How would I describe Media Business course in one word?
Intensely stimulating, intensely tiring and intensely enjoyable.
I could not recommend a course more. Over the course of four days, we were broken down, sleep deprived, bombarded with information and, finally, brought together like crack units tasked with wowing the client, the judges and our peers with the best possible pitch.
Perhaps the lack of sunlight and sleep resulted in mild Stockholm Syndrome, but I left the course elated, remembering how privileged we are to work in an industry such as ours.
So what were my highlights and learnings over the four days?
“If the story is not about the reader, they will not listen. The only media space important is the one between the user’s ears.”
Something we’re often guilty of losing sight of is that, ultimately, our role – as both individuals and an industry – is to be a communicator, to weave stories, and to ensure that a brand can effectively influence its target audience.
As a concept, this can often get lost, particularly as algorithm-led ad technology develops exponentially. Even the most hyper-targeted, data-driven campaign won’t mean anything unless the message resonates with the user: we could target brown eyed, blue haired, Zorbing fans from Swindon, but if the message doesn’t create a connection with the user, what’s the point? As consumer ‘purchase funnels’ become increasingly complex, fragmented and circuitous, Dave Trott gave a far more emotive explanation in a simple hierarchy of impact, communication and persuasion, each step as critical as the last.
And yet as tech evolves, ‘the idea’ will always reign supreme. Grab their attention, communicate your message and then give them a reason to do what you’re asking them to do. Simples.
“We are all bloody legends”
- Me, delirious, 3am
Whilst I only saw the 4 final presentations (my team did not get through to the final and we are definitely not bitter about it, honestly, it is barely worth mentioning), the level of quality and execution was exceptional.
We work in a people industry (I know I certainly had the privilege of working on a team of very smart, very different, very passionate people) and we should not forget what we can achieve when we work together. We had creatives, planners, sales, all working together. And it worked.
Over four days, we challenged each other, we argued and we pushed, but we never fell out. In the end, we produced a body of work that we were hugely proud of. It was the sum of our blood, sweat and tears (okay, so this is somewhat dramatic, but it was hard work). I’m sure I can speak for most of the team when I say it’s the proudest we’ve been over a body of work. To see it all come together, and pitch a shared idea with such passion and conviction, was something special.
While we didn’t win (see – told you I wasn’t bitter), we were all immensely proud of ourselves as a team that became greater than the sum of our parts.
Diversity of Thought
If the US election taught us anything, it’s the importance of exposing ourselves to new ways of thinking and different schools of thoughts. Admittedly, many of us are guilty of residing in a media bubble rife with “Group Think” in the form of echo chambers of ideas. As a result, we can sometimes overlook what the audience really wants and create ideas that resonate with us, not them. So how do we change this?
Diversity holds the key, bringing a multiplicity of ideas through the rich tapestry of people and abundance of experiences, cultures and ideas they bring to the industry. We should be loud and proud of our differences: they make us stronger. Curiosity too: sometimes we need a little reminding of our inherent love of people, how they think and what they do.
Not everyone thinks the same as you do.