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Showing posts from January, 2017

More haste, less speed

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Why brands should be cautious about the promise of drone deliveries.
Late last year Amazon showed off their latest innovation in drone technology, with an entire click-to-delivery transaction being completed in a mere 13 minutes.

You may have seen the video – a retired gentleman in Cambridge deciding he just must have an Amazon Fire TV stick and a bag of popcorn ….and he didn’t want to wait.

His click sent a fulfilment team into a frenzy at the nearby Amazon distribution centre and before we knew it, the customer was ambling out into his massive back garden to retrieve his package from the drone which had affected a perfect touch down on his conveniently located landing pad.

Minutes later, he was happily chomping away on the popcorn whilst trying to work out how to operate his new piece of technology.

Aha, you may say. All very well if you live on a country estate, near to an Amazon distribution centre, but what about those of us who live in urban areas?

Fear not, Amazon have thought …

Echo chambers and fake news

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..and why we should be reading more newspapers this year.

Late last year, Oxford Dictionaries announced that their 2016 word of the year was ‘Post-truth’.

That seemed particularly apt given the outcomes of two of the most seismic political events of the year were widely thought to have been driven by post-truth politics with fake news, social media bubbles and echo chambers all playing an influential role.

The twin themes of fake news and echo chambers enjoy a symbiotic relationship that helps to explain why both have grown and prospered so much over recent times.

Echo chambers exist on social media because we largely surround ourselves with ‘people like us’. People who share similar views, interests and values. Some express their views more stridently than others and are often keen to spread news that helps to underscore their point of view, regardless of how accurate that news may turn out to be.

Fake news flourishes in the environment of such echo chambers because it typically ref…

The tale of John Lewis and my new bag

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When retargeting loses its way.

Back in the summer, I decided to buy myself a new bag.

Something to carry my laptop, paperwork, chargers and sundry other items around in as I moved between meetings. Something stylish yet practical. Something good quality, but not overly-priced.

I began what marketers love to call my ‘customer journey’ and as with so many journeys, it was somewhat unpredictable.

Indeed, contrary to popular wisdom, I even began it offline.

I started by visiting various retail stores in Brighton to see what was around. I wanted to be sure my laptop would fit, that there were enough compartments, that the material didn’t look cheap, that the straps were strong.

Judgements that are hard to make from just looking at a thumbnail image on a screen.

Rather impulsively, I bought a bag that day from Debenhams and almost immediately suffered buyer's remorse. I returned it shortly afterwards and resumed my journey.

I decided to try John Lewis next since I had been given a gif…

How Ethel & Ernest can lead the way into 2017

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5 things marketers can learn from a couple of animated characters.

For me, one of the highlights of this Christmas season was the BBC’s screening of Ethel And Ernest, the wonderful animated movie based on Raymond Briggs’ book of the same name.

The movie pays a moving tribute to Briggs’ parents, following their ‘ordinary’ lives over 40 years of marriage set against a backdrop of extraordinary times.

It managed to be both hugely heart-warming and heart-breakingly sad in equal measures. Bringing a smile to the face whilst also triggering the tear-ducts. On many occasions.

The reaction from the viewing public was overwhelming, with 4 million watching it on the night and many more expected to view it on catch-up.

The reaction from TV critics and the public via social media was universally glowing. It clearly made a strong impression on those who watched it.

But I saw some parallels between people’s emotional reactions to Ethel and Ernest and their reactions to the numerous celebrity death…