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

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 [...]

Happiness On The High Street? Cheap Clearly Isn’t Cheerful

Regular readers of my blog may remember the post I wrote in January about how retailers blame poor sales on just about everything apart from the customer experience. Which? Magazine has just published its annual Shopper Survey, based on satisfaction and likelihood to recommend - and the importance of excellent customer service could not be clearer. The headlines are that Lush, Disney, Richer Sounds, John Lewis and Waterstones make up the Top 5 and Apple [...]

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).   [...]

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