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Interview Series V21: Michael Hill

July 5, 2011 at 6:03 by Mark Comments

Back with the interviews today. Very glad to chat with Michael Hill, Founder and CEO at holler, a multi-award winning digital agency based in Sydney.

Q1. What is the number one thing about your job that gets you out of bed in the morning?

New Work. Or the possibility of new work. Our industry moves so quickly that we are constantly shifting and changing what we offer, chasing the tail of consumer behaviour. I’m not sure we’ll ever catch up but it’s pretty fun trying. In many ways it’s also a vanity thing I guess. The thought of creating something truly useful to our audience, and enviable by my peers is what drives me.


Q2. What are your favorite sites/digi campaigns right now?
The campaign that excited me most recently was the Korean Tesco’s Virtual Store. It won’t be long before all print ads are interactive and this is a great push in the right direction.

I also love the Noah’s Ark iPhone app from Nat Geo. Such a simple way of crowdsourcing wildlife data for scientific research. The execution lacks a little magic but the idea is beautiful.

Q3. Who is the new kid on the block – the agency/business to watch for the future?
I would watch out for the kids that have created AR String technology. For years I have been underwhelmed with Augmented reality but this kind of innovation is going to turn it in to something genuinely useful and engaging. Imagine an integrated campaign where every single touch point and channel were interactive.

The reason it is so exciting is because soon we won’t have to rely on bespoke markers for your phone to recognise. Your artwork will be the marker.

And always keep an eye on Poke London. They’re no newbies but damn I’m jealous of what they do.

Q4. What sector would you say is furthest ahead in digital marketing at the moment?
Hard to say if we’re just talking marketing. Probably the games industry. Lots of cash and a digitally savvy audience who are willing to try new things.

Banking should be ahead though. Online banking is something we all absolutely need these days and that alone should drive more innovation in a banks utility offering.

Q5. What technology or initiative is most likely to revolutionize Web/mobile marketing?
Aside from the String stuff above I think that Near Field Communication is Exciting. I’m constantly losing my keys or my wallet. I’d like to lose them forever.

Q6. If you could wave your magic wand and change one thing about digital marketing what would it be?
Delete Facebook. It’s a massive boring pain in the arse. I’m hoping Google+ will give us a nice alternative that is easier to develop in.

Q7. What’s the biggest mistake people are making in mobile/Web marketing?
I often get asked the wrong questions. Things like “How can we get digital to support the TV campaign”. For me that’s the wrong way around and a ridiculous strategy. Digital should be at the centre of every marketing plan. It’s the only ubiquitous channel that can live without media money. I’m not saying do away with the traditional media channels. Quite the opposite. I just think they should be used differently today. If everything points to online then your big spend on TV has still done it’s job even if people don’t make the jump to digital to engage more. But don’t try and do it the other way around.

Q8. What is the most useful resource site/blog you use?
I can’t get enough of Reeder and Flipboard for my iPad. I very rarely visit sites anymore unless it is for the first time or for entertainment purposes.

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