How do you describe marketing to friends?


I guess anytime in life if you need to persuade someone to take action, you’re doing marketing….right?


If you’re looking for votes at the local council meeting, or looking for a promotion, you’re marketing.


If you’re #filming a #video for your #website or taking a selfie for your #socialmedia profile or trying to talk your way out of a speeding ticket, you’re marketing.


Marketing goes way beyond advertising, email pitches or the way you do pricing. In fact, most of the time, marketing has nothing at all to do with money at all. 


We’re surrounded by people who would like a piece of our attention, a bit of our trust and some of our action. Those people are marketing to us, and it helps to know what they’re doing right (and wrong).


If someone says, “I don’t do marketing,” they probably mean, “I don’t spend money on advertising.” which are very different things.


Our culture is driven, more than ever, by marketers. The links we click on, the tv programs we watch, the people we vote for–they’re all #marketing artefacts. If you don’t like the political situation, you’re commenting on the marketing situation.


As soon as we take responsibility for the marketing we do and the marketing that’s done to us, we have a chance to make things better (by making better things).

Do you like technology?

 Cars are so much more dangerous than aircraft. More dangerous per mile, more dangerous to bystanders, more dangerous in every way.


And yet there are very few people who say that they are afraid of being in a car. And yet we spend a fortune on the FAA and more than £8 billion a year in the UK on the security song and dance we have to perform before every flight. We carry life jackets on planes even though they’re needed about once every 33,000,000 flights.


That’s because flying is magic and driving is just riding a bike or a horse, but with a motor.


The challenge of the self-driving car isn’t that it’s a car with no driver. Actually, the self-driving car is an airplane with wheels.


It’s like a magical technology.


When this new technology (one that we don’t believe we can understand) arrives and it feels like life or death, our instinct is to freak out, to make up stories, and to seek reassurance. Vaccines have had this challenge for generations. Because they’re long-lasting, involve a shot and feel like magic, we treat them totally differently than the unregulated market for placebos and patent medicines, regardless of their efficacy.


If you’re lucky enough to invent a magical technology, be prepared for a long journey.  Decades ago, I worked with Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke on two different projects. Asimov was truly embarrassed that he was afraid to fly. And Clarke was famous for saying, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”


What he left out was, “Magical technologies that involve media-friendly disasters are the hardest ones to sell.”

The £37,000 fairtrade coffee

If you work in the city and find yourself grabbing a coffee or a snack every afternoon for on average about £4, it’s a real and true great example of the cost of debt in the modern world


Most people are either a little behind or a little ahead.


If you think about it over a ten year period, if you’re putting that coffee on your credit card, which adds up to about £1,000 a year, then include all the interest accrued, over the ten years it’ll cost you £24,408.40, and you might never find the means to repay the debt.


On the other hand, if you put that same £1,000 into the lowest cost investment fund that paid about 7% a year, you’d end up with £13,816.45 in the bank.


That’s because interest compounds. It’s because banks like to charge more than they pay out. And it’s mostly because we’re very aware of the short-term and happily ignore the long term.


There are more ways then ever to get ahead in life. 

Why will a professional will buy from someone like you. 

Does your business sell to a professional or an amateur?

 A professional will buy from someone like you. 

 The reason being….they’re going to have a process to review the process, a method, an experienced approach to obtaining what they need. 

A professional isn’t going to think she can do it herself and isn’t going to make it an emergency.


An amateur, on the other hand, may or may not follow any of those principles. An amateur is comparing you to what? A miracle? To free? To something in between?

Professionals run the procurement process at Pottery Barn. Amateurs buy a new house every fifteen years. Professionals buy from other professionals. Amateurs ask friends for advice.


At scale, a large company in B2B selling has a multi-year approach to finding and working with professionals. Many talented soloists often can’t afford to work as patiently and so they often are exposed to amateurs.


It’s okay to sell to amateurs, but only with open eyes.


When you don’t get the gig, it’s not because of something you did wrong at any particular meeting with an amateur… the mistake might simply be that you’re having these meetings with amateurs at all. Or that you’re going to amateur meetings expecting to be meeting with a professional.


There’s a way to optimise the sales pitch and even better, the service itself for when you are hoping to acquire an amateur on the way up, a chance to turn him into a pro. But perhaps your frustration is that you thought they are a pro in the first place…


Different stories for different people.

Data is the answer......isnt it?

The MODERN alarm clock, that you usually have in most hotels, shows a small PM when the time is after 12 noon.

I arrived at my hotel recently at 7 pm, carefully setting the alarm for 6 am the following morning.

Of course, I failed to realise that the tiny ‘pm’ wasn’t showing when I set the alarm, which means when I was setting the alarm, the clock thought it was currently 7 am, and the next morning, when 6 am rolled around, it thought the local time was 6 pm and didn’t bother to ring.

That’s as complicated to think through as it is to type, which is my point.

Rule 1: always set two alarms.

But the bigger takeaway is that AM/PM on a hotel clock is not only useless, it’s a problem waiting to happen. There are 2,000 clocks in this hotel. Who’s going to check them all?

The clock would do its job far better if there weren’t an AM/PM data bit.

Data isn’t free. It’s actually very expensive!

The microwave in my office also reports AM or PM. If you need the clock in the microwave to tell you whether it’s morning or night, you have bigger problems than a microwave can fix for you.

The metaphor is pretty clear: more data isn’t always better. In fact, in many cases, it’s a costly distraction or even a chance to get the important stuff wrong.

Here are the three principles:

First, don’t collect data unless it has a definite chance of changing your actions.

Second, before you seek to collect data, consider the costs of processing that data.

Third, acknowledge that data collected isn’t always accurate, and consider the costs of acting on data that’s incorrect.

Maybe it is time to strip away all insignificant digits.