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3 Questions with Andrew Mackinnon - how to market to the new generation of millennials?

Who is Andrew Mackinnon?

If you are in the marketing or advertising industry in Melbourne and don't know Andrew Mackinnon from Taboo agency - well you should!

Andrew has been behind many of the brand driven campaigns over the last decade with his agency Taboo, which he started at the tender age of 19!

He is also the owner of one of the coolest bars in Melbourne – Ponyfish Island – yes the floating one under the Pedestrian Bridge, Southbank, a haven for wonderers and wanderers, a part time DJ, creator of Unlikely Larger beer and tech parter in Skymorials the fastest growing online memorials site in the world. 

Now 15 years on, Andrew and a carefully curated creative team has created a full scale creative agency, delivering campaigns for the country’s biggest brands: Nike, NAB, Cadbury, Schweppes, TAC, Sensis, Old El Paso, Witchery, Mimco and CUB.

A born go-getter has also culminated in Mackinnon’s role as Membership Chair and President Elect of the Entrepreneur’s Organisation Australia – Victoria Chapter. It’s this affinity with EO’s core principles that prompted the organisation to honour him with the Values Award in 2014.

Check out our quick chat with Andrew when Social Star founder – Andrew Ford (Fordy) caught up with Mackinnon (Macca) over a green smoothie this week



Social Star: Some marketing experts say that online media is the most efficient medium for marketing. Do you agree with this comment and where does experiential marketing fit into a company's marketing plans?

A. Mackinnon: I think it's about developing creative ways that integrate the two. Digital/online media is integrated so much into our 'real life' experience today (from tap and pay mobile tech to Uber to the like of Snapchat video), it would be foolish to think that just experiential on its own generates enough cut through.

At Taboo, we're all about making authentic experiences that are worth telling, that have an innate talkability that people want to tell their friends about. Digital amplification of this is always part of our consideration set when we're planning especially as it lets us play into the 'live' element of something taking place across certain times and locations. 

 Social Star: Being youth marketing experts, how do you suggest companies market to the new generation of millennials? 

 A. Mackinnon: I think now, more than ever, attention spans are fragmented and expectations of brands are high. A few things:

  • Thinking mobile-first: this is the centre of their world
  • Integrating social media opportunities in all moments of a branded experiences
  • If you try to be cool and fail, you will hear about it
  • Understanding trends: both culturally and technological

Social Star: A lot of marketing people say Facebook is being replaced by Instagram and Snapchat. What is your opinion of Facebook as a social medium for business?

 A. Mackinnon: The squelching of Facebook's algorithm after essentially a five year free trial for brands meant a huge commercial growth for the platform. But what we're starting to see the likes of Instagram and Snapchat start to infiltrate people's suite of daily apps, Facebook is losing its monopoly of the one 'go to'.

It's still a great reach platform and a key consideration, I just think the way we look at it has changed. The more immersive content discovery, the better brand engagement you'll get. Alternatively, the more you push your brands with traditional words and pictures, the less engagement. So yes, it's still relevant, but now part of a larger matrix of social platforms to consider, with video and customisation the biggest trends within this space.

Wise words, thanks Andrew!

If you haven't known yet, next Thursday evening, the 6th October, Social Star has the pleasure of hosting Andrew Mackinnon (and 3 other Andrew's, including our own Andrew of course) for a panel discussion to explore the future of agencies and marketing. Well worth the time to hear from 4x Agency CEOs and network with some very cool people too over delicious nibbles and drinks!

Check out the event HERE !

I look forward to having you there.

(Use passcode SSGUEST30 for 30% discount on ticket sales)



Andrew Ford

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.