Kevin Roberts – Don’t Hate The Player, Hate The Game

So Publicis Groupe have suspended Saatchi’s chairman for claiming that the talented women who work in his agency reach a certain point in their careers when they actively turn down a promotion, as they “don't want to manage (the) business and people, (they) want to keep doing the work." Hmmm. In the interview, he also spoke about how ‘millennials’ (gah) want careers based on creativity and collaboration, and how the old rules of hierarchy and [...]

Licensed to spam?

Last week, I wrote a piece about how poor digital marketing practice is damaging our industry.  At the heart of this is not just how brands are failing to build meaningful relationships with their audiences, but the fact that they're often actively disengaging them. Like many areas of marketing practice, addressing the basics is not rocket science, but it does take work.  Putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will help ensure they’re truly engaged [...]

A recipe for marketing failure?

Poor, beleaguered BBC. Only our Eton Mess of a Government would think it needs bringing down a peg or two. The rest of us (and much of the world) think it’s a bloody amazing institution that we’re all very lucky to have (much like the NHS, but that’s another story). My TV license is half the price of my basic Sky subscription but provides immeasurably more information and entertainment every month. However, this week’s online [...]

Deep Fried Crickets and Beetroot Yogurt, Anyone?

One of the things I love most about working with the hospitality sector is their constant drive to innovate. Bars and restaurants are always on the hunt for the Next Big Thing, and even those extreme ideas, which start life in the scientific kitchens of chefs like Heston Blumenthal, eventually filter their way down to more everyday establishments. I’ve been looking through some trend reports to see what’s predicted for 2015. Baum & Whiteman’s excellent summary [...]

Time for a New Way of Working? (Part Two)

Back in 2011, I wrote about how I thought The Apprentice was really missing a trick. A golden opportunity to showcase all that’s great about teamwork and entrepreneurship replaced by a focus on bitching, back-stabbing and rewarding bad practice. The new series started this week and in its 10th year, we have the same old (enjoyable) nonsense. A bunch of sharks so focused on ‘the sale’ that they don’t care who they trample on in [...]

By | 2017-01-04T19:51:29+00:00 October 16th, 2014|Business Strategy & Development|0 Comments

Time for a New Way of Working? (Part One)

A blue skies, out of the box, brainstorm, yesterday. A recent house move prompted a long overdue clear out of my office. Leafing through a folder of old team ‘training’ documents from my days in corporate life, I was struck by how little impact these sessions had had on the day-to-day running of the business, being so disconnected from what we were actually trying to achieve as a team (“you’re a blue person, [...]

By | 2017-01-04T19:51:29+00:00 October 6th, 2014|Business Strategy & Development|0 Comments

It’s The Summer Holidays! Where Are We Going?

Now here’s a funny story.  Recently, I was discussing a brand strategy project with a client and one of their (non-marketing) board members - who wasn’t directly involved in the project.  As I outlined how a marketing strategy must to be aligned to the broader business strategy to be fully effective, he turned to his colleague and said, “What is our strategy, anyway?” Aside from the *ahem* obvious concern that a board member was questioning the existence [...]

RIP Orange, We Loved You. A Eulogy.

The future was bright... Now that EE have admitted they are 'phasing out' the Orange brand, I thought I'd repost this blog written in September 2012 - when EE were carefully denying any such plans. It's just unbelievably sad that corporate 'squabbles' and egos led to the demise of one of the most amazing, customer centric brands of the 20th century.... (Original Post 12/09/12). So yesterday, ‘Everything Everywhere’ started their about-turn on the [...]

And The Award Goes To…!

Some men, winning the best MEN award - This week, Twitter was abuzz with companies congratulating themselves for appearing in the annual ‘Times Top 50 Employers for Women’ survey. Any survey that takes equality in the workplace seriously is to be applauded, of course.  The list features a great mix of different businesses – not just the ones you might traditionally assume to be ‘female friendly’ – lots of Financial and IT companies [...]

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%), [...]