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 [...]

PR and Marketing. Time to Bury the Hatchet.

The November issue of Business MK featured a piece by the owner of a PR firm which was entitled “Good Cop, Bad Cop: Why PR and Marketing Must be Kept Distinct”.  It so exasperated me, I immediately wrote this reply to the paper… Painting two complementary disciplines of the communications industry as polar opposites is at best, utter nonsense, and at worst, damaging to the industry as a whole. The writer seemed so rooted in [...]

By |2017-01-04T19:51:29+00:00November 25th, 2014|Marketing Strategy, Advertising|0 Comments

Good News! There Are Only 3 Golden Rules for Pitching*

* But both sides must follow them... I was writing a follow-up to my Top Tips for Chemistry Meetings piece, talking to agency directors about New Business and their frustrations with the pitch process, when, in a spooky bit of timing, up popped a couple of client/agency surveys from the intermediary FindGood and ISBA. Clearly this topic remains high on everyone’s agenda (although I do agree with some of the the IPA's criticism of the [...]

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 [...]

How NOT To Do Customer Service

As a companion piece to my last blog (Time to Address the Relationship Disconnect), I’ve written a handy ‘how not to do customer service’ checklist. Poor customer service is now so commonplace in the UK that comedians build entire routines out of it; the curse of the unexpected item in the bagging area, the endless ‘your call is important to us’ messages while they leave you sat on hold and the never-ending IVR menus. (“Press [...]

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, [...]