WHAT CAN MARKETING LEARN FROM...'WHAT CAN MARKETING LEARN FROM [INSERT ANYTHING]' ARTICLES?

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WHAT CAN MARKETING LEARN FROM...'WHAT CAN MARKETING LEARN FROM [INSERT ANYTHING]' ARTICLES?

When we look back on the craziness of 2016 there’s a risk we’ll miss one further worrying development.

This was the year the world became slightly obsessed with ‘what can we learn about marketing from [………] posts.  

I thought I’d do my bit and make a contribution. I’ve been searching for a relevant topic to have a go at for quite some timeIt’s no easy feat, let me tell you. It seems no topic, no matter how obscure, has been spared the treatment.

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BE SAFE, BE SEEN

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BE SAFE, BE SEEN

I’m watching House of Cards. It’s excellent. It’s so good, in fact, it’s made my life a lot easier. I downgraded my Virgin subscription and got rid of thousands of things I never watched. I’d rather have a smaller selection of great new stuff from Netflix than options over every show produced in the last 20 years.

‘Everything in one place’ has been a natural progression of many categories, not just entertainment. Seeking to stand out and make it easy for customers by offering a ‘complete’ range of things in one place, whether this be an enormous shopping shed or an online portal.

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WHY MARIO BALOTELLI IS NOT THE ANSWER TO YOUR PROBLEM

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WHY MARIO BALOTELLI IS NOT THE ANSWER TO YOUR PROBLEM

I was recently having a conversation with a client who, having had the traditional CFO late summer whip-round for any unspent budget, had to massively scale back their research ambitions and was now exploring a very different solution.

Now whilst The Forge are massive fans of research efficiency (don’t get me started on the amount of work that is commissioned that just repeats old work…), as the conversation started to talk about the revised approach being ‘no risk’, the alarm bells started to ring.

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FEELING YOUR WAY INTO PEOPLE'S LIVES

FEELING YOUR WAY INTO PEOPLE'S LIVES

When did brands start trying to reason their way into our homes?

It feels for too long brands have been appealing to our logic in order to be accepted into our lives.

Serving up a series of rational arguments about the quality of the product, or how much cleaner our clothes will be, or how it will make us healthier: as if the most well constructed argument is the difference between someone saying yes or no.

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I'VE GOT A GOLDEN TICKET

I'VE GOT A GOLDEN TICKET

“I’ve got a golden ticket” sang Charlie Bucket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Well, I’ve got a golden ticket as well now courtesy of British Airways. I am not talking a gold executive club card, I am referring to an entirely new initiative. BA have sent me a golden card I can hand to a member of staff who I believe has demonstrated exceptional service.

Although I am unsure as to what happens next – do they trade these in at duty free? Do they get to add stripes to their uniform? Are their achievements championed within BA–  I find myself intrigued as to what lies behind this idea..

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IS JIMMY ANDERSON A GOOD BOWLER?

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IS JIMMY ANDERSON A GOOD BOWLER?

Here at The Forge we like to ask the big questions

Given I grew up in Burnley and recently watched the ‘Burnley Express’ take 10 wickets in the first Ashes Test – swinging the ball beautifully both ways –  like many, I would intuitively answer…yes.

However, when you dig a little deeper maybe it’s not as straightforward as that. Let’s take sentiment out of the equation and look at the evidence…

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A BET YOU CAN'T WIN...AND SHOULDN'T TRY TO

A BET YOU CAN'T WIN...AND SHOULDN'T TRY TO

Getting life insurance is like a bet you can’t win. If you live, you don’t get the money. If you die, you don’t get to enjoy the money” Oliver Gaspirtz

Life insurance. Car insurance. Travel insurance. It’s all the same. Ultimately all insurance is a bet that you can’t win. If you ‘cash in’, then at best, you end up back where you started – but with a few more bumps, bruises & bashes for the experience. And if you don’t, you’ve spent a whole load of money to stand still.

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WHY YOUR COMPANY SHOULD BE LESS FOMO & MORE JOKWI

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WHY YOUR COMPANY SHOULD BE LESS FOMO & MORE JOKWI

My daughter is talk of the classroom.

Thanks to my wife’s inspired choice of birthday party venue, the “Rock & Bowl”, ten pin bowling & karaoke celebration has momentarily elevated my daughter to celebrity status. A small price to pay for what was possible the most strenuous & stressful two hours of my life!

School policy is that all members of the class have to be invited. It’s probably a sensible choice that prevents anyone from feeling like they are missing out. Though it seemed far from sensible when repeatedly trying to stop 20 kids from dropping 16lb bowling balls on their feet, or listening to the Oscar winning “Let it Go” being brutally massacred on the microphone.

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MORE PRICKS MAKE FOR BETTER RESEARCH

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MORE PRICKS MAKE FOR BETTER RESEARCH

Okay, so that’s not exactly what Helen Edwards meant in her excellent, and once again relevant, article from last July on the election prediction errors. (Marketing 1.7.15) However, this paragraph did make me laugh.

“The research industry likes to think it suffuses our decision-making with the light of understanding, but the reality is more like pinpricks of light emerging into our cave of ignorance. If there are enough of them, and if they come from different directions, then we can pick a few features out in the gloom – all the while reckoning that it could look very different tomorrow”

Mind you? Even if you ignore any insinuations about the members of the research fraternity, it is so semiotically loaded with images of dark caves, gloominess & ignorance I do wonder whether there’s a hidden message in it for us?  I’ll resist the urge to commission a poll to find out.

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YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO, NOT WHAT YOU SAY YOU'LL DO

YOU ARE WHAT YOU DO, NOT WHAT YOU SAY YOU'LL DO

“Watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” Roald Dahl

At The Forge Watching is focused on the world of social media analysis. From facebook to twitter, from Pinterest to blogging platforms, social media brings a new and exciting source of people’s expressions into play.

The overwhelming and unique advantage of these approaches springs from their passivity. Because they merely observe rather than interact, they can deliver a level of unprompted understanding that plays yin to the yang of conventional asking techniques.

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DON'T ASK ME WHY

DON'T ASK ME WHY

“Ask me no questions, and I’ll tell you no lies.”  Oliver Goldsmith.

Here at The Forge, ‘Asking’ encompasses conventional market research. It’s the world of questionnaires, focus groups, and interviews. And it’s the world of their trendier cousins such as co-creation.

These approaches allow us control over who we speak to – so we can be pretty sure we’re asking the right people. They allow us to ask exactly the questions we seek answers to. They allow us to probe and delve deeper when we hear something that piques our interest. They allow us to both understand people’s problems and frustrations, but they also allow us to explore their responses to potential solutions – new brands, new products, new services – and even to leverage people’s own creativity in this pursuit.

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THE POWER OF PREDICTION

THE POWER OF PREDICTION

“I never predict anything, and I never will”. Paul Gascoigne.

For us, ‘Predicting’ brings together a range of future-focused approaches including trends analysis, behavioural economics, and opportunity modelling.

The power of these approaches is that they can inform future questions, challenges and decisions. They achieve this by moving away from a static, retrospective picture of the market towards a more dynamic one.

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THE JOY OF DIGGING

THE JOY OF DIGGING

“You dig deeper and it gets more and more complicated, and you get confused, and it’s tricky and it’s hard, but… It is beautiful.” Brian Cox

At the Forge we believe that all marketing is about influencing people’s behaviour, and that insight is the key to how we create that influence. We believe that Insight comes from getting to true expressions of what people believe.

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I'D BUY THAT FOR A POUND!

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I'D BUY THAT FOR A POUND!

When I was a young lad growing up in Lancashire suggestions that you might buy anything from a ‘pound shop’ were clearly made as a put down.

It was a classic 80’s insult ranking alongside Doofus, Der-brain, Scrubber, Wazzock and many others that have rightly long since felt the swinging axe of the PC executioner.

However, times have changed.  Cries of “You shop at a pound store, you shop at a pound store”  no longer deliver the same calibre of injury they once did.

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SHUT IT YOU COMPLETE WONQER

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SHUT IT YOU COMPLETE WONQER

There are an extremely large number of words in the English language.

The Oxford English Dictionary lists more than 250,000 distinct words, not including many technical, scientific, and slang terms.

If you were to learn one of those words a day via those handy desk calendars people receive for Christmas, it would only take you 700 years to master them all.

These are some of our favourite words here at The Forge: proclivity, plinth, marmoset, tmesis, ichor, fecundity, abstemious, defenestration, zenith, scrimshanker and kerfuffle.

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