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Social Media Portal interview with Neil Cartwright from Million Media on Cross Media 2012

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 01 September 2012

Social Media Portal interview with Neil Cartwright from Million Media on Cross Media 2012

Social Media Portal profiled interview with Neil Cartwright, director at Million Media

Million Media logoSocial Media Portal (SMP): What is your role at Million Media?

Neil Cartwright (NC)
: I'm the Director, I manage our day to day activities.

NC: Briefly, tell us about Million Media (for those that don’t know), what is it and what does the company do?

NC: Million is both a consultancy and an agency that can deliver. I am pioneering in NFC technology and provide consultancy, strategy and implementation. We also perform SEO services for SMEs, helping and educating them on how to deliver the most for their budgets.

SMP: Can you tell us what event you’re going to be on a panel at?

NC: Cross media panel discussion on "How to prove the value of digital marketing to get senior management buy-in" on 03 September 2012 at 10:30 - 11:30 in the Digital & Direct Theatre 2

Chair/Moderator: Nigel Dacre, CEO, Inclusive Digital
Hugh Fletcher, National Digital Manager, Audi
Neil Cartwright, Founder, Million Media
Simon Wakeman, Head of Communications and Marketing, MEDWAY COUNCIL
Neil Morgan, VP Digital Marketing Solutions, ADOBE

Photograph of Neil Cartwright, founder and director of Million MediaSMP: Who are your ideal target audience for the session and what can they hope to take away from panel?

NC: I think anyone in digital or traditional marketing from companies both large & small can hopefully learn something.

SMP: What are you most looking forward to at Cross Media and why?

NC: The diversity of people there will be great. Hearing about the challenges and solutions of people in other industries can help when you develop your own ideas.

SMP: How would you summarise why embedding digital marketing across an organisation is important?

NC: I’ve been in digital marketing since 1997, when I could foresee the impact the internet would have on our daily lives. Back then, most senior management weren’t aware of what digital was, let alone understood terms like cost per click, SEO, analytics etc.

The reason I think digital is still important is because I don’t think we have even scratched the surface of what digital can do. New applications and services are growing at an exponential rate that can build or destroy entire industries overnight.

SMP: What are the low moments of what you’ve been doing so far (and in regards to digital marketing)?

NC: In my early days at a major record company it was demoralising talking to people who not only misunderstood digital, but actively dismissed it as a ‘fad’. Strangely enough, none of those people work there any more!

Today the lows tend to be marketing people who ‘try’ digital, look at the real-world numbers it delivers and subsequently go back to traditional marketing where they’re comfortable with the lack of meaningful numbers and pretend everything is working. Cynical? Me??

SMP: What are the high moments of what you’ve been doing so far (and in regards to digital marketing)?

NC: In 1997 when I first started in digital, virtually everything we did was a ‘World First’. Websites, downloads, streams, ringtones, e-commerce – whatever we did was pioneering and innovative. We did the first webcast, negotiated the first download deal, delivered the first digitised tracks, the first to sell tickets etc.

SMP: How / what has digital marketing changed what you do in terms of your day-to-day job and role (and why)?

NC: I’ve always been on the leading edge of technology so not much has changed. When I introduce NFC to people and tell them it will have a huge impact on their lives, they look at me in the same way as people did in ’97 when I introduced them to the Internet. In this line of work you realise there is a 5-10 year gap between you discovering a new technology and its public acceptance.

SMP: What do you feel the next big step for social media / networks are and what may be the impact upon social search (and how to may be used by businesses)?

NC: Facebook is the current behemoth but I can feel goodwill ebbing away from it the same way it did for MySpace. There is an arrogance creeping in and the moment that happens it opens the door for the next big thing. I still don’t see much commerce happening within social networks – beyond games – so there is ample opportunity here.  And aspects like customer service and real-time chat could also take off within the social networks because nowadays it’s the first place people go to complain.

SMP: What’s going to be the most interesting aspect regarding digital and social media / technology throughout 2012 and into 2013?

NC: In my experience, once the initial rush to join Facebook was over, it has settled in to around two-dozen friends using it on an active basis. There is still a huge opportunity to engage with the many millions who don’t use social media day-to-day. The other interesting thing to see is whether one of the tabloids can fill an entire edition with stories about celebrity tweets.
SMP:  What are your top five predictions for digital marketing throughout 2012 and into 2013?

  • Facebook and Google will continue to suck up the majority of advertising budgets until traditional media can unlock themselves from the old CPM model.

  • Branded video content will continue to take off as original programming moves online.

  • Several industries – newspapers, record labels, estate agents, travel agents to name a few – will realise the true impact of digital hasn’t even started yet. The drop in revenue will become untenable opening the door for new, more efficient entrants.

  • Streaming media will become common place as people move away from ownership.

  • NFC will continue to develop although its impact will probably not be felt for another 3-5 years.

SMP: Best way to contact you and Million Media?

NC: My linkedin profile at

Read more about the panel session, moderator and panel at the Cross Media website and download the Cross Media app (for Android, iPad and iPhone) from 

If you're interested in doing a Social Media Portal (SMP) interview, get in touch.

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