot of fun with many others!

It’s been some time and, therefore, I’m pretty sure that many of you are familiar with the following ‘experiment’ posted on Fast Company; Mother, a London based advertising agency asked five ‘digitals’ to give up their tech gadgets and spend a ‘No Internet Week’:

And here, you can see their progress – Day 03:

At first, after watching all these, I’m still trying to decide whether or not I would feel OK to take part on a similar project; being blocked from all those things that I’m using on a daily basis and actually not being ‘allowed’ to use them when I felt the need to, seems quite strange to me at the moment.

But now, a whole week after my two back-to-back ‘no internet’ experiences, and on this grey, gloomy Monday, all I can I think of is that I wish I would have done the exact same thing last Saturday and Sunday, as well.

What do you think? How easily would you ‘unplug’, and give up your gadgets and social media routine for a few days?

going viral

Viral marketing is a very carefully designed and crafted process that needs time and patience to work. It consists of viral messages that tend to appeal to a specific category of individuals with high social networking potential, who communicate and spread these messages quickly. When viral marketing works, the results are immense; a brand’s image can change overnight, a freshly launched product can become an immediate success.

The growth of social media has largely contributed to the effectiveness of viral marketing. Lately, though, the term ‘viral’ is used mostly to describe humorous (sometimes) celebrity (most of the times) videos that become immensely popular globally in such a short period of time through internet sharing, via email, social media and sharing websites.

I am sure that most of you have already watched this video of Jean-Claude Van Damme and his incredible (and 100% real!) stunt for Volvo Trucks, with Enya’s iconic “Only Time” on the background. The “Epic Split” is such a huge success that many created parodies within days to steal some of its gold dust of viral fame.

First was this; a parody of the original video made by Artjail, a NYC visual effects studio, ‘starring’ Rob Ford, the disgraced Toronto Mayor, which had over a million views within a day. This is a great example of how a huge viral success story can be utilised to promote other people’s work.

And then, I came across an even crazier parody; infamous Hollywood actor Channing Tatum embraced the craze and performed his “Epic Split” while on set for his new movie “22 Jump Street”, showing how a very successful advert can help you promote your own work, even if it’s totally irrelevant. And if you haven’t watched this already, check it out!

But then, there are videos like this. An effort to create something fun and simple, an attempt to work on a new project using tools I am not yet familiar with, help my peers to get to know me, and probably give my friends a reason to laugh at me! All I am trying to say is that I’m not hoping that this video will go viral, and I just pray that it will not turn into a parody, too.

What do you think? Have you attempted to do something similar to promote your own work? Please leave your comments below.

Thanks for sharing!

distributing knowledge

And as expected, Squared Online started with a BANG on Bonfire night, with Chris Perks, Aiden Carroll and Nick Watt greeting everyone. The first – unofficial – day was more about getting to know our tutors and start communicating with our fellow Squares, understand what the programme is all about and get acquainted with the tools we’ll be using for the duration of the process.

Source: mashable.com

So “welcome to the [r]evolution”! Squared Online is a strategic and not a tactical course, which will provide a deeper understanding of how an all-around digital strategy is formulated. It’s clear what to expect from the course and what is expected from us in return. And, therefore, the quote “empowering today’s and tomorrow’s leaders to drive the industry [r]evolution” must have stuck in everyone’s mind! “With great power comes great responsibility” and everyone seems ready to take up this challenge!

Apart from some mind blowing data, Sarah Tate, Programme Lead, provided some great examples of the previous alumni or her personal work within Google, explaining why it’s so important to clearly communicate our skills. She suggested that we should always be ready to fail! Failure is OK and a great opportunity to learn. Since I’m not sure whether or not I could use her amazing example, I’m quoting this:

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

- Albert Einstein

Are you a T-shaped professional? Have you got the skills needed? The importance of the concept, which depicts the combination of deep knowledge in a specific subject and the ability to work with experts in different fields, was thoroughly discussed. A person’s ability to network and communicate is vital; present-day and future professionals have to possess these skills to drive themselves, their colleagues and their businesses/government bodies/research establishments forward.

Source: mashable.com

Aiden Carroll wanted us to evaluate the impact of digital media and think about what defines our digital lives, how digitally oriented we are in what we do. Digital thinking is all about interacting in a way that incorporates all those changes on our lives by our experience of today’s networked society. But how do we react on those constant changes in social practices online? The Squared Online video of Neil Perkin, founder of Only Dead Fish, provided us with examples of how quickly social engagement and behaviour has changed, and how easy it is to stay behind if you’re not ready to keep on top of those changes. However, the thing that struck me the most was the interaction amongst Squares after watching this 60 minute video! Thoughts are being shared freely in our small community, and it’s more than interesting to examine the same topic from so many different angles. Interaction and direct communication between Squared peers is a common thing during live classes as well; everyone has something truly useful to propose and share, from an interesting social media article or a tutorial video to a handful of neat tips and tricks for our projects.

And for me, that is what this course is all about; communication, cooperation and interaction. Stay tuned!

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