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Made Media Ltd

Posted in christmas by Made Media Ltd on December 23rd, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from Made

And so 2011 draws to close. We’re closing our doors today and will be back in full force with more devastating puns from Tuesday 3 January (with a skeleton crew in London from 28-30 December – they’re on 0207 060 6233).

This year has been by far our busiest. We’ve turned out some fantastic work for an ever-growing stable of excellent clients and picked up an award (and another nomination) in the process.

The company has grown, with some new hires and the acquisition of a brand new social media team. In fact, we grew so much that our London team have had to move to a new office (photos coming soon).

We’ll be starting 2012 as an award-winning agency working for clients on three continents. We’ve got big plans for 2012 but, in the meantime, thanks to everyone who’s been a part of Made’s 2011.

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Posted in general by Chris Unitt on December 14th, 2011

Warwick Arts Centre: a case study

We’ve worked with Warwick Arts Centre since 2009 when we were asked to relaunch their main website. In the time since, we’ve worked with their marketing team to provide the digital means to make their work more effective.

Around the office, we often say that they should be used as a case study for how to do this kind digital/marketing integration properly. However, the small team at Warwick Arts Centre spend more time promoting their venue and shows than talking at conferences, so we thought we’d take matters in our own hands and write something about them ourselves.

This post will briefly cover:

• Main website and content management system
• Mobile-friendly website
• Email marketing
• Venue screens
• Facebook integration
• Overall strategy

Introducing Warwick Arts Centre

First of all, for those that don’t know, Warwick Arts Centre is situated at the heart of the University of Warwick in Coventry and is one of the largest arts centres in the UK outside of London, with audiences that number 200,000+ a year. There are five performance venues –  a concert hall, theatre, two studio spaces, cinema and gallery with other creative spaces around the building.

With a programme that spans everything from a classical concert series, independent cinema, theatre, pop music and exhibitions, the Arts Centre’s digital content has to appeal to a diverse audience, 30% of whom are young people under the age of 26.

The main website

This is the foundation for everything that has followed, and a piece of work that we’re very proud of. The site is powered by Backstage, the CMS that we developed specifically to handle the demands of arts centres, especially ones that present a high volume of shows across a variety of venues. Clients always tell us how easy it is to use, but under the hood the programming architecture is correct, the code is clean and it’s SEO friendly too.

Warwick Arts Centre


Backstage also powers all of the other features that we’ve built – either by serving the required information or by bringing additional functionality into the marketing team’s existing workflow.

Mobile site

We’d seen an increase in mobile traffic across many of our clients’ website and were aware that, good as the main website is, the mobile user was not being catered for adequately. The solution was to create a mobile-friendly version of the website that works across operating systems, with most traffic coming from iPhones, followed by Android and Blackberry devices.

Warwick Arts Centre mobile site


The effect on mobile traffic was immediate and has been sustained. This graph shows visits in the months before and after the mobile site’s launch:

Warwick Arts Centre mobile traffic


Impressive, right? We think it’s still one of the better mobile website implementations we’ve seen for an arts organisation, so we were really pleased with how well it went down at the recent Arts Marketing Association conference, where it was used as an example in at least two sessions.

Email marketing

We’ve integrated listings information from Backstage into a set of flexible email templates that make marketing emails visually rich and easier to pull together. A simple system pulls in images, associated information and links to tickets with campaign URLs so they can be properly tracked with Google Analytics.

Screens

Large screens all over Warwick Arts Centre’s foyers display information about current exhibitions, upcoming shows and special offers. In fact, the screens are very flexible – they’re also used to direct people to social media profiles (for instance, reminding people to follow Warwick Arts Centre on Twitter) and will eventually incorporate comments on social media accounts.

Warwick Arts Centre cinema


As with the emails, this information is pulled from Backstage. For instance, when a show is identified as ‘promoted’, a slide is pulled together from available information, images and video. That slide then goes into rotation on the venue’s screens – including in the cinema, where information is shown before screenings.

Facebook

Having got their own house in order with all of the above, attention has moved to social platforms, and Facebook in particular. On the Warwick Arts Centre Facebook Page itself:

• We recently launched a new What’s On tab which links through to the main site for ticket buying. It’s actually a modified version of the mobile site, allowing us to give even greater value for that earlier work
• We’re about to give the page an optional ‘Likegate’ or splash page for the site to coax visitors to Like the Page

Warwick Arts Centre Facebook tab


We’ve done a lot more with Facebook on the main site recently too. When a member of the marketing team uploads information about a new event, they can choose to have a Facebook Event published automatically (saving the effort of doing this separately). We’ve not seen that done anywhere else.

We’ve integrated Facebook Connect, giving people information about their friends’ interactions with the site when they log in. They can also RSVP to Facebook events via the show information pages and see which of their friends are attending.

Strategy

We don’t just react to briefs that we’re given – we’ve developed a good, two-way dialogue with Warwick Arts Centre, scheduling regular strategy review meetings to keep up with what’s happening at the venues. That way, we can check that everything’s working as well as it should do, suggest solutions to any problems the marketing team might have and present any new ideas that we’ve come up with.

This has allowed us (meaning ourselves and the client) to build up all of the above functionality in a measured and strategic manner. And we’ve not stopped yet – this is a work in progress, with more features on the way as we start to look at functionality offered by location-based services and more.

Get in touch

We hope you found this case study interesting. If you’‘d like to talk about how we can work with you in a similar way then please just get in touch.

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Posted in news by Chris Unitt on December 12th, 2011

Town Hall & Symphony Hall

We’re very pleased to announce an upgraded website for Town Hall & Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Town Hall Symphony Hall website


We’ve enjoyed a good relationship with the team at THSH for some time, having built (but not designed) the last version of their website. That was a few years ago now, and we all felt that the design and underlying code needed to be updated.

With full control over the design and build of the site we’ve been able to improve the interface, functionality and UI. The site, which integrates with the existing AudienceView ticketing service, also has more interactive features (such as commenting) and a refreshed design.

We’re really pleased with the new site. Have a look at thsh.co.uk

We’d also recommend you check out the film about THSH that Vermillion Films have put together, called Connecting People to Music:

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Posted in news by Chris Unitt on December 7th, 2011

The Stake

Over the past few months we’ve been developing the website and branding for a fantastic project for youth engagement agency, Livity. It’s been commissioned by Channel 4 Education.

The Stake

It’s called The Stake and aims to get young people thinking about their finances. Not in a boring, traditional way though – it’s much more remarkable and ambitious than that.

The Stake is a unique competition that gives young people the chance to decide how £100,000 is spent AND allows them to turn a bright idea in to a reality.

The site went live a couple of weeks ago and there are now hundreds of great ideas backed by thousands of stakeholders. We’re looking forward to seeing who gets to turn their idea into reality.

We’d like to thank everybody who’s been involved – especially all the young people who have helped to test the site along the way.

Have a look at The Stake, earn some stakes, back some ideas and check out the trailer below:

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