Blog

In a world of change, what won’t?

In marketing we love change, but what about what won’t? Here are 7 unchanging principles of effective communication that are based on how our brains work, not on how specific technology works. Papyrus, paper, the printing press, television, the internet, the smartphone: the new communication technologies with the power to shape human culture invariably lead […]

The sales funnel is wrong but it’s here to stay, so let’s fix it.

The sales funnel is nearly a hundred years old, but despite frequent reports of its death and surprisingly little evidence that it reflects how advertising actually works, it’s never been more alive. The cockroach of marketing concepts, it just seems to keep going and going, adapting to the environment it finds itself in. This is […]

Do you have a marketing philosophy?

Do you have a philosophy for how marketing communications work for your brand? I don’t mean a strategy or plan. I mean a vision that’s articulated simply, compellingly, inspiringly. For most marketing people the honest answer is probably no, although I suspect it’s a bit more common amongst marketers at the ‘brand’ end of the […]

Modern Marketing Myopia: is marketing losing perspective?

If ‘Marketing Myopia’ was an over-focus on products vs consumer needs, its modern variant is an over-focus on the present vs the past, present & future, that puts us in danger of losing sight of the bigger picture for our brands. In 1960, Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt’s article ‘Marketing Myopia’ described a damaging […]

“I’ve never heard of Jellyfish.”

When I told people I was starting a new job at Jellyfish, people asked loads of questions. The most common from creative agency people was ‘who are Jellyfish?’. From people who knew little more than the name, it was ‘why’s a brand person like you going to a performance agency?’. But from those in the […]

Scaling up without screwing up

When scale-ups consider using TV advertising for the first time, it’s a decision that can be riven with uncertainty. So here’s some advice and data to help, including a new analysis of the performance of 550 TV ads by 200 new-to-TV brands by System1 Group. It reveals some lessons for scale-ups and a worrying problem: […]

The Wrong and the Short of it

Short-termism and long-termism are both just wrong-termism. So let’s end the false choice between long and short-term marketing tactics, maximise the compound effects of getting them working together in harmony, and start to close the value-destroying divide between ‘brand’ and ‘performance’ marketing. It’s limiting marketing effectiveness and brand growth, when we’ve never needed them more. […]

Brand purpose. The biggest lie the ad industry ever told?

I was asked recently to give a talk answering the question ‘does brand purpose really drive profit?’. My very short answer to it was ‘yes it can, but mostly it probably doesn’t’. And the slightly longer answer to it was ‘it really depends, but on balance brand purpose is over-used in marketing today and its […]

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About Me

With 20+ years as a strategist in the world’s best marketing communications agencies, I’m driven by a desire to drive future growth for brands by harnessing the commercial power of creativity, and to prove its value for the marketing industry as a whole.

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