IS YOUR MARKETING 50 YEARS OUT OF DATE? PROBABLY.

This is an article I wrote recently, highlighting the woeful state of sales and marketing today.

My article on outdated marketingSuccessful marketing is crucial for any business wanting to survive and thrive. But it’s tough out there. Fierce competition, globalisation and commoditisation are just three of the issues any company faces no matter how large or small it might be.

So you’d expect marketing to be leading the way in strategies and processes that address the business challenges of the 21st century head on, wouldn’t you?

Well, you’d be wrong. Marketing’s return on investment continues to fall, with studies in 2014 showing 75% of marketing strategies under-performing. Eight out of ten new products or services being launched fail to make it past six months. Advertising is losing its pulling power. More direct mail is going straight in the waste-paper basket than ever before. Companies are making severe cuts in their non-performing salesforces. Continue Reading…

CAN PR HELP YOU BUILD A STRONG BRAND?

The answer is a definite ‘Yes’. Watch my interview with PR expert Farzana Baduel to learn more about helping your brand to grow by using PR.

In 2004, Al and Laura Ries wrote a book called The Fall Of Advertising & The Rise Of PR. PR helps build a strong brandIn it, they stated that the major brands around today were born using public relations – PR – not advertising. The book cites an astonishing number of branding examples, including Starbucks, the Body Shop, Wal-Mart (owners of ASDA here in the UK), Red Bull and Zara as having been built with virtually no advertising.

In truth, they had it wrong about advertising losing ground. But they got it absolutely right about PR. And even more so in today’s business landscape. Continue Reading…

TIMELINES? CHEW ON THIS FOR INSPIRATION.

Wrigley’s Extra Gum gets emotional. So do 20 million YouTube viewers.

Most chewing gum advertisements are boring, boring, boring. They either rely on product features, tangible benefits (like preventing bad breath after eating garlic or some spicy food) or some idiot acts stupid in the mistaken idea this will boost sales.

Last year, however, Wrigley’s USA made a gum commercial that really tugs at the heart strings.

Sarah and JuanThe ad follows the love story of two students – Sarah, an American girl (who is actually an English actress from Doncaster), and Juan, a Spaniard. They meet in high school and Sarah offers him a stick of Extra gum, beginning a relationship that progresses through a timeline. This charts their graduation from high school and moving away to different universities, but they stay in touch. Continue Reading…

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Brand Doctor: A brief bio.

I’ve spent nearly 40 years in advertising, marketing, design and branding. Starting life as a graphic designer and copywriter, I worked for Top-100 companies. I then progressed to heading up brand consultancies responsible for sales and marketing, branding, corporate identity and advertising for Yellow Pages, Virgin, AVIVA, EMI and British Telecom to name a few.

Throughout the years, I’ve also helped smaller businesses dramatically improve profits through building a powerful brand. (Not-for-profit organisations have seen their donor income increase using my brand approach too.)

I’m also a qualified psychotherapist. How people think and behave is crucial to knowing how to brand a business, and with 15 years of experience in the field of psychology, I'm better equipped than most to deliver brands that connect and engage with customers.

Psychology is a rare ingredient in marketing, but it should really lead the way. My psychotherapy work greatly influences the approach to branding I teach and formed the basis for my international best-selling book Branding Your Business.

‘James gave two consecutive keynotes for the past two years at our annual Indonesian Superbrands Conference. He is a breath of fresh air, bringing clarity and understanding to an audience of 400 senior marketing executives hungry for knowledge of ways to create leading-edge business and branding strategies.

James is now a Member of the Board of Advisors, Most Valued Business Indonesia, an exciting new initiative to recognise brands not just for their revenue, but for their social responsibility.

Whenever James comes to Indonesia, his fans eagerly await the latest from the Brand Doctor – and they are never disappointed. Thanks James – and good luck in all you do.’

– Alistair Speirs OBE
Chairman, Superbrands Indonesia
and Most Valued Brands

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