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Keeping the main thing the main thing November 17, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, marketing.
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I have a new piece up over at Marketing Magazine, thinking about marketing as business strategy and encouraging everyone to dig a little deeper into the businesses they work with and on:

Look at Google. They weren’t always Google, not like we know them. They created one of the most remarkable services the world has ever known and built their empire on being remarkable. Products and services do not get more remarkable than that. Where are those products? The ones that don’t require a clever tagline and a media spend to get the attention they deserve? Why are we not sitting with our clients and challenging them on what is actually remarkable about their work?

Hope you enjoy!

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I know what you’re about to say like your hype man October 12, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, conversation, digital strategy, marketing.
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I was going to spend the week talking about story-telling in interactive mediums and the ways brands can leverage it, and I’l get to that, but I’ve woken up with something on my mind that I want to get to first.

Over the weekend when not lying in the park or dining with friends I was working on my latest (overdue) column for Marketing Magazine. It will be out in their December/January issue and I was talking about brands finding their voice online, which I’m quite excited about, I look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts when it comes out.

I feel though like that’s the running part, and we’re struggling to get the walking right; we’re doing that because the fundamentals of success in business and marketing are shifting and we’re not keeping pace with it. I harp on about it, but only because I think it is important enough to do so: intent. Intent, intent, intent, intent, intent, intent, intent, intent.

While you’re at your desk this week, in each situation I want you to ask yourself “What’s my intent here?”. We make sales calls under the guise of building relationships, we dump on other agencies under the guise of offering advice. We put energy into things that distract us from our main purpose in the hopes that people won’t really get what we’re on about.

And then we go do it with the brands we’re supposed to be building.

Let’s all agree, week beginning Monday October 13th, 2008 to gut-check what the intent is in the work we do this week. Let’s not discuss “new ways to talk to our customers” when the reality is we need email addresses added to a database. By stripping away the stuff we cloak our actions with, we get to the heart of the matter much faster.

And I promise, the campaigns you run are going to be all the more effective for it.

Image courtesy of The Alieness Gisela Giardino, with thanks to compfight.

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Step by step September 15, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, conversation, marketing, strategy, work/life.
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Step by step

Step by step

This is something I touched on in a much earlier post, but never really dug out and gave it the attention it deserved. I shared it with others over a beer, Julian gave it a good “shit-test”, and Scott Drummond even stole my thunder and quoted me on it. So, here it is, David Gillespie’s Marketing Mantra. Five points, 2 of which are mine, the other three are linked to their authors who you should absolutely take the time to read.

Try it on for size and let me know what you think.

1. Markets are conversations.

2. Conversations happen around social objects.

3. Social objects are products or services that are remarkable.

4. Remarkable is not just something special, but something worth being remarked about.

5. A great product, and even better customer service are the most remarkable things you can offer.

Image courtesy of Pensiero, with thanks to compfight.

One bourbon, one scotch, one beer August 23, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, conversation, marketing, social media, strategy, web 2.0.
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Julian Cole and I have been going back and forth a bit lately on social objects offline and some of that chatter is making its way online. He put up a vlog yesterday which Scott from Marketing Magazine chimed in on. Not wanting to be left out, I added my 2 cents. I hadn’t actually uploaded anything to YouTube before, brought back some of the initial terrors that come with blogging (the world will see this, oh no!).

Anyway, the videos are below. Watch them (Scott’s alone is priceless for the shots of his afro, little children may turn away in fear, you’ve been warned) and then leave a comment, or better yet, add your own response! While you’re at it, give Julian some stick for the video responses needing to be approved by the owner – Jules I thought the whole point of social media was acknowledging you couldn’t control the conversation right!?! 🙂

Every day is a winding road July 23, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in marketing, work/life.
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So I had a point, somewhere in there I had a point, and there’s a gem of a good idea but it will take a while to deliver it a little more succinctly. But that’s OK, I don’t mind taking a little extra time being largely right.

The point is, the more interested you are in the world around you, the more likely it is you’ll share common interests with the people you meet. If your world view fails to grasp interests beyond yourself, then you had better hope you come into contact with people who are at least as interested in you as you are, or else you’re in trouble.

This is the crux of my latest online piece over at Marketing Magazine.

The conversation [focusing on an individual’s fashion] only extends to that moment, to the outfit which is noticed and commented on. The conversation about others involves the designer (say Chistopher Bailey at Burberry), their own path to where they are (working under Tom Ford at Gucci), the campaigns around the revitalisation of that brand (Kate Moss), how it ties in to classic British fashion and the campaigns hark back to great David Bailey photographs of British icons. It extends to the quintessentially British elements of fashion, the things unique to that most unique of isles.

You can’t fake genuine curiosity or interest in the world around you, and the best marketers in the coming age will be the ones that draw the parallels across industry and culture, born from their own experience being simply fascinated with the world around them.

Image courtesy of nobleIgnoble, with thanks to compfight.

It’s hard to say you love someone (and it’s hard to say you don’t) July 17, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in blogging, web 2.0, work/life.
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I am currently crunching out my latest column for Marketing Magazine’s…hmm…September issue I think, I tend to lose track. So my thoughts are preoccupied with telling the offline marketers how to get the conversation started while delivering a few home truths, we’ll see how that goes.

But I’m also grinning ear to ear as I type this, so much good work out there this morning, and rather than talk about one thing, I want to point you in a few directions.

1. Gaping Void – a recent post from Hugh Macleod which really hits home for me at the moment:

It’s good to be young and full of dreams. Dreams of one day doing something “insanely great”. Dreams of love, beauty, achievement and contribution. But understand they have a life of their own, and they’re not very good at following instructions. Love them, revere them, nurture them, respect them, but don’t ever become a slave to them. Otherwise you’ll kill them off prematurely, before they get the chance to come true.

2. My good friend Julian Cole has a social media framework which is a great piece of thinking, it should be read and pondered and then executed. No questions.

3. Lastly, because I’m in a goofy mood, XKCD. It is a regular web comic, often bizarre, rather amusing.

OK, back to the column. Happy Friday everyone, let’s go light on the marketing today and put a little bit extra into the stuff that really matters. Deal?

Deal.

The Revelation of Intent July 10, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, marketing.
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My latest column is up over at Marketing Magazine’s site. I said a couple days ago I was thinking a lot about intent this week, call it a cosmic quest for something deeper than the window dressing. If I wasn’t in advertising, that would actually be a good thing.

There’s a lot of talk lately about brands and the voices they speak with. Be it through products or services, conversation is the new currency through which everyone wants to be measured. If what we’ve been saying for a while now is true, and our brands are to be imbued with human traits and personalities in order to inform the way they speak to their audience, then we need to look at intent…

The rest of the piece is over at Marketing Magazine.

RSS feeds added to Marketing Magazine site June 26, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in industry news.
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This is a bit of an admin post (1, 2, 3 – “Boooooooring!!!”). Marketing Magazine have added RSS feeds to their site for particular bloggers (including me). So, if you’d like to subscribe to my posts on Marketing Magazine you can now do so.

Additionally if you don’t subscribe to this site currently but would like to, please go right ahead! It is free, easy and guaranteed to do many ill-defined and vague things.

And she’s climbing the stairway… June 24, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in digital strategy, marketing, web 2.0.
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4 comments

Barrier to entryLong-time listeners-first time callers would be aware I was included in a top 50 list of marketing blogs in Australia recently, put together by Adspace-Pioneers and Marketing Magazine (#17, thanks very much). Eschewing “It’s an honour just to be nominated” dribble, it was a great chance to check out some of the other writers and marketers that exist in this space. There’s a tremendous amount of value out there and it’s well worth everyone’s time to take a look at the other sites comprising the list.

One key aspect which had been over-looked on a lot of these sites though was the choice of technology employed. There are three main blog platforms – WordPress (which is what this site is), TypePad and Blogger, all of which have their own pros and cons, but perform the same base functions.

Contrast this with Vox, a site I hadn’t heard of before until I visited Lexy Klain’s blog (#29 on the list). Lexy does a good job of providing thought-provoking content, I actually went quite far back into her archives to get a sense of her thought process. Satisfied, I went to comment on a post, and to congratulate her on making the list, and that is when the fun stopped.

Vox requires you to register if you wish to comment, something I abhor. Having spent yesterday afternoon at the Melbourne PubCamp event being bored to tears by folk who do not yet understand for some God-forsaken reason that open beats closed, I was surprised to see a blog site pursuing this tack.

By choosing this platform, Lexy opts out of a raft of conversation provided by comments. Fred Wilson often says the comments on his site far outweigh the value created in his blog posts. This is a participatory medium, and we need to make the barriers to entry for everyone as low as possible.

Lex, five stars for the wealth of thought you’re providing, but I can get it elsewhere. And if I can’t interact or am put off by the barriers placed in front of me, I won’t return. Those who haven’t read it should brush up on Forrester’s POST methodology for more on this.

Image courtesy of moniker, with thanks to compfight.

Brand rape – or – Assault with an unsightly sticker June 19, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in branding, marketing.
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Dear Mr. Mechanic,

You did a great job on my car, fixed the glove box brilliantly. You sent a follow up letter which was brief and to the point, you did everything right. Except you put a sticker on my back window without asking me and in a spot I was unlikely to see until the next time I put my guitars in my car.

Which happened a couple days ago.

Permission marketing is just that, it requires permission. Otherwise you’re just forcing yourself on people, and that doesn’t work anymore. Earn people’s trust, respect their time AND their dollar. Don’t try to put words in their mouths, because that only works as long as you’re in the room, and you don’t have time to be there in the room with everyone of your customers (even if you did, you’d just breed resentment, not loyalty).

The rest of this post is available at Marketing Magazine.