Saying and Doing

During a video interview with Havas Global’s Managing Director Jon Waite (soon to be released as an asiCast, watch this space) Jon referenced an event he had been at during which a poll of the audience revealed that 79% were familiar with attention metrics. When members of the audience were asked how many adopted an ‘always on’ approach when it came to using these data the number dropped to 1. Not even 1%, just 1.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Relationships, Dear Boy…

Harold Macmillan, UK Prime Minister in the 1960s was once asked by a journalist what was the most difficult thing about being Prime Minister. His reply: “Events dear boy, events.” It may be unfashionable to say so but the most difficult thing about being a media agency in the 2020s is not systems, algorithms or even blog posts from smarty-arsed consultants but relationships with clients.

Read more
|
|
|
|

The Wrong Metrics

This post is made up of elements that have appeared previously on ‘The Media Leader’ in two separate pieces in February 2024

For some while now the industry has faced a problem with its basic metrics. I say ‘faced’ although the truth is we haven’t faced up to the issue at all, doing that curious media dance of sticking our fingers in our ears, twirling round three times, clicking our heels, and hoping the problem will go away.

Take share-of-voice, or SoV.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Politics in Measurement

Opening one of the sessions at last November’s asi Conference in Nice, Richard Marks (who, with Mike Sainsbury does a sterling job putting the event together each year) made the point that he has never known a time when the politics of measurement is so all-pervasive.

He’s right – and it is disturbing.

Read more
|
|
|
|

The Post Office: Lessons in Media

One of the unintentionally hilarious things about LinkedIn is the number of earnest posts telling us all what we can learn from this event or that occurrence. ‘5 Things Every Marketer Should Take From King Charles’ Coronation’. The fact that I feel the need to explain I made this up says it all.

Read more
|
|
|
|

When Reality Meets Marketing – A Cautionary Tale

Full Disclosure: I am a Non-Exec Director of MESH, mentioned here.

In his speech to this year’s MRG Conference Phil Smith, DG of the UK advertiser association, ISBA made the point that advertising isn’t quite as powerful a force as its creators like to think.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Feeding the Monster – The Tyranny of Big Numbers

Earlier this month I chaired the advertising session at the annual asi video and audio measurement conference in Nice. This post is based on my opening remarks.

This session is all about looking at the world of audience measurement from an advertising, and advertiser perspective.

I believe we are fast approaching a tipping point. We have for years inhabited a world within which the most important, some would say the only thing that mattered was how many ‘somethings’ you bought, and at what price.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Passing the Measurement Buck

This post is based on an article in The Media Leader published on 23rd October 2023

I didn’t go to Adwanted’s ‘The Future of Media’ event the other week – it seems inappropriate for an old guy who started his career in the full-service era to attend anything with ‘future’ in the title. As one delegate put it: “This is The Future of Media, not the future of 1980s ad agencies.” 

Read more
|
|
|
|

The Future for Media Agencies

I did consider titling this post ‘The Future of Agencies?’ With a question mark. As in: ‘Is there one? But on reflection I settled on the above. There is a future, but my old friends and colleagues need to get their skates on.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Something Lost Along The Way

I come from a generation that grew up professionally in full-service ad agencies – where everything, including creative, planning, media, even in some cases packaging and market research was all done under the one ad agency roof orchestrated by account people.

I mention this as the concept of integration of media with creative is hardly new. It’s where we started.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Measuring The Wrong Things

A version of this post appeared in The Media Leader on 12th September.

The media and advertising world is measuring the wrong things.

And – we may be measuring some of the right things whilst fooling ourselves that what we’re measuring means something it doesn’t.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Be More Carole

It’s been almost two months since I announced I would be posting fewer Cog Blogs. It was very gratifying to receive so many notes of support for the Cog Blog; thanks to everyone for the kind words and encouragement.

Fewer, better, is the idea and so here we go again.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Keeping On Keeping On: An Announcement

Last Sunday, 2nd July was a propitious day. First, and of paramount importance it was our grandson Francis’ 2nd Birthday. Cue cake, toys, family, a few of his friends and much happiness.

Less significant is that the day also marked the tenth anniversary of the Cog Blog.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Magic, Logic and Technology

Disclaimer: BJ&A is a Founder Partner in the Crater Lake Collective, mentioned here

One of the best, and most under-rated publications in the ad industry is a booklet produced under the auspices of three trade bodies – the CIPS (procurement professionals), the IPA (agencies) and the ISBA (advertisers). Written by an outstanding agency planner, Marilyn Baxter it’s called ‘Magic and Logic’.

Read more
|
|
|
|

All Intelligent Life

The time has come for the Cog Blog to address the biggest problem / opportunity / elephant in the room our industry is facing; at least until the next cab on the rank comes along. The issue of artificial intelligence.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Curiosity Is A Wonderful Thing

A Cog Blog post a couple of weeks ago raised the whole issue of understanding, and a framework for ensuring we all, and especially those on the frontline, learn more from each other. Omar Oakes, Editor of The Media Leader picked the piece up and amplified it. Both the original blog and Omar’s piece generated a fair few comments and responses.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Pitching

Last week’s Cog Blog on media qualifications has been picked up by The Media Leader. I aim to return to this next week once I’ve assessed the many responses on the topic.

A recent report from the media consultants, MediaSense concludes that over half of agency staff believe that pitching affects their mental health. This is a story with legs – it includes the magic words ‘pitching’ and ‘mental health’ thus virtually guaranteeing it will be picked up by all sorts of people, including AdAge.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Experts

Sometimes a Cog Blog post fits neatly with pieces I come across over the following couple of weeks, more by luck then judgement. I like to put it down to great minds thinking alike. A Media Leader article by Nick Manning, and a thought-leadership piece from McKinsey happen to coincide with this recent Cog Blog. Or vice-versa.

Read more
|
|
|
|

Qualified Understanding

I was always told that the most accomplished acrobats, the best ice skaters, were the clowns. You had to be really good at the basics to hurl yourself around without hurting yourself. You had to be smart to appear to be an idiot, in other words.

Read more
|
|
|
|

A Certain Age

I am, shall we say, of a certain age. Depending on your perspective that either means I have some experience when it comes to what works and what doesn’t, or that I am by definition out-of-touch and know nothing of the modern media world.

Read more
|
|
|
|