Creating an on-line business, blooming ‘eck its tough!!


Have you ever tried to create an on-line business from scratch in a week? It’s no easy task but that’s what they set us the challenge of doing for module 2 of the Google Squared course. I’ve made it sound like we had to create the entire business and get it live, it wasn’t quite that difficult but effectively by working in small groups of 9 and showcasing true collaboration we had to agree on a business idea, put together a business plan and create a presentation with narration. It doesn’t sound too difficult does it? Well it is.

First of all, throwing a bunch of people together that don’t know each other, asking them to agree on an idea then have enough structure to ensure the presentation covers all of the salient points is always going to be difficult. After that came the tough gig of combining the presentation and narration which certainly presented lots of technical problems.

However, I would say that the Google Squared course over the month certainly had elements to it to help us with this task and items like the value proposition canvas (pictured below) went a long way towards making our life easier. In addition they were able to supply us with plenty of information on how other businesses have managed to go through this process and some of the tools they might have used.



I think it’s fair to say that the coursework was quite difficult because there were so many cooks and whilst we didn’t spoil the broth it was almost a project in itself figuring out how everyone worked, what made them tick, how they consume information and what to expect from them. If i’m being honest, that was my biggest learning curve, learning how to work with people you can’t physically meet and trying to do it in high pressure, short time frames but I think we managed quite well and learnt a lot to get us ready for module 3.

One of the books we were recommended reading was Eric Ries book called the Lean Startup and even though I am still reading it I was surprised by some of the content and so far am enjoying it quite a lot, would definitely give it a read. It doesn’t matter whether you work for an enterprise organisation or a start up the book appeals to all and if anything I wish I would have read it when I worked for a large organisation as it might have helped me.

All in all, module 2 was interesting but not revolutionary in my opinion, module 3 certainly sounds like it’s going to step up and for an old Gen Z’er like me I hope I can step with it, might need to get down the gym 🙂


If a picture is worth a thousand words what is a video worth???


Well apparently one minute of video is worth 1.8 million words and that is according to Dr. James McQuivey as long ago as 2009, so video marketing is certainly not a new dynamic. I was on a lecture in the Squared Online course today and video was the discussion point and it got me thinking.

Everyone is saying it’s the year of content marketing but honestly how many people think of written content first when they think about content marketing?

The video above really does well to describe the power of video and is really worth a watch. However, it then got me thinking to how do I use it in my work life?

Well take 2 parts of my work life, one is my day job. At DWA we advise clients every day on the “power of 5” as we call it but should be the minimum of “Power of 3” which is usually video, text/image and audio and as an agency our first call should be to practice what we preach.

After all, would you take driving lessons from an instructor that couldn’t drive?

We produce plenty of content but in actual video form we have some work to do. I then got thinking about my side job, my own website Inspired By Locals and I don’t even have a Youtube channel. I started to think about what I would publish and would it be interesting and that led me to a whole new level of thought.

At DWA there is plenty we could create videos about, video based infographics, how to videos on using marketing automation software, how to use PPC correctly, what does modern day SEO mean, how can you integrate marketing activities, the list is endless.

When I thought about Inspired By Locals though I started to struggle, apart from videos of trips and places (which is costly as you have to go there) and perhaps infographics but you have to have the data to make them interesting what else could I use and if i’m honest I still haven’t cracked it.

One part of our coursework is to create a video of ourselves and by doing this i’ve realised quite quickly is it is not difficult to create video and most of the time you have the content to fill it, it’s just storyboarding and creating a great voice-over.

Whilst I didn’t learn anything technical in this lesson, what it did was to resurrect the need to take video seriously, after all it is the second most used search engine after Google and that’s not even taking into account Vimeo, Metacafe and all the other video platforms.

What comes after Gen Z??


Source: Engage Today

I have recently just started a training course from Google (small little company in case you’ve never heard of them) and IPA called Squared Online and one of the first things I did was introduced myself to my fellow Squares on our forum board.

Looking down the page it was quite obvious that a lot of my fellow students were a bit younger, does that make me a mature student (oh nooooooo). So when I started thinking about what to write about here the first thing I thought about was how to define myself in the course.

A quick search directed me to a page by William J. Schroer (no idea who he is, don’t you love the internet) on definitions of Gen X, Y or Z. If you haven’t guessed yet by the title of the blog, i’m a Gen Y-er 😦

If you can’t be bothered to look at the link here is the definition of Gen Y (this is me):

Generation Y, Echo Boomers or Millenniums
Born: 1977-1994
Coming of Age: 1998-2006
Age in 2004: 10 to 22
Current Population: 71 million
The largest cohort since the Baby Boomers, their high numbers reflect their births as that of their parent generation..the last of the Boomer Is and most of the Boomer II s. Gen Y kids are known as incredibly sophisticated, technology wise, immune to most traditional marketing and sales pitches…as they not only grew up with it all, they’ve seen it all and been exposed to it all since early childhood.

Gen Y members are much more racially and ethnically diverse and they are much more segmented as an audience aided by the rapid expansion in Cable TV channels, satellite radio, the Internet, e-zines, etc.

Gen Y are less brand loyal and the speed of the Internet has led the cohort to be similarly flexible and changing in its fashion, style consciousness and where and how it is communicated with.

Gen Y kids often raised in dual income or single parent families have been more involved in family purchases…everything from groceries to new cars. One in nine Gen Yers has a credit card co-signed by a parent.

Source: The Social Librarian

Why is this interesting you might be asking? Quite honestly, it’s how the world see us and more importantly how organisations are now thinking about us as consumers. Companies will still advertise to you by using definitions such as age, social grade and many other demographics. However, organisations have understood that they can’t define people by just their age group but by their behaviour hence Gen X, Y or Z, not to mention that it rolls off the tongue easier than 18-35, ABC1, London born. In fact Gen Y didn’t even rear it’s head until 1993 in Ad Age, they are credited with the term but as soon as they did advertisers, agencies and publishers all started talking about their audience in Gen’s. My big question is

“After Gen Z, what will the next Gen be called??”

Bit short sighted by starting with Gen X in my humble opinion.