Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities Helping Global Brands Innovate Faster Than Their Startups Competitors

Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities

William Owen, Founding Partner of Made By Many

Mark Howe

How do the world’s biggest companies become digital players? And what happens if they don’t?Made by Manyworks with the likes of Carlsberg, Burberry, Nando’s, Finnair and the World Economic Forum, helping them become digital innovators – using software as a means of gaining competitive edge.

Bringing digital to the heart of established corporations is not an easy task, but it’s one that William Owen, and co-founders Tim Malbon and Isaac Pinnock, decided to take on 12 years ago when they set up the London-based consulting group. 

Made by Many is ringing the changes internally, hiring in the company’s first CEO, I caught up with William to find out how the consulting landscape as a whole has shifted, and how, in an age where digital is everything, you keep big business on the front foot.

  1. What motivated you to set up Made by Many?

In 2007, when we started out, we saw two opportunities to do something new.

Most digital agencies were owned by the big advertising holding companies – they thought every business problem had a marketing solution; and the big six consulting firms were asleep, they hadn’t seen the opportunity to use digital as a new way to solve customer problems. The big tech firms just wanted to sell their own technologies and didn’t understand the power of design. 

Instead, we were going to make digital products, things that created real value for customers: new ways of accessing services, tools for collaboration, personalised information. We thought, if we could provide clients with good impartial advice about emerging technology and use design to solve real business problems, we would fill a huge gap. 

The other opportunity was created bysocial media. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were just getting off the ground. We were almost evangelical about their potential to take over from traditional broadcast media. And in good and bad ways were right. For the first five years of our existence, a good proportion of our clients were media companies coming to grips with the internet: the BBC, the Telegraph, News Corp, Hearst, Channel Five. We were helping them to understand how to operate in a new world where there were so many more choices for both their audience and for advertisers. 

The big early success was ITV News. We worked with their editorial team to create a new digital channel that grew to 15m unique users in a year, and we built them web production tools that were so quick and easy to use that they scooped lots of their rivals to big breaking stories like the Woolwich attack or the Vauxhall helicopter crash.  

We weren’t just a design consultancy. We had teams that combined strategy and design with really strong technical know-how. We wanted to build a consulting firm that was multidisciplinary, not just design, tech or strategy-led but a deliberate mix of all three. Design ignores business goals, tech ignores the customer experience and strategy forgets about product and only cares about the business model. The market needed a blend. 

  1. On that note, what does Made by Many offer clients today?

We help established corporations – often non-governmental as well as businesses – to bring digital thinking to the heart of their business. When we first started, digital was still an edge activity. Now, it’s critical to competitiveness in almost every aspect of business operations and customer products and services. But it’s not a cookie-cutter activity. Every business needs to think about digital in its own unique way. Often this also involves making more philosophical changes to how you approach risk and opportunity. The old business rules (big planning up front) no longer apply, because the landscape is much more changeable.

Examples usually help in consulting: we built the World Economic Forum an audience of 100m using their own platform and journalists to syndicate material. Underlying that was an incredibly efficient social media engine that could see what was being read where and repopulate people’s feeds. We built the V&A Museum a platform their team now uses for exhibition marketing, ticketing online and inside the museum, and ecommerce. Soon, it’ll be used for distributing data about the collection. The whole strategy was about making every aspect of the museum accessible – not just in the physical realm, but on the web. This work has already paid for itself twice over in half a million additional visitors in 18 months. 

  1. What are your ambitions for the business?

The pressing one now is international expansion. Our client base is increasingly dominated by European and global companies. Thankfully we’re not dependent on the UK market. So we’re opening a second office in Germany and looking further afield, too. We’ve worked a lot in the US and we’re seeing interest from Japan and India.  

To make this a reality, we’ve just hired our first CEO, Julian March. He has a brilliant track record in leading digital transformation in big news organisationsandhe used to be a client of ours so he knows what it’s like from the other side. We have a well-tuned model that has led to an incredible rate of product success – we’ve put over 80 products into the market worldwide, many with a lifetime of five years or more – that’s one quarter of the lifetime of the internet! But Tim, Isaac and I are, fundamentally, practitioners. Julian brings immense commercial and business experience. We know he can lead the expansion and make sure things get delivered. 

  1. What is your biggest challenge?

You have to be ahead of the curve in this industry, identifying how digital will affect different sectors in different ways at different times. We don’t pretend to predict the future, but we do a lot of work extrapolating trends. Right now, we’re seeing growing demand from consumer goods manufacturers for using digital services to manage their customer relationships and also for employee engagement. The other big moves are coming from the transportation industry (which now calls itself mobility!) under pressure from disruption by services like Uber and CityMapper.

Companies are realising there is huge value to be added in using digital products to improve the quality of their relationships with customers, upskill their clients’ workforces and improve the quality of communication with their employees. Even the most junior of employees are being turned into knowledge workers. And trying to use standardised, off-the-shelf software to do this doesn’t cut it. 

A consequence of all this is that we have to be one step ahead; failing to do this would scupper our pipeline, and that would mean curtains. We like new challenges. We could just earn a higher margin by doing the same thing on repeat. But then we’d have a rather uninteresting company!

  1. What industry do you think is going to look most different in 10 years’ time and why?

The obvious answer is the auto industry, as door to door transportation shifts from buying and running a car to renting or some form of individual public transportation. The less obvious is that every company has to become a digital company, which means quicker to move, more imaginative, with much stronger capabilities in product design and engineering – and I don’t mean old school IT, but product people who are sensitive to customer needs.

A number of large, household name, organisations are trying to become digital companies. Many will find doing so too difficult and, in a decade, they simply won’t be here. Those companies are in consumer goods, finance, insurance, mobility and automotive. Do you want to hear a really shocking statistic? Less than 10% of European company board members have any digital expertise. 

The frustrating thing is that these businesses usually have excellent access to capital, vast customer bases, brand equity and a lot of useful assets. They can scale immensely quickly but their cultures hold them back. Pulling back from change simply means death. In a decade, only a fraction of existing leading companies will still be leaders, if here at all. And those are the ones that acted now to become digital companies. 

 

“>

William Owen, Founding Partner of Made By Many

Mark Howe

How do the world’s biggest companies become digital players? And what happens if they don’t?Made by Manyworks with the likes of Carlsberg, Burberry, Nando’s, Finnair and the World Economic Forum, helping them become digital innovators – using software as a means of gaining competitive edge.

Bringing digital to the heart of established corporations is not an easy task, but it’s one that William Owen, and co-founders Tim Malbon and Isaac Pinnock, decided to take on 12 years ago when they set up the London-based consulting group. 

Made by Many is ringing the changes internally, hiring in the company’s first CEO, I caught up with William to find out how the consulting landscape as a whole has shifted, and how, in an age where digital is everything, you keep big business on the front foot.

  1. What motivated you to set up Made by Many?

In 2007, when we started out, we saw two opportunities to do something new.

Most digital agencies were owned by the big advertising holding companies – they thought every business problem had a marketing solution; and the big six consulting firms were asleep, they hadn’t seen the opportunity to use digital as a new way to solve customer problems. The big tech firms just wanted to sell their own technologies and didn’t understand the power of design. 

Instead, we were going to make digital products, things that created real value for customers: new ways of accessing services, tools for collaboration, personalised information. We thought, if we could provide clients with good impartial advice about emerging technology and use design to solve real business problems, we would fill a huge gap. 

The other opportunity was created bysocial media. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube were just getting off the ground. We were almost evangelical about their potential to take over from traditional broadcast media. And in good and bad ways were right. For the first five years of our existence, a good proportion of our clients were media companies coming to grips with the internet: the BBC, the Telegraph, News Corp, Hearst, Channel Five. We were helping them to understand how to operate in a new world where there were so many more choices for both their audience and for advertisers. 

The big early success was ITV News. We worked with their editorial team to create a new digital channel that grew to 15m unique users in a year, and we built them web production tools that were so quick and easy to use that they scooped lots of their rivals to big breaking stories like the Woolwich attack or the Vauxhall helicopter crash.  

We weren’t just a design consultancy. We had teams that combined strategy and design with really strong technical know-how. We wanted to build a consulting firm that was multidisciplinary, not just design, tech or strategy-led but a deliberate mix of all three. Design ignores business goals, tech ignores the customer experience and strategy forgets about product and only cares about the business model. The market needed a blend. 

  1. On that note, what does Made by Many offer clients today?

We help established corporations – often non-governmental as well as businesses – to bring digital thinking to the heart of their business. When we first started, digital was still an edge activity. Now, it’s critical to competitiveness in almost every aspect of business operations and customer products and services. But it’s not a cookie-cutter activity. Every business needs to think about digital in its own unique way. Often this also involves making more philosophical changes to how you approach risk and opportunity. The old business rules (big planning up front) no longer apply, because the landscape is much more changeable.

Examples usually help in consulting: we built the World Economic Forum an audience of 100m using their own platform and journalists to syndicate material. Underlying that was an incredibly efficient social media engine that could see what was being read where and repopulate people’s feeds. We built the V&A Museum a platform their team now uses for exhibition marketing, ticketing online and inside the museum, and ecommerce. Soon, it’ll be used for distributing data about the collection. The whole strategy was about making every aspect of the museum accessible – not just in the physical realm, but on the web. This work has already paid for itself twice over in half a million additional visitors in 18 months. 

  1. What are your ambitions for the business?

The pressing one now is international expansion. Our client base is increasingly dominated by European and global companies. Thankfully we’re not dependent on the UK market. So we’re opening a second office in Germany and looking further afield, too. We’ve worked a lot in the US and we’re seeing interest from Japan and India.  

To make this a reality, we’ve just hired our first CEO, Julian March. He has a brilliant track record in leading digital transformation in big news organisationsandhe used to be a client of ours so he knows what it’s like from the other side. We have a well-tuned model that has led to an incredible rate of product success – we’ve put over 80 products into the market worldwide, many with a lifetime of five years or more – that’s one quarter of the lifetime of the internet! But Tim, Isaac and I are, fundamentally, practitioners. Julian brings immense commercial and business experience. We know he can lead the expansion and make sure things get delivered. 

  1. What is your biggest challenge?

You have to be ahead of the curve in this industry, identifying how digital will affect different sectors in different ways at different times. We don’t pretend to predict the future, but we do a lot of work extrapolating trends. Right now, we’re seeing growing demand from consumer goods manufacturers for using digital services to manage their customer relationships and also for employee engagement. The other big moves are coming from the transportation industry (which now calls itself mobility!) under pressure from disruption by services like Uber and CityMapper.

Companies are realising there is huge value to be added in using digital products to improve the quality of their relationships with customers, upskill their clients’ workforces and improve the quality of communication with their employees. Even the most junior of employees are being turned into knowledge workers. And trying to use standardised, off-the-shelf software to do this doesn’t cut it. 

A consequence of all this is that we have to be one step ahead; failing to do this would scupper our pipeline, and that would mean curtains. We like new challenges. We could just earn a higher margin by doing the same thing on repeat. But then we’d have a rather uninteresting company!

  1. What industry do you think is going to look most different in 10 years’ time and why?

The obvious answer is the auto industry, as door to door transportation shifts from buying and running a car to renting or some form of individual public transportation. The less obvious is that every company has to become a digital company, which means quicker to move, more imaginative, with much stronger capabilities in product design and engineering – and I don’t mean old school IT, but product people who are sensitive to customer needs.

A number of large, household name, organisations are trying to become digital companies. Many will find doing so too difficult and, in a decade, they simply won’t be here. Those companies are in consumer goods, finance, insurance, mobility and automotive. Do you want to hear a really shocking statistic? Less than 10% of European company board members have any digital expertise. 

The frustrating thing is that these businesses usually have excellent access to capital, vast customer bases, brand equity and a lot of useful assets. They can scale immensely quickly but their cultures hold them back. Pulling back from change simply means death. In a decade, only a fraction of existing leading companies will still be leaders, if here at all. And those are the ones that acted now to become digital companies. 

Read More

Be the first to comment on "Via https://newsapi.org online business online marketing online business opportunities Helping Global Brands Innovate Faster Than Their Startups Competitors"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*