Alumnus Mike Follett explores the power of Big Tech with Tommaso Valletti
Google isn’t just a search engine, Facebook isn’t just a social network - these are attention brokers, according to Professor Tommaso Valletti, Head of the Department of Economics and Public Policy. But Mike Follett (Full-Time MBA 2013) argues there is nothing new about this and there has always been an economics of attention – the difference now is all our attention is focused on two main companies.
Mike has focused his career on trying to make communications more effective, using data driven decision making to drive marketing campaigns and communications. He is the founder of Lumen which uses cutting-edge eye tracking technology to understand what captures customer attention and drives consumer behaviour. He started out at BMP DDB, the agency that invented Account Planning. In 2007, he moved to New York, to start a strategic planning department for Tribal DDB in North America, applying planning practices to digital communications. Two years later, he went out to Mumbai, to head up the planning department for the DDB group in India. He returned to the UK to work for Tesco's advertising agency, before taking on his MBA.
Mike credits his time at Imperial, in part, for the creation of his company.
"I owe the very foundation of my company to the Imperial alumni network. It connects you from people you know, to people they know and to people they know. The Imperial network is very strong," he said.