Book Review: Think Like a Freak by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

You may have read Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics, however, have you read Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s latest book Think Like a Freak? If not, then here’s a little summary to entice you. As always, I tend to wade through books at light speed over the summer break. And this one grabbed my attention from our recently updated TrinityP3 library. So I popped it on the pile to read. Continue reading

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Marketing transformation: a cautionary tale of two marketers and two very different outcomes

No one can deny the innovations and changes that are driving transformation in marketing. Some call it a digital transformation, some a technology transformation, others a customer experience transformation or some simply a transforming of marketing strategy. These changes are leading to a rethink of marketing structure, process and implementation, including what the ideal roster of agencies and suppliers looks like. But that race to transform can be a challenge, with some taking a considered strategic approach while others rush around trying to find a quick fix. Continue reading

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Time for marketers to follow P&G’s lead and apply the Golden Rule

Congratulations to Procter & Gamble CMO Marc Pritchard on an excellent example of how marketers need to apply the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule is the Man with the Gold makes the rules. Or put another way, the market sets the price but the buyer sets the terms. But there is certainly an argument that for the past ten years marketing and procurement have been setting the price, using competitive tensions and tenders to drive down the agency fee but largely ignoring the importance of setting the terms. By terms I do not mean payment terms, but even the introduction of extended payment terms has been cost driven. Continue reading

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The importance of financial analysis in determining marketing priorities

In dealing with the management of marketing, a significant component of the work we do is assessing and benchmarking the value of the marketing investment of our clients. This budget is spent with a range of external suppliers. These external suppliers include advertising, digital and media agencies, but also the thousands of other suppliers who are competing for the share of the marketing budget. These suppliers can include everything from printers and merchandising providers to market researchers and software providers. Continue reading

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Is the problem with data the fact that many marketers misuse it?

A recent interview with Professor Gary Lilien in Marketing Magazine on marketing analytics and the skepticism that still hinders its universal adoption got my attention. Not because of the issue, but because I have been longing to get to the bottom of why marketers are so sceptical. (I have my own hypothesis, which I will share below). He believes it is due to insecurity due to a lack of understanding of how marketing analytics works. I have joked a couple of times here that “72% of people are fooled by statistics” yet data and therefore statistics is an important foundation for marketing and understanding the market place. Time and again I hear about marketers struggling with or even rejecting data because it is often too confusing and therefore offers them no value or that the insights derived from the data conflict with their beliefs and so they reject its validity. Continue reading

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If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional marketing management consultant to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur

I love this quote that I have shamelessly paraphrased in the headline here. Red Adair was a larger-than-life character who built his reputation successfully putting out oil well fires. This is a highly dangerous and incredibly lucrative occupation. Imagine an oil well producing thousands of barrels of oil, suddenly erupts into flames? It is literally millions of dollars going up in smoke. Now I am not for a minute suggesting what we do as marketing management consultants is anywhere near as dramatic or a dangerous as Red Adair and his oil fire fighting business, but I think there are some key examples of where in marketing management an expensive professional provides more value than a low cost amateur. Continue reading

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If marketing and their agencies were responding to a customer’s festive season brief

As we come to the end of another year I got thinking about what would happen if marketers and their agencies responded to a brief for the festive season, what would the outcome be? Imagine for instance if a letter to Santa Claus was delivered to the marketing department instead of going to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole? What would arrive on Christmas morning in response? Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The role of digital, content and social media in marketing

Jeff Bullas is the CEO at jeffbullas.com and a entrepreneur, blogger, author and marketers, who talks with Darren on the importance of strategy and a focus on return on investment when using digital, content and social media marketing techniques to ensure effectiveness and to focus you on performance in the face of increasing opportunities and options. Continue reading

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What 2016 in marketing, media and advertising can tell us about 2017

Yes, it’s that time of year again when everyone feels compelled to compile their list of predictions for the coming year. Thank Heavens that unless you’re a major news provider, current or former world or business leader, Stephen Hawkins or have appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, your predictions won’t get embarrassingly reviewed at the end of next year. So therefore, from the safety of relative obscurity, but a reasonably well-informed position – here are mine – primarily in the broader world context – and then where and how they seem to fit in the world of marketing. Continue reading

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Sorry, but there is no best practice agency roster structure anymore

There is an on-going industry discussion about agency rosters. What is the best size? Is it better to consolidate and reduce the number of agencies or diversify the agencies to ensure you have all requirements covered? When you look at the industry it could appear that there is a trend here as marketers add in agencies to the roster and then react to the size and complexity of the roster and then start to consolidate and shed the agencies they believe they no longer need as they consolidate the supposed full service agency. Continue reading

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