— On Comms Design. From London

how-brands-grow1Retention is never cheaper than acquisition. It actually never has been.

And interestingly (and this is where I wholeheartedly agree with him), this IS one of the most often mentioned myths of marketing. People DO say and believe that retention is cheaper than acquisition. I, like many, took this at face value and never stopped to question it. The enormity of this misconception strikes you, though, the minute you do stop and think. The logic of the statement does exist: once you’ve established a relationship with someone, they are more likely to choose you. It kinda makes sense. But then you realize

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I hate writing “life advice” type things but I came across this phrase, “do the work, skip the party” and I thought it was nice.

All my life has been plagued by the annoying “work hard, play hard”, meaning that you did 110% at work and then went out and celebrated 110% more. The reality for me was that I, like, I assume, most people, only have 100% to give. It’s not just common-sense mathematics but also the reality of a normal human being’s abilities. You have been given 100% and to be very honest most medical research tells us that we can barely achieve that without some form of artificial enhancement. So to ask me to give 110 at work and then 110 more after work seems not only idiotic but also a bit like endorsing illegal substance consumption. Work hard, play hard for me has

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Jon Steel is one of the people who made planning what it is today. He started off in the planning department at BMP and was the youngest person to ever be appointed to the board of BMP at 26. He then moved on to lead strategy for Goodby, Silvertein and Partners in the US and is currently working in a global consulting role for WPP. I saw him last week speak at APG’s Nosiy Thinking and this is a summary of that speech.

Entitled Reasons to be Grumpy, Steel’s speech focused mainly on reminding the audience of what planning started as: a research-based skill within the agencies, meant to lay an information foundation to the creative process. He put significant emphasis on the importance of having enough information before applying common-sense and instinct to problem-solving which I think it something we should have etched in the walls of every meeting room in every agency.

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Answer here. And the bit I really liked:

“It’s very clear that people sometimes do look to brands to help make their lives a little better beyond the functionality and values of the brand. But sometimes they just want a great cup of coffee or a decent beer.”

 

 

a taster of the full thing here

“He gives you a number and a date. You know in your soul that the number is half of what it should be and that the project will go a year over schedule. He promises long-term efficiencies: The $85,000 in Oracle licenses will no longer be needed; engineering is moving to a free, open-sourced database. “We probably should have done that back when we did the Magento migration,” he says. Meaning, of course, that his predecessor probably should have done that.”

I see this in younger planners/strategists: the need to be in front of the client, to be heard, to decide on the big things. If you’re a planner and you desire those things, you’re in the wrong trade. Planners don’t ever get recognition from being the “source” of stuff. You will always be the “resource” for a lot of things but never the initiator of much, unless you’re lucky and you have a creative director who’s old enough and wise enough to understand the power of empowering people through recognition. But mostly you will work to support people whose most important desire, like yours, is to be also recognized. So you can either fight with your creative and client lead to get the recognition you deserve, learn to seek recognition in a more niche way (within your planning community or become bigger than your role and blog, speak at events etc.) or simply give up.

I’ve found that there is a more meaningful solution, though–> you can do the best work of your life and live with the quiet realization that you have contributed in a meaningful way to something great.  If that’s not enough for you, then you need to reconsider your career choice.

Based on The Verge Live Blog

Google is building official fingerprint reader support right into Android

Doze

New apps coming to Wear (or coming with new features): Uber, Foursquare, CityMapper

Project Brillo

“Weave” is the IoT communications layer

Showing how Inbox can theoretically make stuff like TripIt unnecessary, because it puts everything you need for your trip in there

Google Now shows actions and info from apps inside Google Now. You can order an Uber or play Pandora or reorder groceries from Instacart

Listening to a Skrillex song in Spotify. He says “Ok Google, what’s his real name?” and, um, Google knows the answer. He didn’t say “Skrillex’s real name,” he said “his real name.” So Google knew what was on the screen. Inside that other app.

New product: Google Photos

Offline maps coming “later this year.”

TO BE CONTINUED

That is the question: are you selfie-ing yourself out of jobs?

I distinctly remember, a while back, one major TV station in Ro reporting on how social media profiles were becoming the number 1 go-to for HR specialists in their attempt to evaluate the suitability of candidates. The report went on to warn people about posting everything that went on in their lives on their social media profiles, with special emphasis on those late night party headshots or, worse yet, the sexy pics meant to attract attention from potential social suitors. Naturally, I can think of worse things once could post to detract attention from one’s professional accomplishments: liking pages of disreputable organizations, racial slurs or trolling are, to my mind, worse reasons to un-consider a candidate but the point I am trying to make below is that HR specialists should not look to social profiles for insight TO BEGIN WITH. Read More

I just came back from a Masterclass in Effectiveness at local IPA where I was fortunate to hear 4 smart people present 4 smart campaigns. What stayed with me, though, was the realization that we need to be very precise with the terminology we employ when we discuss the role and effects of communication.

Someone in the panel used the word fame as an way of thinking about the outcome of the campaigns we make, and soon that one word descended into multiple interpretations from the audience among which “something viral”, “something everyone talks about”, “something cool”, “something on brand”, “something useful, meaningful”, to the point where someone felt the need to ask but what if being famous is not in our brand’s DNA. One of the speakers then casually dropped this into the mix “we all know that fame quadruples the effects of a campaign” which further confused everyone as to what was being discussed.

It only goes to show how we should be very precise in describing what the point of a campaign is. Ultimately, as service providers, we are held by the objectives and metrics of our clients. If they leave it to us to set objectives, these should be intrinsically linked to sales and brand and any word we use to describe any step in between our work and sales or brand results had better be clear.

pablo

 

 

and Seth Godin has the solution

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About 2 weeks ago, I got really upset at seeing this ad and posted a heartfelt “fuck you” to the advertiser behind it. My original post is here and includes a share of an article in the Guardian that, at that time, 2 weeks back, was smugly noticing that we have given in to advertising messages but forgotten to take a stand. The article said “Feminists may fondly recall the Fiat advert – slogan: “if it were a lady, it would get its bottom pinched” – that one clever woman vandalised with the words “if this lady was a car she’d run you down”. You rarely see such things these days, but the art of subvertising is alive and well on the internet.”

I didn’t particularly like the article  mostly because it takes that defeatist, “if we could make the perfect world we would, but unfortunately socialism is dead” stance that I really really hate from neo-socialists, but at the time it was the only thing being shared on the sheer ugliness that the ad was.

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