Author: Ashley Friedlein

Ashley Friedlein

I started out working in digital TV and multimedia production. I then worked at the Financial Times on arguably the first commercial application of Video on Demand (1996) before getting involved with FT.com as a Producer / Project Manager.

In 1997 I moved to digital communications agency Wheel as the third person in the then 'internet team'. I went through the dotcom boom, seeing Wheel grow from 30 people to 450 in just 3 years, and was involved in launching sites for M&S, Abbey National, IPC Magazines, Autoglass, Channel 5, AMP etc.

Following the dotcom crash (which saw Wheel shrink back to a more modest 90 or so staff) I left and spent a very pleasant sabbatical year writing my second book in the South of France. I then returned to the UK and from June 2002 I have been running Econsultancy full time.

Marketing and sales: how will they work together in the future?

More than anything ‘digital’ has blurred lines.

That might be blurring the lines of what we used to consider typical consumer behaviours or models (e.g. increased focus on behavioural segmentation and targeting rather than relying on, say, demographics), the blurring of lines across physical and digital channels, the blurring of lines across value and supply chains, the blurring of national boundaries and commerce. 

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Back to the future: the last 10 years of the future of digital marketing

Last week was Econsultancy’s Future of Digital Marketing event. It is the tenth year we have run it. A whole decade of digital futures that we can now look back on.

Trawling back through the archives of presentations and topics what can we observe?  

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Our Modern Marketing Manifesto revisited

It is now just over two years since we published the final draft of our Modern Marketing Manifesto.

At the time we were trying to articulate a kind of marketing where ‘digital’ was not separate. We identified twelve constituents of this ‘modern’ marketing each with associated tenets. 

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My experiment in combining direct mail with digital/social

My particular area of expertise is digital marketing, media and ecommerce.

However, whilst I remain excited by what is possible with purely digital marketing, I am most intrigued by marketing that makes intelligent, creative and effective use of a mixture of media.

Multi-, or Omni-, channel marketing that choreographs an experience across touchpoints both physical and digital. 

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With a blank sheet, what organisational structure would you choose for marketing and digital?

There are two strategic imperatives that you cannot fail to have missed. Firstly, digital transformation. Secondly, customer-centricity.

From McKinsey to Accenture to IBM to CapGemini to Deloitte to PWC to Forrester to Gartner and, of course, our very own Econsultancy and Marketing Week, all of the research, analysis and consultants’ advice bangs the same drum.

All businesses agree they have to become more digital and more customer-centric. 

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Are we on the cusp of a new golden age for marketing?

Our recent Salary Survey 2015 made for somewhat depressing reading.

I was amazed at the continuing size (21%) of the gender gap in terms of average pay. But it wasn’t that so much as a certain despondency and lack of oomph that came through the data.

Most marketers feel underpaid, they feel that the function is not ‘understood’ internally, and more than a quarter are unhappy in their jobs. 

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Ashley Friedlein Econsultancy Founder

Three digital marketing mega trends for 2015

Let us start with the bombshell. There isn’t anything new on the digital marketing horizon for 2015 that excites me much in isolation. 

In previous years entire new disciplines emerged. Last year was big for content marketing, data, native advertising, programmatic.

Before that we had marketing automation, inbound marketing and going back further still social, mobile, video and so on. “Search engine marketing” was coined as a discipline back in 2001. 

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Marketing in the 'stream'

Earlier this year Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, gave a keynote address where he talked about three characteristics of the era we’re living in: internet everywhere, fast and easy media creation and ephemerality.

Snapchat is particularly known for the third of those, of course; the evaporating selfie, capturing a ‘moment of me, now’ has become an incredibly popular form of self-expression.

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A surprising possible future for identity online?

“On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” This adage began as a cartoon caption by Peter Steiner and was published by The New Yorker in July 1993.

It became extremely popular. Indeed it has earned Steiner over $50,000 from its reprinting. 

But this points to a problem. We marketers extol the powers of personalisation, the merits of relevancy, targeting, customisation, segmentation. We love to really understand our customers, have deep insight and consequently deliver relevant messaging and engagement.

But what if our customers are not who they say they are? What if we really are real-time retargeting a Labrador?

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Marketing Cycle 2014 - London to Paris - roundup

Last Thursday around 50 brave marketing, digital and creative professionals set off on bike. Half to ride to Brighton in one day and the rest to push on to Paris over another two days. Around 250 miles in total. 

This was the inaugural Marketing Cycle hosted by Centaur Media plc's marketing, digital and creative brands (including Marketing Week, Econsultancy, Design Week, Creative Review, The Profile Group, Celebrity Intelligence) and organised by Ride25.  

Following are some photos and links as a roundup of an excellent trip and memorable adventure.

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Predictive marketing: a new dimension?

At Econsultancy we do a number of events and research focused on B2B marketing. Indeed the upcoming Festival of Marketing has a whole stage dedicated to it.

A recurring theme is the relationship between sales and marketing.

In most B2B organisations, sales is still the dominant function. We often hear that sales and marketing should work more closely to together, focus on the whole customer journey, establish agreed processes, terminology and definitions (what exactly do we mean by a ‘sales qualified lead’?), hand off points and so on. 

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Ashley Friedlein 3D print

3D printing - check me out!

I'm intrigued by 3D printing. It feels like there might be something in it. It could revolutionise business models and customer experiences in a way that is almost as disruptive as ecommerce and digital have been.

You used to go to a shop to buy something; then you could phone to order it; then you could go online, or on your phone, to see it and buy it; but what if you could print it out at home? The potential implications are enormous. 

But how advanced is the technology? What are the actual use cases for it? And what are the opportunities for marketing? 

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