Can M&S turn things around? Only if they start listening

Poor old Marks & Sparks.  Rarely out of the news, although these days it’s more often gloom and doom in the business pages than a glowing piece in the fashion supplements. Their latest set of ‘disappointing’ results, which show food sales also starting to tank, triggered a further slew of premature obituaries.  In Marketing Week, Mark Ritson bases a piece on brand equity on M&S’s predicament.  He sounds the death knell, concluding that any [...]

Live life online? How ‘unconcerned’ are you?

I recently posted a blog about how poor digital marketing practice risks damaging our industry.  With new legislation coming down the pipe, and both Apple and Microsoft recently facing down the US Government over data access, data privacy and protection is certainly a hot topic. At a recent, excellent, TMW Influence session, the panel explored the marketing challenge of Privacy vs. Personalisation, and some of the contradictions and confusions affecting both marketers and consumers. In 2012, [...]

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 [...]

Marketing’s not just dumbed down, it’s in need of some tough love

Great minds think alike. Mark Ritson’s article decrying the dumbing down of our discipline arrived in my inbox just as I was writing this piece. He’s absolutely right. The basics of good marketing practice haven’t changed despite the industry’s current obsession with the Emperor’s New Clothes, or all-that-is-digital. His recent piece on the ‘death’ of the sales funnel, is a prime example, and something I’ve been saying for a while now. It [...]

Who’s Menu Is It Anyway?

We’re all creatures of habit, apparently, regularly ordering the same coffee, lunchtime sandwich or even dinner at a smart restaurant. But how annoyed would you be if your favourite item wasn’t available anymore? Would you just order something else, or feel that your day had been ruined? A New York Times writer recently lamented the demise of her favourite sandwich at her regular lunch spot, fondly remembering her husband making a special trip to get [...]

Want Great Restaurant Service? Then Pay Attention!

I just read a fascinating piece about a New York restaurant, whose owners couldn't understand why they kept getting such bad online reviews. The food wasn't a problem, but clearly the service was - how long it was taking, wait times for tables etc. But as they'd recently shortened the menu and employed more staff, it just didn’t add up. To help them understand what was happening, they watched some 10-year-old CCTV tapes, and compared [...]

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).   [...]