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 [...]

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 [...]

To Tip Or Not To Tip? That Is The Question…

A recent survey claimed almost two thirds of Britons were “unwilling” to pay a service charge and many are confused about tipping etiquette. There’s worse news for bartenders, as 98% would never tip for a drink. Is it a cultural thing, or is it down to a generation growing up with fast food and takeaways? I know I always (inwardly) question exactly why I’m tipping my hairdresser or taxi driver, when all they’ve done is [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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+00:00October 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+00:00October 6th, 2014|Business Strategy & Development|0 Comments