On people and technology

I spend a huge amount of time thinking, having endless discussion with myself in my head, about how technology is impacting people and society. Everyday I witness more examples and scenarios. In an attempt to free up some mind space, I’ve decided to write some of these down. Perhaps others may agree, or think I’m on to something. Maybe someone will want to chat about some of these topics, or point me in the direction of work that provides some semblance of resolution. Here’s what’s swirling around my head at the moment.

Podcasts: the conversations you wished you had?

Podcasts tend to offer deeper thought and greater…


Creating a new app for healthcare professionals

Overview

pulse is a web application designed to assist healthcare professionals with patient communication, progress, and in-turn, satisfaction. Developed for seed-stage start-up Wecudos, I led the research, design, and build of a beta product in five months, as well as creation of the brand, pulse.

The Brief

I was brought in to work with the Founder, an orthopaedic surgeon, and CTO, an experienced iOS Developer, to assess the existing iteration of the Wecudos product. The company had around a dozen existing clients — health practises in London that ranged from physiotherapists to osteopaths to specialised therapies (such as Shock Wave Therapy). They had…


What I care about

My interest is in progress, but not at all costs. This explains my fascination with technology, the driver for change in our era. I’m acutely conscious of it’s unmatched power as a force for good and bad. Intrigued by it’s increasing underpinning of society, business, politics, and human interaction. I’m no tech evangelist, rather a quizzical onlooker, probing to understand how and why technology can make things genuinely better, not just different.

My pursuit of making things better goes beyond technology, to a questioning of how businesses can have a more positive impact on people, through well thought through products…


Feeding the minds of others

Overview

Hungry Robot was a brand we created for our internal and external talks and events: informal, insightful, and hopefully inspirational sessions for those with a hunger to find out what new technologies might mean for them.

Impact

  • Numerous well-attended Hungry Robot events, for the agency and clients, with consistently excellent feedback scores (yes, we asked)
  • Over 25 carefully selected tech start-ups came to share their story with colleagues and clients
  • At Spring Robot — a seasonal special of our usual session — over 40 clients from a diverse range of brands came along to learn about our key technology trends and…

Establishing credentials and providing a point of view

ad:tech 2016, where I didn’t choose the title…

Overview

Sharing work and what we’d learned through the process of innovating using technology, with the wider industry. Including:

  • New Realities for Marketing — Advertising Week Europe 2016
  • VR: Tech hype or a new dawn for innovative brand experiences — ad:tech 2016
  • How agencies can practically work with innovative technologies — IPA ADAPT 2014

Impact

  • Helping to establish the team and agency as a credible voice in this space

Role

  • Devising and delivering each talk

Creating a framework for all to use

Overview

To simplify and ‘democratise’ knowledge otherwise held within the team, we devised a common language and framework for the agency and clients. We created three macro tech trends that would have significance and longevity, to stimulate thinking and help clients to prioritise what was most important for them. Our trends were: New Realities; Smart Systems; and Connected Objects.

Impact

  • The trends became common parlance and a mainstay of ideas sessions within the agency
  • They were adopted by OMD to be used across EMEA
  • Presented at AdWeek London 2016
  • The IPA published a two-part series I wrote — here and here — on their potential impact for brands in 2017

Role

  • Creation of the trends, and language for each
  • Development of all branding and material to support them
  • Numerous internal and external presentations

Establishing new ways of working

An Innovation Now workshop for Virgin Media

Overview

We created and ran Innovation Now workshops in order to tease out client challenges where the application of technology could potentially provide a solution. These mixed inspiration — pulling on our technology trends as well as the best tech start-ups that had appeared in our Hungry Robot sessions — with tried and tested ideation techniques.

Impact

  • Delivered for a dozen clients, including the likes of ODEON, Sony Music, Premier Inn, Virgin Holidays, and Specsavers
  • Briefs and projects such as Virgin Holidays Virtual Holidays were born out of these sessions

A new business unit for the agency

Overview

In 2014, along with my co-founder, I approached Manning Gottlieb OMD with a fresh proposition: a Technology Innovation team. This new business unit took clients from being wary of emerging technologies, to ‘learning by doing’ and embarking on their own innovation journeys via their marketing. Through inspiration, education, and the creative application of technology, the team solved pressing business and marketing problems, stimulating a spirit of innovation along the way.

Impact

  • Delivered Technology Innovation projects for significant clients including Virgin Holidays, Virgin Media, Renault, Specsavers, and Estée Lauder
  • Achieved six-digit revenue in the second year of operating
  • Positively encouraged clients to…

Sam Battams

Strategy & Innovation

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