Two minutes with…Michael Taggart, MRM's head of digital
MRM has just launched its probe into the state of corporate sponsorships in financial services, The Death of the Chairman’s Whim. What’s it all about?
We’ve gathered some of the sharpest minds in financial services to answer an elemental question:
How can brands implement sponsorships to get the most out of them in this digital age?
The view that screamed out from every page was that you can’t just “slap your logo” on whatever you’re sponsoring and sit back, hoping the sales will pour in. They won’t. We’re in an era of fragmented media, with people looking for high quality, original content that might not be available anywhere else. The sponsors that will win new clients and customers are those that are providing that unique content, which could be in the form of behind-the-scenes video, live Twitter Q&As with sports stars, or even Snapchat filters – the list is endless. Basically, stuff fans can’t get from TV.
So why is the report called The Death of the Chairman’s Whim?
You have to know the hopes and passions of the people you want to engage with – and that means doing the research. What it doesn’t mean is throwing money at a sport or event or activity based on an ill-considered prejudice of someone senior. This is what we call “The Chairman’s Whim” – it’s an intuition in an age where we don’t need intuition because we have data – reams of it – about the views, knowledge, perceptions and behaviours of our customers and prospects.
What was the most newsworthy discovery in the report?
We conducted some original research into the sponsorship activities (or lack of them) of financial advisers across the UK. We found that many, just over half in fact, simply weren’t engaged in sponsorships. The Financial Times’s FTAdviser magazine reported our finding that one in 10 financial advisers were spending £200 or less every year on social media marketing. Astonishing! There were loads of other insights and I’d say the report is required reading for anyone working in financial advice.
How about you then, Michael? What makes you tick? What’s your North Star?
I’m just a simple guy really. I like achieving stuff every week with my wonderful colleagues, being a good dad to Tilksy the cat and getting good and drunk on a Friday night. I love my mum, worship my wife and buy the Big Issue. Life feels like a theatre of wonder and I’m the luckiest lead actor in the best Andrew Lloyd-Webber rock opera that’s ever been written. As Jim Morrison nearly said, I just wanna get my kicks before the whole outdoor latrine goes up in flames.
What makes you cry?
Jeremy Corbyn and when you try to dye your hair red and it fails badly because red doesn’t work on dark hair and no one told you.
And what makes you LOL hard?
Cats falling off tables and then styling it out. Cats in fancy dress. Cats dressed as brides and falling into rivers. Cats being scared of insects. Cats that look like Simon Cowell.
What would you do if you were given £10,000?
Easy, I’d round up Charlie Sheen, Hunter S Thompson, Pam St Clement and the Chuckle Brothers and go on a record-breaking bender. Then I’d spend a few days chillaxing in The Priory.