Monthly Archives November 2013

Can contextual marketing stop the terminal decline of town centres in the UK?

town-centre-1950sA new taskforce has just published Beyond Retail 2013, a new report that suggests the UK’s town centres need reshaping and rebuilding on an unprecedented scale not seen since the end of the Second World War.

But is it realistic to believe traditional town centres can be saved or are they in terminal decline?

The Distressed Town Centre Property Taskforce, set up in the wake of the review by retail marketing consultant Mary Portas believes that town centres should be re-designated as a key Government planning and investment priority.

For the past 13 months, senior retailers, property investors, landlords and financiers have been reviewing the prospects of their high street property, investment and trading portfolios in an attempt to find a way of revitalising the fortunes of a once buoyant p...

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How to avoid falling into the ‘Marketing Trap’!

Danger Trapdoor warningThere’s a universal truth that most business people know: companies and enterprises succeed by getting, stealing, keeping and growing customers and clients.

Customers and clients are the only reason we build railroads, manufacture convenience foods, send satellites into space and manufacture fire retardant furniture.

But there’s a marketing trap.

Most managers are seduced into thinking that what worked yesterday will continue to satisfy customers and clients tomorrow. The trouble is, it probably won’t and it takes courage to lift the scales from our eyes to see how we should change the way we market to them.

Where trouble tends to emerge in carefully crafted brand and marketing plans is the apparent disconnect with the wider strategic goals of the company or enterprise.

A key objecti...

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A VERY HAPPY HANUKKAH AND THANKSGIVING TO ALL OF OUR JEWISH AND AMERICAN FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD!

ThanksgThe coincidence this year of Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah is very unusual – it last happened in 1888.

But in a way it’s fitting, as American Jews have been embracing Thanksgiving for more than two centuries.

By the time the first of eight candles in Jewish menorah were lit on Wednesday evening for the start of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, the country was largely closed down for Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday.

According to the most commonly cited calculation, not only has this not happened for 125 years, but it won’t happen again for more than 70,000 years!

That’s because the Jewish calendar is shifting in relation to the Gregorian calendar very, very slowly… at a rate of four days every 1,000 years.

It’s thanks to a quirk of both calendars that 2013 has this curious new am...

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Development of social media laws in India and lessons to be learnt from the EU experience

facebook-resultsSince the Millennium, social media has grown from teenage fad into an essential communication platform at such unprecedented speed that it’s left the development of privacy laws and regulations in its wake.

A new report by India-based analysts Avendus puts this into context on a global perspective.

There are now over 2.4 billion internet users in the world of which 1.5 billion access the internet through their mobile devices either as a primary or a supplementary device; the penetration of smartphones are expected to grow at a CAGR of 20% to reach 2...

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The attack of the Zombies is killing innovative NPD and marketing according to new research

Zombie2So-called “Zombie” and “Cannibal” Products are killing consumer brands, according to new research which shows that over half of new launches are failing to provide growth or are eating into profits from existing products.

A study from market research agency TNS examined the product launches of 3,500 consumer goods in the savoury snacks, laundry, soft drinks and skin care market segments.

Researchers found that 60% of new product launches were either “Zombie Products” that offered no long-term growth and acted as a dead-weight or were “Cannibal Products” that failed to add incremental value to a brand portfolio and simply transferred customers from other products within the portfolio.

TNS estimated that the food and drinks industry in the UK was wasting £600m per year on R&D alone...

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Finding your own light bulb moment

It is 50 years to the week that President John F Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Among the many black and white TV news clips of speeches made by JFK that I’ve been watching this week, one sentence in particular struck a chord with me:

JFK2“In each of us there’s a private hope and dream which, if fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone.”

That may sound like a lofty ideal. However, I sincerely believe that as marketers, we all need the conviction to want to make a positive difference for the organisation or enterprise that we are part of and serve. Nothing less will do.

To create something valuable out of nothing more than a compelling vision, or set of principles, is what great marketing is all about. That’s the ‘light bulb moment’.

A few years ago I h...

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Is your glass half empty or half full?

GlassIt’s easy to think everything is doom and gloom when the British economy is staggering to get itself back on its feet and the appearance of cold, overcast skies adds to our general sense of foreboding as the evenings start to draw in and it’s dark by 4.30pm!

But instead of worrying about sales and marketing and whether we’re going to make our end of year figures before it’s time to pack up for the Christmas break, there’s a bunch of entrepreneurs out there that are constantly looking for success in the face of adversity.

I was struck by how successful this thinking is when listening to the presentation of my friend and colleague Professor Jaideep Prabhu of Judge Business School, Cambridge University which he gave on the subject of marketing innovation at the recent India Summi...

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When sharing can be a bad thing

Crayola 64From a very young age we are taught it’s good to share – whether it’s a favourite toy, crayons or bag of potato chips.

It’s something that we see as a positive influence on a child’s development. As a society we want to encourage it throughout adulthood. The desire to share also makes us less selfish and more connected with our environment and those around us.

However, there are occasions when sharing – or rather ‘oversharing’ – can be a bad or negative thing for both the brands we represent and our own, personal brands.

Consciously or not, we are all sharing far more information online than ever before – there are 571 new websites created every minute; Facebook has over 1 billion users and 500 million tweets are sent every day.

How we tweet - Sharing

People share a lot of information abou...

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Why are marketers going native with advertising?

Social media redefined the rules of advertising in a way that many in the industry hadn’t predicted until Facebook came on the scene in 2004.

The old interruption model of brand communication – commonly known as ‘advertising’ – was no longer as effective. We were now in a world where consumers shared opinions on social networks irrespective of what a brand wanted to say about its product or service in a carefully crafted ad placed in a highly controlled media environment.

Native Advertising - Furby

This article sponsored by Furby appeared on BuzzFeed just before Halloween.

The days of the display ad looked like they were numbered.

Or were they?

In an attempt to appeal to savvier consumers and hordes of digital divas, the ad men conceived of a new form of advertising in the hope that this would replace the...

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Why organisations need to build a successful enterprise based on real values and not just marketing

DespairEach day the marketing media is full of news of the latest campaigns, CRM tools and mobile developments that promise to take brand owners one step closer to their desired customer, client and supporter segments. That’s really exciting and of course there’s a growing industry of technology providers hungry to supply these leading-edge marketing solutions.

But building a successful enterprise takes more than just better marketing or even great products and services. A committed enterprise requires having a clear vision and purpose built on real values. Today, it’s not just what the business does but how it does its business.

For example, according to the latest Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands Survey 2013, European consumers are unlikely to purchase a brand they’ve never tried befor...

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