Wouldn’t It Be Great To Be Like Barry…

OK. Some days are better than others. Some jobs turn into chores.  But today I met a 75 year old who loved his work so much he was still doing it 10 years after he retired. He didn’t do it for the money any more he did it because he just loved it. How many can say they would keep doing what they do from 9.00-5.00 if they didn’t have to? How often do you miss your work? It was the chap who delivered my car today. 75 years old – he had worked in the motor trade since the early 1960’s, from second hard cars to working for big brands and national dealers. Barry turned up dead on time and loved showing me the car. He showed me all the dials, made sure I properly set up my seat and warned me not to touch the traction control. Like a great sales person, he was genuinely interested in me and happy to answer my rather basic questions. He loved my car. He loved cars. He worked with cars. Barry was 75 going on 23. He was bright eyed, funny, energetic, keen as mustard. So when he retired he arranged to keep his hand in, delivering cars a few days a week – and he still knows all about the latest new models and trends. “And there is where you put your iPod and it has a charger too” – said Barry. After helping me get used to the clutch and steering I managed to drop him off at the station and off he went, with a chipper wave and “nice to meet you” – to pick up and deliver another car. He was looking forward to it, another car to drive and people to meet. 75 years of age. Ten years after he retired. Loving what he did. Wouldn’t it be great to be like Barry.

More On Free And Freedom

Since my last post on things freemium and premium it was announced that The Evening Standard will now be a free newspaper.  The ES will rely on ad revenues – with the expected increase in circulation enabling them to maintain their position as an advertising channel. And like other print media presumably keep searching for greater online revenues too. Continue reading “More On Free And Freedom”

Is The Future Freemium & Times+?

I took part in two media debates this week: as a user and a consumer. Firstly would I pay for a Freemium online computer game? And secondly would I pay to be part of Times+, the latest business model from News International? Is Freemium the real answer for media organisations who spend a fortune on creating great content? And will News International’s search for new subscriber and user pays models succeed? I don’t see many IT and telephony hardware manufacturers in the line for picking up music, tv, film, book, news and publishing awards so I really want new models to work. And this week, as a pure consumer and lover of all things online and in print, I had some choices to make. Continue reading “Is The Future Freemium & Times+?”

Focused Content Matters

Perhaps all content is the same? Maybe everything is relative? Why can’t all media space be the same price? Why can’t a cheap package holiday be the same as a villa in the south of France? Having been off for a few days with family and catching up on magazines, newspapers and websites has made me realize that not all media and not all content is equal. In cold, hard reality there is a great difference between great content and great media – and the mediocre rest. And  unfortunately there is a lot of the mediocre rest to get through.   Continue reading “Focused Content Matters”

My Twitter Conundrum.

Conundrum. ‘A paradoxical, insoluble, or difficult problem; a dilemma’. It was announced last week that Twitter had attracted a further $100m of investment seeing its valuation rise to more than $1B – and all whilst employing 75 people and with hardly any revenue generation (apart from a brilliant plan of selling more equity and JV funding). Having spent 20 years working in media and agencies, selling and buying ideas, campaigns and future plans – this poses me a conundrum. Every media and marketing professional I know understands value, profitability, ROI – as well as brand, innovation and first mover advantage. An ad campaign is not great because it gets fans and plaudits – its great when it achieves marketing results that the advertiser wanted. A media platform is not fabulous when it gets free readers and users – its fabulous when it attracts advertisers or subscribers to help pay for the media platform. As Picasso said ‘ the greatest compliment anyone can make me is to pay me for my work’. Continue reading “My Twitter Conundrum.”

Wrong Brand, Wrong Place

The South Bank is a fine place on Saturday morning; autumn sunlight twinkling on the Thames, cafes full with people easing into their weekend and crowds milling around buskers and market stalls. And a very expensive looking sports brand promotion that was failing to sparkle. The crowds were decidedly not being drawn to their street racing and lycra clad energy drinking experiential. Tactical marketing has always been about knowing your territory, your battleground, the conditions. Unfortunately for the big sports brand, their glamorous looking sprint track, staffed by rows of branded helpers with funky security leashes and sound-tracked by some slammin beats and funky MC straight out of CNSKY24SprtsDesk Channel 3, just didn’t work in that cruisey, laid back, arty and cultured environment. Continue reading “Wrong Brand, Wrong Place”

Why Don’t They Want To Sell To Me?

When you are a clear prospect, have booked a product trial and there are no financial or technical objections – should not a marketing process and all comms simply cement the deal? Incredibly – in an age of data mining, sales methods, customer life cycles and whole tribes of marketers extolling the importance of social media and the font integrity of logo application – my recent experience with buying a new shiny German car has been eye opening. Continue reading “Why Don’t They Want To Sell To Me?”

Money Is Not The Only Currency

True. There are things far more valuable than just being reimbursed. Site traffic, access to a relevant audience. Introductions and endorsement. Research and market information – learnings and results that can save you time. Money is not the only currency.

The Street With No Brands

A few weeks ago I sipped some Pimms at a lovely country wedding (congratulations to Justin & Helen …) – in the Norfolk/Suffolk boarder country – staying in the little village of Harleston. Exploring on a Saturday morning – the High Street gave me quite a shock. No WH Smiths. No Next. No H&M. Ah, no doubt you’re thinking this is about the financial mess those chaps selling derivatives have got us into? Well no. Instead the place was full of small, boutique and independent stores. No Jones the Bootmakers. No Laura Ashley. No Gap. Ah, maybe they were all struggling to survive you think? Well, no. Continue reading “The Street With No Brands”

Marketers: Be They Sceptics?

I’ve just read a great book by Richard Wilson – the philosopher and writer ( http://richardwilsonauthor.wordpress.com/ ) – which concerns the worrying trend for people to believe and think uncritically. From religion, to politics and business. It’s a very interesting read that challenges your own beliefs. And it made me think; just how sceptical am I? And should the best marketers be more sceptical? Or put another way – do the best marketing ideas and activities extend from an open or a sceptical, critical mind? Continue reading “Marketers: Be They Sceptics?”

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