Straight Talk with Nigel Hollis

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

Please register to be notified of blog updates

Monday, November 28, 2016

Dear brand, stop emailing me!

Every day I get unsolicited email trying to sell me professional services, tout the latest breakthrough in analytics or offer me the chance to interview some self-described expert. Newsflash people: I just delete them. But even worse are the emails brands send after I have bought something. A transaction does not imply I want to hear from you. Stop it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

For brands improbable is not the same as impossible

Any good poker player will tell you most people are just not good at dealing with probabilities. A 30 percent chance that something will happen does not mean that it will not happen at all. And, according to Nate Silver, the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight, that is just what happened when Donald Trump became President Elect.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Brands need to prepare for FragmentNation

Last week Kantar hosted a conference in New York City titled FragmentNation. While the title of the event predated the U.S. election result, Trump’s win helped underline the basic thesis of the event. Brands must prepare themselves to market in an ever more fragmented world and that means understanding the granularity of people’s needs, mindset and values like never before.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

GM’s OnStar and IBM’s Watson have ads for you

With the announcement of OnStar Go your car is going to be a full on digitally connected device – and you know what that means don’t you? More ads. Let’s just hope Watson really is as smart as IBM says it is.

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?

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The lessons for brands in why Trump won

As I am sure you have heard by now, Donald Trump has won the U.S. Presidency. As Jim Rutenberg notes in the New York Times the news media and polls once again fundamentally misread the true feelings of the American electorate. If we learn anything from this surprise result, it is that salience and difference matter as much in politics as they do in branding.

Monday, November 7, 2016

What do we really mean by 'personalized'?

Every time that I read the word 'personalized' in the context of digital marketing I cannot help but frown. I am not sure that what marketers mean by personalized is really… personal. Yes, personalized advertising is tailored to our activities, but it is not really personal to us as individuals. Perhaps we really ought to use the word 'contextualized' instead?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

How brand associations lost Twitter a possible sale

Following the news that Disney has dropped the potential purchase of Twitter partly based on image, the social network has announced it is cutting jobs and closing Vine. This move should be a salutary reminder to anyone who doubted that brand associations do matter, and they also have financial implications.