Me & My Connected Device

Mark Gregory looks back at more career highlights and forward to an exciting future.

You’ve won 22 national and international awards for audio creativity during your career, what was the first ‘gong’ you picked up?

It was an I.L.R. (Independent Radio Awards) Bronze Statue. It was the first award ceremony I’d ever attended, held at the Grosvenor House on Park Lane London, and I had to spend not far off a week’s wages at the time, hiring a tuxedo. My winning ad was a comedy parody of “Pump Up The Volume” by Marrs. I was speechless when my name was read out, but as it happens, that was to be the first of many times.

Both yourself and Get Carter business owner – Paul Carter, had the pleasure of flying out to Los Angeles to work alongside legendary creative radio guru, the late great - Dick Orkin (pictured below) at one of his famous ‘Radio Ranch’ creative workshops. How was that experience?

I’d had the great pleasure of being trained by Dick on at least three occasions that I can think of, but I have to say that spending quality time with him and his team for a series of sessions tailored especially to us and our guest clients, and staying in a hotel right on the beach at Santa Monica, was certainly the highlight.  

The Radio Ranch set the radio creative gold standard for commercials across the USA at the time, using their “DWE” (Dialogue With Experience) brainstorming and writing method. The techniques those radio legends taught us as part of their “Ad-Crafting With Soul” events have proved invaluable over the years, so it was a wonderful experience professionally. Spending a few days ‘at leisure’ in LA afterwards wasn’t too bad either.

Back to Blighty, radio ad revenue and audiences in the UK continue to enjoy growth, what do you make of the latest ‘digital and connected listening figures’ released recently?

Well the RAJAR/MIDAS survey shows that 25% of all listening is now done on some form of connected device. Be that a mobile phone, tablet, desktop, or smart speaker. That’s a huge leap up from a few years ago. It will continue to increase – and quickly. Which means there are huge opportunities both now, and in the future, for marketers to benefit from the “Audio Revolution”. By adding to their brand palettes with anything from sonic id’s and logo’s, to bespoke music and unique brand voices, in what is increasingly becoming an audio-led world. We’re currently doing an on-boarding programme with ‘A Million Ads’ - the world’s leading system for geo-targeted and dynamic personalised audio marketing. They told us that their Smart Speaker delivery has risen from around 12% to 40% in just a year or so. It’s all very exciting.

Mark Gregory