Big Questions Live - Social Media, User Generated Content and the Power of Customer Insight

04 July 2013

Brand Republic’s first ever online TV show, Big Questions Live will be streamed live from RSA House in London on July 4th 2013 at 3.30pm BST.

Chaired by Matt Burgess, Brand Building Director for Unilever, the show will feature a panel of digital directors from Just Eat, Universal Music and Betfair answering questions posed by our live studio and online audiences.

All customers have the potential to become your brand advocates, driving profit for your business through positive endorsement, insight and product analysis. But to harness the real value here, companies must give their customers a voice and ensure that they are well placed to listen to and act upon it.

In a live debate with audience interaction, our speakers will offer case studies and advice on how you can best collect customer insight and utilise the power of user generated content across digital channels from social media to online feedback, loyalty, ratings and reviews. 

The topics raised will give marketers the tools and knowledge to take social media and user-generated content to the next level. 

  • The Value of Your Customer’s Digital Voice
  • The Power of Authentic User Generated Content
  • Empowering Brand Advocates
  • The Future Consumer

Register now to get your questions answered by our speakers live on air.

Sponsored by: BazaarVoice
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Ben Carter

Job Title: Global Head of Digital
Company: Betfair

Ben Carter is Betfair’s Global Head of Online Marketing tasked with managing its paid and none paid-for online marketing channels ensuring Betfair meets its acquisition targets and continues to stay ahead of the digital curve spanning social to mobile. In the three years, Ben has worked for Betfair, the company has made great strides in its use of Social Media and has achieved a number of ‘Social Firsts’ with Social now a core engagement channel for the business.

Prior to joining Betfair, Ben ran his own digital consultancy, Evolv Digital, which created and executed online marketing initiatives for major blue-chip companies including Sky, npower and AOL and was also Head of Online Marketing at Setanta Sports where he devised the fledgling sports broadcaster’s digital strategy.


Paul Smernicki

Job Title: Head of Digital
Company: Universal Music UK

Paul is Director of Digital at Universal Music UK with mission to deliver the best possible music experiences and innovations for fans and artists.

His route to his current role has been a winding one, but the direction of travel always forward. After editing his own fanzine in his home town of Dundee, freelance journalism and a brief spell in the RCA press office Paul joined the Polydor press team in 1999 before going onto re-boot the Fiction Records label in 2004. From there he became Polydor’s head of digital in 2008 before taking the group Director of Digital role in 2010.

A regular contributor to panel discussions, industry events and blogs, Paul wants Universal to be part of the conversation about music that can often polarize opinion, and believes that the principles of a free internet and reward for creators can co-exist.

Some recent projects include the Universal Artist Gateway, U Talks and UMG’s Innovations strategy. He was recently shortlisted for The 2012 Revolution Awards Digital Marketer of the Year, gets most of his news from Twitter, loves making playlists and only takes pictures with instagram.


Tess Tucker

Job Title: International Marketing Director
Company: Just-Eat

Tess Tucker has over ten years marketing experience with a particular focus on digital marketing for online businesses. As International Marketing Director for JUST EAT she is responsible for overseeing the central marketing team to support the wider group in getting the best from their marketing activities and campaigns. The central team currently support on SEO, Mobile/display, PPC and CRM. In addition to the central team, Tess also oversees all international markets supporting on strategy and brand development.   

Previously, Tess was the Head of Digital Marketing for the JUST EAT UK business where she oversaw the full digital mix with a particular interest in social media. During her 4 years in the UK business she grew the Facebook fan page to 1.2 million fans and won two social media awards - the Some Comm awards for best use of facebook back in 2010 and most recently the Best Social Media Customer Service Strategy at the Social Buzz Awards 2013. Prior to working at JUST EAT Tess was the CRM Manager at toptable and Marketing Executive at The Lanesborough.

Moderated by:

Matt Burgess

Job Title: Brand Building Director
Company: Unilever

I joined Unilever from Manchester University where I achieved a First Class Masters in Manufacturing Management.  In the final year of my course I co-authored a book entitled "Japanese-Led Companies". 

My first post in Unilever in 1991 was as a production trainee in Mattessons Walls meat business.  Since then I’ve variously worked on Batchelors, PGTips, Flora, Marmite, Pot Noodles, Peperami, Knorr and Bovril.  I’ve had jobs in supply chain, finance, marketing, sales and general mgt.  Im a qualified accountant passing CIMA.  My previous role was Managing Director for Unilever UK Local Jewels (Marmite, Bovril, Peperami, Bovril & Slimfast).  Im now the Brand Building Director for the Skin Category, Unilever UK and Ire (Dove, Radox, Vaseline, Lynx and Dove Men+Care).   

Marketing Career highlights include; Launching Marmite Squeezy.  Designing the Marmite Limited Edition and snacking roadmap.  Relaunching Pot Noodle.  Overseeing Doner Kebab Pot Noodle launch.  Overseeing integration of Sara Lee’s marketing team into Unilever.   Responsibility for Dove Masterbrand in the UK.  Launch of Dove Men+Care into male grooming category (Aug 2012).

I'm married with 4 kids. I love to play and watch sport, especially football, rugby and snowboarding.  My aim is to keep playing competitive football until my sons are old enough to compete with me.