Author Archives: almostalwaysthinking

Want better diversity? Embrace the Power Part-Timers

I’ve blogged before about how marketing agencies are very light on diversity, particularly in senior positions. I’ve also blogged about why agencies should be embracing #PowerPartTimers. But the two rants are connected. An agency-standard 50 hour week plus nightmare commute simply isn’t do-able for many Mums, for the carers of elderly parents or for the […]
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for Planners, gut instinct matters however experienced you are

When meeting prospective Planners, I always try to find out if their brains are wired the right way to be a great Planner – are they interested in what makes people tick, problem solving, investigation and communication? Do they appreciate the link between brand comms and the bottom line? And perhaps most importantly, have they […]
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creative marketing communications is not a commodity to be project managed

In the age of Prince2, Basecamp, Slack, Trello and so on, the client facing role in agencies is increasingly merging with that of Project Manager. Clients are emailed, not called. Work is briefed, reviewed and presented back with minimal (actual) face time. Now this might be very handy if you’re in Leeds and your biggest […]
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Marketing, your #TimesUp

The advertising industry last week joined the #TimesUp movement with #TimesUpAdvertising. I’d respectfully suggest that it should read #TimesUpMarketingAgenciesAndTheirClients. Over the last 19 years (!) I’ve worked for four different marketing agencies and freelanced for many more and I’ve ended up with a love-hate relationship with the marketing industry. I love the speed at which […]
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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.