Postcard from Barcelona

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Sunrise from the La Salle BES campus

I have spent the last week  in Barcelona teaching a course in interactive marketing, part of the executive training programme ran by La Salle Business & Engineering School. It was an interesting and hectic few days:

  • The Spanish media landscape is huge and complex with over 500 local radio stations throughout Spain
  • Twenty is the Spain’s answer to Facebook: it has three million subscribers and had a high degree of engagement
  • There is a great amount of interest in blogging and ghost-writing of posts is not unknown. Blog sponsorship was cited as a way of being involved in blogging without placing demands on an organisation’s internal resources
  • Being transparent was a huge area of discussion as marketers juggle with the demands often put on them
  • I got a general sense that Spanish marketers were more willing to embrace brand marketing than British marketers
  • There was a sense that Google was too powerful, one agency-side person admitted that they payed more attention to Google’s guidelines than their client’s requirements for a website
  • Like the UK, measurement is a challenge, what’s more many measurement and monitoring services like Radian6 don’t cater for the Spanish-speaking market yet
  • Social and digital media techniques were very much being driving by advertising and marketing agencies, PR agencies generally were seen to ‘not get it’ and were very tactical in their outlook
  • London was perceived as being a creative hotspot, working in London carried a lot of kudos
  • I got asked ‘how long did I think Spain was behind London?’ I don’t think its behind, its just different; it has adopted the web and interactive marketing techniques in a way that makes sense for itself. I look forward to going back in the future and seeing how things change