Buymedia selected as Retail Excellence Strategic Partner

Buymedia are delighted to be selected as a strategic partner of Retail Excellence Ireland for 2018/19. The accreditation means that all 1,800 of the top retailers in Ireland can avail of cutting edge technology when it comes to their media planning, procuring, managing and monitoring. Buymedia was founded in 2015 by Fergal O’Connor who has over 25 years of experience in the media business.

Buymedia CEO, Fergal O’Connor

 
Commenting on the partnership Mr. O’Connor said, ‘It is great to work with such a professional organisation as Retail Excellence. We’re really looking forward to forging strong relationships with their members. We hope that the benefits of buymedia’s advertising technology can help Irish retailers compete on a global scale and grow both offline and online sales. 60% of Irish online sales went to companies outside Ireland in 2017, but there is no reason why Irish retailers can’t get their fair share of this market. We’re here to help them to better plan, purchase, manage and monitor all their media campaigns – digital and traditional.’

As part of the strategic partnership buymedia will be available for one on one media consultations throughout the 2 days of the Retail Excellence conference – Retail Retreat – held in The Citywest Conference Centre on May 15th & 16th. To book your 30 minute one on one Media Consultation please book your date and time slot here.

Visit their exhibition stand R6 on Tuesday 15th or Wednesday 16th of May and take part in their golf challenge to be in with a chance of winning a fabulous prize of one night dinner, bed and full Irish breakfast in The Lodge at Ashford Castle.

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Buymedia has been officially announced as Mayo’s finalist at the National Enterprise Awards in 2018.

This is fantastic news, a huge honour and showcases all our hard work to date. Since its creation in September 2015, our aim has been for Buymedia to bridge that gap from advertiser to media provider. Making the process easier and more efficient for all, with this concept in mind Buymedia was born. Buymedia enables advertisers to purchase their advertising online managing and supervising all the company’s advertising efforts in the one place.

Buymedia’s CEO Fergal O’Connor, joined John Magee for a chat with the Local Enterprise Office to discuss the award and its value to the company. “It is a huge honour to be selected from all the great businesses in Mayo to represent the county at the National Enterprise Awards 2018. The fact that it is the twentieth anniversary makes it even more special and we hope that we can raise the profile of our business and the innovative businesses in the county both nationally and internationally.”; Fergal O’Connor. Read more about what Fergal said here.

Buymedia have recently welcomed several high-profile advertising clients and have also secured all major media providers and are continuously working to ensure all regional, national and international options are accessible via the platform. Our aim for 2018 is to help 40 to 50 businesses manage an advertising budget of between €50-€100K per annum and help them achieve a better return on their advertising budget. We are looking beyond Ireland also with client interest in the UK, Australia, US and South America.

2018 has started off as a fantastic year for Buymedia and promises great things still…read more about the National Enterprise award here. If you’re interested in getting some support with your advertising spend please contact us by emailing; hello@buymediahq.com or completing our enquiry form at www.buymediahq.com.

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GMIT & iHub Digital West Event (Video)

Fergal O’Connor, CEO & Founder at Buymedia talks at Digital West Event about Marketing and Advertising for business. Buymedia is a technology company developing an innovative advertising planning, procurement, measuring and monitoring software for SMEs – buymedia.ie – that will save time and money for businesses. Buymedia is an advertising platform that utilises 50 years of advertising buying & selling experience to connect print, radio, ohh and digital advertising with small, medium & large businesses & advertisers.

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Getting Value from your Advertising Spend (Podcast)

Sometimes the biggest difficulty is where to start, you have a product or service you want to sell, you know you have to do some advertising but you’re not sure where to start. Above all, you know you want to get value for your advertising spend. In this business podcast, we ask Fergal O’Connor The CEO and founder of BuyMedia to walk us through the steps a business should consider taking when spending money on advertising.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results

– Albert Einstein

Some others questions we asked:

  • How do I know what the best advertising channel for my business?
  • How much money should I spend on advertising of my products or services?
  • How do I know I am getting a return on my investment?
  • Should we do the same advertising we always do, if I feel it is working?

He answers all of our questions and more on this business podcast “Getting value for your advertising spend”.

 

 

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An Innovation Journey

Madness or Human – Doing the same thing over & over, expecting different results.

I love gadgets and innovation. From ZX Spectrum, Atari, Nintendo, Nokia, Creative Nomad Jukebox, Sony Clié, Dell, Grunge, iPhone, Apple Mac, Bluetooth, Apps, Wifi, One Plus, Indie, Canon, Motorola 360, Fitbit, AI, Data analytics. Chatbots, AR, VR and much more. I’ve been lucky to embrace an amazing array of gadgets and live through the fast paced world of cool innovation over the last 40 plus years.

I never grow tired of the latest new thing and embrace it with the enthusiasm of a child on Christmas morning. I remember when apps became a thing and the 400 plus apps I had on my iPhone of which I probably used 10. I just couldn’t bring myself uninstall the other 390 just in case one day I needed an app that could translate my voice into animal sounds (it’s an app trust me).

I embrace innovation and change with boundless enthusiasm and in my naivety I expect everyone to be pretty much the same. However since I’ve moved more into the tech world I’ve discovered a populous of sceptics and a tech weary public that are much more careful about what they will download and maybe one day love.

Innovation has become hard and no longer will the allure of the next new shiny thing guarantee success. Yes we’re looking at you Juicero. In 2017 there are 2.8 million apps in the Android store and 2.2 million in the Apple app store. That’s a lot of ‘innovation’ to chose from and people are becoming far more discerning and protective of their own personal data.

People are by nature inherently lazy. By that I mean that they are slow to change from their routine, what they know. Cognitive ease means that the human brain prefers to perform the most comfortable or routine activities. The activities that it has become used to, that it knows and understands, even if this is not always the best outcome for the individual or the corporation. As Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman stated, “Laziness is built deep into our nature.”

In a recent Forbes article by Edward D Hess, Hess muses, Thinking differently is also hard emotionally. Many neuroscientists, including Antonio Damasio and Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, believe that our emotions influence and are integrally intertwined in most of our cognitive processing. In other words, rationality is a myth. Emotionally, we seek to affirm our self-image (our ego) and we use the 3Ds—deny, defend, and deflect—to ward off challenges to it and to our views of the world. Fear is one of the emotions that comes all too naturally to most of us—and makes it hard for us to engage in the messy work of innovation. Fear of failure, fear of looking bad, and fear of losing our job if we make mistakes all can lead to what Chris Argyris called “defensive reasoning”: the tendency to defend what we believe. This makes it hard to get outside of ourselves in order to “think out of the box.”

All of my professional career has been in media, an area once considered cutting edge and innovative has in the last few years been tarnished with a deathly moniker, contrary to innovative – ‘traditional’. Print, radio & TV have all suffered in a wave of digital dominance. Although I have also worked with ‘new’ media, in the world of digital transformation my grá for ‘traditional’ media seems to conflict with my enthusiasm for innovation.

When I started our company buymedia in 2016 part of our mission was to vaporise the word ‘traditional’, transform media, make it cool again and not the creepy guy that no-one wants to hang out with at parties. Although €144 billion is spent annually on ‘traditional’ media advertising by SMEs this is in slow decline while growth in digital and mobile advertising is experiencing double digit annual growth.

We spent over a year examining the players and processes in this market and discovered that the move from traditional to digital was driven by a number of factors. Firstly there was a huge lack of market intelligence available to SMEs when making advertising decisions in either type of media. 76% of SME advertisers were unhappy with the results of their advertising campaigns in traditional media. There was limited visibility of all the opportunities available in that market. No easy way to plan or purchase traditional media ad campaigns online, while 80% of B2B business was researched online before making a purchase. Finally, there was no easy way to find solid information on what has worked for other businesses and data analytics to help calibrate future campaigns against past performance. So lots of burning pain to address.

So we aimed for the stars with twin goals of helping SMEs worldwide (starting in Ireland) to get a better return on their advertising make the process easier and digitally transform media sales for the collective good of both businesses who advertise and media companies who sell advertising. Sounds easy, right and if you look at the stats on digital transformation of industries the speed of growth of businesses in recent years is phenomenal. Accenture research shows that it has taken a typical Fortune 500 company on average 20 years to reach a valuation of $1 Billiion or more. It took Google 8.1 years, Facebook 6.2 years, AirBnB 2.8 years and Xiaomi 1.7 Years. So innovation and digital transformation is the way to go if an industry, particularly one in decline, wants to reverse it’s fortunes and experience growth.

In testing our innovative processes, by streamlining advertising procurement we saved a business on average 25% of their time when planning & purchasing ad campaigns. By delivering market intelligence and data analytics we increased their advertising return on investment by 30%. Huge savings and impressive gains.

So when faced with all these global industry facts, our own primary research, customer discovery and test results surely everyone would realise the errors of their ways, jump on board and join the buymedia revolution.

Then we remembered that ‘rationality is a myth’ and ‘laziness is built deep into our nature’. My 15 year old son informed me that there is also a physiological state called homeostasis – the tendency towards a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements (clever boy).

We also discovered a piece in The New Yorker by Elizabeth Colbert, ‘Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds’ – New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason. This remarkable piece examines ‘confirmation bias’ through numerous psychological studies examining the area of how ‘once formed impressions are remarkably perseverant’. It quotes extensively from the new book “The Enigma of Reason” (Harvard), written by the cognitive scientists Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber. The main conclusion – Humans are wired with an inability to reason. A recent McKinsey report found that while 84% of corporate executives think innovation is key to achieving growth objectives, only 6% are satisfied with the innovation performance of their firms.

Innovation that talks to reason may be more difficult to attract mass adoption. We’re on the start of our journey, we know we have reason on our side, we’re aware of the bias of the human condition. We hope for the sake of the people that we aim to serve that as we gain trust they don’t continue to do what they have always done and expect different results. We sincerely hope that they give innovation a chance and if we can help even a small percentage of the people that need our help then our innovation journey will have been a worthwhile crusade. What we and all other innovators should realise is that the challenge to innovate will not necessarily be technology, it will more likely be human behaviour and our hardwired brain.

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Creative Armageddon – the Race to be Average.

I’ve worked in media and marketing for over 25 years. In that time I’ve seen the creative process move from paper, pritt-stick, tipp-ex and fax to 200 data points tracking users online behaviour to predict what they will want to buy before they even know about it themselves. The fact that we have moved to referencing people as users says a lot about how creativity in marketing has moved from a people centric, emotional, heart wrenching activity to a data based scientific algorithm.

People have become data points. Is the inevitable road of creativity in marketing the race to please the mean? Are we doomed to a wonder-less world? Were is the wow and awe? Where will we find discovery on the motorway of the banal? If we continue on the road of data driven marketing are we destined for a future of endless cute animal videos. Programmatic Televison offers the lure of endless entertainment tailored specifically for you but in reality will this just mean that the future of creative entertainment will be driven by an algorithm of the masses and the interesting and niche will be squeezed out to oblivion, driven by the desire for a better ROI on production costs.

Encouragingly, a report published in 2013 ‘The Future of Creativity In Advertising’ by

Michael A. Belch & George E. Belch, concludes that although marketers are increasingly relying on data to make decisions, creativity is not dead and will continue to remain an important factor in marketing communications into the future. Oh, but to dream.

In July 2016 when the best creative advertising minds came together for a breakfast briefing in London to reimagine the future of advertising 5 key themes emerged – Firstly, real-life experiences replace simulated ones; secondly, that consumers are no longer passive and want to drive the storyline; event-driven campaigns work well for product launches; campaigns are more personal than ever; and, lastly, brands must respond to the zeitgeist and be relevant in the here and now. So in conclusion we now hand the storyline to the viewer and we must talk about what the mass market finds interesting now. God help us, although data points to problems on that front too.

We can all remember iconic advertising and marketing from the past, but in the new world order of laser targeting and algorithmic driven marketing will the future iconic be replaced with boring mass appeal messages. Will the mark of great creativity be how many likes, shares and views we get. Interestingly the recent round of Christmas ads all had a You Tube release in advance of the TV launch. Although the consensus amongst creative marketers is that the John Lewis ad, which cost €1.3M to produce and €7M on campaign cost is a creative failure, it has attracted 17,914,605 views on You Tube. While the M&S Christmas advert which has been lauded for it’s creativity and emotional connection has only attracted 6,114,380 views. Can we now measure creativity in numbers, will data unearth the next Da Vinci? Will creative genius come from the mind of Hawking or Dali?

Laura Jordan Bambach, creative partner at Mr President speaks about the difficulty of the creative process in creative agencies “It is harder because it takes more investment, not just financial, from everyone, client and agency to create something amazing in the face of timelines and more reliance on automation.” Creativity takes time and space and if we marketers and content creators are being driven by data, forced to communicate multiple messages on a plethora of platforms within the same time and budgetary constraints then it is going to be impossible to let creativity breath and flourish.

What of the positives, can creatives use data to guide and aid the creative process. Can we be lean creatives? Iterate and test, reiterate and release. With ad blocking and the move towards native advertising is the creative moving back into the limelight. Can humanity be engineered back into the machine? When I hear of the new breed of agency ‘creatives’ who are experts in analytics and optimisation I fear for the future of creativity in marketing.

What about the writers, the journalists, our guardians of democracy and free thought surely the cold hand of data can’t manipulate their words. Or can it? The Insight Centre in UCD is focusing on using Data Analytics to give meaningful information to a variety of industries. Head of Insight, Professor Barry Smyth says, ‘Almost everything we do generates data and a growing torrent of data is created every second of every day, as companies, public services and individuals generate a burgeoning volume of data, both structured and unstructured. Online networks capture a wealth of information about how we live, work and play. Millions of networked sensors are being embedded in everything from mobile phones to cars to smart energy metres to healthcare services’. One area of Insight research that I find personally interesting is The Future of News and Media – the role of data analytics in next generation news production, media consumption and targeted advertising with projects from companies such as RTÉ, The Irish Times, Storyful, Flashpoint, Elsevier. One of the aims of this project is to analyse the news stories that are gaining most traction online and across social media channels. This information can be used by media companies to automate the stories and to feed us the ‘news’ that the algorithm ‘thinks’ we will respond to. So not only is the future of creativity in the hands of the ‘bots’ but also the bastion of democracy is being scaled and our minds informed by the data miners.

Can the data genie be put back in the bottle? It’s unlikely as brands have become accustomed to and rely on reporting, analytics, measurability and specific ROI to make future decisions. Our human challenge is to ensure we don’t sacrifice wonder on the pyre of big data. We must find a way to use data to free our creativity and not allow our muse to be shackled by big data and the race to be average.

Laura Jordan Bambach, creative partner at Mr President speaks about the difficulty of the creative process in creative agencies “It is harder because it takes more investment, not just financial, from everyone, client and agency to create something amazing in the face of timelines and more reliance on automation.” Creativity takes time and space and if we marketers and content creators are being driven by data, forced to communicate multiple messages on a plethora of platforms within the same time and budgetary constraints then it is going to be impossible to let creativity breath and flourish.

What of the positives, can creatives use data to guide and aid the creative process. Can we be lean creatives? Iterate and test, reiterate and release. With ad blocking and the move towards native advertising is the creative moving back into the limelight. Can humanity be engineered back into the machine? When I hear of the new breed of agency ‘creatives’ who are experts in analytics and optimisation I fear for the future of creativity in marketing.

What about the writers, the journalists, our guardians of democracy and free thought surely the cold hand of data can’t manipulate their words. Or can it? The Insight Centre in UCD is focusing on using Data Analytics to give meaningful information to a variety of industries. Head of Insight, Professor Barry Smyth says, ‘Almost everything we do generates data and a growing torrent of data is created every second of every day, as companies, public services and individuals generate a burgeoning volume of data, both structured and unstructured. Online networks capture a wealth of information about how we live, work and play. Millions of networked sensors are being embedded in everything from mobile phones to cars to smart energy metres to healthcare services’. One area of Insight research that I find personally interesting is The Future of News and Media – the role of data analytics in next generation news production, media consumption and targeted advertising with projects from companies such as RTÉ, The Irish Times, Storyful, Flashpoint, Elsevier. One of the aims of this project is to analyse the news stories that are gaining most traction online and across social media channels. This information can be used by media companies to automate the stories and to feed us the ‘news’ that the algorithm ‘thinks’ we will respond to. So not only is the future of creativity in the hands of the ‘bots’ but also the bastion of democracy is being scaled and our minds informed by the data miners.

Can the data genie be put back in the bottle? It’s unlikely as brands have become accustomed to and rely on reporting, analytics, measurability and specific ROI to make future decisions. Our human challenge is to ensure we don’t sacrifice wonder on the pyre of big data. We must find a way to use data to free our creativity and not allow our muse to be shackled by big data and the race to be average.

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