What you can learn about marketing from David Bowie

Bowie bandstand

Balloons on the Bowie bandstand (see below) yesterday, soon after the news broke.

Yesterday (and today), social media has been flooded with the news of David Bowie’s death. Even I added a Ziggy flash to my profile picture (see below). I’ve never done anything like that before.

Continual reinvention

I can’t say anything much about Bowie’s creativity – singing, acting, painting – that hasn’t already been said, so I won’t. Except to point out that he is famous for continually reinventing himself to stay ahead of the curve (or draw a new one).

Top tip: What can you change to be different from the rest?


Bowie RIPNewsjacking means hijacking the news. I did it with my temporarily adapted profile pic. I’m doing it with this blog post.

As an aside, “Hi Jac!” is what my colleagues used to say when I walked into the office. They said “Hey, Rick!” to my assistant. Such fun.

Top tip: What’s topical that you can hijack to make relevant?



How to make your call to action buttons work better

Buttons When I was masterminding at the Ritz recently, Chris Haycock of CliqTo told us how changing the text on a hotel website button increased clicks by 45% in the first ten days. He admits that more influences might be at play, and the long-term results are not yet known.

The original button just said:
Details & availability

The new button includes a calendar icon, and says:
Show availability
Hotel details, map & prices


Before and after

Read the full story on Chris’s website

A 45% increase in clickthroughs in 10 days is pretty impressive. But why is it happening?


How to market your book

BookshopIn recent weeks, a couple of authors have approached me to help with marketing their fiction books.

They know I’ve written three business books that sell through Amazon. (Here they are, thanks for asking.) The most recent was published in 2013, and I don’t do much to market them any more. Yet Kindle sales still trickle in every month, and the print copies are great to sell or give away at events where I speak.

Each time I replied: “Sorry, I don’t do book marketing.”

But, being a helpful kind of person, I searched Google to see if I could find someone to help them.


While I’m ranting about brochures…

Just half a double-page spread about wheels

Just half a double-page spread about wheels

I’ve recently changed my company car, and I spent a few weeks shopping around to choose a new one.

All the car companies give you glossy brochures. But the ones I saw are ‘top down’ not ‘bottom up’ – they don’t consider the customer journey. (Yes, I did pick that word deliberately.)

Everyone has their own car-buying criteria, but you probably start off with a rough idea of the car you want by size, budget and maybe features such as number of doors or seats.

For me, it’s about the look of the car first, and the ‘feel’ of the car second. For some people it will be the other way round, or maybe it’s the sound of the car that’s more important to them. (more…)

Why you don’t need that glossy brochure you’ve always dreamed of

StarfishJust because everyone else in your sector gives out a glossy brochure to prospective customers, doesn’t mean you should do the same. In fact, it’s a good reason why not.

You’ve heard about USPs, you’ve heard about ‘being different’, you’ve heard about standing out from the competition…so why even think of doing exactly what the others do?

Some thinking points for you:

  • What have you done with every brochure you’ve ever been given? I bet it’s been put away somewhere safe, and never looked at again, or maybe even filed straight in the recycling bin.
  • Print, paper and postage cost money. Yet times change fast. Almost as soon as something is printed, it goes out of date, so you’re left with a useless brochure and wasted stock. Or you hurriedly pay more money to print stickers that correct your beautiful brochure, yet your prospect is left with an unfavourable impression of your professionalism.

Are you convinced yet?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you dangling. I do have an alternative for you to consider.

Newsletters. (more…)

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