Posts Tagged: Misc

ALL COMMUNICATION IS OVER-SIMPLIFICATION

Years ago Leagas Delaney did a great Christmas card.
But they didn’t do it for their own ad agency.
They did it for Lewis Silkin, a firm of solicitors.
On the front was printed a very simple message.
“MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.”
Then next to each word was a handwritten comment.
Each one in different solicitor’s handwriting.
Next to MERRY was written:
“Could have connotations of over-indulgence, possibly drunkenness. Risk of encouraging irresponsible behaviour.”
Next to CHRISTMAS was written:
“Definition too specific, potentially confrontational. Risk of offending other religions or even the secular.”
Next to AND was written:
“Presumes both occasions only exist as a pair, precluding possible enjoyment as individual celebrations.”
Next to A was written:
“Non-specific about which New Year: western, Chinese, Hindu, pagan. Consequently not time specific or relevant to season.”
Next to NEW was written:
“Strictly speaking we can’t claim New. This is simply a modification of previous years. At best a variation, potentially a repeat. ”
Next to YEAR was written
“Years vary according to measurement: lunar or atomic. Need to define terms, also address leap-year issue.”
I love that card because it’s an extreme version of how lawyers think.
And, because it’s extreme, we can laugh at it.
But actually it demonstrates something much more important.
Without simplicity we can’t have communication.
Everything would get too complicated.
If we tried to define, to refine, to address every possible variant in meaning, we’d never get past the first word.
We couldn’t even say “Good morning.”
First we’d have to define ‘good’.
Do we mean good in the sense of moral rectitude?
Or good in the sense of well made?
Or good in the sense of nourishing?
Or in the sense of value-for-money, or well behaved?
And in relation to what?
Better than yesterday, better than tomorrow?
How can we know?
Who’s to judge?
By what right do we presume to be the authority?
Does ‘good’ mean better than we expected?
Better than some people are having in other parts of the world?
Better than we deserve?
Or exactly right?
In which case, is good the same as ‘perfect’ or merely ‘not as bad as it could have been’?
We could go on for a day about the word ‘good’ before we even start on the word ‘morning’.
And we would have accomplished nothing by being too pedantic.
See, in the real world, we don’t need to define every single term before we use it.
We don’t need to be so accurate in our language.
Because we all actually know what ‘good morning’ means.
‘Good morning’ is actually the verbal equivalent of a nod and a smile.
That’s all.
So we don’t have to analyse it.
That’s how most people live their lives.
And, in our business, that’s who we deal with: most people.
Because the world we work in is mass communication.
Not one-on-one.
We’ve got a split-second to get noticed.
A split-second to be relevant.
A split-second to be remembered.
Even if we have all day to debate it, the public don’t.
They don’t know, they don’t care.
Even the people in advertising, who spend all day splitting hairs about every dot-and-comma of every sentence in advertising.
When they leave the office they revert to being normal human beings.
And they ignore 90% of all the advertising around them.
Just like everyone else.
Unless we know how it works, we can’t do it properly.
It’s called Semiotics.
The science of signs: of language.
Because that’s all language is: signs.
It isn’t the actual thing itself.
Language is just something we all understand, pointing us towards the meaning.
That’s what Magritte meant with his famous painting of a pipe with the words “This is not a pipe”.
Our mind looks at it and thinks “How can he say that’s not a pipe? Of course it’s a pipe.”
But of course it isn’t a pipe: it’s a painting of a pipe.
That’s what Magritte meant.
Language isn’t the thing.
As Seneca said “The word ‘dog’ never bit anyone.”
There is a place of course for extreme accuracy in language.
Science, medicine, the law.
In those fields people need to take infinite pains to be totally clear to each other.
Not roughly, but exactly.
But the field we work in isn’t that.

To do our job effectively, we must stop confusing the two.

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THE ADVERTISING ARMS RACE

At the end of World war Two, Germany was dropping guided missiles on London at will.
First they had the V1.
Basically a flying bomb with a crude jet engine attached.
A very simple design.
But the next development was light years ahead: the V2.
This was the world’s first space ship.
They fired it 50 miles straight up, out of earth’s atmosphere.
When it reached its peak, it turned and dived on London.
The first thing anyone knew about it was when it exploded.
All of the R&D for both weapons took place at Peenemunde.
When It became obvious Germany was losing the war, the scientists had to make a decision.
They could stay at Peenemunde and be captured by the Russians.
They wouldn’t be killed, they were too valuable.
But they’d have to work for the USSR.
Or they could escape to the west, and be captured by the Americans.
And work for the USA.
All the old school V1 scientists escaped to work for the Americans.
Nearly all the more advanced V2 scientists stayed, to work for the Russians.
Fast-forward 10 years.
Now it’s the Cold War between the USSR and the USA.
Each side threatening the other with nuclear weapons.
The advanced German scientists (now working for the Russians) had developed their V2 into a genuine space ship.
In 1957 the entire USA was petrified because the Russians put the world’s first-ever satellite into orbit: Sputnik.
It’s hard to grasp the significance now.
But in those days it was like someone having military control of another dimension.
Suddenly all strategic thinking was geared around the premise that whoever controlled space would win any war.
For decades, that was all anyone could see.
Meanwhile.
The German old school V1 scientists had been quietly working away in America, on their obsolete design.
No one cared about them, so they were just left alone.
Without much of a budget, they’d developed a superior guidance system.
They’d developed better engines and technology.
And one day, they unveiled the cruise missile.
No one had ever seen anything like it.
It was exactly the opposite of everything all the world’s sophisticated rocket scientists were working on.
It could fly so low radar couldn’t detect it.
It would fly slowly so there was hardly any noise.
It didn’t have to sit in a massive silo with a large crew to guard it.
It was so simple it could be launched from anywhere: plane, a lorry, a boat.
It could even be launched from a submarine underwater, and find it’s way precisely to any target.
And you could make literally hundreds for the cost of a single ICBM.
Suddenly the whole game changed.
Everyone had been looking the wrong way.
Everyone had been spending more and more money in the race to have the biggest and best ICBM technology.
To build huge missiles that flew higher and faster then the other side.
Because of the spending on the arms race, on having bigger and better and faster and more powerful missiles than America, the USSR went bust.
They had no money left.
The Soviet Union broke up.
The ICBMs led up a blind ally.
You couldn’t use them without the other side using theirs.
Which would have meant the end of the world.
So the ICBMs were, in effect, useless.
But it wasn’t that way with cruise missiles.
They were smaller and cheaper.
You could use them just to take out a particular house if you wanted.
They cost next-to-nothing so you could use as many as you wanted.
They could carry conventional or nuclear warheads.
They weren’t part of the arms race.
And the world shifted 180 degrees.
Suddenly something that all the ‘experts’ had ignored came and bit them in the arse.
The old fashioned thinking that they pooh-poohed.
The obsolete technology that they called dinosaur thinking.
Suddenly all the people that blindly followed the ‘experts’ were stuffed.
Something everyone had written off wasn’t really dead after all.
Can you see any parallels with our business?
Everyone blindly involved in race for new technology that will solve everything.
Everyone saying that whatever came before that technology is just dinosaur thinking.
Everyone convinced that there’s only one answer for every situation.
Everything that went before is obsolete and can safely be ignored.

Any of that ring any bells?

Read more on THE ADVERTISING ARMS RACE…

Having some skin in the game

Max Forsyth is a photographer.
He was telling me about the time he flew from Israel to Cairo, on El Al.
He went to the airport to check in.
A young woman checked his luggage.
She was very thorough, but Max expected that.
Israel knows it’s surrounded by hostile states.
Being wary of terrorist bombs is almost second nature.
And so she was perfectly pleasant, friendly and chatty, as she went through his luggage.
When she’d finished Max said goodbye.
The young woman said “Oh, I’ll see you on board.”
Max said “Are you flying to Cairo?”
She said “I have to, it’s El Al policy.”
Max said “Why? Do you live in Cairo?”
She said “No, I live here, in Israel.”
Max said “How come you’re flying to Cairo?”
She said “Standard El Al procedure. If you check the passengers’ luggage, you have to fly on the plane.”
How about that?
The person who inspects the passengers’ luggage for bombs has to bet their life on how well they do their job.
That’ll concentrate your mind.
Imagine if we had to do our job like that.
Like it was really, really important to us.
As they say in New York “Having some skin in the game”.
Maybe not our life, that would be silly.
But how about our house?
If we had to bet our house on our decisions, would we make the same decisions?
Would we make them the same way?
Would creatives be fighting for the latest esoteric/trendy technique just so they could win an award?
Knowing that if the ordinary consumers didn’t understand the ad they’d lose their house?
Would planners be recommending changing the advertising based on what a couple of focus groups said?
Knowing they were betting their mortgage on the result?
Would account men be willing to change whatever the client wanted to change, just to keep them happy?
Knowing they were betting their house on the client’s whim?
Would clients be quite so eager to get their own way, just because they could?
Even if getting their own way might cost them their house?
Or would everyone take their decisions a bit more seriously?
Would they weigh all the implications before they acted?
Would they carefully consider everyone else’s point of view?
Put their ego aside.
Look at everything from every possible angle.
Make sure nothing is left to chance.
Instead of just getting their own way.
Of course, everyone has some skin in the game.
People can lose their jobs.
But you can get another job.
Unlike El Al, no one bets their life.

Which is the reason El Al has a reputation as the safest airline to fly if you’re worried about terrorist bombs.

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THE PLUMBER AND NIGEL BOGLE

I was having lunch with Alan Thompson who runs the Haystack Group.
They’re a new-business intermediary that places hundreds of millions of pounds of business a year.
But Alan told me something more interesting at lunch.
Alan’s dad is over eighty years old.
When the weather got really cold, his dad turned on the central heating.
The boiler fired up, but the radiators stayed ice cold.
The house was freezing.
He had to put on an overcoat, gloves, and scarf.
He could see his own breath, indoors.
For an elderly person, this is serious.
So his dad went through the Yellow Pages and found a plumber.
The plumber came and did the usual thing.
He sucked air through his teeth and tut-tutted.
He said “Blimey, this is an old boiler.”
Alan’s dad said “Yes, I’ve had it ages.”
Then the plumber walked around and felt all the pipes.
Eventually he took out a hammer.
He hit one of the pipes two or three times and waited.
The pipes began to warm up.
Then the whole house gradually got warm.
The plumber said “There you are, it was an air-lock in your pipes, that’s shifted it.”
Alan’s dad was really grateful.
He said “Thank you very much, what do I owe you?”
The plumber said “Nothing.”
Alan’s dad said “But I must pay you for fixing the heating.”
The plumber said “No, I can’t charge you just for hitting a pipe with a hammer.”
Alan’s dad said “That doesn’t seem fair.”
The plumber said “Look, this is a really old boiler. With luck it’ll get you through this winter, but you’ll probably want to replace it soon. All I ask is that you let me quote on it when you do.”
Afterwards, Alan asked his dad what he was going to do.
His dad said “Well I don’t think I’ll bother getting any competitive quotes. I mean, even if they are cheaper I don’t know if I can trust them.
I know I can trust this plumber, he didn’t rip me off when he had the chance. I’ll just get him to do it.”
What a brilliant piece of marketing thinking.
This plumber’s not just looking to make a quick few quid.
He’s building a brand.
He’s worked out what his point-of-difference is amongst his competitive set.
Which is: he’s an honest plumber, you can trust him.
Given that most people are insecure because they don’t know the first thing about plumbing.
Given all the TV programmes showing people getting ripped off by plumbers.
Given how vulnerable people are to cold in the depths of winter.
Given all that, this is a fantastic positioning.
Of course, trust is the positioning most marketers say they want.
But this guy doesn’t just talk it, he walks it.
He invalidated all the competition for a much bigger job, without even a pitch.
And he’s got a client who’d doing his WOM advertising for him.
How brilliant is that?
You might say, well that’s okay for plumbers but what’s it got to do with us?
Years ago, Nigel Bogle was running TBWA.
Clients occasionally came to see him when they were in trouble.
When the work their current agency presented was unusable.
And they needed to be on air with a new campaign in a matter of weeks.
Nigel would listen to their problem.
Then he’d say “I understand your problem and I wish we could help. But I think you’ve got more fundamental issues than just hitting an airdate in the short term.
I think it needs a lot more strategic thought.
If we did a quick fix for you I don’t think it would benefit either of us.
We wouldn’t be doing our best work, and you’d be disappointed.
But, I can understand that you do have commercial imperatives and you need to hit that deadline.
So, if you’d like, I can help you pick an agency that will do a reasonable job in the short term.
Then, when you do have a bit more time, we’d love to talk to you again and show you what we can really do for you.”
You might think, he’s crazy, he’s just given away business.
But has he?
Isn’t he actually doing the same as the plumber?
What are the chances of the other agency doing a brilliant job in those circumstances?
Not great.
The very best they’re going to do is perhaps adequate.
And which client can resist the thought that they’ll never know how great it could have been if they’d got TBWA, and Nigel, involved earlier.
The client has to keep the lines open.
So that later on, he can ask him to have an in-depth look at his business.
And now, the whole balance of the relationship is different.
Now Nigel, and TBWA, is a trusted adviser not just a supplier.
You trust Nigel like you trust that plumber.
Which is why he eventually opened his own agency.

And why Bartle Bogle Hegarty now has offices on five continents, billing one and a half billion pounds a year.

Read more on THE PLUMBER AND NIGEL BOGLE…

SMART PEOPLE UNDERSTAND CONTEXT

We have a copywriter at the office who’s is a bit of a hypochondriac.
The great thing about hypochondriacs is they are marketer’s dream.
They are high-involvement consumers.
They watch out for new products, read about them, try them out, and talk about them.
This means, if you’re smart, you can use their minds to do most of the work for you.
For instance, winter is just starting.
And colds and flu are on peoples’ minds.
Especially on hypochondriacs’ minds.
This copywriter recommended First Defence to me.
He said he’d used it, and found it worked.
First Defence is a very clever marketing idea.
It’s a spray you squirt up your nose at the very first sign of a cold.
That probably means a sneeze.
Now, whether or not it works is a separate issue.
Here’s why I think it’s clever marketing thinking.
It understands how the human mind works and capitalizes on that.
Look at it this way.
For a moment assume that First Defence doesn’t actually do anything.
We know that humans sneeze a lot of the time.
Especially in the city.
Sometimes it might be smoke or pollution.
Sometimes it might be dust.
Anything irritating the nose.
In the summer, unless we have hay fever, we don’t think anything of it.
We sneeze, maybe once or twice, and forget it.
But now take the same sneeze in winter.
Now the weather is cold and we’re cold.
Now maybe those sneezes are the first signs of a cold.
So we take First Defence as soon as we sneeze.
And if those are just dust sneezes, like in summer, we don’t sneeze anymore.
And we think it worked.
So First Defence gets the credit.
Now of course, we know First Defence does have some medical properties.
So sometimes it might actually work.
But the great positioning is that you must use it ‘at the first signs’ of a cold.
So supposing you sneeze and wait until you can go to the shops to buy it.
And supposing it doesn’t work.
Well it’s your fault, you waited too long.
In that case, if it doesn’t work, you can’t blame the product.
You didn’t use it soon enough.
But, in order to use it soon enough you have to buy it before you need it.
Put another way, you have to buy it whether you need it or not.
How great is that as a piece of marketing?
You have to buy it whether you need it or not.
So here’s the great marketing.
If it works on a sneeze that wasn’t a cold, it didn’t really work.
But it gets the credit.
If it didn’t work on a genuine sneeze, you didn’t use it soon enough.
So it doesn’t get the blame.
And, for it to work, you have to buy it in case you think you may need it at some time in the future.
And it all depends on being advertised in winter, when everyone is expecting any sneeze to be the first signs of a cold or flu.
And prepared to do anything to stop it.
That’s clever marketing.
To let the season, the news media, consumers’ conversations, and the environment be your advertising.
To let the context do the work for you.

That’s smart media.
That’s free media.

Read more on SMART PEOPLE UNDERSTAND CONTEXT…

GETTING A RESULT

I loved the movie, Social Network.
When I came out of the cinema I was buzzing.
But my son was down.
He said he found it depressing, the way Mark Zuckerberg had screwed his friend, and fellow Facebook founder, Eduardo Saverin.
I hadn’t seen it that way.
What I saw was a movie about what it takes to be successful.
It takes a willingness to go through, or crawl over, any barriers.
Like a tank.
Zuckerberg was willing to do that, Saverin wasn’t.
Zuckerberg wanted to go fast, Saverin didn’t.
So Zuckerberg went ahead without Saverin.
Saverin got left behind.
He feels he got screwed.
But the alternative was for Zuckerberg to slow down to the speed Saverin wanted to go at.
Which would, at best, have been a much, much smaller success.
So Zuckerberg sidelined Saverin.
He cut him adrift.
I thought the film had a happy-ish ending.
After the lawsuit, Saverin walked away with a billion dollars.
That’s a thousand – million dollars.
All for a twenty grand investment.
Who wouldn’t be happy with that kind of return?
“You give me twenty grand now, and later on I’ll force you out of the company, but you’ll get a billion dollars. What do you say, are you in?”
Any one of us would have bitten Zuckerberg’s arm off.
What I liked about the film was that it wasn’t about right or wrong.
It wasn’t the normal melodramatic Hollywood good guys and bad guys.
It was all about getting a result.
And it was about what you are prepared to do to get that result.
It was about what works and what doesn’t work.
Which isn’t synonymous with right and wrong.
Isaac Newton is remembered as one of the most brilliant people in history.
His great rival was Robert Hooke.
Hooke was one of the most important scientists and mathematicians of The Enlightenment.
But today Hooke is almost forgotten.
We don’t even know what he looked like.
Why is that?
Why aren’t there any pictures of Hooke?
Apparently he once accused Newton of stealing some of his ideas.
Newton never forgot or forgave.
Newton succeeded Robert Hooke as Chairman of The Royal Society.
He had all the examples of Hooke’s work destroyed.
He had all the portraits of Hooke destroyed.
As far as he could, he erased Robert Hooke from history.
Gottfried Leibniz was one of the great philosophers and mathematicians of The Enlightenment.
He invented calculus.
He published it before Newton, and his system was superior.
When Newton later published his system, Leibniz accused him of plagiarism.
Newton never forgot or forgave.
He used his influence to have Leibniz ostracised and ridiculed.
Leibniz died a pauper.
No one knows where Hooke or Leibniz are buried.
But everyone knows where Newton is buried: Westminster Abbey.
It isn’t that there isn’t any such thing as right and wrong.
It’s that they have nothing to do with getting a result.
It’s like expecting the morally superior team to win in a football match.
It’s irrelevant.
Who wins the match is the team that scores more goals.
However they score more goals.
And moaning about the result afterwards won’t change anything.
After World War Two, Hermann Goering was being tried at Nuremberg.
When he was found guilty, he was asked if he had anything to say.
He said “What is the point? The victor always makes the rules.”
Then he swallowed a cyanide capsule and died.
He understood it’s a waste of time debating right and wrong.
It’s over.
You lost.
End of story.
New Yorkers understand this.
It’s summed up by a cartoon in New Yorker magazine.
A patient is lying on the psychiatrist’s couch.
He’s obviously just finished unburdening himself to the psychiatrist.
Divulging his deepest, darkest secrets
His fears, his regrets, his missed opportunities, his thwarted intentions, his unfulfilled expectations.
The psychiatrist simply looks up and uses an old New York expression.

He says “Yeah, yeah, yeah: “Coulda – Woulda – Shoulda”.”

Read more on GETTING A RESULT…

THE TRAIN IS LEAVING THE STATION

My wife is an art director.
Recently she went to The Marketing Forum.
Being a creative, she expected to be bored by lots of case histories, graphs, charts, numbers.
But one client told an amazingly creative story about the birth of a brand.
It started when he was working in Belgium.
Every day he had to try to sell margarine (butter-flavoured spread) to people who didn’t want it.
It was dispiriting work.
To cheer himself up, every day he went to the same pastry shop and ate a delicious chocolate pastry.
Eventually it became clear to him.
“I don’t like margarine.
I do like chocolate.
I’m in the wrong game.”
Doing what you love is always the best idea.
So he quit his job and began working on perfecting a delicious, rich, chocolate pudding.
He worked on it until he had it exactly right.
Now he needed marketing.
He needed a positioning, a name, packaging, a brand in fact.
So he went to see an agency and asked if they could do that for him.
They said leave it with us.
So he waited.
And he waited.
Three weeks later they hadn’t contacted him, so he called them.
They said “We-ell…. You’d better come in, we’ve got something to show you.”
He went to see them.
They said, “We’ve got some bad news we’re afraid. It looks like someone else has already done it.”
His jaw dropped.
They said “Yes, unfortunately, virtually the same product, same positioning, everything. We’ve managed to get hold of some pictures.
If you promise not to let it leave this room, we’ll show you.”
He nodded.
They said “You wanted a stylish, classy chocolate pudding, deliciously gooey, yet premium? Look, theirs is called Gu.
It’s got the German umlaut (two little dots) over the letter U, so it looks like a smiley face. And it rhymes with ‘goo’ so it’s fun but classy.
A bit like Haagen Dazs.”
The client’s face fell, he said, “I can’t believe it. That’s a great name.”
They said “Yes, and look at the packaging: it’s dark, rich, elegant. Indulgent and chocolaty, but also stylish.”
The client said “This is terrible. How advanced are they.”
They said “Their sales force is ready to start selling it in. We’re worried because we think they’ll be very successful.”
The client said “What do you mean: you think they’ll be successful. Of course they’ll be successful. It’s a brilliant product, a brilliant name, a brilliant pack design. It’s exactly what I wanted dammit.”
And he sat back, depressed, thinking about all the success he could have had if only he’d got that idea first.
Then the account man smiled and said “Well if you really mean that I may have some good news for you.”
The client said, “What?”
The account man said “I made that story up. No one has actually done anything. This is our presentation to you: the name, the packaging, everything.
If you want it you can have it.”
The client said he felt as if the sun came out.
Instead of the usual shuffling, and humming and hawing he just took everything as it stood and went with it.
Isn’t that great.
We never want anything so much as when we can’t have it.
So instead of selling the client an idea in a way that lets him think he’s got all the time in the world to fiddle with every tiny unimportant detail, they let him see what’s really important.
How will he feel if he sees a competitor has done it?
If he’s been beaten to market.
He won’t quibble about the serif on the typeface.
He won’t worry that the background colour isn’t exactly 100% perfect.
He’ll just wish to God he’d done it.
What a great lesson.
Show the client the idea in a situation where he would give anything to have done it.
But it’s too late, someone else got there first.
It’s like a nightmare.
Then wake him up and tell him it was just a dream, and he’s still got a chance to do it himself.
Instead of suspicion and hesitation, he’ll feel gratitude and eagerness.
He’ll be concentrating on the 95% that’s right.
Not holding everything up for the tiny 5% that isn’t.
We’ll have a client that wants to move things forward, not hold things back.

By the way, the name of the client who told that story was James Averdieck.
And he’s just sold that brand for £35 million.

Read more on THE TRAIN IS LEAVING THE STATION…

Beatles For Sale

I love The Beatles. I really, really do. And it’s not simply because of their glorious music. It’s all the other stuff too. To me they exist in a visual way through film, animation and print. But crucially through the groundbreaking album sleeves that parallel the sublime tracks within. The tangible artifact that accompanies the intangible experience.

Read more on Beatles For Sale…

Magic & Sparkle?

It’s always an interesting time of year for TV ads. Advertisers pull out the stops and dedicate a large proportion of budget to claim their share of the nation’s Christmas.

Am I the only one to be underwhelmed by the M&S offering?

Read more on Magic & Sparkle?…

OUR PM DOESN’T KNOW THE MARKETING BASICS

Since Tony Blair, PR seems to be the main requirement for a Prime Minister.
Presumably this is how David Cameron got the job.
Before he was our Prime Minister, Cameron apparently worked in PR.
I find this quite worrying.
Because if PR, and consequently marketing, are the main requirements for the job, he obviously doesn’t know the basics.
Last week he went to China, because the UK needs to sell more goods abroad.
And China is a huge untapped market.
So Cameron went to China to try to open it up to UK industry.
So far, so good.
But what he did was to lecture the Chinese on how they need to open up their markets to goods from the West.
He gave them a lecture about how the global financial system depends on balance.
How they can‘t keep just selling to the West without buying Western goods in return.
Now it’s not smart to lecture the Chinese.
In fact it’s not smart to lecture anyone you want something from.
But particularly not the Chinese.
The concept of ‘face’ is very important to them.
They don’t respond well to lectures from people who behave as if they are their betters.
Particularly not when they come from a country less than a tenth their size.
So in judging his audience, we have to be disappointed in Cameron’s PR skills.
Okay, so how about his basic marketing knowledge?
Supposing he did persuade the Chinese to open up their market to the rest of the world.
What proportion of world trade do we suppose the UK accounts for?
2%?
Let’s be generous and call it 5%.
So, if Cameron’s speech works, we will only get 5% benefit.
In other words, for every 20 items Cameron persuades China to import, 19 of them won’t come from the UK.
Nice job, Cameron.
And that’s our PM.
That’s the bloke we paid to go to China, with a massive delegation, to create sales for UK industry.
He’s doing 95% of the job for someone else.
Our competitors in fact.
See, that’s what I meant by saying he doesn’t understand the basics of marketing.
He doesn’t understand something a simple as Market Growth v Market Share.
Consequently, Cameron’s speech was totally about Market Growth.
Market Growth is a great strategy for the USA.
Who will probably get at least 35% share of any growth in Chinese imports.
But it isn’t smart for the smaller players, like us.
We need to be increasing the size of our share.
So Cameron should have been trying to grow the UK’s share of Chinese imports.
But instead, Cameron sold Western goods, Western industry, Western services.
Not UK you notice.
Western.
Of which we have, if we’re lucky, 5%.
Of which we don’t have 95%.
So 95% of what we just paid Cameron to sell wasn’t the UK.
Would you employ someone like that?
That’s what I meant when I said he doesn’t understand the basics of marketing.
Meanwhile, France has just done the largest trade deal in its history with China.
Not by lecturing China about world economics.
Not by requiring China to open up to Western goods.
Just simply by selling French goods.
As opposed to anyone else’s.
By telling the Chinese why they should buy French goods instead of other Western goods.

The French at least know the difference between Market Growth and Market Share.

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