Q&A with Chris Carmichael Global Media & Marketing Consultant

January 19, 2017

Chris is a senior marketing professional with over 15years experience in the business. With a breadth of knowledge encompassing most aspects of the marketingmix (including Media Planning &  Buying, Communications Planning, Sponsorship, Digital Display, Search, Social, Experiential, Trade & Retail), Chris has a proven track record for building and leading high performing teams, managing agencies and delivering results.

Q: Why should agencies/advertisers enter the World Media Awards?
Chris: Great work deserves to be recognised, and the WMA exist to showcase the best work around the world. If you’re confident in your campaign, put it up against the best !

Q: What will you be looking for from the entries?/What will make a winning entry?/What does great branded content look like?
Chris: Making content that works across multiple markets is hard. Entries that show 1) a collaborative approach, 2) a clear consumer insight, 3) content that engages meaningfully with an audience and 4) in a way that effects a tangible result will definitely do well.

Q: What are the challenges and opportunities of integrating branded content across different platforms – from print to video, from mobile to TV?
Chris: You have to understand the role each channel plays, and ensure that the content is fit for purpose. In other words, what are you trying to achieve, and how can each channel help in achieving that goal ?

Q: What should clients look for in a native advertising/branded content proposal? And what should they look for in the team who will be delivering it?
Chris: There are 3 key elements which clients need to be aware of, and manage appropriately. 1) The client, their brand. What are they trying to achieve, and what messaging do they need to communicate ? 2) The partner/publisher and their brand. This is context which is critical 3) The end consumer and why they should care. The relative importance placed on each element can be dialled up/down, but getting that balance right is what makes the difference. In terms of the team, you need people who are natural collaborators – it’s no good having people who are wedded to their own ideas and ways of working.

Q: What are the biggest challenges in planning and implementing an international campaign across four or more international borders?
Chris: The main thing is relevance. Making one thing relevant to people in multiple geographies is really hard, and most of the time, people end up “adapting” things slightly to try and ensure it’s more relevant for each market. That’s the hardest thing, no question.

Q: How do you balance what needs to be carried out from head office and what needs to be carried out locally in international content campaigns?
Chris: Great question, and this absolutely goes to the heart of the problem facing most international clients. In very broad terms, head office tend to be more concerned with brand-led metrics, and making sure that the campaign properly reflects the brand, whereas local teams tend to be much more commercially focused – basically, how can this thing help us sell more stuff ?The end result can either be arrived at via a positive, collaborative approach where everyone puts aside their own agendas in pursuit of the common good. Or, the budget holder decides ! I’ll let you figure out which is more prevalent !

Q: Summarise yourself in three words.
Chris: Fun. Fair. Flippant.

Q: What made you want to pursue a career in media and marketing?

Chris: I’m old school – I never wanted to pursue a career in media & marketing !

Q: Describe your ideal client.
Chris: Er, me ? Just kidding- they have to have a clear vision & purpose, and an understanding of roles & responsibilities of everyone around them in order to achieve that goal. Still me then..

Q: Name your favourite ever content-driven campaign.
Chris: Probably the BMW series “The Hire” from the early 2000’s starring Clive Owen. Genuinely ahead of its time. And actually, Mercedes did something similar with “Lucky Star” much later starring Benicio del Toro – which was a sort of fake movie trailer. One of my friends didn’t realise it was an ad for Mercedes and was genuinely gutted that it wasn’t a real film !

Q: Who is the best industry speaker you have seen?
Chris: Probably Jon Steel (author of Perfect Pitch) although Sir Martin Sorrell is always impressive too.

Q: Which is your favourite social media platform, and why?
Chris: That’s tough, I use most of them at some point !

Q: Where is your ideal meeting venue?
A good restaurant !

Q: What is your favourite restaurant?
Chris: J Sheekey.

Q: What is hot in international content marketing, and what is not?
Chris: I think that chasing the latest hot or cool thing is what gets us into trouble a lot of the time…

Q: Which industry buzzword would you ban?
Chris: Any 3 letter acronym you can think of ! Although I’m a big fan of Bullshit Bingo as a good way to make light of the issue…!

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Chris: No idea. I don’t plan that far ahead, life’s too short.

Q: Finally, who would play you in a movie of your life?
Chris: Probably David Schwimmer…

Deadline for entries is 16th February 2017 – ENTER NOW