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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 […]

The brand: the most valuable business tool ever invented

A brand can be a company’s most valuable commercial asset, but persuading CEOs to invest in theirs has never been harder. In an open letter to all CMOs, everywhere, I set out some key data to help them. [first published 22.03.18] Dear All CMOs, everywhere Hope you don’t mind me writing to you all like this but […]

Most marketing is bad because it ignores the most basic data

Despite data being one of marketing’s obsessions, most brands aren’t extracting value from 11 of the most basic data-points available to everyone. [First published by BBH Labs 04.12.17] ‘How did Facebook, which prides itself on being able to process billions of data-points…somehow not make the connection that electoral ads paid for in roubles were coming […]

The stupidity of sameness and the value of difference

The case for the importance of difference & distinctiveness in business, brands and marketing communication. [First published by BBH Labs 20.03.19] Sameness is commercial suicide – whether your chosen way of being different is differentiation or distinctiveness[1] or like me you’re a cakeist and would ideally want both. Yet there’s a growing ‘sea of sameness’ out there, and […]

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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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