Learn from your mistakes and you’ll never fail.
a collection of things worth sharing
A fine observation from Albert Einstein, courtesy of littlemiss
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.
This post follows on from the wonderful series of tips that Matt‘s been running over the past few days. It’s partly a blog guide, partly a central resource to share RSS feeds, and partly a tribute to the people who inspire me.
Until recently, finding examples of best practice was hard work.
Happily, things have changed.
Today, the real problem is keeping up with all the great resources available.
While blogrolls have become a good way to find new feeds, I thought it might be more useful to give a bit more background to the sites that I find most informative and inspirational.
The sites I’ve featured below cover a range of marketing disciplines, and inform my thinking across all aspects of the marketing mix and beyond.
Their homepages will give you a good indication of what to expect, but I highly recommend you subscribe to the RSS feeds of the ones you like.
RSS feeds bring all your favourite web content together in one place, so that you don’t need to visit hundreds of different websites. If you’re not familiar with RSS, this simple introduction will help.
To take full advantage of RSS, you’ll also need a reader – an application that keeps track of new content and brings it all together. There are many free readers available on the net; I use Google Reader, which is nice and simple.
As Matt suggests, you’d do well to set aside a few hours each week to read things like this, in addition to your prescribed degree reading. You’ll find that they keep you up to date with the most recent marketing best practice, and provide you with plenty of examples for your assignments and exam papers.
In addition to their blogs, many of these people share great thoughts and links on twitter too. Their tweets are great sources of ‘bite-size’ best practice, so make sure you check them as well. Twitter offers RSS feeds of individual accounts too, so why not add your favourites to your RSS reader?
I hope you find all these links as useful as I do. Good luck!
A seminal resource for brand advice, curated by planner extraordinaire Richard Huntington. In his own words,
“Adliterate is dedicated to providing radical thinking for the brand advice business. It is concerned in the main by the future of advertising and the marketing communications industries, the impact of technology on communications and the nature of potent brands.”
Numerous contributors, led by Martina Zavagno, share the hottest marketing practice from around the world. In Martina’s words,
“Adverblog is the place where I share the links to the best interactive marketing campaigns I happen to see around the Web.”
Great examples of advertising and brand communications, courtesy of the innovation arm of BBH. If you want an idea of what’s to come, this is a great place to start.
A wonderful blend of marketing best practice with a distinctly digital perspective; musical meanderings; and general anthropological observation. It is the brainchild of Iain Tait, Creative Director at Poke London.
A great blog with a great name, Feeding the Puppy is a collection of inspirational marketing strategy from the wonderful John Willshire at PHD. To paraphrase John’s own words,
“The purpose of Feeding the Puppy is to help feed people’s creativity with interesting, different, unusual, or just fun stuff.”
Data plays a huge part in marketing, and its importance grows every day. Making sense of all that data, and finding simple yet effective ways to share it with others, is a hugely valuable skill. Flowing Data is Nathan Yau‘s superb showcase of the best in data visualisation from around the globe. In his own words,
“FlowingData explores how designers, statisticians, and computer scientists are using data to understand ourselves better.”
Home Page: http://flowingdata.com/
Twitter account: http://twitter.com/flowingdata
Recommended reading: Demographics in World of 100 and
Please Act Responsibly
RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/FlowingData
Mark Earls unearths “the hidden truth about who we are”; a superb, on-going study into our highly social nature and behaviour, with a strong marketing and advertising focus. Mark’s description goes something like:
“I was taught not to accept what I was told, but to challenge everything until a more compelling, better-evidenced and more workable descriptions of how things work emerges… My intent is to make things better by making our thinking about things better.”
Home page: http://herd.typepad.com/
Twitter account: http://twitter.com/herdmeister [NB: Mark protects his tweets]
RSS feed: http://herd.typepad.com/herd_the_hidden_truth_abo/atom.x
A series of deeply thoughtful and beautifully written posts on all aspects of marketing and communications. Author Ana Andjelic notes,
“Marketing today is not just about communication; it’s about people’s real-life, first-hand experiences.”
Home page: http://anaandjelic.typepad.com/
Twitter account: http://twitter.com/andjelicaaa
Recommended reading: The Problem with The Big Idea
RSS feed: http://anaandjelic.typepad.com/i_love_marketing/atom.xml
“If you could send a memo to the marketing community and straighten everything out, what would you say?”
In Note to CMO, Steven Denny consistently challenges accepted marketing wisdom. His thought-provoking questions encourage a re-evaluation of ‘how things are’, inspiring deeper insight and more strategic responses.
Home page: http://note-to-cmo.blogspot.com/
Twitter account: http://twitter.com/note_to_cmo
Recommended reading: The Evil of Satisficing
RSS feed: http://note-to-cmo.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Neil Perkins strikes a great balance between thought-provoking editorial and more light-hearted features about various aspects of culture. He also runs a great Post of the Month poll, which is a great place to discover new sources of inspiration. In Neil’s own words, Only Dead Fish is:
“An advertising blog. And a planning blog. And a digital marketing blog. And often a communications blog. And sometimes a media blog. Or a social media blog. And the odd bit of design. And culture…”
Home page: http://neilperkin.typepad.com/
Twitter account: http://twitter.com/neilperkin
Recommended reading: Consumers Are People
RSS feed: http://neilperkin.typepad.com/only_dead_fish/atom.xml
Paul is another fantastic strategist who happily shares large quantities of valuable thinking, often in a ready-to-borrow slideshow format. His Everything Can Always Be Made Better blog is:
“A place to capture and chronicle things… that might be worth sharing as they relate to creating a better future for marketing, advertising, design and technology.”
Home Page: http://paulisakson.typepad.com/
Twitter account: http://twitter.com/paulisakson
Recommended Reading: It’s Not What You Say That Matters…
RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/paulisakson/planning
One of the best trend trackers on the web, PSFK shares amazing quantities of cutting-edge news relating to culture, innovation, and technology. As the site itself says,
“PSFK is a trends research, innovation, and activation company that publishes a daily news site, provides trends research and innovation consultancy and hosts idea-generating events. We aim to inspire our readers, our clients and our guests to make things better – whether that’s better products, better services, better lives or a better world.”
Ruby’s blog is an anthropological delight, and is easily the best source of insights into young people all over the world. Alongside regular summaries of their various research projects, Ruby and team share valuable advice to companies and brands on how to engage younger audiences.
Home page: http://rubypseudochatchat.blogspot.com/
Twitter account: http://twitter.com/ruby_pseudo
Reommended reading: When You Know You’ve Made It
RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/RubyPseudoWantsAWord
It’s difficult to describe Russell’s blog, because it is truly eclectic; posts about marketing sit comfortably side by side with childhood nostalgia and postcards of days out. Whatever the topic, however, every post is worth savouring.
Home Page: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/
Twitter account: http://twitter.com/russelldavies [NB: Russell protects his tweets]
Recommended Reading: Blog all dog-eared pages
RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/RussellDavies
This is a daily dose of inspiration from a marketing legend. Seth Godin has been inspiring me for more than 10 years, and is single-handedly responsible for showing me that marketing is about people, not process. He’s written quite a few books too, some of which he’s given away free on the web.
Home Page: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
Twitter account: http://twitter.com/ThisIsSethsBlog
Recommended Reading: Creating Stories That Resonate
RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/typepad/sethsmainblog
With 8,000 trend spotters in over 70 countries worldwide, Springwise is the leading resource for keeping track of business and marketing innovation from around the globe. In their own words,
“Springwise scans the globe for the most promising business ventures, ideas and concepts that are ready for regional or international adaptation, expansion, partnering, investments or cooperation. We ferociously track more than 400 global offline and online business resources, as well as taking to the streets of world cities, digital cameras at hand.”
Faris Yakob has consistently been one of my most valuable sources of inspiration. His expansive knowledge, awesome vocabulary, and unbounded enthusiasm for almost all things combine to create a tapestry of strategic wonder and random entertainment. In Faris’s own words,
“I’m a strategist and a geek. I’m trying to work out how we communicate in a networked world, how we can make people happy, and how we can make awesome stuff that is useful, or entertaining, or both.”
The sibling of business trend site Springwise, Trendwatching captures the more ‘human’ developments within culture and society. As they put it,
“trendwatching.com is an independent and opinionated trend firm, scanning the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business ideas. For the latest and greatest, we rely on our network of hundreds of spotters in more than 120 countries worldwide.”
Here are a few more twitter accounts that I find especially valuable from a marketing perspective:
Ad Age: “the leading global source of news, intelligence and conversation for marketing and media communities.“
Agency Spy: “We keep the ad industry honest, by airing out their dirty secrets.”
Brand Republic: “first for advertising, digital, marketing, media and PR“
Lee Clow’s Beard: Truly insightful view of life in advertising – “Musings on advertising and facial topiary.“
Not Sir Sorrell: Razor-sharp commentary on the ad world
And if you’d like to track the tweets of nearly 300 planners around the world, you might want to follow this comprehensive list: the planner list
If you enjoy what you see on the blogs above, you may like the following posts here on eskimon too:
If you find those useful, why not subscribe to the eskimon feed: http://feeds2.feedburner.com/eskimon
You can also find me on twitter: http://twitter.com/eskimon
*Note that RSS feed URLs are intended for use in RSS readers, so trying to view those links in normal web browsers probably won’t deliver what you’re looking for.
Earlier today, a colleague remarked,
“Anyway, it’s really different when you actually meet these people,
compared to just seeing them as numbers in Excel.”
A superb observation.
‘Data’ can only tell you so much about people.
Meeting those people and actually talking with them will tell you much, much more.
Because everybody’s different.
We all have idiosyncrasies, peculiar thought processes, and varying perspectives and opinions on the world.
And the best way to really understand these is to investigate them for yourself.
There’s a time and a place for large-scale market research too, but it answers specific briefs.
For everything else, there’s no substitute for experiencing your audience’s world first-hand.
Ask Ruby – she does it all the time.
So, stop hiding in the numbers.
Get out there and talk with people.
Seth has some great thoughts on this too.