There are lots of brilliant events and other opportunities for creative businesses this February and March. See the full list below.

Events are either free or discounted for Bristol Creative Industries members. Some other opportunities are exclusive to members. Not a member? Join today.


9 February, 12.30pm
Fearless Girl: How to make your brand famous and why that matters

However big or small your business, nothing has more commercial impact than fame. Join us in Bristol to hear Pete Bracegirdle share the incredible story of ‘Fearless Girl’ and what she can teach us about how to make your brand more famous. Book your ticket here.

10 February, 8.30am
Wake Up Call: The DIY guide to filming short-form marketing videos

Join Inkwell founder Chris Goodfellow for advice on how to create your own high-quality videos.

Wake Up Call is an online event exclusive to BCI members. Book your ticket here.

23 February, 4pm
Data privacy workshop

Join Rebecca Steer, Steer & Co’s award-winning lawyer, for this talk at Watershed in Bristol on data privacy laws in the UK and Europe and how they affect creative, digital and tech businesses. Book your ticket here.

24 February, 8.30am
Wake Up Call: Workshop Wizardry – How to run magical workshops with your team and clients

Join Mette Davis for top tips on how to deliver a great workshop experience for your team and clients.

Wake Up Call is an online event exclusive to BCI members. Book your ticket here.

24 February
Legal surgery

BCI members can book a free 30 minute call with Rebecca Steer, an award winning business lawyer. Book your call here.

1 March, 12.30pm
BCI members’ lunch

The free BCI members’ lunch at The Square Club in Bristol is an opportunity for members to build connections while enjoy a delicious buffet lunch. Book your ticket here.

3 March, 9.30am
Walk & Talk outdoor networking event

A networking event with a difference! A great opportunity for BCI members to make some new creative industry connections whilst exploring the countryside. Book your ticket here.

7 March, 5.30pm
Bristol Creative Industries freelancer networking drinks

Come along to our freelancer networking drinks at The Square Club in Bristol to widen your networks, make new connections, discuss common problems, and discover potential opportunities for collaboration. Free for BCI members. Book your ticket here.

29 March, 12.30pm
BCI members’ lunch

The free BCI members’ lunch at The Square Club in Bristol is an opportunity for members to build connections while enjoy a delicious buffet lunch. Book your ticket here.

31 March
Legal surgery

BCI members can book a free 30 minute call with Rebecca Steer, an award winning business lawyer. Book your call here.

BCI member competition: Win a three months private office tenancy

Forward Space is offering BCI members with turnover below £150,000 the chance to win a free office for three months in Bristol’s Boxworks. Find out more.

New BCI member benefit: Legal help and templates from LawBite

A new partnership between BCI and LawBite gives members access to free and affordable legal expertise. Find out more.

Take part in BenchPress 2023, the UK’s largest survey of independent agency owners

Our friends at The Wow Company have launched BenchPress 2023, the largest survey of independent agency owners in the UK.

It’s the perfect opportunity for Bristol Creative Industries members to benchmark themselves against their peers and build a picture of the latest trends impacting agencies across the country. Find out more.

Just 4 months on from the launch of AgencyUK’s awareness campaign, Our Future Health has surpassed the significant milestone of 150,000 volunteer sign-ups.

Our Future Health aims to become the UK’s largest ever health programme, creating a 5 million strong database of adults to enable new ways to prevent, detect and treat human diseases.

Information will be collected from millions of volunteers across the UK to create one of the most detailed pictures of public health we’ve ever had.

By analysing this data, researchers hope to unlock new ways to detect diseases at an earlier stage and identify demographics that are most at risk.

Volunteers are asked to complete a consent form and a health and lifestyle questionnaire before arranging an appointment to collect a small blood sample, where they can receive feedback on aspects of their health, including blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

AgencyUK have been working with Our Future Health since their public launch, planning and executing targeted marketing campaigns in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield and London aimed at raising brand awareness among the general public. The campaigns leverage creative and messaging that references specific health challenges most commonly faced by the population in each region.

They have been activated across multiple digital channels including social and advertising, as well as out of home with the aim of reaching a broad audience across a range of demographics. Out of home placements have included public transport, print and digital posters.

“We are really pleased with early results of the AgencyUK campaign, and we are seeing great levels of engagement across the various formats and platforms. The out of home executions have been high-impact and well targeted in support of our regional hubs. All of this has been delivered at pace and always with an eye on our next location. AgencyUK has added a lot of value to our communications activity as well as being a really decent bunch of people to work with,” says Peter Wilson, Strategic Communications Lead, Our Future Health UK.

“We are delighted to have been part of hitting the first milestone and that the programme is on track for building one of the largest health databases in the world, but we are just at the beginning and there remains a lot to do. Maintaining a high level of national exposure over the period and using creativity to maintain the public interest will be the challenge, but it’s one we’re prepared for,” says Amy Mansourpour, Director, AgencyUK.

The impressive milestone comes just 6 months on from the programme piloting in four Boots pharmacies, and two months since the first regional hub was opened in Leeds.

Since then, hubs have opened in Birmingham, Bradford, Huddersfield, London and Manchester, with national expansion into more areas in local Boots pharmacies planned this year.

For more information on the programme, including how you can volunteer to take part yourself, go to

Read the full article here…

If creative businesses and organisations are not made central to the government’s economic plans, the UK’s creative industries risk falling behind international competitors.  

That’s the conclusion of a report by the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee.

Following an inquiry into the future of the UK’s creative sector amid increasing global competition and technology-related disruption, the committee said the government’s approach can be categorised as complacent, missing opportunities and failing to recognise the sector’s commercial potential.

All this, the report said, is despite the following statistics:

The UK is world leading in many specialisms within the creative industries, the committee said, but rapid technological advances are changing the nature of the sector, and international competition is rising.

“We heard mounting concern that the UK’s success was being taken for granted, and increasingly at risk,” the report warned.

Among the committee’s key concerns were the government allowing other countries to create more competitive tax incentives, proposals to relax intellectual property law which threaten creative sector business models and a “perception in government that DCMS [Department for Culture, Media and Sport] is the ‘ministry of fun’ rather than a key driver of economic growth”.

Julia Lopez MP, media and data minister within DCMS, referenced the “ministry of fun” description during the inquiry. She said:

“I want it to be understood as the ministry of a major economic growth area, future technologies … it is incredibly important that we do not try to diminish the public perception of what are fundamentally important industries and ones where the UK has a real competitive advantage.”

📢Out now: our report on the UK’s creative industries, covering
👉How technology is disrupting the sector
👉How the UK’s world-leading position is at risk
👉How Government policy can harness the sector’s potential to turn it into an engine of growth


— Lords Communications and Digital Committee (@LordsCommsCom) January 17, 2023

Recommendations to support the UK’s creative industries

The committee made several recommendations including:

The recommendations mirror a report released last September by Bristol Creative Industries which also called for action on R&D tax relief and skills.

Baroness Stowell of Beeston, chair of the Communications and Digital Committee, said:

“The UK’s creative industries are an economic powerhouse and have been a huge success story. But the fundamentals that underpin our success are changing, and rivals are catching up. The government’s failure to grasp both the opportunities and risks is baffling.

“International competitors are championing their creative industries and seizing the opportunities of new technology. But in the UK we’re seeing muddled policies, barriers to success, and indifference to the sector’s potential. We acknowledge the government has introduced important programmes in recent years, but we are concerned past success has bred complacency.

“Our report sets out some immediate challenges that the government can address now.

“These include improving R&D tax policy to stop excluding innovation in the creative sector; abandoning plans to relax intellectual property rules which would undercut our creative businesses; making the Department for Education wake up to the reality that the future lies in blending creative and digital skills rather than perpetuating silos; and urging senior figures across government to take the creative sector’s economic potential more seriously.”

Related content:

A creative force: Unleashing the power of Bristol’s creative industries

What the government should do to support the creative industries

A guide to funding for creative businesses

In summer 2021 we ran an event discussing funding for creative businesses with the south west team at Innovate UK EDGE and a group of Bristol Creative Industries members.

During the discussion, attendees said it would be useful if we could provide regular updates on the finance schemes that are available for creative companies in the south west and beyond. This guide is our response.

The post now is one of Bristol Creative Industries’ most popular ever blog posts. We keep it updated with the latest funding schemes for creative businesses so check it regularly. We also include the post in our monthy email newsletter, BCI Bulletin. To sign up, go here.   

Latest funding for creative businesses:

Creative Catalyst 2023

Micro and small businesses in the UK creative industries sector can apply for funding up to £50,000 with a package of support to grow their business.

Proposals must demonstrate clear benefits for the UK creative industry and the wider UK economy with a focus on a clear opportunity and the proposed innovation which addresses it.

Eligible projects must start by 1 June 2023, end by 30 November 2023 and last between three and six months.

Applicants must not have previously received funding from Innovate UK.

Applications are open until 11am on Wednesday 15 February 2023.

More details.

DCMS Create Growth Fund

The West of England (with Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly) is one of six regions covered by this scheme via which creative sector micro, small and medium enterprises can apply for funding of between £10,000 and £30,000 for innovation projects to grow their business.

The other regions are:

Proposals must focus on a clear growth opportunity and the proposed innovation to address it as well as demonstrating the impact funding and support can have on the growth plan of your business.

Projects must also start by 1 June 2023, end by 31 December 2023 and last between three and six months.

Applicants must not currently be in receipt of public funding for business growth

Applications are open until 11am on Wednesday 8 February 2023.

More details.

Catalysts and Connectors: Tools for the Creative Industries

This programme by MyWorld, in partnership with Digital Catapult and funded by UKRI Strength In Places, is a 16-week acceleration programme targeted at developers, creative studios, start-ups, and scale-ups in the West of England.

Successful applicants will explore innovative tooling solutions addressing industry challenges relating to the creation, delivery and assessment of experiences.

It includes up to £50,000 to develop a challenge focused proof-of-concept prototype or innovation to extend an existing project and supporting material.

Applications close on Monday 13 March 2023.

More details.

Bristol Council vacant commercial property grant scheme

Bristol Council is offering grants of between £2,500 and £10,000 to organisations taking on a new city centre or local high street commercial property.

The funding is open to businesses, charities, CICs, sole traders and arts and culture groups for both long term and temporary/meanwhile use.

Organisations must employ fewer than 50 people, have a turnover of £10.2m or less, and a balance sheet showing £5.1m or less.

Funding can be used for structural works to a property or equipment to be used in the property (capital expenditure). The funding needs to be matched by 20%.

Applications are open until 12pm on Friday 31 March 2023.

More details here.

Creative Growth Finance

Creative Growth Finance from Creative UK provides scale-up finance to creative businesses. Loans of £100,000 – £1m with fixed interest rates from 7% – 15% are available.

Eligibility rules include:

More details here.

Arts & Culture Impact Fund

This new £23m social impact investment fund is for socially driven arts, culture and heritage organisations registered and operating in the UK. It offers loans between £150,000 and £1m repayable until May 2030.

More details here.

New £200m South West Investment Fund

In the October 2021 spending review, former chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new £200m fund for businesses in the South West.

Delivered by the British Business Bank, it will provide loans from £25,000 to £2m and equity investment up to £5m.

The fund will launch in Spring 2023 and cover Bristol, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire.

More details here.

Internationalisation Fund

The Department for International Trade is offering match-funded grants of between £1,000 and £9,000 to businesses in England (applications for businesses in London have closed).

The fund can be used to support areas including:

More details here.

The Elephant Trust

The Elephant Trust says its mission is to “make it possible for artists and those presenting their work to undertake and complete projects when frustrated by lack of funds. It is committed to helping artists and art institutions/galleries that depart from the routine and signal new, distinct and imaginative sets of possibilities.”

Grants of up to £5,000 are available. Applications for the latest round of applications close on 23 January 2023.

More details here.

Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants

Grants of up to £100,000 are available for arts, libraries and museums projects.

The grants support a broad range of creative and cultural projects that benefit people living in England. Projects can range from directly creating and delivering creative and cultural activity to projects which have a longer term positive impact, such as organisational development, research and development, and sector support and development.

More details here.

UKRI Circular fashion programme: recycling and sorting demonstrator

UK registered businesses can apply for a share of up to £4m for a demonstration of innovative technologies, services and processes for the UK’s fashion and textile sector.

The application deadline is 11am on 11 January 2023.

More details here.

Innovation Loans Future Economy Competition

UK registered businesses can apply for loans for innovative projects with strong commercial potential to significantly improve the UK economy.

Applications close at 11am on 11 January 2023.

More details here.

Innovate UK Smart Grants

UK registered organisations can apply for a share of up to £25m for game-changing and commercially viable R&D innovation that can significantly impact the UK economy.

Applications close at 11am on 18 January 2023.

More details here.

Start Up Loans

A Start Up Loan is a government-backed unsecured personal loan for individuals looking to start or grow a business in the UK. Successful applicants also receive 12 months of free mentoring and exclusive business offers.

All owners or partners in a business can individually apply for up to £25,000 each, with a maximum of £100,000 per business.

The loans have a fixed interest rate of 6% p.a. and a one to five year repayment term. Entrepreneurs starting a business or running one that has been trading for up to three years can apply. Businesses trading for between three and five years can apply for a second loan.

More details here.

Developing your Creative Practice

This fund from Arts Council England supports individual cultural and creative practitioners in England thinking of taking their practice to the next stage through things such as: research, time to create new work, travel, training, developing ideas, networking or mentoring.

Grants of between £2,000 and £10,000 are available. Applications for the latest round of funding are open until 17 January 2023.

More details here.

UnLtd funding for social entrepreneurs

If you’re running a creative social enterprise you may be able to access funding from UnLtd.

Finance of up to £5,000 is available for starting a social enterprise and up to £15,000 for growing a social enterprise.

Successful applicants also get up to 12 tailored business support plus access to access to expert mentors and workshops.

More details here.

Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Businesses can apply for up to £3,500 to cover the costs of installing gigabit broadband.

Check if the scheme is available in your area here.

Help to Grow: Digital

The government scheme provides a discount of up to 50% or £5,000 (excluding VAT) towards the cost of buying approved software.

More details here.

€144.5m Horizon Europe Funding

European research and innovation funding includes opportunities for the UK cultural heritage and creative industries, with over €144.5m available. Despite the UK leaving the EU,  the government announced the UK will associate to Horizon Europe. This means UK scientists, researchers and businesses can access funding under the programme on equivalent terms as organisations in EU countries.

More details here.

Know of more funding and support for creative businesses?

If you know of another scheme that we haven’t listed and you’d like to share it with other creative businesses, email Dan to let us know.

The Effectiveness Series: Building confidence and better business performance in times of uncertainty

Join a three-part workshop programme to help you change you mindset and behaviour so you are better equipped to navigate through change. Sign up here.


2022 was a pretty transformative year for Keep Art It.

Special thanks to:

Director Douglas Karson highlights:

We’re thrilled to bits about what’s coming next!

Building communities of global thinkers and explorers around the world, Bayswater combines two of life’s greatest adventures: education and travel. Bayswater is an international educational provider on a mission to educate and inspire the next generation through a life-changing educational experience. 

Following their acquisition of Eurocentres – a renowned language school, and opening new campuses in locations around the world, Bayswater approached Fiasco Design with the brief to capture their progressive outlook on education; to challenge the status quo; and design a visual brand that is fit for the expansion of the business. 

We were tasked with developing an identity that is dynamic, progressive and optimistic, a fresh take for an educational brand. Harnessing the spirit of adventure, the brand idea celebrates travel and Bayswater’s global community.” – Ben Steers, Co-founder and Creative Director, Fiasco Design.

A suite of bold, colourful patterns are the backbone of the visual identity, reflecting the vibrant and diverse community taking a bold leap into new experiences. Whilst the brand palette and typographic system works to capture the aspirational and energetic tone of the brand. 

The logo with its coloured pathways represents students of different backgrounds following their own unique pathway; uniting in the Bayswater community to be a part of something greater.

Typeface Fann Grotesque helps to ground the playful visual identity, giving the brand name a characterful, yet trustworthy feel. A reassuring nod to parents. 

Meanwhile, photography is intended to feel active and optimistic. Celebrating individual personalities, the imagery is inclusive of a diverse global community of students.

The end result is a spirited brand that inspires the next generation to embark on the educational adventure of a life-time.  

“We established Bayswater in 2017, but after rapid expansion and the integration of a variety of legacy industry brands, we wanted a reset and to double down on the Bayswater name with an exciting new brand canvas. It’s been great working with Fiasco on our full rebrand. We have appreciated the process, it’s been very collaborative and it’s very exciting to see the new look come to life across so many different platforms and formats.” – Stephan Roussounis, Founder and Managing Director, Bayswater. 

You can read the full case study here.

As 2022 draws to a close we’re delighted to be ending the year with top-line growth of +40%. We’ve welcomed major new clients and projects including, Bristol Innovations, Loughborough School of Business & Economics, premium plant-based nutrition brand Vivo Life, Made Smarter Innovation, Medi-Tech innovator Radii Devices and law firm TLT. 

We moved to a new home in Engine Shed in March, the natural location for our focus on scaling innovative organisations. From here we continue to support leadership teams in this enterprising region which recorded an investment flow of £1.1bn in 2021 – putting it into the top 20 in Europe. 

Moving into 2023, we’ll continue to work alongside The University of Bristol, developing its commercial quantum offering, The Enterprise Sessions and other projects. 

And our ongoing relationship with Vittoria, the world’s most advanced bicycle tyre company, has also flourished and we’ll continue to support the leadership team on global brand development. Notable achievements this year include supporting the launch of the 5-hectare Vittoria Park next to the brand’s HQ in Brembate Italy and advertising projects including the benchmark-busting OWN THE UNKNOWN campaign which brought about a collaboration with the Velosolutions team and percussionist Ian Chang.

We also captured the spirit of the brand for internal and external audiences with their Manifesto film.

“It’s been a fantastic year for Firehaus. We’ve worked with some inspirational people throughout 2022 who have maintained a visionary approach to the role of their organisation – even in these difficult times. Each of them is changing the world for the better and it’s great supporting them in that endeavour. We’re super-excited about what’s to come!”
Ian Bates – Founder and Creative Partner

We asked Bristol Creative Industries members to tell us what they think culture secretary Michelle Donelan should do to support creative businesses.

Joanna Randall, managing director, Purplefish (see the Purplefish BCI profile here):

“The creative industries in the UK have the potential to be at the forefront of the new government’s push and focus for economic growth. Populated by ambitious entrepreneurs who thrive on commercial success, the industry is the powerhouse which fuels so many other sectors to flourish.

“However, while there is sustained and significant support for some parts of the creative sector – notably gaming technology, AI and the film industry – the wider creative sector businesses do not get access to this and have been left to weather the rollercoaster of the last three years coping with the pandemic, Brexit and inconsistent government leadership. The wider creative sector has not had the benefit of the same support offered to hospitality and retail.

“Indeed, creative agencies including marketing, design, advertising, digital and communications continue to increase in number in the UK but support in the form of tax credits, grants and targeted investment does not match what our colleagues in the technology and film sectors experience.

“The other area where our industry is facing an enormous challenge is in skills and staff. There are estimated to be 40% more marketing jobs in the UK compared to 2021 (source: Association of Professional Staffing Companies and Vacancysoft). We are facing a skills shortage like never before and without investment in talent programmes and awareness raising of opportunities and career paths into creative careers our future industry growth will be significantly thwarted.

“Tangible and accessible support is now vital for our sector and by extension, the wider UK economy; without the pervasive services our industry provides to every UK business sector new government economic growth targets will not be achieved.”

Matthew Pink, brand director, BASE (see BASE’s BCI profile here):

“Bristol and the South West are often rightly considered a hub for tech entrepreneurialism and innovation. However, an overlooked aspect of the region is that it is also a hub for brands and businesses who blend competencies across the culture secretary’s exact remit (digital, culture, media and sport) to promote healthy and active lifestyles.

“The UK has a mental health crisis and obesity crisis putting huge pressure on an already buckling NHS. Contemporary and forward-thinking media brands in the adventure and outdoors activity space like us at BASE, Global Cycling Network and brands like Bike Radar at Immediate Media, use smart creativity, digital media and sport culture insight to drive participation and deeper awareness of the benefits of an active lifestyle in the outdoors.

“The problems the government faces are intertwined and interrelated across its different departments. I would urge the new culture secretary to support businesses which harness the elements of her department’s remit to support positive societal change, not just profit.”

Catherine Frankpitt, director, Strike Communications (see Strike Communications’ BCI profile here):

“As the recent Bristol Creative Industries Creative Force report shows, the creative industries include many freelancers, sole traders and micro businesses, who collectively make an enormous contribution to the UK’s creative output and achievements. Yet we are often overlooked when it comes to government support and recognition of the value we bring.

“As we saw during the pandemic, many of us were excluded from schemes such as furlough, and so far, there is very little mention of specific help during this cost of living crisis. We would like to work with the government to find solutions that are tailored to work for us.”

Tom Vaughton, founder and manging director, Varn (see Varn’s BCI profile here):

“We would love to see Michelle Donelan focus on building awareness and championing the South West as a hub of creativity and excellence across digital marketing, as well as promoting our area as a destination of outstanding creative employment opportunities.

“We want future leaders in our industry to look outside of London and be excited by the prospect of working in outstanding creative businesses in our area, as well as the joy of living in beautiful places to enhance their wellbeing and quality of life.”

If you’re a Bristol Creative Industries member and you’d like to add a comment, email Dan.

Related content:

How can creative businesses deal with rising costs?

A creative force to be reckoned with: Unleashing the power of Bristol’s creative industries

What does the government’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan mean for the creative industries?

Creative industries can be ‘a catalyst for post-pandemic recovery’

Natalie Howells, Armadillo’s Senior Conceptual Copywriter, recently spoke to Little Black Book about being creative within constraints, opportunities to make customers feel loved and why they don’t mind helpful use of their data. 


LBB: What’s the number one question that clients are coming to you with when it comes to how they can better use data to enhance the creativity of their content and experiences?

Natalie: How to use data to enable connected, relevant customer experiences across channels and throughout the funnel. And how to use that data in a creative and compelling way to enhance the brand experience.


LBB: How can you make sure that data is elevating creative rather than forming a windtunnel effect and knocking all the interesting or unique edges off that make something distinctive?

Natalie: This is one of the areas I’m especially passionate about. I know some creatives worry that the data will create homogeneity and pull us away from the more interesting and unique parts of creativity. I disagree.

Data will absolutely give us a direction, but so will plenty of other things – clients will have a direction they want to follow, and laws and regulations impose barriers to what we can and can’t do. So, we should all be used to being creative within some constraints. But, more importantly, data doesn’t actually constrain us – if we’re clever in how we use it, it can spark new ideas, breathe life into old ones, and validate approaches we may not have been able to try before. It’s up to us as creatives to let the data inspire us rather than discourage us.


LBB: Can you share with us any examples of projects you’ve worked on where the data really helped boost the creative output in a really exciting way?

Natalie: We created an anniversary campaign for McDonald’s, where app-users would receive a personalised email celebrating their use of the app for the prior 12 months. We used data to identify the times of day that people preferred to order, the channels they used the most, and their most popular menu item.

Then we presented this is an interactive email where the user could expand content panels to find out how their results compared to the rest of the UK. An individual might receive an email dubbing them a ‘Night owl orderer’ and a ‘Drive-thru and thru-er’, along with an offer and personalised menu suggestions.


LBB: More brands are working to create their own first party data practice – how can a brand figure out whether that’s something that is relevant or important for their business? 

Natalie: I think the question is ‘what brand wouldn’t want a first party data practice’? It’s relevant to everyone. Think about it – if you could create an audience of your most engaged and most valuable customers, what could you do with it?

First party data gives us an audience that have explicitly indicated their interest in a brand. The data gives us opportunities to make those customers feel loved and appreciated. It enables us to make media, across all areas, more focused and efficient. And it helps us develop relationships by giving real value to our customers.


LBB: We talk about data driving creativity, but what are your thoughts about approaching the use of data in a creative way?

Natalie: I think the possibilities are endless. One of my favourite books is Information is Beautiful, which presents data in visually stunning ways. It takes raw data and presents it in a way that is not only easy to understand, but is designed with a clever nod to what the data represents. Spotify uses its listener data in really fun ways – some of its billboard campaigns over the years have taken data and used it not only to create entertaining copy, but also create some personalisation even in a broad public setting. It’s not just about graphs and charts – data can create incredibly compelling stories.


LBB: “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” – how can brands and creative make sure that they’re really seeing what they think they’re seeing (or want to see) in the data, or that they’re not misusing data?

Natalie: One way to have faith in the data is to continually test it. In fact, it’s one of the things that we at Armadillo have a whole workstream covering. We test our assumptions constantly, and often find the data comes out differently than we predicted. The more you experience that, the less likely you are to see what you’re looking for rather than what’s there. Plus, it adds the fun of trying to figure out what’s really going on and why your assumptions were wrong. Another key thing is to start with the data or at least start with a question, rather than trying to find data that supports an idea you want to pursue. That way, you’re looking for an answer that will tell you whether that idea works or not, or using data to spark an idea, rather than misusing the data to your own ends.


LBB: What are your thoughts about trust in data – to what extent is uncertainty and a lack of trust in data (or data sources) an issue and what are your thoughts on that?

Natalie: One of the great things for us about working in CRM is that our audience is made up of people who have opted to give us their data. The important thing after that is treating their data with security and respect. If data is misused or used in ways not agreed, then of course consumers will lose trust (as they should).

Appropriate data governance is vital – as is delivering on the promise you gave when you were granted access to that data in the first place. There’s a value exchange at play, and it’s absolutely imperative that any brands meets the expectations of that exchange to ensure consumers don’t lose trust.


LBB: With so many different regulatory systems in different markets regarding data and privacy around the world – as well as different cultural views about privacy – what’s the key to creating a joined up data strategy at a global level that’s also adaptable to local nuances?

Natalie: The key here is doing nothing in isolation. Most companies need an infrastructure that is joined up, but we have to always keep in mind that one size fits one, not all. Starting with a minimum viable product that works broadly, allows you to then use local experts indifferent markets to adapt that starting point to the needs of each activation market. Localisation is essential and working with local experts is key to getting it right. Never assume anything.


LBB: What does a responsible data practice look like?

Natalie: Secure, transparent, fair, ethical. The core of any data practice is security – best in class security systems from a technological point of view, and excellent data management from a personnel perspective. People should only have access to the data they need and nothing extra. Transparency is crucial, especially when consumers are rightly concerned about what is being done with their data. An easy to find and easy to read data or privacy policy is really important part of this.


LBB: In your view, what’s the biggest misconception people have around the use of data in marketing?

Natalie: That people hate their data being used at all.

There’s a line between being helpful and being intrusive, and when marketing uses data well, consumers aren’t against it as many think. If a consumer is interested in something on an ecommerce website and gets a discount code for that item, that’s using their data in a way that benefits them. People don’t hate that. What they hate is their data being sold to other companies, being spammed with irrelevant communications, and feeling like a commodity. The trick is in finding that balance. As I’ve mentioned, it’s about a value exchange. If someone gives you valuable data – like their email address or buying habits – they expect something equally valuable in return.


LBB: In terms of live issues in the field, what are the debates or developments that we should be paying attention to right now? 

Natalie: The ongoing developments in regulations, particularly around privacy. Given that they’re continually changing, understanding what consent means at any given time is a development that needs to be monitored constantly. We know that passive opt in and implied consent are no longer enough, and that ‘legitimate interest’ is constantly being tested. Keeping up with these developments is vital, and each change to the regulations makes it clear that it’s becoming more and more important to have first party data.



Article first published on 21/10/22 by Little Black Book.

UWE Bristol has unveiled its new immersive Sound Shower experience at Bristol’s Cribbs Causeway and Cabot Circus. Showing a mesmeric snapshot of campus life, the film was created by Skylark Media.

Filming took place at the university’s Frenchay campus and city with the support of student contributors. Multiple locations include the Atrium cafe, Centre for Sport, student union, library, as well as at the Arnolfini in the city centre.

The UWE Bristol sound shower experience at the Mall at Cribbs.

Stephanie Lee, Marketing Communications Manager at UWE Bristol says, ‘This is a really exciting film project with Skylark Media where we’re creating a film for a specific sound shower unit which will sit in Cabot Circus and Cribbs Causeway shopping centres to promote the university and bring campus life to the people of Bristol, so they can get a real immersive experience and sense of what it’s like to study here on our campuses.’

Skylark Media MD Jo Haywood adds, ‘For a unique out of home experience, we came up with a fully immersive concept using an Insta 360 camera on an extendable pole. It sits within the stitch line which then becomes invisible in post-production. The result is a fully immersive film that mimics a FPV drone – flying around from location to location or locking into subjects for detail. Diegetic sound is added in so that the viewer can eavesdrop into those private moments.’

You can experience UWE Bristol’s immersive Sound Shower at Cribbs Causeway or Cabot Circus this month.