Inspiring the business brains of tomorrrow

The University of East Anglia

The University of East Anglia - Credit: Archant © 2011

In a couple of weeks I have the honour of being a guest lecturer at the University of East Anglia speaking to a lecture hall full of eager business students.

The title of my presentation is the rather esoteric “From inspiration to implementation: the reality of delivering a brand advertising campaign in 2013”.

I am of course hugely looking forward to this as not only do I have a passion for giving presentations, it is doubly exciting when it’s on a topic that I am extremely passionate about.

Creating the presentation has reminded me how the pressures of modern business means that often you forget key learnings from your education and how they are still relevant. I am sure that those students will have spent time learning about different business and marketing models. I am looking forward to their faces when I tell them that the reality they probably face may contain lines such as “we need more people through the door, sort it”, “our sales are dropping help!” or “it’s a tough time and marketing is just a cost so the budget needs to be saved”.

Luckily here at Archant Towers, our business is about marketing and connecting motivated buyers and sellers, we understand its importance but I know it’s not always the case.

We might be facing a triple dip, but those companies that take the time to understand their customers’ wants and needs and communicate with them effectively and cleverly across multiple channels will still succeed. If they have remembered marketing basics like product, price, promotion and place.

Writing the presentation reminded me that it’s more important than ever to set yourself clear objectives, write a brief, even if it’s just for yourself. We are in a world where your message can be placed across hundreds of different channels and quickly lost among the thousands others we are bombarded with every day.

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Often you have just a second to grab someone’s attention so make sure that your creative is standout and remember that clear concise copy is an art form that should be treated as such and refined and refined again.

Most importantly measure against the objectives you set yourself whether increase in sales, footfall or whatever and learn from that data.

Marketing has never been so complex with always-on communications, much higher pressure to prove ROI, the sheer volume of data to analyse, and ever more specialisms and channels to understand. My message to these students is that modern marketing is hard and complex and hurts your head on a daily basis. That it forces you to constantly learn new skills as new areas become the norm, from social media to content marketing. That unless you specialise you have to understand everything. From data collection and analysis, to digital techniques to good old fashioned copy writing, design and planning and yes, brief writing and objective setting.

However, because of all of this, it is exiting, challenging and rewarding and to me the best job in the world.

Tim Youngman is head of digital marketing for Archant follow him on twitter @timyoungman