#advertising ~ The Christmas 2016 TV Ads

A round-up of UK #advertising creativity – the Christmas 2016 TV ads. 

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#businessdevelopment ~ Pitch Perfect and the Elevator Pitch

Pitch Perfect and the Elevator Pitch

I’ve never bought into the elevator pitch.

We don’t have elevators in the UK, we’ve got lifts. And we stare at our Starbucks coffee or the ground – lest we make accidental eye contact. And, most importantly, if you’ve got just a minute talk, then I’ll talk about the weather and leave matters of state be discussed in a more appropriate fashion.

So when I read the Forbes article by @joshmuccio on the 5 steps to a perfect pitch, I took a deep breath.

And here goes:

1. Narrow down your idea to one sentence
2. Ask the question
3. Shut up and listen
4. Features belong in your product, not your pitch
5. Get confident

These pointers may help when you’re trying to splurt out something about what you do though I think there are significantly more engaging ways to communicate at the first point of contact. These include one ability we seem to be losing – that is just listening to understand and not to reply.

From this, you can talk not from a script but from yourself.

The article is here.


#business development ~ Nurturing your black book network

Nurturing your black book network

Years ago, I became aware of an individual – a mid-level executive – who joined or was recruited (dependent on your angle) because of their Black Book contacts. Somehow, someone believed them. The situation that resulted is somewhat obvious. It all fell apart and turned nasty. And for everyone involved.

I, since, have never advised any business to recruit anyone, under any circumstances, based on industry contacts. It simply never works out – for the candidate for the employer in the long run. Maybe it does in the interim – but that is the issue – somebody is being taken advantage of, and to me, that is not acceptable.

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#start-ups ~ Integrating client success into business development in a subscription economy

Integrating client success into business development in a subscription economy

Planning for future success will pay dividends

A dynamic I see around my work has changed. New start-ups are facing an indeterminable future unless they plan within business development (and then client account management) to address the new market space – one where the barriers to exit have never been lower, the scope and spread (and power) of both Procurement and eProcurement and where the rise in ‘self-service’ on-boarding could see the decrease in brand/product loyalty all combining to create a more detached client/business relationship. 

If the business, read billing, relationship is becoming more client-centric, in terms of power, then the focus should be ensuring that the client achieved their achieving goals/success – and should be the ‘why’ for the start-up.

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#start-ups ~ Using social media, data backed answer

Using social media, data backed answer

It is interesting to look how startups use social media. Whilst not an in-depth study – nor is the research data validated, there are some interesting take outs. Of the fifty startups across industries analysed, some interesting data was revealed.

The startups averaged USD$4.4m funding, split evenly between B2B and B2C.

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#business development ~ Half of brands increase marketing spend, challenge of ROI measurement

Half of brands increase marketing spend, challenge of ROI measurement

A new research report out is showing that “52% of companies worldwide will increase marketing spend this year, an 11% drop from last year’s high”. 52% of companies globally will increase overall marketing spend this year, compared to 63% last year.

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#business development ~ The Ad Agency of the future Is coming

The Ad Agency of the future Is coming, are you ready?

The ad agency of the future must “[meet] clients’ needs [which] have changed. They must manage marketing across devices and serve customized ads to specific audiences based on real-time analysis of constantly changing data. That data must inform creative, CRM and media buying strategies tied to new commerce and brand experiences. At the nexus of this confusing and continually evolving mashup of business operations and marketing are clients, who need a partner”

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#business development ~ Managing your team, not the funnel

Stop Managing Your Pipeline and Start Managing Your Sales Reps

Andrew Adams talks about “… most companies spend[ing] too much time, money and energy on measuring and managing the pipeline rather than managing and improving the quality of leads that go into – and ultimately come out of – the pipeline” – a really valid point.

Having also making the point that “… the pipeline is a vital part of the sales process, it is also where the most fundamental mistake is made” it is always interesting to understand where a business places focus.

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#brand planning ~ Econometrics, explained by the IPA

We live in tough times

Marketing budgets are being scrutinised harder than ever. Activity that doesn’t add to the bottom line is increasingly difficult to justify. In this climate, spending on communications can seem like a luxury. So wouldn’t it be easier if there were a way to measure the payback from your marketing communications?

The (an) answer is Econometrics and a paper from the IPA by Louise Cook and Mike Holmes is a really interesting – or required – read for agency planners and clients.

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#start-ups ~ Getting from free to MRR

We got stuck in the all-too-common trap of building a user-base and worrying about revenue later

Use Bit.ly? Of course you do. As I do (amongst others, though, including having run my own dedicated URL to track clicks).

Insights here, entitled “The Rise, Fall, and Rise of Bitly: How a Free Link Shortener Became a Real Business” from Bit.ly CEO Mark Josephson.

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#business development ~ Prospecting using cold emails

Prospecting using cold emails

If the new business food chain is composed of cold email, no response, follow-up email, no response, failed cold call then what are some tactics that can interrupt this?

Some initial considerations:

Who can we find that is be best decision maker candidate?

Whomever, they will be receiving up to 100 cold email per day so they don’t response

We can’t track if they read the email

The follow-up is then another email or a cold call

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#business development ~ What does digital mean to you?

What does digital mean to you?

What does digital mean to you? I ask because the Karel Dörner and David Edelman of McKinsey article cites “… technology [or] … digital is a new way of engaging with customers [or] … it represents an entirely new way of doing business”

Both go on to say these definitions aren’t necessarily incorrect, however incomplete.

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#brand planning ~ Thought leader or thought leadership?

Thought leader or thought leadership?

I read a thought-provoking article on LinkedIn Pulse by Jason Miller (article) asking where a business focus should be: Though Leadership and Thought Leader.

He argues that ” … as marketers we shouldn’t necessarily all be striving to become the next thought leaders … it’s just not scalable or realistic … instead … we should be focused on creating a culture …. harnessing insights from our brightest employees to collectively achieve thought leadership as an organization”

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#business development ~ How to Negotiate Nicely Without Being a Pushover

How to Negotiate Nicely Without Being a Pushover: Principles to Remember


Frame the negotiations as a problem-solving challenge.

Take the time to make small talk. It’ll build connections you can leverage later on. Stress the areas on which you agree, and use words like “we” to signal you are invested in the relationship.


Reflexively cave on issues because you think it’ll win you favour. It’ll come back to haunt you.

Simply ask what the other side wants. Ask why they want it. Mistake impact for intent. The other side may have their own unique pressures that restrict their ability to maneuver.

The HBR Article is by Carolyn O’Hara