Straight Talk with Nigel Hollis

Nigel Hollis Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst, Millward Brown

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Is Gap’s CEO suffering from “morbus digitalis”?

Mark Ritson has called out Gap’s CEO, Art Peck, as suffering from a severe case of “morbus digitalis” , which Ritson describes as a sickness characterized by erratic and irresponsible behavior such as swapping TV advertising for Tinder. But is Ritson right that senior management’s belief in digital and social media is delusional?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Are brands in an activation race to the bottom?

With the inevitable shift from analog to digital, brands increasingly focus on marketing in the moment; reaching out to consumers when their behavior indicates a potential interest in the brand or its category. But will devoting more attention and budget on changing behavior when people are searching or shopping build or undermine brands?

Monday, July 18, 2016

What does Brexit imply for British brands?

Some of our clients have asked what the implications of Brexit might be for brands. The recent devaluation of my British passport from allowing me ease and freedom of movement across the EU to now basically only the UK, makes it difficult for me to view the implications of Brexit neutrally. That said I will do my best to not to become overly negative in this post.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How do brands best leverage the power of Word of Mouth?

Faris Yakob, Co-founder of Genius Steals, has written a post on the Warc blog in which he envisages a future of brute force creative, where specialized bots can generate the perfect tagline from a million different combinations. However, that future may already be here, but applied to tweets and posts not taglines.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Is it time to dust off the recession playbook?

A recent piece by J. Walker Smith, Executive Chairman of The Futures Company, reminded me irresistibly of a scene from the 2009 Star Trek movie. With the Enterprise failing to resist the gravitational pull of a black hole Kirk cries, “All she’s got isn’t good enough”.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Premier Inn grows by targeting brand predisposition

Digital marketing has been a huge gift to hotel marketers. Just one click that indicates interest in staying somewhere will bring a barrage of hotel ads to your digital device. No more print runs with the latest deal on a three night stay in New York, they can customize an offer precisely targeted to what you are looking for… so long as they read your behavior right.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Fish where the fish are but use the right bait

It has become very popular for people to justify putting more money into digital by using the old axiom that you need to fish where the fish are. However, if, like me you spent a frustrated childhood fishing and not catching much, you will know that there is a lot more to fishing than just figuring out where the fish are.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Can you escape the price promotion trap?

I cannot help but believe that many companies fall into the price promotion trap – and have no doubt, it is a trap – inadvertently. If you are a packaged goods brand you generally have little choice but to play the promotion game, but the question then comes down to how much do you play; and, if things go too far, how do you pull back?