How to market a consulting firm

How to market a consulting firm

I have to say, consulting businesses are hard. After 20 years of running a creative agency (a consulting business itself) marketing consulting businesses can be hard. First of all, the people running the business either know it all, or know nothing. Second, they're time poor and tend to want to abdicate responsibility for the work, which frankly doesn't work because any good campaign is a partnership and the people in the business have expertise that is needed to effectively marke … read more
Which is worse? Awful or ordinary?

Which is worse? Awful or ordinary?

I had someone ask me the other day for advice on starting a business. Amongst the range of things I spoke about (yes, I like the sound of my own voice) I told them to not be a cheapskate on the stuff that matters. And you can believe me when I tell you, the original marketing collateral you get (brand, website, brochure, business cards) are as important as what you wear to a client meeting. Though the complete lack of thought, or lack of investment, that some people put into these things is  … read more
What's in a name?

What's in a name?

Firstly let me say, the image above was about the least offensive one I could find when I did a web search for 'bad business names'. That should tell you something straight off the bat. But this blog isn't about bad names per se, it's about the process of naming a business, and what's important, and what's not. Like most things in life, a lot of what you should do in marketing makes a lot more sense when it's articulated to you by a professional. If you're left to your own devices, and y … read more
You can’t measure the value of a lost opportunity.

You can’t measure the value of a lost opportunity.

I get ROI. In fact I pretty much live and die by ROI. My golden rule is it makes you money or what’s the point. My clients aren’t charities, and even if they were, they’d want ROI from their marketing, so don’t for a moment think that I’m anything but an ROI fanatic. But here’s the problem, marketing isn’t that linear, and the means of delivering the ROI isn’t a simple equation of 2+2=4. In fact sometimes 2+2=a furby. There’s a lot of s … read more
What my Father taught me #2 - Gossip isn't conversation

What my Father taught me #2 - Gossip isn't conversation

This one gets a fair working over at home. It's one of my pet hates which probably adds to the sting. Gossip isn't conversation. Talking about other people behind their back isn't noble or useful (nor should it really be fun if we're being honest with ourselves). There's so many important issues out there that need serious discussion. Problems that need to be solved. Opportunities that need to be grasped. Talking about how this person did (or didn't) do such and such says a lot more about us … read more
Not dead (just yet)

Not dead (just yet)

When a 'journalist' (and I use that word deliberately in inverted commas - after all he obviously didn't get 3 sources in this instance) wrote of the death of Mark Twain, the great wordsmith replied with the priceless "Rumours of my demise have been greatly exaggerated". Many people have also written of the death of a range of media. Newspapers are dead being the classic (even though many regional papers are not just surviving, they're flourishing). My favourite is mail. Many people think … read more
If it’s obvious, it’s radioactive

If it’s obvious, it’s radioactive

I was at a presentation last week and the subject turned to branding. At this point someone at the back piped up, announced themselves as a trademark lawyer, and went on a bender about the stupidity of naming your company according to what you do. I sat there with a pretty decent grin on my face as this played out as this is a subject I’ve spent a lot of time discussing with clients and prospective clients. I must admit though it was fun to listen to the same argument being put forwa … read more
Branding 101, worth it, or worthless?

Branding 101, worth it, or worthless?

I got asked the other day to do a blog about the difference between a logo and a brand. That's fine, and that will be my next blog. But before I get to that, I wanted to address the idea of a brand and why it so often turns into a train wreck. No, this isn't another blog about clients stuffing up the branding process (though I could very easily spend a day talking about that). This is about why well-intentioned designers produce bad brands. How we get there. Everybody seems to find … read more
Inspiration for 7 year olds

Inspiration for 7 year olds

Interesting article from Greg Hahn. Not sure we want to be taking all our motivational tips from second grade teachers, but then again, why not. It's pretty simple stuff, but most of the good advice is. See the whole story here http://www.adweek.com/agencies/why-this-second-grade-handout-should-be-your-new-creative-manifesto/ … read more