Strategic Planning


Becoming a SIF is a communications opportunity

As my personal situation takes me on the route to becoming a SIF, not a Structural Integrity Field (for the Star Trek fans) but a single income family, it strikes me how much of a communications opportunity this is, and how little work is really done, either on turning these sort of challenges into comms opportunities, or beyond that into looking at real behavioural-lifestyle segmentation to try and better target both products and messaging. This isn’t about being short of cash, or stuggling to pay the bills at the end of the month and watching the credit card fees mount up, but about More >

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Why advertising needs entrepreneurs

Regardless of whether you are part of a hot-shop 17-man creative boutique, or one of a 450-man flagship office of a global agency network, the advertising business still needs more than a healthy dose of entrepreneurs – and I think the industry is forgetting that.

The challenge with this business, however large the brand name or the network, is that at the end of the day we run and act like SMEs. Small and medium sized businesses have some very different features to large corporate conglomerates mainly based around the type of people they employ and how these employees need to act on a day to More >


Disruption for mind and body

I went last night for my first training sesssion at Concept 10 10 here in Dubai, this is a very different approach to the gym that uses very heavy weight against isolated muscle groups, doing very slow repetitions until you reach muscle failure point – and if you can hold out for too long (2.5 minutes in their book) then the weights are increased. A little bit masochistic I may hear you say, and I’m thinking a little so this morning, but there is a lesson here, both for our bodies and our minds as it applies to what we do on a daily basis and how we can make advertising and communications More >


Clarifying digital and mobile

It is about time that the industry stopped referring to digital and mobile as channels or as media; we are mature enough now to understand that these are not specific enough and do not group together a set of channels that can, or should, necessarily be used together.

The mobile handset exists in a number of different forms and includes a variety of different channels ranging from the basic voice and SMS, up through MMS, Bluetooth and now mobile broadband internet to apps, dependant on the OS in place – so finally mobile is purely the equipment and when we say mobile, we really mean handset More >


The war for digital talent in advertising

Is there enough 360 experience to go around? Are tighter criteria making the talent pool smaller for recruitment today?

It seems like everyone is chasing after the golden goose right now – the speed at which digital is invading our industry means that suddenly there is a major need for people that not only understand the medium but also how it works and how it fits into the media mix. So suddenly the marketing geek is in demand, but there is definitely segmentation within this group:

  • There are those that still want to work at pure player digital agencies, here there may well be less access More >

Reinventing marketing strategy, plans and thinking

As I read the pipeline article on ‘learning to unlearn‘ it occurred to me how key this idea is when applied directly to the way we plan marketing and communications campaigns today. The last few years have seen the arrival of new channels, the prevalence of content as key to engagement and have put the consumer in charge of the way that businesses and brands communicate, but even with these dramatic changes in the marcomms landscape we have not seen an equal change in the way that marketers and brands approach their own strategy and planning.  Rather than a reinvention of the way we approach More >


How do we build knowledge in the agency business?

The question of building knowledge in this industry has arisen more frequently recently, mainly as a result of expanding markets in particular areas such as digital and interactive and also as a result of the economic downturn when many people are let go or changing positions and organisations must fight hard to transfer and retain the knowledge of their clients, brands and businesses. Knowledge management itself has been around for a while, particularly in the R&D departments of product and software development organisations. I personally worked with the HP inkjet team on a pilot KM project More >


Mad Men, and the dying art of the account exec

The more I watch Mad Men, the more I compare it to our business today and start asking myself certain questions. Some have obvious answers like the role of women, the drinking and the smoking and the overall style of life, some are very amusing in how little the business has changed in the last 50 years, but one thing that I can’t get my head around is ‘what has happened to the account executive… and why?’.

Apart from Don and Peggy, the majority of the Sterling Cooper (and now Draper Pryce) staff are represented by the high-flying account guys. Those guys who slave to win over the clients and More >

It’s time to think (anew)

A very interesting piece by Charlie Lowe (@charliemlowe) at DTD today talking about the…

…critical lack of resourceful and talented people in the world.

and how this is particularly relevant to the advertising industry; and he makes a very valid point in that creative thinking and talented people tend to go hand in hand and as the business grows, there are less and less of those around.

But I would potentially take the point even further in that in the new communication environment of ambiguity we need people to start thinking in a new way, in a way that can be described as channel planning More >

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