Why B2B companies should focus on marketing and sales, not sales and marketing

Do you ever wonder why most people say “sales and marketing” in that order? When referring to the growth centre of their business it is typically sales first and then marketing, rather than marketing and then sales. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The challenges facing CMOs today

Andy Lark is the Chief Marketer and Chair of Group Lark. He is also been a CMO, a board adviser, a Non-Executive Director and industry commentator and here he discusses with Darren the challenges and issues facing CMOs and Marketing Leaders today. Exploring everything from lack of alignment in objectives to increasing market diversity and complexity to issues with recognition and support. Continue reading

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Technology, Business and Society make a trinity. Will marketers respond with maturity?

A lot has been written about how technology will transform businesses in coming years (scratch that, I mean coming quarters) and how consumers will benefit from greater convenience, comfort, customisation and cost benefits. Not a day goes by without a blog, an article, a podcast or a video about AI and how it is going to fundamentally change our lives. Continue reading

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When is agile marketing not Agile Marketing?

I love a buzzword as much as the next person, which is why I love working in marketing. Some of my favourites include, gamification, amplification, customer-centricity, authenticity, influencer and agile marketing. Wait, what? Agile marketing isn’t a buzzword, it’s a genuine go to market strategy that has been transported across from the world of software development and is now being successfully utilised across marketing teams from education to garden centres. Isn’t it? Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: The impact of data and technology on customer retention and acquisition

Steve Emanouel is the Managing Director of Spyglaz, a data platform that helps organisations identify customers most likely to churn. Here Steve talks with Darren on how his career has evolved since they worked together at JWT in the late 1990s and the role of direct marketing and digital technology in B2B businesses. They also discuss the strategic flaws in focusing on acquisition and the importance of customer retention for business success. Continue reading

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Retained AOR or project fees? Which one is best?

While I have previously shared thoughts on comparing rate cards with retainers in 2008, ways to improve retainers in 2009 and most recently the considerations before moving from retainers to project fees in 2016 , I have not actually provided a comparison of pros and cons for advertisers and agencies.
Yet in the past five years we have had an avalanche of advertisers asking us for help moving their agency remuneration from retainers to project fees. Continue reading

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We’re Like Collaborating, Right?

Marketers often tell us they’re a “collaborative” organisation or they’re a “collaborative” team. Agencies tell us they’re “collaborative” working with other agencies. But when it comes down to it, I’m not sure either marketers or agencies really understand what being “collaborative” really means or how to apply the term to their respective activities. Continue reading

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What Happens When the Magic of Creativity No Longer Works?

In barbaric and prehistoric times, before primitive man invented religion and prayed to gods for intercessions, man was isolated and alone, facing an uncertain and terrifying world that worked by its own logic. Would the sun rise every day?  Would winter fade and spring follow in its stead? Would there be fish to catch, prey to hunt, rain for water and crops, bountiful harvests, cures for disease, pregnancy and babies, victory in war?  Would the tribe flourish?  Tribes were like advertisers today, looking for certainties and prosperity in a hostile world. Continue reading

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Top 5 dumb ways to use data in marketing

With the implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica data scandal, data privacy and usage is a pretty hot topic. So strap yourself in. Here we go. Continue reading

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Lower Cost Does Not Mean Higher Quality in the Ad Industry

If we were on a guided tour of the advertising industry, here are the points of interest that ought to be on every sightseer’s list. 1) The Advertisers.  “Lower cost” is their strategy du jour, with reductions in media spend, cuts in agency fees, continued use of cost benchmarks and investments in less expensive internal agencies.  Amazing!  Increased shareholder value — marketing with the stroke of a pen, crossing out columns of unnecessary figures. Continue reading

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Managing Marketing: Talking digital, innovation and CX for business

Erik Ingvoldstad, the CEO and Founder of Acoustic Group talks with Darren about their focus on helping companies manage their digital transformation from a cultural foundation, discover innovation within the organisation and manage the customer experience as a way of building brand. He brings a unique perspective with experience in the Army, business school and years in digital and direct marketing. Continue reading

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Marc Prichard, the low creative ratio at your agencies is not their fault, it’s yours

Okay, perhaps not yours Marc, but when you recently stated that you would like three quarters of your agencies to be creative, it made me reflect on the literally hundreds of agency remuneration deals we have benchmarked, negotiated and managed over the past 18 years and the fact that in every case the agency resources required were directly related to the requirements and expectations of the marketers. Continue reading

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Agile Marketing delivery – Become an instant expert

It’s a term that came from the software development industry back in the 1950s, whereby solutions were developed and evolved with cross-functional team collaboration. Agile software development was designed to have all aspects of planning, analysis, design, coding, and testing included together to have working prototypes and products developed and presented to stakeholders for fast approval and implementation throughout defined release cycles. Continue reading

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Have It Your Way: A Marketing Award for a Commercial Mess

Once upon a time, we learned that marketing had something to do with creating, keeping and satisfying customers.  Marketing success created growth and profitability. Chief Marketing Officers had this responsibility and they spent gads of money with their media and creative agencies to make it happen. When economies were growing, especially in the decades after the Second World War, marketing was a straightforward activity and CMOs were successful.  Recent times have been more troublesome, with e-commerce, digital/social and those pesky Millennials killing brand growth. Continue reading

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Enabling Data in Creative, to pull the final lever for digital success

There are 3 main levers to drive results in digital advertising – media, data and creative. The media lever, typically controlled by a DSP, enables you to optimise media schedules and placements based upon audience, environment, response and price. The data lever is currently managed by DMPs, linking data and knowledge to audiences and outcomes. Continue reading

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