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

How brands grow: what marketers don’t know, by Byron Sharp

Based on analysis of twenty years of rigorous purchasing data from many categories and markets, this book debunks some of the myths about how marketing builds business success.  An Aussie academic who worked with the great Andrew Ehrenberg of London South Bank University, Sharp shows how a lot of marketers focus on the wrong things, and tells you what you should focus on. Read More

Books | July 2012

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

Sign hanging in Einstein’s office at Princeton. Read More

Quotes | July 2012