I once had a client in the recruitment industry, and when the CEO brought us in to present his initial marketing brief, this is what he told us:
“The thing about [the business] is, we’re mavericks. We‘re innovators. We may not play by the rules, but we always get results.”
Now, as far as I’m concerned, he hadn’t just described his business — he’d described a character from a 1980's cop show.
But that really was it. He wanted us, in his own words, to show the world that we do things differently.
Yet in the 18 months we worked together, the only thing I saw him do differently was wearing shorts when it was freezing cold. …
Whatever kind of marketing you do, chances are you use a variety of measurements to track its efficacy. You probably don’t even question it: everybody tracks engagement rates, clickthrough rates, and conversions — why shouldn’t you?
But what if I were to tell you that an extremely prevalent — and under-acknowledged — cognitive bias underpins many of those metrics? And what if I were to tell you that this bias is very likely restricting your marketing’s potential impact?
Simply put, human beings are prone to overestimate the importance of things that are easy to measure, often at the expense of less quantifiable but more relevant factors. …
David Foster Wallace once wrote a story about a farmer who tries to give away an old tractor but finds that he can’t — until he decides to charge $5 for it.
This story is a remarkable way of understanding the incredible Zoom Boom of 2020, which saw the video-conferencing platform’s stock jump over 500%, making it more valuable than the seven largest airlines in the world.
Of course, the pandemic can take credit for shifting video-conferencing into the mainstream — this is a technology that’s existed for over a decade, and it required a major global catastrophe to come into its own. …
From one perspective, Beyond Meat could hardly be in a better position.
They are almost inarguably the most recognizable and fastest-growing plant-based meat brand in the world — and this a market expected to be worth $74 billion by 2027.
In 2019, the company’s wildly successful IPO shocked many, and ever since its valuation has continued — with a small, COVID-shaped blip — to soar. They’re ramping up production, introducing exciting new products to their line, and generally kicking ass all over the place.
The only problem is their marketing seems to be taking all that success for granted.
To further consolidate its status as market leader, Beyond produced its first televised ad in August. …
It took me slightly more than two years to realise I was using my ex-girlfriend.
Not in a malicious way, not with any clear goal in mind. But I was using her all the same.
See, I felt great around her — confident, capable, assured of my personal worth.
And of course, that’s a wonderful thing.
The only problem was none of those feelings were about her.
A lot gets said about the way we project our desires and fantasies onto our romantic partners. But there’s another element to the equation that’s often overlooked.
When we’re constructing these idealised fantasies of our partners, we’re also constructing an idealised vision of ourselves in relation to them. ‘My partner has all this wit and beauty and insight. And I’m the person they choose to give it to.’ …
Developing a structured method of annotation changed how I read, and made every minute spent reading more intrinsically valuable.
When I was a research student, I loved finding other people’s annotations in battered old library books. Seeing how another person interacted with a text always struck me as fascinating — personally revealing in a way even their journal probably wouldn’t be.
I could totally imagine a strain of self-conscious performativity slipping into a journal. But who really worries how they’re going to come across to others when marking up Of Grammatology?
Annotation is an odd mix: pragmatic, yet generally speaking improvisational. Most people seem to annotate books and essays in an ad hoc way, picking out sentences which seem important or potentially useful — with no real structure or goal in mind. …