Shruti Barton MA Creative Economy
Elevating my Pitch with Carmel Landy, Digital Consultant, Xbox LIVE, EMEA
The weekend submerged in phone app design thinking seems a million light years away now. I am all too aware that it’s been 13 days since my last blog, an eternity in this fast-moving consumerist blogosphere. To be truthful, (no longer a salesperson, this expression of honesty comes to you with the utmost sincerity), I have been thinking about how to creatively relate and critically reflect on all this new learning the MA Creative Economy bestows upon me.
On one hand a light bulb moment – on the other, a neat and tidy safety blanket harnessing me safely into principles which remain so far, an unknown territory. Yes, you can take the recruiter out of the city but, well, you know the drill. So, throughout the course, my intention is to interview someone I know who, it may be argued, is an apostle of our Creative Economy. It may well be ambitious to suggest that I am suitably acquainted with the variety of individuals needed to relate to all that we are learning, but in the name of networking and the holy (blog) post I’m willing to give it a go. You never know, their pearls of wisdom strewn amongst these pages may well be a worthy grail.
I start with a phone interview for the purpose of consistency (we were designing a phone app after all) though the media for my next Chosen One may well be Skype, Twitter, Video, YouTube, Voxer, email, god forbid a face to face meeting or on letter paper. Carmel Landy is a Digital Consultant with a sophisticated bank of knowledge and some insightful ideas on what this mobile phone revolution and digital marketing era is all about.
A: I am a Digital Consultant. This means I go in and consult with companies on their digital media and marketing strategies.
Q: Which industries have you worked in?
A: Entertainment and technology.
Q: How long have you been working in this field?
A: 15 years.
Q: What did you study?
Q: What was your favourite subject within the education system and why?
A: Behaviourial Psychology because it helped me to understand what makes people tick. I’m a lot more interested in qualitative analysis.
Q: Who gave you your big break and why?
A: A former boss of mine at the BBC. When the internet came along 15 years ago, I was originally working in Media Sales. After three years in this department, I attended an interview with the online department and was able to move successfully from traditional advertising sales to online.
Q: What have been the most successful projects you have worked on to date?
A: The biggest project was the £2.5 million deal between MTV and Three Mobile phone operator. MTV developed the original mobile video programming back in 2005. There was a lot of money around at that time to spend on content. Things are different now. Further examples include:
■ Most recently I worked on a business case for 4Music around the development of a catch up and video on demand (VOD) service.
■ I worked on a business case for Xbox in Spain where I put in place partnerships with third party content providers in Italy.
■ A £100 million technology project to develop a full end to end digital project for the BBC. So if you think about how TV programming is made, there is still a lot of information saved on tape; now the BBC is creating a full digital end to end system. There’s a web application called Fabric which everyone involved in the creative process log into so that the creative work can all be tracked on the system. I worked on the marketing and communications of the project internally for the BBC. Since the BBC is at the forefront of development as well as being a public body, we also had to market it to external companies. I worked with the government on regional level initiatives, such as with the Natural History unit in Bristol in order to ensure a smooth completion of the project.
Q: Who and what are your biggest inspirations?
A: Content is my passion. So TV (anything by the Beeb – I have a lot of time for the BBC!), music (Roisin Murphy), film (Woody Allen) and artists like Gilbert and George.
Q: Who do you think is one of the most influential people in your creative industry (digital media) and why?
A: Mark Zuckerberg, because of what he’s done with Facebook. The ability to share information is intrinsic to how content is consumed. Content is all about curation. For example, if I read something in the Guardian, I can ‘Like’, ‘Share’ and recommend it to my personal network on Facebook. Media is about being a consumer. Media is being curated. It is the same as if you go to an art gallery which has been curated. People today are choosing what content to feature on their Facebook page and other social networking sites.
Q: Where do you think we will see the biggest changes in your industry over the next 10 years?
A: Definitely through social media. Who knows what will happen in the future – it all depends on the technological developments and what is actually possible. There are 3 core elements of social media marketing, as coined by Michael Dell in 2000 – Customers, Content and Commerce. Customers want to be able to research their own product (the content) and refer to other user’s opinions and reviews in their community as validation before making their final purchase (the commerce bit). With all 3 components, you have strong building blocks for a successful online business. We are already one step ahead of this now as we know that customers do not only consume but also actively get involved in selling content online (for example Amazon and Ebay) and it’s all about one’s network and networking abilities.
Q: What is your opinion of social media and the impact of the internet on the creative industries?
A: It’s all pervasive. It’s changed the game now. It’s changed everything forever. It’s all positive. We went from 4 TV channels and a few radio stations to the internet which is limitless. So you can access whatever you are into, whenever you want.
Q: How do you market yourself within your industry?
A: Through word of mouth – which is funny because it goes back to the grass roots point about people having choices and working with who they know and trust. Rohan Oommen is General Manager for Xbox LIVE EMEA at Microsoft and I worked with him earlier this year and have just embarked on a new project with him, involving the expansion of their content credentials which follows on from that work. This also goes back to the idea of curation and recommending products or services to your friends.
Q: What would be your word of advice to prospective candidates looking to secure a job within digital media?
A: The most important thing is to be enthusiastic and demonstrate your passion. Secondly, the more proactive you are, the better chance you’ll have of securing a position. There is so much competition out there and the same tools are available to everybody. It’s not just about theory, it’s about work experience and making sure that your experience mirrors exactly what companies are doing in the market.
For further information, view and connect to Carmel’s professional profile online at http://www.linkedin.com.
Carmel and I met through a mutual friend at a Halloween Party many moons ago. You never know who and when you are going to meet someone who leaves a lasting impression. Thanks Carmel for allowing me to publish this interview.
Comments please on what kind of questions would be useful for me to ask. Any particular people/profiles you would like me to interview in the future?
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