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USPs are false thinking

Every time someone talks to me about their unique selling proposition (USP) I can’t help but think that the whole thing is a little overrated. Not as a concept, but as a reality. The USP found its way into our marketing lexicon in the 1940s by Rosser Reeves. Reeves, a television advertiser, coined the term […]

A letter to McLaren

The F1 season begins with the Melbourne Grand Prix on March 17th. Like all season starts, the preamble and build-up contains huge excitement to pique a fan’s interest in the foreplay of this spectacular international road show. Vodafone McLaren Mercedes will, of course, finish victorious with both the drivers’ and the constructors’ titles returning to […]

Getting your opening sale

I’m no Tom Hanks or Usain Bolt, but I’ve received my fair share of sales calls. Most appear to know that success doesn’t happen on the first attempt so they get their kicks of rejection hoping it to be the road to a sale. Maybe there’s some groupthink going on, “I wont get a sale […]

Talking heads

Someone asked me the other day who to look for online; who are the voices they could tap into outside of the usual channels? Here’s a dozen go-to folks @John Battelle – the web’s favourite professor-turned-entrepreneur. He penned one of the original books on Google and his Search Blog is just as worthy of your […]

Rupert Murdoch on Twitter

Rupert Murdoch on Twitter, but why?

The biggest news in tech this week is that Yahoo! finally appointed a replacement for their known-to-swear-a-lot and former top-dog, Carol Bartz. They’ve appointed little-known Scott Thompson from PayPal. But the much more fun/entertaining/frightening tech news is Rupert Murdoch joined Twitter. Really joined. No spoof account (that was his wife’s). No digital sidekick thumbing his […]

Agenda setting

Seth wrote recently about ceding one’s responsibility via other people’s agendas. He said ‘Setting an agenda is often as important as checking the boxes,’ and I completely agree. Setting an agenda for a meeting gives you the initial power. Obviously, it allows you to frame the context of the discussions. You might not win every […]

Innovation in play

I was asked to call out some examples of those using digital innovation well. It’s very easy to say Dell are making money via Twitter and the new Old Spice videos are viral winners but here’s half a dozen less-heralded examples that might tickle your marketing fancy: Company: Disney Category: Social Media promotions What: Toy […]

Tablets to take over

The tablet isn’t a new invention but the iPad has created a phenomenally popular category that was a non-starter before Apple invested. A recent study by Google’s Admob services indicates tablet owners generally use them for more than an hour a day, usually at evenings. GQ editor, Dominic West, wrote in July’s magazine, “We’ve been […]

Twitter (non-injunction) thoughts

Twitter is front page news this week but a friend emailed me asking my thoughts on something other than super injunctions. He wrote, “If twitter’s all about engaging with people, conversations not campaigns etc, why is @delloutlet doing so well? Both in followers, and in direct revenue according to them. It goes against everything I’ve […]

Linked In tweet up

Linked In added the Signal this week. It’s a new product that, “gives you a whole new way to consume information and news that’s most relevant to you as a professional.” Hmm… The trouble is, I fervently disagree with those who hook up their Twitter feed to Linked In. It’s failing to understand that different […]

Communication faux pas

Picture the scene: your three-year-old wakes at night screaming as if placed in boiling fat. She is uncontrollable. After 30 minutes without change you call NHS direct and get a midnight appointment for the hospital. There, the doctor can find no accountable reason for the agony, whose only brief respite in noise is because of […]


No place for a ninja

There are so many experts (perceived and real) out there, that some might feel the need to distinguish themselves from the crowd. Suddenly they’re no longer the consultants or practitioners they once were; they’ve invented self-aggrandising titles like guru, ninja and samurai instead. If someone thinks you’re pretty damn hot at something and they afford […]

Ping vs Facebook vs The World

Social networking is all the rage with web and mobile usage catching business’s eye with the Web 3.0. Sony launched their cloud-based content service, Qriocity, recently. With their product range and reach, they should get some traction for their downloads. IBM is set to, according to Jeffrey Schick, IBM’s VP of Social Software, “better connect […]

The email TRaP

Detractors would say it’s childish to email your customers reminding them of such menial tasks as cleaning a vacuum filter, but I really like this email from Dyson. No selling, no offers, no coupons, no upgrades, no end of season bumf… just service. No, it doesn’t help the till ring today, but it’s a great […]

Decloaking dinosaurs

I met someone this week that thinks they were burgled because they tweeted that they were away from home (i.e. London, when their location says Brighton). Such scare stories are only more likely as location-based services begin to make traction. Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite, Loopt, Yelp etc are still in their relevant infancies but with Facebook […]

Button boredom

‘Follow us’ and ‘Stay Connected’ buttons are now as commonplace on websites as the word ‘like’ is ever-present in a teenager’s vocabulary. I’m seeing it in the most unlikely of businesses this year. This photo was taken at a country park. Do you really want to follow and interact with the tweets of a park […]

Commerce is killing the inbox

Smith-Harmon has released a study of American retail email trends for last year. Unsurprisingly, 2009 saw record volumes distributed. It states that the 100 largest retailers sent an average of 132 promotional emails to each of their subscribers. That’s an average of 11 emails a month and 2.5 per week, per subscriber (peaking at 15.4 […]

People Like Us

It’s pretty much a given that SMEs are more likely to be passionate about what they do than lumbering corporates answering to the City. Let’s be honest, most SMEs don’t tend to start a gardening business if they can’t stand the sight of grass. Unfortunately, that passion can overrun into myopia where those in business […]

Half the battle of business is…

In the movie, The Untouchables, Kevin Costner’s character, Elliot Ness, sits on horseback overlooking the US-Canadian border. He’s there with his fellow Untouchables and the Canadian Mounties to arrest Al Capone’s men running contraband whisky across the border. The Mounty Captain says to his troops, “Let’s take the fight to them, men.” Turning to Ness […]