The latest #fakenews is that Waterstones have opened “unbranded bookshops”. Despite what many trustworthy sources are reporting, Waterstones, the last remaining chain of specialist bookshops on the high street, have done nothing of the sort. The real story is that a national retail chain is creating hyper-local brands, one-off retail outlets seemingly tailored to their location. If they deliver on what those brands promise, they’ll be doing us all a favour.
Southwold Books in Suffolk, Read More
Last year we interviewed senior marketers across a range of industry sectors about how they approached their annual planning process, the perils and pitfalls, and their top tips from years of experience. The result is this article which was published in Market Leader, the strategic marketing quarterly. Stress-free planning Market Leader June 2016 Read More
Even the most consumer-focused marketers will be tempted, or pushed, to get people to pay more for less this year. Pricing will be a major issue, as cost increases caused by the weak pound feed through. How should marketers express the voice of the consumer inside the business in the face of this pressure? Being consumer-focused doesn’t mean defending low prices at all costs. The key thing is, whatever approach you take, brand champions must ensure there’s no long term damage. Read More
“There were two Santas at school today,” said my five-year-old. She was just coming to the end of her first term at school. My pleasure in hearing Santa had come calling was rather tempered by finding out there were two of the old fellas. How could they mess up so badly? They’ve ruined it for all those children. What do I tell her now? Before I could collect my horrified thoughts, she piped up again. Read More
Algorithms are distorting the news and, maybe, damaging democracy. So says everyone (that’s to say, everyone in my filter bubble). Personalisation can take us to an online world perfectly in tune with our preferences, interests and opinions, in which everything feels relevant and nothing is dissonant. Bad for democracy it may be, but it’s the holy grail of marketing. What’s more, it can be done by machines, thanks to online analytics and algorithms. But marketers are not redundant just yet, Read More
Disruptive innovation seems easy for start-ups and feels threatening and difficult for established businesses. But they can do it too. Here are five guiding principles to help you.
First, think of being disruptive as an outcome, not a strategy. It’s rarely an end in itself. No, not even for Uber. I’m sure their funding pitch talked about being disruptive but the essence of the idea was using mobile technology to match capacity with demand in real time. Read More
Why can’t we learn from failure? Because even in a no-blame culture it is human to deceive ourselves, and we don’t even know we’re doing it. It’s hard to change a belief we’re invested in, as Syed illustrates with true stories of miscarriages of justice, in which bad verdicts were maintained despite clear evidence they were wrong.
This book is recommended reading for anyone trying to learn, improve or innovate at work. In a well-researched book full of engrossing examples, Read More
“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
Attributed by Paul Samuelson, Nobel Laureate in Economics, to John Maynard Keynes Read More
“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”
Mark Twain, writer Read More
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent, said Eleanor Roosevelt. Jez Rose is not so succinct. His book is about the idea that other people can’t make you feel things or react in prescribed ways. You can control how you feel and how you will respond. Between stimulus and response there’s a gap in which to choose. That’s where you can “flip the switch”.
The obvious way to “flip the switch” is in your immediate response to stimulus, Read More