Marketing Week recently claimed that marketing and sales are pretty much the same these days (lead article on 12 May 2016). They are wrong. It is a dangerous idea. The more a company believes marketing and sales are the same thing, the harder they will need to push to persuade customers to buy. And if they think marketing is about persuasion, or even about communication, they are in big trouble. Read More


Many business people are surprised and shaken by the out vote. That’s regardless of which party they supported at the last election. Labour fans are blaming Cameron for promising a referendum in the Tory manifesto, and those who voted him in for letting it happen. Pro-EU Tories are blaming him too for the naivete of that pledge, but also wondering how all those Labour voters in the midlands and north came to side with the likes of Boris and Nigel – Read More


“To sell well is to convince someone else to part with resources – not to deprive that person but to leave him better off in the end.”

Daniel Pink, auther of “Drive” and “To Sell is Human” Read More

Quotes | June 2014

Marketers should not focus on return on investment (ROI) as their key metric. Why not? Because it is not ambitious enough.

ROI is a helpful way to compare media choices, or different creative options, or even different service models. It is an important tool for marketers to make choices, and to improve. But be careful: it’s also a trap.

Sometimes ROI looks like clear proof of money well spent, to justify budgets to others. Read More

Comment, Thought leadership | February 2014

That American business import, “the C suite”, gets some bad press. In the FT recently, Lucy Kellaway wrote a whole column about how she abhors it, prompted by the appointment of Charlotte Hogg as chief operating officer at the Bank of England. I confess I was a chief innovation officer for a while, though, in my defence, I never really called myself that. I don’t mind CMOs and CEOs, nor even COOs. But I do take grave exception to the latest addition to the C suite, Read More

Comment, Thought leadership | September 2013

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.”

Peter Drucker Read More

Quotes | May 2013

Ever had a boss who habitually seizes on something another business is doing and says: “Should we be doing that?” Social media is causing the same insecurity complex in the digital immigrant generation. It’s a sort of digital Fear Of Missing Out. Questions often asked include: how many Facebook friends does the brand have? Is everyone moving to Instagram? Will being on Pinterest make us cool? Can we do a partnership with Foursquare? Or, more likely: Now that we have our Facebook page/Twitter feeds/app, Read More

Comment | May 2013

Jeanette Winterson wrote in her autobiography that her mother despaired of her, saying, “Why be happy when you could be normal?” Mrs Winterson saw conformity as a virtue. In her worldview, Jeanette’s job was to fit in rather than be fulfilled by being herself. Jeanette couldn’t help it though – she wasn’t trying to be different, she was different from the sort of girl her mother expected her to be. Accepting the status quo wasn’t an option for her. Read More

Comment, Thought leadership | January 2013

There’s a whole industry built on having sporting achievers speak to business people, and the received wisdom is that we can learn from them. We can – but not what you might think. It’s not so much about the value of commitment, belief, teamwork – all that inspiring stuff – as it is about seeing a fulfilled person, and wanting to share that feeling. Here’s my blog post from Brand Republic.

 

Sir Matthew Pinsent is a very big man, Read More


“The business schools reward difficult, complex behaviour more than simple behaviour, but simple behaviour is more effective.”

Warren Buffett Read More

Quotes | August 2012