Guest Lecturer, Greg Allum shares his social media industry knowledge
Throughout his career, Greg has challenged paradigms by delivering ambitious visions and robust strategies. He has worked in-house at market-leading brands including Sony, British Gas, Toyota and Lexus. At the heart of his journey is the passion to lead high performing teams, develop individuals through coaching and in turn delivering meaningful business outcomes.
Social media and digital marketing have evolved rapidly over the last decade and business challenges are often complex and diverse. He has a reputation for solving these problems through a data-driven approach using insight, content storytelling and paid social. Over the last year, he has been responsible for $50m paid social advertising spend.
Greg is a regular contributor to publications including The Drum, Digiday, Marketing Week and eConsultancy, as well as being a judge on the UK Social Media Awards and The Drum Social Buzz Awards.
During the two-hour session on Friday 7th December, Greg discussed:
The Evolution of Social Media
- The rise of ‘Stories’ to reach large audiences with a new and highly engaged format.
- The use of Messenger apps and Chatbots as measurable solutions for customer service, brand building and identifying leads.
The Rise of Paid Social
- A shift from a content-first approach to an audience-first approach.
- Evolution of ‘community’ beyond owned channels to include paid audience segments.
Guiding Principles of Social
- Measure Meaningful Metrics
- Audience First Approach
- Fit for Purpose Creative
- Think long-term, but be Adaptable
- Don’t Chase Myths
- Excellence in Execution
- Don’t Fudge the Data
Current Industry Challenges
- The difficulty in attribution
- A shift of moving Marketing In-House
- Being able to embrace new technologies, such as AI
- Limited talent in paid social
Students were also tasked with a mini social brief. They were given a brand, its industry, the target audience and the social media objectives and were to come up with a campaign response for the brand, explaining the appropriate social media channels, ad formats, messaging and how the campaign would be measured. Greg was left extremely impressed with the responses, stating that ‘the industry is in good hands with our generation’.
Greg shares his biggest accomplishments and failures in the marketing industry, along with sharing his key advice for someone preparing for a career in marketing:
What advice would you give someone preparing for a career in marketing?
- Be Curious.
As a marketer in the digital age we are seeing rapid growth and change. It is easy to rest of your laurels, learn a theory and stick with it forever. Theories are great and fundamental principles of marketing remain, but channels, behaviours and formats change. Stay up to date by reading industry reports, blogs and go to relevant events.
- Don’t fear the unknown
No-one really knows everything. Some claim to but they don’t. This is applicable in many walks of life. Don’t fear change, jump into the void and realise that every day is an adventure – if you want it to be. To quote Henry Ford ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.’
- Find your own voice, it is your most powerful weapon.
A lot of people enter the corporate world and somehow lose their identity. They conform and dilute their own truth. This is the most important advice I give to my colleagues – don’t lose yourself. You are unique, so discovering your voice and how to adapt it to different scenarios without losing your core truths is key to your success.
What project/task would you consider as your most significant accomplishment in your career to date?
I’m always looking forward rather than back, so I would say the next one. I am relocating to San Francisco to set up a paid social and display department for LQ Digital
If you had to push me for an answer I would say I was very proud of the work I undertook at British Gas where we used social media to have positive conversations with customers and help resolve issues first time.
Can you describe your biggest marketing failure and how you overcame it?
Failure is a motivator for myself and its important not only to fail but understand how one reacts when failing. There are many campaigns that have not hit their targets but the learning of what went wrong mitigates the failure. Fail fast and try not to make the same mistake twice.
If you are interested in finding out more about Greg Allum and his involvement in the social media industry then you can connect with him on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregallum/