It’s not the weather, it’s not the ads. It’s the customer experience.

So here we are again.  Time for the annual ‘retailers post disappointing Xmas trading results’ headlines.  This year, I’m not looking at the correlation between their results and their ad campaigns, I’m having a think about the relationship between their results and the in-store experience. With retail sales overall up 5.3%, and some brands delivering up to 20-30% growth online, it shows just how badly the poor performers have done. Over at M&S (down 2.1%), [...]

Time to Rethink the Click Thru?

I recently attended a great ‘Mobile Marketing Breakfast Club’ hosted by my friends at Yodel Mobile, where we talked about the impact of Dual Screening (using a tablet or mobile to do something else whilst watching TV) and Second Screening (using a tablet or mobile to engage with the TV programme) and the fact that almost half of 18-34 year olds now say their mobile is their ‘most important’ screen (above laptops, tablets and TVs).   [...]

Ad Nauseum? The 12 Deadly Sins of Advertising

Unbelievably, this August marked 25 years since I started my career as a lowly graduate trainee media buyer at J.Walter Thompson.  So to celebrate this milestone, I thought I’d compile the 12 Deadly Sins of Advertising, as no matter how ‘sophisticated’ our industry has become over the years, there are some crimes that just won’t go away... 1.  Pointless Corporate Ads.  Fire up the cliché generator and pick, in any order, sweeping shots of rainforests, [...]

Lessons from the Old School

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been lucky enough to attend several incredibly interesting and diverse events - from a Marketing Society talk by Andrew Cracknell (one of the original, English, Mad Men), through to an event that showcased the very latest in marketing innovations from around the world (the ‘Seek’ event, hosted by Essence Digital). And what struck me most was this; advertising may well have turned into a ‘brave new world’ of digitised, [...]

Marketing to Women Needs More Than ‘Just The Facts, Ma’am…’

My December blog took a look at the big retailer's Christmas ads and came to the conclusion that the ones that misfired did so because they didn't correctly connect with women.  Not surprisingly, as women are the major organisers - and spenders - at Christmas, this almost directly correlated to those who subsequently posted poor trading results. This topic is high on my agenda at the moment as I’m working with a brand that is [...]

Top Tips for Chemistry Meetings

As I’m right in the midst of a big agency screening process, I thought it was a good time to update my Top Ten Tips for Chemistry meetings.  Although they’re written for the agency pitch process, they’re relevant to any new business meeting. I’ve run countless pitches for some very big organisations and have watched many a good agency needlessly trip-up in the very first meeting.  Fortunately, the most common pitfalls easily avoided with a [...]

By |2017-01-04T19:51:32+00:00January 27th, 2013|New Business Pitching & Agencies, Advertising|1 Comment

Merry Christmas Adverts!

'Tis the season to be jolly, so this month - in the great tradition of Campaign’s ‘Private View’ – the MarketingMog has been reviewing the annual crop of retailer Christmas adverts and wondering if any themes have emerged in this depth-of-recession year… First up, John Lewis. The MarketingMog is pretty cynical about these annual schmaltz-fests from a team that seem a little too interested in their own PR, but ‘The Snowman's Journey’ is a definite improvement on last year’s ‘Seven’ inspired [...]

White Wine For The Lady…

In the wise words of Al Murray's pub landlord, "white wine for the lady, beer for the gentleman... them's the rules.  And where would we be if we didn't have rules?" (Answer: France!). Here in the UK, Molson Coors have pulled their Animée ‘lady beer’ after just one year.  Good. In last week’s Marketing, WCRS Planning Director Matt Willifer argued that Animée was a “brave launch by an admirably innovative company” (?) but suggested that [...]

Who Are You Calling Socially Stupid?!

Marketing Week’s Mark Ritson was at his provocative best last week in a piece entitled ‘Why Marketers Are Socially Stupid’, following Waitrose’s recent #Reasons campaign on Twitter. He makes a lot of valid points, although I strongly disagree that their “middle class shoppers will feel a little less enthusiastic about entering the store now, and store traffic will decline”. This was a storm in a teacup, which poked fun at what Waitrose is already known [...]

RIP Orange. A Eulogy.

So yesterday, ‘Everything Everywhere’ started their about-turn on the promise that it was never going to be a customer-facing brand, by announcing the launch of “4EE”. Apparently, “it’s designed to ‘sit alongside’ Orange and T-Mobile in the cities offering 4G coverage”. To sit alongside while they work out how to phase them out, no doubt. My fellow ex-Orange colleagues and I are appalled that this is happening.  But I’m not surprised.  The Orange brand has [...]