Posts Tagged 'thoughts'

maybe it’s you

maybe it's you

Neil has just shared a wonderful list of things you need to ask yourself before you’re even allowed to think about saying “my client doesn’t get it.”

His third point really struck me [I've changed the wording a bit for context]:

The client refuses to ‘do’ your idea, because you / they have never tried it before, and it’s unproven.

But let’s face it: the problem isn’t that the client is risk averse.

It’s just that you haven’t persuaded them that the idea’s good enough.

Or worse, they think it is a good idea, but they don’t trust you enough to do it without screwing it up.

The list summarises many questions we should ask ourselves on a daily basis.

Go read the rest of it here.

the self-select few?

sheep sign

Monday’s feed your curiosity post got lots of visitors, and many of them clicked through to the featured sites.

I was really pleased about that, because the post’s purpose was to share their great content.

However, somebody made a really interesting observation:

“I looked at those blogs you linked to. They were all really good and all, but their blogrolls all link to the same sites. They all seem to reference each other too. Are you all part of some secret club? Is this just a clever ruse to promote your particular way of thinking?”

It’s true.

We’re all linking to each other.  We’re all connected on twitter too.

I’ve always seen that as a good thing: the evolving group discussions help to sharpen my own thinking.

The community aspect is very important too.

But is this ‘clique’ healthy?

Does it really improve our thinking, or are we in danger of becoming a homogeneous planning ‘cult’?

It would be great to hear your thoughts.

learn something new every day

wise people never stop learning

There’s always something new to discover and explore.

The best education never ends.

Inspired by a comment on yesterday’s post

novelty: the banned wagon


If everyone else is doing it, that doesn’t mean you have to as well.

Once you’ve noticed it’s a craze, you’re probably too late for the party.

By its very nature, novelty is unsustainable.

It works well in the short term because shiny, new things are intriguing.

But all too soon, the craze will pass; the shine will fade, and the crowd will move on.

That’s fine if all all you’re looking for is a brief flurry of attention.

But if you’re looking for lasting results, meaningful benefits will win every time.

Be very clear about the value you’re providing with that iPhone app, social networking widget, twitter account, etc… doing something just because it’s shiny rarely delivers a worthy return on investment.

A subtler approach – with less pop, but more sizzle – will likely get you much closer to where you want to be.

More thoughts in a similar vein in this great post from Le’Nise Brothers, and this AdAge article on the evolution of iPhone apps.

we used to talk…

There are many parallels between what works in inter-personal relationships and what works in marketing.

That shouldn’t come as any surprise – after all, marketing is all about fostering and deepening relationships – but many marketers continue to make the same old mistakes.

As we’ve seen before, it’s about them, not you.

Successful relationships grow through reciprocity – a balance of give and take – but you’re much more likely to succeed if you give before you try to take.

If you start with what matters to the people who matter to you, you’ll have a greater chance of achieving mutual benefit.

I’ll leave you with this great little clip. It’s been around for a while, but it’s still highly relevant:

1000 stories

Niemann NY Mag US flags, Chinese workers

Most of us are familiar with the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words.

But some pictures tell entire stories.

The illustration above, by Christoph Niemann, is certainly worth a few thousand words.

In fact, I’d go so far as to suggest that it expresses more than words ever could.

And that’s the key to strategic communication – finding the most efficient and effective way to establish a common understanding.

The ideal means for a specific end.

See more of Christoph’s fantastic work here –  I especially liked this image from his children’s guide to learning Chinese characters. I discovered Christoph thanks to ffffound! – a great resource for regular inspiration. Please note that the copyright for the above image remains with its original owners – please let me know if you’d like me to remove this image and I will do so immediately.

the flawed opposition of medium vs. message

@ptiongson alerted me to this tweet from @wpponline last night:

wpponline sorrell tweet

Now, although the article uses the phrase as its title, the authors provide no evidence that Sorrell actually said, “the medium is more important than the message.”

However, this opposition remains a common debate – and one that’s fundamentally flawed.

Communication cannot occur without both medium and message – they’re entirely co-dependent.

Rather than being in opposition, both elements need to be carefully woven together: we’ve seen before that the most effective communications deliver the right message to the right people in the right places at the right times.

But maybe I’m missing something.

Could the medium really be more important than the message?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

thinking allowed

imagination vs knowledge

The stuff inside your head is only valuable once you let it out again.

With thanks to icanread and forgottenworks for the Einstein quote.

ethics in advertising – poll results

ethics in advertising poll results

The fine line poll has been open a few weeks now, so I thought it was a good time to share some initial results.

Fascinatingly, one in five participants would refuse to promote a religion – more than any other category.

I was intrigued by this ranking.

It’s perhaps less surprising to see tobacco in second position, but the presence of political parties in third place was another finding that tickled me.

The majority of participants who voted “other” highlighted sexual exploitation of some description.

Meanwhile, one in ten participants were comfortable promoting anything for the right price – fewer than I initially expected.

So, an interesting set of results.

And while most are in line with my expectations, religion’s place at the top of the heap still fascinates me.

Being the curious person that I am, my response is: why?

What is it that advertisers find so morally repugnant about promoting a religion?

Is it because it’s beneath them?

Is it because they can’t think of anything that differentiates one religion from another?

Is there some kind of ethical barrier, and if so, why is the promotion of a brand that purports to save our souls more heinous than doing so for brands that have been shown to kill us?

I’d really like to know your perspectives – the comments section is open for your thoughts.

* The “Other” option allows participants to specify what they wouldn’t advertise. Thanks very much to everyone who has taken part so far. If you didn’t get the chance to vote, please feel free to take part in the poll now

new media


The ‘media landscape’ has changed significantly in the past ten years. 

Digital, mobile, social networking… every year seems to bring its own ‘new media’.

It’s all very exciting.

However, despite their excitement, many marketers still have a very limited concept of ‘media’.

I’ve mentioned before that I believe advertising is

the process of sharing the right things with the right people in the right places at the right times.

This has significant implications for ‘media’.

On the one hand, it necessitates a more tailored approach to establishing audience connections.

The conventional model focuses on reaching an audience, but what does that matter? As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water… we need to ensure that the horse drinks as well.

This means being much more specific when it comes to identifying where and when we can engage people with what the brand wants to share.

It’s about relevance and resonance, not reach and frequency.

On the other hand, we need to be a lot more open-minded when it comes to defining ‘media’.

Why limit ourselves to the conventional choices?

There is nothing* a brand cannot use to communicate.

Our imperative is to identify the best opportunities for sharing things in the most efficient and effective manner.

To do this, we need to plan around people’s whole lives, not just around paid media and their associated ratings.

More on that here.

Really, nothing. If you’re doubtful, give me an example of something you think couldn’t be used as ‘media’, and I’ll try to think of a way it could be used.


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