Get customer experience right first time

marketing and customer insight seminars

Bigwave Media and Leisure-net Solutions are launching Insight 2015, a new series of marketing and customer insight seminars.

Designed to provide attendees with the tools needed to enhance the marketing, customer experience and business decisions they make, the seminars will take place on 10th March 2015 at Orford Park in Warrington, and 11th March at K2 in Crawley.

Insight 2015 is aimed at customer insight specialists and strategic marketers, as well as senior managers, decision makers and directors working in the active leisure sector. The seminars will be endorsed by CIMSPA to Level 7 standard, and will be delivered to their Professional Qualifications Framework – ‘Manage the development of products and services’.

The Insight seminars will cover everything marketers and managers need to know to dramatically improve their customer insight and turn customer data into intelligence. We will focus on performance-based data and research techniques, social media insight and web analytics.

The one-day seminars will also look into markets & ROI, from socio-demographics & benchmarking to sales & attrition targets, and drill down into how exactly organisations can make their customers’ experience a great one.

Tickets cost £50 per person, £40 for CIMSPA members. For place availability and registration please contact

Posted in Business Development, Digital, Digital Marketing, Google, Leisure, Leisure industry, News, Reporting, Social Media | Comments Off

Exeter Business Games

It’s that time of year again when we are preparing for the launch of this year’s Exeter Business Games – the annual team-building event for Exeter-based businesses, held every summer throughout May and June.  Each year, the Games plays host to a number of employees who compete in 8 events including Tag Rugby, Clip ‘N’ Climb and Pub Quiz, in a battle to push their company to the top of the leaderboard.

Whilst raising funds for The Exeter Foundation is a fundamental feature of the increasingly popular Games, the series of events also provides key opportunities for participants to network, develop positive team relationships and experience a great sense of morale as they enjoy participating in fun activities outside of the workplace.

Having grown in success year-on-year (the Games have raised nearly £20,000 for The Exeter Foundation in the past 3 years), a new initiative sees the Games becoming nationwide in the near future, with events taking place all over the country. The UK Business Games will follow Exeter’s approach, proudly welcoming Jo Pavey – Olympic runner and recent runner-up of the 2014 Sports Personality of the Year Award – as its ambassador.

The launch of this year’s Exeter Business Games will take place on 29th January 2015 at The Mercure Exeter Southgate Hotel.


To register your company’s interest in the 2015 Exeter Business Games, please email or call 0845 643 2385.

To register your interest in the UK Business Games, visit the official website and complete the contact form.


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Bigwave Media recognised by recommended agency register

Recommended Agency Register

We are delighted to have achieved Recommended Agency status for the second year running with national body the Recommended Agency Register (RAR).

Our clients have rated us highly and we now appear on the online Register; which collates client recommended marketing agencies from across the UK. The ratings are decided from a score out of one hundred for each service provided and a score out of one hundred for seven key criteria: client service; creativity/innovation; effectiveness; strategic thinking; value for money; on time; on Budget.

The recognition comes at an exciting time for us. We recently acquired local Exeter based agency, Digibug; building on our strategy to expand our service delivery teams and offer our clients the very best service.

A BIG thank you to all clients whom rated us, we’re really pleased to be included in the register – thank you!

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The Changing Face of Christmas Campaigns

With the first televised John Lewis Christmas advert being broadcast only 6 years ago, it’s hard to believe that what is now considered to be one of the UK’s most anticipated Christmas ad campaigns is actually little more than a modern phenomenon. But with increasing popularity, media hype and campaign spending (often exceeding £7m each year), the iconic Christmas ad campaign is fast becoming as much of a festive tradition as opening the first window of the advent calendar.

In the wake of this year’s biggest Christmas ad campaign launches from the likes of John Lewis, Sainsbury’s and Coca-Cola, we explore the latest campaign staples that are allowing marketers to successfully evolve and get it right – time and time again.

Emotional appeal:

Marketers have gradually mastered the art of harnessing raw emotions associated with the festive season – from joy and excitement to nostalgia and gratitude – and conveying them in commercials with the intention to create maximum emotional impact amongst viewers. Watch Sainsbury’s 2014 Great War themed “Christmas is for Sharing” ad and it becomes clear that – as hard-hitting and tear-jerking as it may be, the overriding message is that humanity can exist even during the toughest of times. For many viewers, this converts into a lasting reaction of immense pride and gratitude.

By frequently snubbing the “glitz and glamour” approach which often involves celebrity endorsement, marketers are instead opting to appeal to the masses with stripped-back, meaningful stories that everyone can relate to. 2013’s M&S ad featuring British fashion models Rosie Huntington-Whitely and David Gandy is thought to have lost the battle of the Christmas campaigns due to viewers struggling to believe that such celebrities would really shop at the high street store. Big brands are instead getting back to basics and saying, “Hey, we’re all the same”. The result? A warm fuzzy feeling towards the brand, perfectly in keeping with Christmas spirits of goodwill and cheer. It seems to be working for John Lewis, with 14,500 people reportedly shedding a tear over this year’s “Monty the Penguin” Christmas advert.

“Guess the brand”:

Whilst advertising campaigns traditionally involve promoting products/services in a generally explicit nature, Christmas campaigns are becoming a common exception to the rule. The festive season often sees big high street and supermarket brands adopting an alternative approach, focussing on an unrelated story using an unbranded creative to promote the “feel-good factor”. This is then associated with the brand, rather than the other way round.  John Lewis for example has gradually weaned itself off brand name-dropping throughout its Christmas ads in recent the years, keeping viewers speculating over who is responsible for the campaign until the big reveal during the last second.

Integrated presence:

A significant step up in the world of Christmas ad campaigns – and arguably the main reason behind the growing hype – is the digital environment that so many Christmas campaigns are thriving in. In recent times, brands behind the most eagerly awaited Christmas campaigns have bucked yet another tradition of debuting their ads on TV, instead choosing to release their latest seasonal campaign for the first time via online platforms. This year M&S did just that, launching its “Magic and Sparkle” Christmas ad via its YouTube channel with Twitter and Facebook users waiting on tenterhooks to share their thoughts.

For truly integrative campaigns, brands have utilised every possible channel to maximise exposure. From in-store interactive technology to featuring in an episode of Channel 4’s Gogglebox, John Lewis has once again trumped expectations. Dropping hints via clever PR stunts months before the launch of its Monty the Penguin campaign, the high street chain delivered unexplained penguin toys to journalists and scattered “#MontythePenguin” billboard clues throughout London Underground stations. Confusion and curiosity created the urge to tweet, post, Instagram and blog about the events, fuelling the pre-launch fire. So, have all the multi-platform efforts been worth it? It may be too early to say, but if the reported £96m sales figure during the week of the campaign launch (a 5% increase on last year) and the 18.5 million YouTube views one month post-release are anything to go by, the answer is yes.

Bigwave media offers a range of campaign management services including planning, execution and analysis. To find out more get in touch, or tweet us @bigwavemedia.

Image source:

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Marketing agency expands with local acquisition

Digibug joins Bigwave media

Bigwave Media, an Exeter based full service marketing agency, has announced the acquisition of Digibug, an Exeter based design and digital agency.

Digibug will be integrated into Bigwave Media, bringing a wealth of design and web experience and a shared passion for creative thinking. All Digibug staff transfer across to Bigwave Media and grows the team to 38.

Benn Davis, MD at Bigwave Media said “Both agencies share similar values; from the client experience to growth in digital services and technology. Bringing together both agencies builds on our strategy to expand our service delivery teams and accelerate entry routes into new markets.”

Lee Potter, founder of Digibug, who joins Bigwave Media as Creative Director said: “We are excited to join Bigwave Media, this move brings a host of benefits to Digibug customers, widening the range of services available and providing the support of an agency with a strong UK footprint and network.

Bigwave Media was founded in 2006 and with a portfolio of over 200 clients across the UK and Ireland the agency has quickly become established as one of the South West’s leading agencies.

RAR recommended and with a strong reputation, the agency delivers integrated campaigns and marketing services to business across a range of industries. Among the new services now available to Digibug clients are; PPC, mobile apps, SMS marketing, marketing support, mystery shopping and Virtual Tours.

Click here to view Bigwave media services


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6 Ways to grow your LinkedIn Connections

Our last post addressed the rise (and undeniable importance) of social media engagement; but what happens when you need to reach clients using a far more targeted and in-depth approach? LinkedIn provides an online network specifically for businesses, which allows you to really get stuck into current activity within your industry – and – as your connections grow, so will your online presence.

We’ve come up with 6 key ways you can go about expanding your list of connections.

1. Engage your employees

Your first port of call for growing your connections list is right on your doorstep. Give your loyal employees a real reason to connect with you as opposed to just being another box to tick when filling their own LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn’s Best Practices Blog states that “Employees are 70% more likely to engage with your company updates.” Use this to your advantage and provide useful content that will encourage them to spread the word amongst their own contacts – after all, who better to help promote your company, than your company!

2. Get talking!

By regularly* (note italics) starting conversations and becoming involved in LinkedIn discussions, you will naturally boost your SEO ranking, direct crucial audience members towards your profile and gain credibility in your field. Speak out about the industry, current news topics and your company’s views and your business network will come to life.

*Let’s address this issue of regular activity. Noticing that the most recent ‘monthly’ post on a LinkedIn company page was from July 2008 is a huge warning beacon for profile viewers that you aren’t worth following. Remind your connections that you haven’t vanished off the face of the earth by keeping your content up to date – and make sure that your profile settings are switched to “notify your network”, or all your updates will go under the radar!

3. Join groups

For privacy reasons, LinkedIn does not allow its users to connect with people who have no existing contacts in common with them. By joining groups of interest, LinkedIn will allow you to start connecting with other members of the group as well as following and contributing to relevant discussions.

For example, if you are in the leisure industry, joining the “Fitness and Health Professionals” group will allow you to connect with any of its 56,564 members and receive daily or weekly updates centred on the topic of health and fitness. Keeping up to date with competitors and what’s going on in the industry can keep you ahead of the game and provide you with inspiration for your next engaging post…

4. Showcase

LinkedIn offers a great facility which enables you to clearly map out your business structure to prospective contacts. Users will be able to easily connect the dots between parent companies, partnerships, trusts, and other business relationships. Take advantage of this. The more backlinks the parent company creates between its subsidiaries, the more each party will benefit from shared connections.

5. Presentation

Make the most of LinkedIn’s key features and fill your profile so that no stone is left unturned when inputting your company information. Use your branding where possible – especially in your profile icon, so that users experience brand continuity across all of your online platforms. Treat your page as if it is your website and your brand identity – and your network – with thrive.

6. Promote

Finally – be bold and venture outside of the LinkedIn bubble. By distributing your LinkedIn profile across various channels; your email signature, prominent locations on your website, other social media profiles and any promotional activity you become involved with; you can start to create vital backlinks which will direct more users to your profile.

Bigwave Media offers a range of social media services from training, content and management to campaigns. To find out more get in touch, tweet us @bigwavemedia or follow our very own LinkedIn profile for all the latest.


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3 Top Tips for Social Media Engagement

Social media – can you remember a time when we didn’t wake up and check Twitter or have a look at Facebook on our lunch break?

In recent years it has undeniably been the hot topic for marketing that businesses can’t ignore. But now everyone’s set up those company Facebook pages and corporate Twitter accounts being the first in the industry on social media is no longer enough.

So we’ve put together 3 basic tips you can start today to improve engagement – by that we mean, at a very basic level, getting people to respond not simply follow your account. That may be clicking through, a like, comment, share, retweet, reply…the list goes on.

1. Interact

Social is the key word – you need to listen just as much as you talk. So keep an eye on what people are saying not only about you but industry topics and when appropriate reply, get involved and have your input.

If you have no one to reply to or little interaction pose questions, ask for people’s opinions or feedback and start those conversations. A consistent hashtag will also make these conversations trackable and spread the word. Just remember people want to think they’re talking to a person not a company so keep it informal not corporate.

2. Timing

Real-time marketing – it’s the latest buzz word with digital marketing. Social media is immediate how many times have you found out the latest news from trends of Twitter before the 6 o’clock news?

So it’s fine to schedule those tweets monthly but if something comes up that’s relevant or everyone’s talking about be reactive and have your say, put your twist on it – just look at the success of Oreo’s tweet during the super bowl. If your followers or fans are interacting with you about this they will be exposed to the rest of your content.

The timing of these posts is equally as important – when’s the optimum time to post? Have a look at those Facebook insights and see when people engage the most or do it the traditional way and think about your audience – do teenagers check social media before 8am on a weekend?

3. Value and variety

Good content will always be key. You can do 1 and 2 all you like but if you’re not providing your followers and fans with something worth reading, clicking on, or sharing there’s little point.

Sure, keep it informal but remind people how you can benefit them, spark their interest and give them a reason to read on.

But social media is fundamentally about community it’s not a sales pitch so vary your content. Don’t constantly tweet to get new customers – keep your existing ones informed – we all know retention is more economical than acquisition. This is where visuals can help, so post an Instagram of what’s happening at you’re business or how you’re supporting a local event or national day.

So there you have it – how to kick start your social media engagement and improve that all important reach and awareness. And remember, if you’re not sure how you’re getting on, every social media channel has been getting on the engagement bandwagon with specific analytics and insights.

Bigwave media offer a range of social media services from training, content, management and campaigns. To find out more get in touch or tweet us @bigwavemedia.

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Our first hack event saw staff from across the company take part in collaborative projects as part of a staff training day.

The ‘Hack’ event was designed to breed a creative environment for collaboration, allowing staff to work on a project of their choice and to utlise the skill sets of a broad team. The brief was simple, in fact it was one word… Disrupt.

Staff from the creative studio, account management and digital teams were split into five groups, each with four members. The briefing session elaborated on the brief to give context and some suggested avenues.

As part of the session we looked at companies and industries that have been or are disruptive. They included the likes of :

  • Uber which is disrupting the taxi market – offering a technology led model to aid transportation.
  • Square which is disrupting the merchant banking system by offering card readers connected to smart devices combined with industry low transaction fees.
  • Airbnb which takes hotels out of the picture by giving a platform to anyone wanting to rent a spare bed or property to travellers.
  • Budget gyms which provide heavy competition in the leisure market, basing their business model solely on a low cost offering.

Disruption is arguably inevitable. Look back at most industries and products and the disrupted was once the disruptor. Square is to paypal what paypal was to the banking industry 10 years ago. Go back further and the Barclay card changed the face of transactional loans with the launch of a credit card. Disruption is innovation and often it is driven by either technology or price. As is often the case technology still plays a role in pricing models by streamlining process or offering new insight to drive down costs.

So, armed with a mission to ‘disrupt’ our five teams dispersed, brainstormed, researched, designed and came up with five projects which were presented back to a judging panel. Some came polished some a little rough around the edges, but all sought to solve, innovate or change.

Here’s a round up of the projects:


Team members: Max, Ana, Hayley, Brent
Project name: MusicMelee

In short: MusicMelee will solve music disputes by allowing everyone to contribute to a singular continuous playlist from their own device instantaneously
In depth: The MusicMelee sevice forms a network between all enabled devices in a social situation and requests other platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud etc.) to stream music to a master device which is connected to the soundsystem in an order defined by a communal playlist. Each device acts as a remote playlist compiler connected to all the other devices allowing the full music collection
of the entire group to be accessed without unplugging the soundsystem at any point.


Team members: Dan, Eva, Martin, Sean
Project name: FitNet

In short: A gym network consisting of Big Wave clients
In depth: Designed to partner together leisure and cultural trust across the UK, FitNet aims to foster a network of gyms and leisure facilities where membership to any provider allows access to any of the network facilities. The network would be backed by a website, app and marketing materials and would support the growth of a national leisure network. Aims of the network would also include facility reviews, benchmarking and joined up campaigns.


Team members: Joseba, Liam, Laura, Ronnie
Project name: VCard

In short: A virtual business card for the film and theatre industry based on a smart phone and linked to other App users and presented in the same vein as the old ‘index card’ system.
In depth: The self-employed market in the film and theatre industry is constantly on short-term contracts.
Networking and contacts within this industry are vital but unlike the more efficient B2B folk, scraps of paper and tatty business cards are constantly mislaid. VCard aims to solve this by providing a way to store and retieve contacts. Due to the transient nature of the job there is a constant need to update CV’s, which could be done and viewed via a link on the Virtual Business Card. QR codes would allow teams to instantly collect all attendee cards in one go.


Team members: Tim, Karlie, Rebecca, James
Project name: Moneyspinner

In short: A FREE service directory to put local people in touch with others in their community who can offer a small service for a fee.
In depth: People would receive ratings and reviews according to their services. Services would include: gardening, odd jobs – DIY, babysitting, dog walking, cleaning/ironing, window cleaning. A paid for version of the service to be used by qualified professionals such as electricians, plumber, carers etc


Team members: Wayne, Erika, Luke, Nick
Project name: Qskip

In short: An app to save time on lunch breaks by allowing people to order coffee and food on the go and simply skip the queues
In depth: With a target market of town/city centre retail and office based workers, aged: 18 – 45
 with a disposable income the Qskip app allows the preordering of food or drink from selected vendors. Payments can be taken through the app. The order would be ready for collection at the time specified thus allowing you to skip the queues. Revenue is generated via a small transactional charge and advertising revenues would come from companies being able to promote themselves.

The winning team (by just two points) was Team panda for their Vcard concept. By targeting a specific audience Team Panda had come up with a solution that many in the target market would identify with. This was backed up with some strong research through a survey of the target audience. A good logo proposal and additional artwork to show a demo product gave Team Panda the edge. The Q and A session identified a few potential issues to overcome from revenue streams to copyright or confusion in the brand name already being synonymous with mobile phone contacts but in all the Panda’s just clinched the prize – an extra day of holiday for each team member. Well done Team Panda!

Disruption shows us how industries, and companies in particular, can’t afford to sit still in an increasingly technology led marketplace. At Bigwave Media we’ve invested over the years in new technology and systems to ensure we continue to drive forward and lead on innovation. Our cost model and service delivery quickly established us a market leader when we first launched the company, since then we launched the first mobile app in the Leisure Trust sector and recently invested heavily in a new proofing system we call Proofhub and OnDemand. Proofhub enables clients to proof artwork quicker, easier and more collaboratively while OnDemand gives client a system to self generate on-brand artwork in a couple of clicks.

Catch up on the days events on Twitter or Facebook by searching #BigwaveHack

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Is Social Media becoming part of your personality?

Did you know that 72% of all internet users have some link to social media?

It wasn’t long ago that people were picking up newspapers instead of iPads, Walkman’s instead of iPhones, books instead of a Kindle or even having a face-to-face conversation rather than social updates. But times have changed and you can no longer escape being connected to the world. We find ourselves checking-in at the gym on Facebook or uploading a photo of our indulgent Starbucks hot chocolate to Instagram. But are people growing too accustom to the sharing lifestyle?

The rapid growth of technology in the 21st century has contributed to the unlimited access we now have to our various accounts, whether you’re travelling to work or on holiday. Mark Zuckerberg tends to find out you’re in a relationship quicker than your parents! However, social sharing has become a way of life where it feels necessary to share stories with readers. Believe it or not, 57% of users communicate via social media rather than real life. That explains why we’re always hearing “I’m definitely going to tweet that”!

Question time!
What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Grab a cuppa? Have a Shower? Get some breakfast?
I bet you don’t do any of that! You probably do what most of the population do, instead of getting your morning caffeine fix, you spend your morning scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feed or catching up on Snapchat’s you’ve missed during the night. (Yes, I am one of the many even if I don’t like to admit it!)

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular channels available at our fingertips and how they may be integrated into your personality:

  • Facebook

Facebook has created an open forum where users can share, like and comment with people we have let into our circle of friends.

  • Twitter

Twitter offers a platform for news, politics, travel and gossip, ensuring information is delivered to people in real-time. It offers the ability to connect with celebrities and converse with companies. Where else can you view worldwide trends with a simple #Hashtag?

  • Instagram

Prefer to use images rather than words to keep up-to-date? Instagram is probably the platform for you! Now be honest, how many ‘selfies’ with flattering filters have you shared in the last month?

  • Pinterest

As simple as the title, you pin your interests! Whether it’s a wish list, mood board or bucket list, we’re pretty sure hours have passed whilst searching on this growing platform.

  • LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the industry based channel and essentially an online CV. Work connections, industry trends and job inquiries; LinkedIn is the place to boost your work and education achievements.

Of course there are loads more channels that can be accounted for such as Google + and Foursquare. Whatever your choice of sharing, we ask the question again; is social media becoming part of your personality?

As a business it is important to understand the effectiveness of the online marketing tool. It offers a cost effective and targeted way to engage, inform and promote. For more information about the social media services we offer please visit our webpage

Oh, one last thing…don’t forget to share this blog on social media!

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