It’s time for the second addition of our 10-week countdown to the 2016 Guardian Changing Media Summit. Each week we will take a look at our favourite talks from last year and provide our commentary on what we thought of each talk.


With 9 weeks left we take a look at number 9 on our list of our top 10 talks from 2015.



John’s take on this talk


“I was particularly interested in the content element of this talk. I had not previously thought about content as being as effective a tool – when it comes to the selling step of a brand or product – as other more obviously ‘salesy’ marketing activities.


I really like the way that content can bring new creative opportunities for brands and agencies to connect with and sell to their audience – an audience that is increasingly hungry for this kind of communication.


I like the way that social and search (as Gary Brammel at Hailo explains in the talk) has added new elements to the way that we market products, brands and ideas, and how this has in turn, seemed to have had a knock-on effect on the way that brands need to think about themselves and their overarching purpose.


It seems that the more brands need to connect with consumers on a human level the more it forces a greater level of creativity on the behalf of the brand (and every member of staff associated with it) to consistently re-evaluate and develop what that purpose is – leading to more interesting, innovative and creative products and brands.”


Content and Hello Starling


In layman terms – content, simply means material that goes into a little more depth than your standard online banner or paid for advert. This might be presented as video content, or as blogs. Basically any information that is presented to an audience in a way that goes a little further than a brief product description and price. Content is that little bit of extra value that a brand can offer to its customer.


As an advertising agency it is vitally important that we keep abreast of how people interact with particular advertising messages and to know how we can help clients to really connect with this audience. This means drawing audiences in through mediums and in ways in which they want to be, or are receptive to being, contacted with. It also means being aware of the particular strengths and weaknesses of our clients, and how we best fit within their marketing activities.


Simply put, this means that agencies need to be aware of the change that has occurred in marketing with advances in technology as well as being aware that adding on services such as content or SEO as additional arms to an agency is not enough to be of any real substantial use to a client.


Work with people who are interesting and interested


As Ije Nwokorie, CEO at Wolff Olins, argues, the really clever (and more difficult) move is to build the organisation around content as a fundamental identifying characteristic. This is not a simple thing to implement, as Chris Barnes of Adjust Your Set points out, and is one that many very large brands have and are struggling with – including Google.


At Hello Starling we like the way in which content helps us to not only communicate with our clients and the general public, but also to think about what it is that makes our clients and ourselves unique or different to everyone else. As Karen Blackett explains, it is by finding people who are interesting or interested that great work can happen. Ultimately content helps us to get to the heart of what it is that makes us interesting and why people should be interested in us.


To find out more about how we can help you to reach your target audience, why not contact our friendly Media Planning and Buying team who can help talk you through your best options. If you have any comments or questions you would like to share about the future of agencies or about the role of content for promotional or advertising purposes, we would love to hear from you! Please do get in touch via our Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin to let us know your thoughts.


By Team HS