Barrett homes in on innovation

Craig Barrett talks about innovation

Couldn’t resist the headline. I was privileged enough tonight to meet with Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation at a private event in Oxford. As some of you know, as well as being passionate about innovation in marketing, I have a personal interest in the education system in the UK. We discussed (for a few moments anyhow 🙂 some of the challenges the nation faces encouraging greater support for Maths and Science as the foundation for engineering studies in University.

As it happens, there is a shortage of teachers in these subjects in the UK right now. This isn’t good if we want to compete in a world where education is so prized in the new competing economies. Britain needs this talent strand to be nurtured into cohorts of bright and capable inventors and innovators, and for there to be a support ecosystem that helps their ideas to become businesses.

It’s quite well known that the UK is near the top of the list for invention, but not very high up on nurturing invention and manufacturing that turn ideas into product into customers’ hands. As we work with Intel in bringing innovation to bear in its marketing activities, it’s encouraging to hear words of wisdom from the company’s founder himself.

Some tips from the talk for budding innovators.
1) Learn about problem solving. If you have the ability to solve problems, with good process of thought, evidence assessment and insight into why things are happening, you stand a chance. If you can’t get under the skin of the problem, you can’t solve it.
2) Do you work with the facts? Many corporations tend to evolve anecdotes into facts. Anecdotes have an agenda. Facts tend not to.
3) Never stop asking why. If you don’t get behind the face value of a situation, you can’t ever have more than a face value opinion.
4) Finally, support the three principles that enable innovation on a national scale –

Education – without smart people there is no economic action, ideas – without smart ideas there is no innovation – and the right environment – without help, innovation rarely flourishes.

An inspiring evening for everyone, and very nice to be back in Oxford too. Now about that business idea – how about a widget on my phone that tells me if the trains from Oxford to Paddington are on time?

Market Leaguer

MRM Worldwide UK is top five agency
MRM Worldwide UK is top five agency

New Media Age top 100 agencies list for 2008 released. Reached the heady heights of 5th in scale in top marketing focused digital agencies. Not too bad really. Congrats to everyone at Bankside. And commiserations to everyone else.

ad:tech London update

Well done everyone who came to Ad Tech to hear the panel sessions. MRM Worldwide Session One – “can brands be friends” – with a great panel discussing some pretty hairy topics around where advertising is going, and how the always on consumer leads us to need always on brand communication strategies. Can brands be friends? Probably not, said the panel, but we concluded that they can be friendly. This event was one of the most highly attended at Ad Tech this year, so kudos to the panel.

Thanks as well to Simon from Intel and Rob from Microsoft for doing the follow up MRM Worldwide Session Two ‘the workshop’, were we got into the detail of some of the work we’ve been doing here at MRM Worldwide with those brands. We turned around a cynical (though tiny) audience of social media experts who begrudgingly admitted everyone was doing a pretty good job.

the agency of the future
The agency of the future

And today, the Japanese delegation and the early risers got to see the full flow of the networks versus the micronetworks versus the independent in the agency of the future debate, MRM Worldwide Session Three – hosted by Nigel Morris from Isobar. Will agencies exist in the future? Probably, but not like they are today. This debate was really good fun. Jason Goodman showed the Skype Nomad thing, Marc from GT talked about xbox and Neil from Avenue A Razorfish talked about how complicated it was all becoming, and I talked about the different competitive advantages agencies have and how the business needs of brand owners varies so dramatically.

Excellent stuff. At least the Japanese seemed to think so.

Intel wins award for smart social media marketing

Intel wins award for smart social media marketing

At this years EMEA Marketing & Media Awards at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on 11th September, Intel EMEA won BEST USE OF WEB category for its first pan EMEA social networking campaign INTEL POWERS MUSIC. Short listed against campaigns from Adidas, Hilton International, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and UPS, Intel was recognised for driving preference amongst its target audience. Scaled across 6 European markets, Intel gave users content and tools to help with their music experience whilst driving an education message around Centrino Duo & connecting people with Intel technology benefits.

Well done everyone! Thanks to our friends at Universal McCann and Intel.

see it here

Can Brands be Friends? The Sequel.

Following on from the fifth most popular Cannes Seminar in 2008 featuring Facebook and MySpace which you can see here, one’s on stage again at ADTECH LONDON with Mark Cridge from Glue London and Isobar, George Bryant from Brooklyn Brothers, Anthony Lukom from MySpace, Shaun Gregory from Blyk and Steve Henry, of HHCL and TBWA fame, discussing the topic “Can Brands be Friends” on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 2:10 PM 3:10 PM.

See you there!