Cynical experienced marketer with perfectionism issues.

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Marketing (general)

Creativity: Let’s Not Be Average

in Marketing (general)

BBH Labs have what most agencies don’t….a good blog. Why? They usually say what they actually think. It’s refreshing.

Their post today covers research which looks at how successful different length formats are at shifting brand metrics upwards.

It’s worth reading in full, but the tl;dr version is that the research shows short formats (15 sec and even 6 sec video or TV ads) are just as good as longer formats (30 sec ads)………..ahhhhh, but it’s not that simple. If you actually make good 30 sec ads, rather than mediocre ones, you’ll do better.

I like it when BBH Labs point it out something obvious, a point that some others have looked past.  I like to think they are rolling their eyes while they do so.

This quote from Keith Weed, in their blog post, made me smile:

“The biggest return on investment is a great bit of creative. We spend a lot of time talking about data-led marketing and the ability to target better, and you need to do all that, but a great bit of creative will outstrip anything you do on media optimization. If you have a great bit of creative you still want to optimise media, but I think in a data-led world there is a lot of focus on that and we’re not focusing enough on the power of great creativity.”

It’s true. I’m an ex-media planner. Optimising media is a must….but it’s all a bit useless, without great creative.

And I mean….great.

Essential books for marketers / planners

in Marketing (general)

There was a great thread on Twitter which lots of marketing planners and strategists got involved in (I came late to the party and saw all my recommendations had already been given).

Alex Murrell handily summarised the list here:

Essential books for junior planners

Definitely have a good look at this list and read as much of it as you can.

…then decide whether you agree with the advice. Don’t just follow blindly.




A little break…

in Marketing (general)

It’s nearly a year since I posted. Bad Ally.

To be fair, it’s been a busy year. My work at Brass has been very busy…and the same at Dowsing & Reynolds.

Add to that, I was pregnant and had a baby…so, I think I can be forgiven.

I haven’t stopped filling my mind though and even though I’m currently on official maternity leave, I absolutely still have my head in marketing. I don’t switch off easily.

So…I’m back. Enjoy.

Set opinions in marketing

in Marketing (general)

My last post explained a little around why, until recently, I haven’t blogged a great deal in a work context. Being a overthinking perfectionist means it’s in my nature not to publically give an opinion until I’m sure of myself.

The trouble with marketing these days? It’s so damn hard to be sure of yourself!

I honestly thought it might be just me! I read a lot, I absorb information, opinion…and sometimes I’m persuaded by the author. I sit there thinking “yes…I get that, it makes sense”. Then a few days later I read something totally contradictory, but I think the same thing…”yes…I get that, it makes sense”.

What?!Set Opinions in Marketing

It can leave me feeling like I change opinion too much. Surely after 20 years working in marketing/digital, I should have very set opinions by now? Often my answer to debates is “it depends”. It can depend upon the sector that you’re in, the target audience that you’re talking to….it can depend on lots of things.

But that’s not a very decisive opinion, is it?

Over the years, I’ve loved reading opinion pieces, books…arguing for brand love, against brand love, that loyalty is the most important thing, that it doesn’t matter at all, that engagement in social is the be-all, that it means nothing….it goes on and on and on and on.

The arguments are often persuasive. I like to consider both sides of a debate…but it can leave me confused, tired and a little unsure of my own opinion.

I read an article today which made me feel a LOT better. Turns out it’s not just me after all… Mark Ritson (if you don’t already subscribe to his weekly Marketing Week column, rectify that…immediately) posted ‘Marketing debate is so polarised it’s hard to be sure of anything‘.

Mark Ritson is a Professor of Marketing. That’s pretty cool, right? He must really know what he’s talking about? He does.

…but he’s not afraid to say that marketing’s current polarisation of opinion is confusing even him. He posted an article about programmatic, that spawned two other articles – one for and one against his opinion.

I read both articles, and was persuaded mightily by both articles, even though they perfectly contradict each other. My point is not to dwell on the respective arguments of my two commentators but to suggest that this is the nature of marketing these days. Everything is up, unless you think it’s down.

I’m not going to try to summarise the article, to do that would be a disservice…you should read it all.

…but as soon as I saw the words “it depends”…I almost shouted “YES!!!”. Sometimes, in marketing, it does depend….and that’s ok.

Maybe I’ll write more…

in Marketing (general)

Blogging. I seem to have a love/hate relationship with it.

I go through phases of saying, with a fair amount of determination “I’m going to blog about marketing / digital regularly…really, I’m going to do it!”

Then I don’t. Life gets in the way.

It’s not just that life gets in the way though…that’s over simplifying the issue. I think it can be scary to air your opinions in such a noisy space. In the marketing and digital industries, we’re not short on people who have opinions and are happy to share them…at length.

I’ve always been a thinker. Often an overthinker, but we won’t get into my flaws at this stage. I don’t like to give opinions off the cuff, I’m a considered person who likes to weigh up opinions and data. This can mean that I’m not the best at writing a blog post about a timely debate in marketing. My perfectionism (hmmm….I said I wasn’t going to get into my flaws, didn’t I?) also means that I don’t like to give an opinion until I’m certain of it. If I’m going to do something, I try to do it to the best of my abilities.

The trouble with this, is some subjects in marketing are like the sea. There isn’t a right and a wrong necessarily. I love working in this industry, it’s challenging precisely because it changes fast. I’d get bored if there was a text book I could just pick up, learn from, then work like a machine to deliver the work.

So, those two parts of me fight. I’m good at what I do because I have a real passion for digital and for marketing. I keep my head down though, in terms of expressing too many opinions in public, due to my over thinking perfectionism.

In private, I love a good debate…I’m a fairly confident person who loves to challenge, to be challenged…to talk.

This is the start of me trying to do that a little more publically.

Often the best way to think through a topic or an idea is to write about it. A few people I know do this very well, so maybe I’ve been inspired by them. No maybe about it, I definitely have.

So, rather than just use this blog to post snippets of insight, stats etc……I’m going to write more. Not incredibly well thought out pieces…maybe even just rambles. Just thoughts.

Wish me luck!

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