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 ( ) – 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?”

Lessons From Aarhus: And Marketing Functionality

A recent night out in Aarhus, Denmark – the trendy late night student town reinforced to me the importance of how great marketing is linked to great functionality. Again. The Scandanavians certainly adore the craft of making something utilitarian – a work of wonder. The devil (and the style)  – is in the detail and the thinking of the user, not just your budget and your boss. So, some Lessons From Aarhus.

Lessons From Aarhus #1. Our cool, hip and simple hotel does not need to be flash.V. simple Scandanavian design. Functionality = location. We stayed in a hotel with a tiny room featuring furniture that folded in on itself to save time. But when it is located 1 minutes walk to a selection of hip uber-bars and gorgeous Cathederal – then who cares?

Lessons from Aarhus #2. Great functionality is about making things easy to use – not just gadgets. The groovey olive oil bottle we bought in a Danish design store features a clever suction pump, every kind of measure and fits the human hand perfectly to avoid any mishaps. It is impossible to pour the wrong amount or make a spill. It is the opposite of flashy or bling. But is a wonder all the same (and demanded a hefty price tag to boot) Continue reading “Lessons From Aarhus: And Marketing Functionality”

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