Straight Talk with Nigel Hollis

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

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Latest Entry
Monday, February 13, 2017

Are the 4Ps still relevant? You have to be joking.

The fact that a title asking, ‘Are the ‘4Ps of marketing’ still relevant?’ appears on a website like Marketing Week just points to the desperate state of marketing today. If you do not get the 4Ps right you might as well donate your marketing budget to charity. It will generate a far better return that way.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Has craft beer lost its cultural capital?

Ben Marshall referred me to this article which suggests the growth in craft beer consumption is largely the result of people seeking cultural capital. Consuming craft beer and decrying mainstream brands was a way to gain standing with your peers but which may now face a countervailing trend of “beer poptimism”.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thank you, Professor Sharp. Yes, thank you.

Recently, Mark Ritson wrote a piece in Marketing Week titled, “We should thank Byron Sharp, not attack him.”  And I think Ritson is right, we do need to thank Professor Sharp. We do not have to agree on everything, but in laying out some fundamental truths about how marketing works Sharp is laying the ground for real progress in how marketing is practiced.

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Is marketing a less reliable practice than finance?

As a panelist at Effectiveness Week in the UK the other week, I got to hear Patrick Barwise review some findings from his book, ’The 12 powers of a marketing leader : how to succeed by building customer and company value’. Barwise asserted that marketing sounds less reliable than other business practices because it mostly deals with the future. But is marketing inherently less reliable than finance?

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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”.

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Monday, April 18, 2016

The risks and rewards of crowdsourcing

If ever you doubted the wisdom of crowdsourcing as a brand building strategy, the last few weeks have provided some wonderful examples of why marketers need to keep a tight rein on things. The same people that gave us iSnack 2.0 have now delivered Boaty McBoatface and taught a bot to be racist. That said, carefully thought out crowdsourcing can produce some positive results.

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Monday, January 18, 2016

What is a universal human truth?

Last week, I wrote about the video ‘Dear Brother’ and was very tempted to state that the reason for its success was that it touched on a universal human truth, but then I realized that I was not sure what the definition of a human truth really was. Googling the words did not help much either. So how about developing a definition here?

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Monday, January 11, 2016

Proof that Millennials are just like the rest of us

We all know that marketers are fixated by Millennials, and many readers of this blog will know that I struggle to understand why; Millennials seem pretty normal people to me. Recently, I was lucky enough to sit in on some presentations that confirmed that they are normal; they just live today not forty years ago.

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