Romancing prospects

Romancing prospects

For some reason people forget that the digital realm is really not that much different to the physical world when it comes to commerce. It's the same mistake sellers have made for decades, thinking that radio was different, or TV was different. The internet is no different. Yes, the channel's idiosyncrasies affects the way you craft your message, but the truth that continually gets forgotten is that when all is said and done, you're still trying to influence flesh and blood human beings. … read more
A bonus isn't an incentive

A bonus isn't an incentive

This might seem like semantics, but what we call things matters. The names we choose informs how we view things, and how we view things informs how we act. One of the greatest examples was the renaming of jungles as rainforests because climate and environmental charities found it much easier to raise money for rainforests than for jungles. Names matter. I've spent much of my career discussing sales management and advising organisations on the best way to train and manage sales staff. A s … read more
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
Easy is a fairy tale

Easy is a fairy tale

Sorry to break the news to you, but it's true. There's no silver bullet that will drive your success. But the good news is there are lots of bronze ones. Any successful strategy will have a complicated mix of many elements. There's nothing in the human experience that is solved simply. It's all hard work - at least the meaningful stuff is. One of my favourite sayings is "The further you get from a problem, the easier it seems to fix". This is also true if you don't know what you're talki … 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
Big data and bad decisions

Big data and bad decisions

Now before you go setting your hair on fire, data is good, data is great, I’m a fan. But here’s the thing, we’ve always known that numbers can tell you anything, and that’s back when we were talking about small numbers. So what sort of whopper lies do you think Big Data can tell? History is littered with individuals who looked at the numbers and went on to make moronic decisions. Napoleon springs to mind. Alexander the Great too. In more recent times the execs at  … 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