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Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing[/caption]
It’s time to introduce Entanet’s Head of Marketing and keen Opinion author, Darren Farnden…
How long have you worked at Entanet?
I started at Entanet in April 2006 so 9 years now.
What are your key responsibilities within the business and what are your areas of expertise?
I run Entanet’s small but truly dynamic marketing team. A member of the management team, I’m responsible for ensuring we translate the company’s strategic direction into a plan that supports the business internally and our channel partners externally. This means we take ownership of everything from maintaining a high profile in the market, providing our own sales team and also partners with support and intelligence to help them sell, right through to communication with existing partners and attracting new ones and nurturing their interest. We’re sometimes fondly known as the colouring in department but we know we’d be missed.
With regards to opinion, which topics do you usually cover and why?
I cover quite a range of subjects - obviously anything directly linked to marketing such as the growing opportunities for resellers in social media, adhering to connectivity advertising rules and several of our selling related guides and eBooks. I’ve also previously discussed the Government’s plans to tackle copyright infringement through the controversial DEA and most recently discussed the pros and cons of classifying broadband as a utility.
Do you have any specific industry areas of interest that you would like to discuss on opinion or that you particularly follow?
I’ve followed the superfast rollout programme and its ongoing targets and achievements, with a keen interest in its effect on the market and most importantly the opportunities it’s generating for the channel. I’ll be interested to see what happens with the Government’s proposed ‘ultra-fast broadband’ targets and how that will be delivered.
I’m also interested in the changing shape of the mobile market with agreed deals between many of the major operators (e.g. BT and EE). I’ll be interested to see how this affects the market and our own channel.
But I’m particularly interested in seeing how connectivity solutions providers apply marketing to their own businesses. It’s really refreshing when we work with a partner who’s got their head screwed on when it comes to investing time and money in marketing. I enjoy talking with partners about their aims and plans and how they’re going to execute them. And of course it’s good when our own marketing activities come together.
In one of your most recent articles you discussed the growing importance of upload speeds as people’s Internet usage habits change and have also regularly discussed the advertising of broadband speed information – do you think speed is still a primary factor in people’s choice of broadband service?
People’s expectation about what broadband can do, or rather what they want it to enable them to do, is forever on the increase. For a long time there’s been a mismatch between how (moderately) quickly they can download stuff and how (painfully) slowly they can upload it. The emerging fibre products have changed the perceptions still further, even though they’ve greatly increased that upload capability. The factors that determine customers’ choice of connectivity depend very much on their needs and intentions. Suitability is increasingly recognised as much as price and speed, although all three effectively go together. For many, at the end of the day it’s a balance between what they’re prepared to budget against how much (speed and bandwidth) they can get.
You have regularly discussed the DEA and its attempts to tackle copyright infringement –what do you think will happen next and how do you think we can successfully tackle piracy?
Tackling copyright infringement remains a hot topic for the industry and I’m not surprised the DEA failed to be enforced. The suggested punishments simply didn’t fit the ‘crime’ and would never have solved the underlying issues. I believe to truly reduce piracy, the entertainment industry needs to look closely at its existing distribution methods and learn to embrace the opportunities afforded by the Internet instead of fearing it and blaming its users for lost revenues.
Many artists have achieved significant success by embracing the likes of YouTube and offering free downloads etc to entice new followers and further distribute their material. Unfortunately, most opt to shun this approach and rely on the power of their industry moguls to put pressure on the Government to bring in more ridiculous legislation, scaring occasional infringers rather than educating them and doing nothing to tackle the alleged ‘hardcore pirates’ that can easily circumvent their efforts.
I don’t think they will ever learn on this one!
We actively encourage feedback and interaction from our readers, what would you like to hear about from them?
I’d really like them to suggest topics they’d like us to cover. Do you have an industry issue that’s particularly affecting your business that you need more information and clarity on? Best of all though, I’d like to get readers commenting on our articles and sharing their opinions and thoughts, sharing our articles across their own social media profiles and generally just getting involved.
Getting to know Darren
What are your interests/hobbies outside of the office?
I have a balanced life – healthy workouts at the gym alongside a big appetite for cakes, chocolate, beer and fish & chips; and a passion for riding fast motorbikes to places where I watch the world go by peacefully over a lazy lunch (see, more food).
If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
To fly. To be able to just soar into the sky and get anywhere quickly would be a blast. I’d still keep my motorbike though.
Who would you like to meet dead or alive and why?
Albert Einstein, so I could ask him if he really did say all those things that people keep quoting him for.
What are your three favourite things in life?
Good health. Friendship. Fun. Food needs to be in there somewhere too.
What is your pet hate?
Drivers who faff but I need to learn to be more patient.