Author Archives: almostalwaysthinking

diversity = better ideas

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about diversity in the marketing world recently. Agencies in particular (and particularly outside London) seem to be staffed predominantly by youngish middle class white people, which isn’t terribly reflective of the diverse Great British Public that we’re supposed to flogging stuff to. There’s also lots of research that says that […]
Read More »

change of plan

I’ve been working as a freelance Planner for six and a half years with no intention of going back agency side – then I got offered my Dream Job which it would be nuts to turn down. So I’m now officially Head of Planning at Bloom in Leeds, who recently became part of Jaywing. Bloom’s clients might […]
Read More »

the Planner’s 12 days of Christmas

On the 12 days of Christmas, the Planner gave to the Agency: twelve propositions, eleven customer journeys, ten creative briefs, nine internal meetings, eight marcoms workshops, seven big brand pitches, six brand personas, loads of PowerPoint, four brand positionings, three focus groups, two conference calls, and a client away-day by the sea.

they Asda to have a plan, right?

Since most of the agencies I work for are Shopper Marketing focused (welcome to Leeds!) I always keep a close eye on the Grocery sector, as do most of my agency mates. Grocery is knee-deep in challenges at the moment (the Discounters, provenance, excess floor space, trying to make Online pay, wafer thin margins, Marmitegate, […]
Read More »

Christmas 2016 trendwatching

Last May, a couple of days work unexpectedly dropped out so instead I researched and wrote something on Christmas 2016 trends, thinking it might come in handy for my work with agency retail clients. Since Christmas 2016 planning is now a distant memory for agencies (last month I was working on shopper marketing for Father’s Day 2017) I thought I’d share […]
Read More »

who will be the next BHS?

With the news that BHS is set to close it’s final store on 20th August,  I’ve been wondering who will be the next BHS – a  business that dies because everyone knows their name, but no-one actually buys anything from them anymore. yep, this London branch was trading with signage from two rebrands ago I get the feeling that Marks & Spencer […]
Read More »

*everyone* really is totally just winging it, all the time

In May 2014, Guardian writer Oliver Burkeman wrote an excellent article titled Everyone is totally just winging it, all the time. It was a very reassuring piece for anyone who suffers from a touch of imposter syndrome from time to time: We’re all mini-New York Timeses or White Houses, energetically projecting an image of calm proficiency, while […]
Read More »

why don’t we treat powerpoint like a piece of creative communications?

Recently I’ve been writing a lot of powerpoint presentations – short, to-the-point presentations of course because in my time I’ve lived through hours of Boardroom Powerpoint Hell and have no wish to inflict that on anyone else. I said I’ve written a lot of presentations recently – but I didn’t design them. I’m a reasonably good […]
Read More »

CERM is the way forward when marketing service industries

I changed opticians a couple of years ago – after a very minor eye problem that my high street opticians backed away from in horror and swiftly packed me off to the local eye hospital, I decided that I needed eyecare that was a little less commoditised. So my Dad referred me (as his mate had previously […]
Read More »

Tesco’s new Farm brands – smart move?

update 22/7/16 – you can also read my (brief!) thoughts on this topic in Campaign here  from March and here in July. On Monday Tesco launched seven new ‘brands’ across fresh food, all bearing the names of fictional farms and ‘exclusively at Tesco’, i.e. Own Label in branded clothing. Essentially, Tesco are pulling their ‘everyday value’ ranges across meat, fruit and […]
Read More »