16 May 2013
I’ve just been out for a very pleasant dinner in very pleasant company in a restaurant which is part of a national chain.
The service was good and the food was good so I left a reasonable tip. It was a tangible measure of my satisfaction which I bet will never be reported back to the head office marketing team.
What I haven’t done is go online and fill in the satisfaction survey that the over-scripted staff pressed upon me - despite the incentive of a free bottle of wine if I do so.
I am sure many customers will do so, however, whether because of the incentive or because they feel they want to express an opinion.
And therein lies a danger. More...
09 May 2013
The current elections for a new president of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) have sparked a bit of debate in the PR business.
Just what is the CIPR for? Come to that, what is any professional institution for?
For some professions, the institution is in effect a closed shop. Without membership of the appropriate professional institution it is difficult to operate (forgive the pun) as a doctor, lawyer or accountant.
In these professions the institutions have a clear role in setting and policing professional standards – largely (they would argue) to protect the public.
But in PR and marketing the institutions are not so powerful. Almost anyone can (and seemingly almost anyone does) set themselves up in business and call themselves a public relations or marketing consultant without any actual qualifications at all. More...
06 May 2013
Email marketing can be an effective way to reach your target audience with important messages about your brand. It is also a measurable marketing activity as it allows companies to gain insights into how many people are accessing target online sites and engaging with a brand directly from the email content
However, with advances in mobile technology, more and more people are accessing their emails on the go, often on hand held devices, not their office computer. More...
02 May 2013
WPP, the world’s largest marketing services company, posted first quarter results last week.
Because of its size and position in the industry it is widely regarded as a bellwether* for not just marketing services (including, primarily, marketing communications) but for the economy in general. When the big companies that are WPP’s clients are spending on marketing communications, the economy must be doing OK – or so the theory goes. More...
30 April 2013
Linkedin is relaunching its Contacts section as a new, smart contact management system that will let users link up and integrate connections on LinkedIn with those on other social platforms, and then serve as a ‘personal assistant’ to help manage the interactions. More...
29 April 2013
Retail sales through mobile devices (including tablets) in the UK were up by more than 300 per cent in 2012 compared with 2011. So the internet is going mobile, obviously.
Well, maybe not. Or not at the pace that some of its exponents might have you believe.
Recent research by the Open University into internet use by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) suggests the case for going mobile is not yet overwhelming for companies selling to these firms. More...
24 April 2013
President Obama said last week, following the capture of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: "In this age of instant reporting, tweets and blogs, there's a temptation to latch on to any bit of information, sometimes to jump to conclusions. But when a tragedy like this happens, with public safety at risk and the stakes so high, it's important we do this right." More...
22 April 2013
It can be reassuring in turbulent economic times to look at your company’s annual report and comfort yourself with its detailed tabulation of the assets of your business – the foundation stone of your financial security.
If you do derive any reassurance from this, you are living in cloud cuckoo land. There is only one asset that matters to a business and it is not even included on your balance sheet. That asset is your customers.
Without customers you do not have a business. Without customers most of your ‘assets’ listed in the annual report swiftly become liabilities. Plant and buildings become financial millstones around your neck as they eat up cash more quickly than it is being generated from income. More...
19 April 2013
The writer, humourist and author of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams once said: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
It might be OK in the world of delivering entertainment - although I’m sure that Douglas’ producers, editors and publishers disagreed - but in the world of marcomms, media relations and PR we cannot afford to take that approach when it comes to delivering on clients’ expectations. So how do we avoid that whooshing sound? Well it’s all about time management. Here a few tips. More...
16 April 2013
Despite the recession (are we or aren’t we in a triple dip?) and the government’s determination to cut welfare spending, there are few people in the UK whose lives are driven by basic needs such as collecting clean water, finding enough food for the day or seeking shelter from the weather.
Our customers’ needs appear to be more complex. In fact, however, they have psychological roots which have not changed since the dawn of time. You can boil these down to fear, love, greed and sex.
This is true in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing. The purchasing director is driven by the same psychology in his corporate buying as he is in the supermarket. More...