S01E01 – Hugh Munro, Strategy Director at Tongue

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Hugh Munro is a self confessed planner geek and has worked at The Campaign Palace, McCann and is currently the Strategy Director at Tongue. He loves all things sport and in this podcast he talks about the impressive progress of digital sports broadcasting, the exciting trend towards mobile devices making life easier and his advice for people wanting to get into planning.  or check his website out – http://hughmunro.com Show Links

Sabretooth Radio

CBA Apps

Tongue’s Website

Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories on Spotify

Music heard in the background is Cold Tap by Richmo.

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PETE: Hi guys and welcome to Estimate Approved, the podcast. This is Episode One. I’m going to be releasing one per month. Interviewing cool people in digital, getting their thoughts on interesting stuff, that they’ve seen, cool stuff coming up, cool trends to look out for, and even some advice for people wanting to do what they do. So without any further ado, let’s jump in. This month, we’re interviewing Hugh Munro. Hugh is the strategy director at Tongue. I worked with Hugh at McCann for about a year, then we went our separate ways; and we came back together on the basketball court, where we played in a team entitled, “Hoops I did it again,” which probably gives you a good idea of the standard of play. That’s not true actually, we did win a game. So let’s go Hugh, the interview coming up.

PETE: Hugh Munro, welcome to the first Estimate Approved podcast.

HUGH: Thanks for having me Pete.

PETE: You’re a foundation member, how does it feel?

HUGH: It’s an absolute honor, but before we get started, do you mind if just I change my pants?

PETE: What?

HUGH: I think bottom half comfort is very, very important, in the business of ideas. And I’m wearing jeans momentarily. We’re actually working on a pitch for a client nearby at the moment, they’re just around the corner. So it was a nice token, I just jumped on my bike and filmed the ride, the proximity from their place to ours, to show how close we are. And it was timed brilliantly because we had just had a fire evacuation, as you know, and at the time I got back, everyone was streaming into the building. So it worked out absolutely fantastic.

PETE: Good timing. Nice one. OK. Now that we’re clothed, we can begin. So I’ve got four questions. I begin with what did you have for breakfast?

HUGH: This morning I had a green smoothie. It’s something that the planning department here indulges in every single morning. I can’t tell you exactly what’s in it; a planner in our team makes it for us every morning, but it involves things like kale, spinach, bananas, just things that are generally good for you. Apparently it alkalizes you, I’m not sure exactly what that does, but if I start turning green in front of you, just let me know.

HUGH: No problem OK. Just some background on why I asked such a silly question: it dates back to my days in TV and film, where we would be about to start an interview and we would want to just make sure the sound was all working and that we are actually recording. And so we’d ask a question like that, and quite often you know, you’d get a little insight. So yeah, Hugh likes his kale smoothies. We move on. The second question, the real question. So Hugh, give us a bit of insight into what digital experience really impacted you over the last year.

HUGH: For me personally, I am a massive sports fan, in particular, a massive sports spectator fan, as opposed to playing. And for me, I think the evolution in sports broadcasting online has really changed my life. In some ways for the better and some ways for the worse. And being able to home last night and go and automatically jump on NBA TV and stream whatever game I wanted to, and skip through boring plays, if it got boring, watch a condensed version; have a dual screen experience with my mobile and check out the stats. It’s just completely changed the way I watch sports. In particular for me, being a Melbourne grown kid who’s a massive AFL fan, as you are Pete, massive Tigers fan, as you are not unfortunately or fortunately, however you look at it. And moving to Sydney about five years ago, it was pretty terrifying considering that I might not get to watch my beloved Tigers in our old crazy town. And for the first couple of years, that was true. It was actually quite difficult to find a pub that was going to show the game, and when they did it was on a tiny screen with no sound, so I was the weirdo in the corner, drinking beers on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon by myself with my headphones in, trying to stream the online radio for Melbourne and watch at the same time with a two-and-a-half second delay, which isn’t a great experience. Fast forward a couple of years, and things like the AFL Live app just allows you to watch whichever game you want right then and there. And I never miss a moment of my beloved Tigers.

PETE: Nice. And you’ve actually taken it to the next level, haven’t you? Quick plug for the show.

HUGH: Yeah, if I must. Me and a close mate, Chook, shout-out to Chook if you’re listening to things, probably not. We are both massive Tigers fans, and have taken to broadcasting Tigers’ games. We have our unique sort-of yellow and black spin on the games. We call it Sabertooth Radio.

PETE: Heavly biased is another way . . .

HUGH: It’s heavily biased, although we do get guests from opposing teams on, so please join us for the Swans game when they’re up.

PETE: Let’s go. It has to be an away game.

HUGH: Yeah. Absolutely. I think we’re playing twice this year, so we should have a game from the MCG. You will get a couple of words in throughout. So if anyone out there likes listening to stuff, as you like listening to this podcast, jump on Sabertooth Radio during a Tiger’s game and check it out.

PETE: It’s very funny guys, so do get on board. All right, second question: What is something that you’re really excited about in the next year? In the digital space? HUGH: For me, the convergence of things onto a single mobile device i starting to really excite me. It’s way overdue, but it’s starting to happen. It’s being led in the finance sector, in particular here, where now you can tap and go with your mobile, which is a fantastic experience. I couldn’t believe it when, over Christmas, I updated my app, and I went on to 7-11, and I couldn’t get there fast enough to try. I thought 7-11 would be the first place to have it on board.

PETE: Is this the CBA App?

HUGH: It is. And so, I rushed down to 7-11, they weren’t set up for it yet. Then I went to a local cafe and tried to pay there, and it worked. And me and the cafe person just looked at each other dumbfounded when I tapped my phone and it went through and I thought finally the feature is here. So I think the more we can start to enable our mobile devices to do smart things for us, the quicker all our lives will improve. The amount of times I’ve lost a swipe pass to get home, when I had my keys. This morning I arrived at 7 here, and it took me 45 minutes to get in the building because I’d left my wallet here overnight because I didn’t have my swipe pass. That kind of stuff, it’s basic, but I think it should be here in the next 12 months. PETE: Cool. Very exciting. Now the last question: what advice do you have for someone getting into what you do? So you probably have to briefly cover what you do. And then how do people go about jumping in.

HUGH: Yeah. What I do, I don’t really know. What I do is work with brands and companies, businesses who are trying to get people to do something. And I suppose my job is to understand how we can get them to do whatever that desired outcome is; whether it be to stop smoking, go for a run, or purchase a pack of cigarettes.

PETE: You’ve picked the full spectrum there.

HUGH: So, for me, that really starts understanding what drives those people, and what is going to actually motivate them to do something differently or continue doing something the same way they’re doing it. Then to understand how we actually make that happen. What you can create, what you can build, what you can do that’s going impact that behavior. And I think, for anyone getting into that space, you might call it strategy planning. I think the best thing you can do is just start making that stuff for yourself. Particularly if you’re interested in the digital side of planning. The best thing you can do is to just go out and make things and test and play with and see what happens, and learn some stuff yourself from it. And as you do that, you’ll start to build different little things, and some you’ll drop, and some you’ll keep playing with. And eventually start to learn what kind of hits peoples’ buttons out there in different ways. And it’s a lot of fun. And whenever someone applies for a job here, the first thing I look at on their survey is what stuff have you made; not where you’ve worked, that’s important, too. So I think that’s go out and start making stuff and learning from what you make.

PETE: Great advice. Hugh, that wraps us up for today. Thanks so much for joining us.

HUGH: Thanks for having me, Pete.

PETE: How can people find you on the Internet?

HUGH: You can find me on hughmunro.com. You can find me on Twitter @humun, and that should do. If you can’t find me through thos means, then . . .

PETE: Something’s wrong.

HUGH: You shouldn’t be on the Internet.

PETE: Awesome. Hugh Munro. Thank you so much.

PETE: So I hope you enjoyed the interview guys. I’ll be releasing another one in February. Big shout out, before I go, to Daft Punk, who had a big week. They got done in the Hottest 100, but they came through at the Grammys. They won five Grammys, including album and record of the year. And we all know that everyone in digital loves Daft Punk, so it was a good week for the Frenchies. All righty, that is it. If you enjoyed the podcast, please leave a review in iTunes. Subscribe of course. Check it out also on SoundCloud, if you prefer that platform. You can send me all the comments you like at Twitter. I’m lonely, send me comments @pscobie is my Twitter handle and of course, you can also follow the blog on peterscobie.com.

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