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Industry Insight with Suzanne Linton

Posted 18th February 2010

Welcome to the Industry Insights section of B-Hive. Over the next few months we will be interviewing some of Birmingham’s most successful PR, Marketing, Creative and Digital professionals – the B-Hive employers!

Today Suzanne Linton, Managing Director of Freestyle Interactive is chatting to us about the rise of social media and digital marketing. 

What made you decide to support the B-Hive program?

We feel that becoming involved in the B-Hive scheme is incredibly important for two main reasons. Firstly we want to actively encourage and support all of the new talent emerging from Birmingham universities. We feel it’s important to harness this talent and bring it into the agency world to help the industry grow. This ties in with our second reason for supporting B-Hive, the opportunity of promoting collaboration between agencies. Birmingham has a wealth of creative and marketing companies and we feel it’s important to work together to help create a strong base in the Midlands.

The Birmingham Post recently reported that the recession may open doors for digital marketing do you agree? If so how are you embracing this new business potential?

Well it’s obvious that digital marketing has experienced a recent popularity surge and I’ve certainly noticed that companies are favouring and budgeting more for digital marketing methods. You could suggest that this is due to the recession as digital marketing is an immediate form of marketing which allows companies to focus their efforts where it will make the most difference. As the largest digital agency in the Midlands (NMA Top 100) it’s definitely positive that our new and existing clients are keen to embrace digital marketing, and we're now working with them to create forward plans around social media mapping, reputation management and online PR.

How do you feel the rise of social media has affected your business?  

Social media is certainly the buzzword of the moment and we have experienced increasing interest levels from both existing and new clients about how they can utilize it in their particular industries. Despite its’ popularity it is very important for us to consider it appropriateness for our clients as many businesses still only understand the most prominent sites; Facebook and Twitter.

Over the coming twelve months I believe many businesses and society itself will have to embark on a steep learning curve about to engage with this new media. Growing numbers are socialising, sharing, recommending and reviewing products and services through social media and this fact means brands and organisations need to know how to begin to have their voice there too. This especially applies to the teenage market and how clients engage with that marketplace is crucial. 

Keep checking the B-Hive website for the next interview in our series. If you have any questions that you would us to ask the B-Hive employers then please direct message them to our B-Hive twitter at twitter.com/b_hive

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