Archive for the ‘Marketing Strategy’ Category

Plenty to Compare, Ready the Next Challenge for Insurance Comparison Websites

22 April, 2010 1 comment

Despite your mean-spirited annoyance at television adverts ceaseless braying of insurance comparison web sites, the cacophony is masking a more important commercial reality: these have been jocund days for the industry. There’s nothing like a downturn to focus consumers minds on saving money and the industry has seen big winners in terms of traffic and profit.

Blessed be UK consumers; when it comes to saving a bob on insurance we are spoiled for choice. There’s excruciating hand-drawn crazy man (, bewildering Meerkats (, a grindingly-ubiquitous tenor ( and, depressingly, middle class boring ( and That’s hardly the full list, but it’s enough. Read more…


Don’t Sack Your Marketing Team Just Yet

25 November, 2009 Leave a comment

Photo by petrr

Even before brands faced today’s budgetary age of austerity, a populist meme was gaining traction: that while marketing is a necessary function, perhaps we don’t need a large, dedicated team to deliver it.

Mike Hutchison, writing for the blog Unlimited, argues this very point in his post Hitting Your Mark.  Hutchison’s cites an oft-quoted piece of industry lore of motorcycle manufacturer Ducati sacking its marketing department and delegating responsibility throughout the organisation.

The super-objective Hutchison craves – where individuals up, down and across an organisation take real, tangible responsibility for marketing the brand – is the right intention but the dramatic headline is unhelpful; we might have fantasies about eliminating marketing departments, yet actually doing so creates a number of acute, real problems that cannot be so easily reduced to theory. Read more…

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Social Media ROI is Fine but it’s the NPV We Need

29 October, 2009 Leave a comment
Money Euro Notes

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Most brands grappling with developing a social media proposition reach the ‘ROI question’.

It has many variants, depending if it’s asked by the finance department, the head of marketing or the CEO, but the ROIQ may ultimately be expressed simply as:

What financial benefits will the business receive in return for investing in social media?

Naturally this questions can be asked of any marketing activity but I choose social media specifically – as opposed to traditional media – as it’s the activity least likely to be understood by the senior executives in an organisation.

Nevertheless, it’s the right question to ask; we’re running a business after all.

In 2007 Forrester’s Charlene Li and Chloe Stromberg produced the much-thumbed ROI of Blogging, perhaps the first serious attempt to calculate, in hard dollars, the value of an activity which brands were increasingly being urged by agencies to adopt or at least consider.

While blogging is just one tactical consumer touch point, Li and Stromberg posed thorny questions the stampeding suite of fresh-faced, emerging online services would inevitably face. Read more…

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Facebook Fan Pages: the Future? Er, no

9 October, 2009 Leave a comment

I generally enjoy the Church of the Customer blog and I don’t knock Ben McConnell, whose passion is admirable.

But his piece, Facebook fan pages are the future makes a leap which – aside from presenting a world vision of marketing I assiduously wish to avoid – strikes me as having little chance of coming true.

McConnell writes:

“When fans interact with a fan page on Facebook, that interaction is sent through the fan’s news feed, which goes to all their friends, practically daring a chunk of them to see what the page is about.

Compared to Twitter, Facebook fan pages rule. You’re not limited by Twitter’s 140-character posts, plus it’s far easier for fan page members to preview a photo, video or weblink than what Twitter offers.

What more could a brand manager want?”

Plenty. Authenticity; credibility; and even value spring to mind.  I firmly describe these types of promotional pages on social media sites as extensions of corporate blogs, which we all know finish dead last in terms of consumer credibility. Read more…

Blog’s Eye View

7 July, 2007 2 comments

Having spent the better part 10 years publishing in many digital forms, I continually enjoy watching friends and colleagues discover blogging and, in turn, delight in connecting with others online.  Numerous, ubiquitous social network sites deliver simple publishing tools to whole societies, scaling what was the domain of geeks into a mass-market proposition.

Some reject blogging entirely, which is their right.  But millions have taken virtual pen to paper and, consequently, prompted corporations looking for competitive advantage to investigate how to best employ this activity for profit. Read more…

Social Network Strategy

7 June, 2007 Leave a comment

We create and consume it at an incredible rate, social media is a fitting reflection of our fascination with the engorged lifestyles of 15-minute celebrities.  From Big Brother to big business, we are chattering endlessly about the daily goss like never before.  Social media is at the heart of this free-wheeling exchange, a digital surrogate for real-world community interactions and it includes any activity connecting people through participation and dialogue. Read more…