‘Virtual Reality Is An Exciting Route For Brands’

07 Jul 2016 | 11.12 am

‘Virtual Reality Is An Exciting Route For Brands’

Take online marketing out of its silo, says Radical boss Aisling Blake

07 Jul 2016 | 11.12 am

Digital agency Radical is part of Core Media, Ireland’s largest indigenous advertising agency. Aisling Blake has been managing director since 2014.


When was Radical established, how many people are involved, what does the agency do?

Established in 2009, and with a strong heritage in digital media, Radical has evolved over the last seven years into a full service agency that combines meaningful content and creative with targeted placement.

To put it simply, we’re a digital marketing agency.  But we’re also an ideas and innovation company who combine search, media, social, content, creative, and technology to create platforms and solutions that solve real business problems – for today and for the future.

A team of 35 people from a variety of disciplines, we believe that every brand is different and that collaboration is the key to producing truly great work that resonates and, most of all, is effective.


What expectations do users have of brands online?

Above all, online users expect brands to be relevant to them. The time when brands could place their TV ad online and expect to maximise its impact is slowly disappearing. User expectations are now very high when it comes to content and its targeting. The content must be useful and meaningful and it must be placed in the right context.

If users are volunteering information about their likes and dislikes through their online behaviours then they expect the content they are presented with to reflect that.

It is no wonder that ad blocking is on the rise when some brands don’t respect this.  Examples where a banner ad selling a product is presented to someone when they’ve already bought the product or when users are expected to watch two minutes of content with no value exchange are all too common.  Advertisers and their agencies must be in control of this and focus on connecting with people through the right content and context.


What emerging technology in online marketing most excites you?

Not restricted to online marketing, virtual reality is an incredibly exciting route for brands to explore and experiment with over the next 12 months. Mobile phone technology has enabled the rapid growth of virtual reality, putting it in the hands of so many people.

There is an untapped opportunity for brands to create experiences for their customers that only a few years ago were unimaginable. It allows people to become immersed in a brand experience, providing opportunity to interact, which is a very powerful way to connect.

As an early-stage technology, there are challenges with quality and maximising its potential, but it’s time for brands to start testing and exploring, so they can begin to uncover new communications routes that this technology can open for them.



If you could wave a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the world of online marketing?

The one thing I would change in the world of online marketing is that it stops being treated in a silo, separate from other marketing channels and as an afterthought in an overall communications plan.

Brands can only leverage the benefits of online marketing by addressing what role it can play in the communications mix from the very start of an idea.  In fact, now that people spend so much time in the online world surely means that online marketing channels should be at the heart of every plan.

However, this doesn’t mean that online marketing can be effective alone. The best results still come from a layered approach to reaching and engaging with people through multiple routes, at the same time addressing how a core message must be treated differently depending on the channel through which it is experienced.

Considering online marketing from the very beginning of communications planning does require a change in mindset and process in order to be most effective, so it’s not something that can happen overnight.


  • Click here to view 2016 Survey of Digital Agencies in Ireland published in Business Plus magazine

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