Author Archives: almostalwaysthinking

Planning is changing, fast

I work for an agency that is very, very excited about the way that data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence are going to significantly change marketing, not least because all of the above will free us to spend less time knee deep in spreadsheets and Google Analytics and more time thinking (and in the […]
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on content creation and consumption

I’ve been thinking and reading a lot about content creation recently. This great article from GQ (via @storythings) covers the disruption at both ends of the film and TV industry – there are umpteen platforms offering original content now, including YouTube Red, Crackle, Apple Music, Netflix, Facebook’s recent push into original content and in the […]
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six months in

After six and a half years freelance I’m coming up to six months in at Bloom (I started at the beginning of January but couldn’t announce it until February for various reasons). I’ve been rather lax on the blogging front since I joined Bloom because there’s loads of things I’d like to write about but […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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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, […]
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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 […]
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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 […]
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*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 […]
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