Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Marketing Wisdom from the 18th Century



PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 19, 2007

The accelerating trend to consumer control won’t be a big surprise to most of you now. Sisomo (sight, sound, motion) and technology are radically changing the balance between producers and consumers, so the surprising thing is that we were ever surprised by it at all.

I’ve always loved to sell, and I’m constantly reminding Saatchi & Saatchi people that advertising is about selling stuff. Once you understand that simple fact a whole lot else falls into place. Anyone who has ever sold anything successfully over a period of years has got to know in their gut from day one that the consumer is boss. You can’t make it work any other way. Try to flog shabby products or half-hearted brands and you get nowhere. Treat the people you are selling to with no respect and you get punished. Act as though you have more important things on your mind and they’ll walk. David Ogilvy once famously said, “The consumer isn’t a moron, she’s your wife”. Today we’d add your colleague, your boss, your friend, your analyst, your judge, your governor, etc. The idea is important. Never, ever believe that you know better. I was reminded recently that this is not an idea born in the 20th century. It’s been with us for a long time. The reminder came in Tim Blanning’s great history of Europe, The Pursuit of Glory, and this statement:

“Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production; and the interests of the producer ought to be attended to, only in so far as it may be necessary for promoting that of the consumer.”

We only matter as producers in so far as we promote the interests of consumers. When was that consumer-is-boss-like statement made? 1776, in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations

Smart people have always believed the consumer-is-boss. Our challenge is to act on it, and transform belief into action.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Winston Churchill: Crazy Times


John Lithgow's Emmy acceptance speech tonight: “First and foremost, I want to thank Winston Churchill. In these crazy times, his life reminds us what courage and leadership in government looks like.”

"A Netflix original drama, The Crown chronicled the life of Queen Elizabeth II (Claire Foy) from the 1940s to modern times. Churchill was a British statesman who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955."

57-0

All Blacks 57, South Africa 0. Oi. Ugh. A few months ago I posted "World Domination: Why are the All Blacks so Good?" On Saturday night at North Harbour Stadium in Auckland, they really showed why. Eight tries to zip. The highlights reel demands repeated viewing.








Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Life Lessons Radio Podcast

Rick Tocquigny and I were are P&G at the same time in the late 70s and early 80s though on different continents, and we've crossed paths many times in the past few years at the P&G Alumni Network. Based in Colorado, one of Rick's many hats is host and producer of Life Lessons Radio (2,185 broadcasts in 8 years!). Yesterday we had a 20 minute conversation in which I managed to do something no one has ever done before, which was to place the novels of Ernest Hemingway and Procter & Gamble's famous one-page memo in the same sentence (crisp get-to-the-point writing style). Check out the podcast here, we talked about the fast crazy world in which we live, mentoring, your ABCs (ambition, belief and courage), being digital, and what three authors I would love to have to dinner (Hemingway being one, listen to the podcast for the other two).


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Business Tips From the Movies: Avoiding a Knife in the Back

KRConnect has been running for 10 years now - 2104 posts - so I can now run those "10 Years Ago" posts favored by newspapers. Here goes.

I saw a great movie en route to Seoul last week - Breach. It’s the true story of Robert Hanssen, a FBI double agent. Hanssen was responsible for the deaths of half a dozen American agents, and the cause of untold damage to America’s national security.

The movie has been shot by Billy Ray, almost as a documentary. Ray has described the movie as “a story about lying in the pursuit of truth”. The tension never ebbs and the cold, chilling sets and tone feel totally believable. Even though you know how the story ends, you can still feel yourself being clouded by confusion and doubt.

Anyone in business will recognize and feel for this real life drama where everyday institutional office pressures are overlaid on the stresses of a typical family life. The acting is brilliant. Two primary characters, Hanssen, and FBI rookie, Eric O’Neill, are intriguingly interlinked, taking turns at playing on the insecurities of one another. There is a universal truth that lies at the heart of this movie; people who want to make a difference, and want to be known for something, need to be appreciated. It’s a theme I hold dear, and we must never forget just how important responsibility, learning, recognition and joy are to everyone in the work place. Create this sort of environment in your business and you are unlikely to be betrayed.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Golden Age - Drama on Television

In today’s Golden Age of TV Dramas, here’s what I’ve been watching in 2017.

The Bureau – Series 3
Brilliant, up-to-the-minute Canal+ show based on real life accounts by French spies.

Romanzo Criminale
Crime and passion in the turmoil and turbulence of 1970’s Rome.

Billions – Season 2
Of course you’ve all been watching this tour de force between Bobby Axelrod and Chuck Rhoades. We have to wait for 2018 now.

Unforgotten
An ITV series green-lighted by ex Saatchi & Saatchi UK co-CEO Adam Crozier, a BAFTA Best Drama series winner about cold cases being revived and solved.

Line of Duty – Series 4
Another UK crime drama – focusing on the Police Anti-Corruption unit AC12. Complex and riveting.

Fargo – Series 3
Coen Brothers inspired. Noah Hawley created and amazing acting from Ewan McGregor and co. Irresistible.

Taboo
Dark. A journey to the end of the earth and back – London in 1814. Tom Hardy at his best.

The Young Pope
Radical and brave. Jude Law is amazing. Brilliantly conceived and created by Paolo Sorrentino – a FremantleMedia production.

American Gods

Another FremantleMedia piece of irresistible entertainment. Ian McShane in fine form.

Berlin Station
A US drama around leaks, whistle-blowing and political intrigue – Rhys Ifans is magnificent.

Vintage stuff.

KR