Due to our expertise we regularly feature in the business press with comments on what companies should be doing. See below articles where we have featured in external publications via comments, expert advice, thought leadership and interviews, plus some of our own news and developments.

Why being the most shareable football brand is so important to Adidas

The Drum, 12th July 2016: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Adidas has claimed it is the most shareable brand amongst its fiercest rivals and fellow Euro 2016 sponsors over the summer of football, citing its dominance of shares as the best gauge of its performance on social media. Shares or so-called vanity metrics are often deemed superfluous but Adidas believes they are good proxy for quality of a sponsorship campaign. People are only ever going to share content if it’s something they believe in and so what counts as a vanity metric depends only on what constitutes success. For the sportswear brand, success is being the most talked about by young football fans, a goal its claiming as the football season comes to a close.


The next 50 years of the Super Bowl: Advertising will be less about reach and more about ROI

The Drum, 5th February 2016: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

If the first 50 years of Super Bowl advertising were about watermark moments for creativity, the next 50 will be defined by cost-conscious brands deciding how they keep getting value from those costly ads. Few events can pull in as many viewers as Sunday’s match but at $5m for 30 seconds, media buyers interviewed by The Drum are questioning whether that cost equation will soon hit a tipping point. With the costs of the ad slots now so high, advertisers are under more pressure than ever from their chief financial officers to join up the audience from ad to purchase.


Barbie’s shape shifts with the times, but will it help sales?

The Drum, 29th January 2016: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Is Barbie’s curvier and multicultural makeover a meaningless PR gimmick or clever ploy to reframe the brand for a new generation?It’s an unabashed attempt to properly recalibrate the brand to modern attitudes but is arguably a last resort for owner Mattel, which has until now resisted calls from some fans that the iconic doll is a remnant of a bygone time. Barbie sales dipped four years in a row going into 2015, and the decision to launch tall, curvy and petite versions is the latest in a string of gambles to save the brand that could have a wider impact on how its marketed in the future.

Cifas content strategy

Developing a content and contact strategy for Cifas

Press Release by The Intelligent Marketing Institute

Cifas, the fraud prevention organisation, has appointed The Intelligent Marketing Institute to help improve its approach to member engagement. As a not-for-profit organisation with over 330 members across the financial services, telecommunications and public sector, Cifas recognises the importance of effective communications with its members. TIMI is focussing on both Cifas’ approach to content and contact strategy. In doing so, our consultants are assessing how Cifas currently engages with its members and creating a development strategy that will allow Cifas to make incremental changes.


Why John Lewis and British Airways are putting marketers in charge of customer experience

Marketing Week, 15th Sept 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Brands are increasingly including customer experience in the CMO’s remit as the 24/7 nature of consumer interactions means marketers must be responsible for every touch point, from stores to apps, not just the marketing campaign or social media strategy. KPMG Nunwood’s annual list of the top 100 brands for customer experience threw up some familiar faces. At the top was Lush, which went from third to first, while First Direct and John Lewis rounded out the top three.

John Lewis and British Airways customer experience

Twitter’s brand story needs to be greater than its technology

The Drum, 30th July 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Twitter hopes a chief marketing officer will be its catalyst for user growth but the chosen marketer will need to eschew its previous focus on product over brand if it is to rediscover its reason for being. After losing faith in technology’s ability to pull in new users, the pressure is now on marketing to prise the site from the product death cycle it has been locked in for the last 12 to 18 months. User growth in its latest quarter rose by less than one per cent, a statistic interim chief executive Jack Dorsey deemed “unacceptable”.


How to build a brilliant content plan

B2B Marketing, June 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Content is still the topic du jour, but jumping in without a plan will lead to failure. Will Green reveals what to think about before creating your content. Such has been the rapidity of its rise in popularity and importance, it’s easy to forget that content marketing has only recently become such a force in marketing. We adapt so quickly that our minds are almost unable to comprehend a time before Vine, Twitter or Facebook. It came as a shock to many when YouTube celebrated its 10th birthday recently. Ten years? But where did all the cat videos go before 2005?


Pernod Ricard and Bacardi show you can reach the same goal with opposing strategies

Marketing Week, 19th June 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

While Bacardi and Pernod Ricard’s marketing structures represent opposite approaches – one with a focus on brands and the other on “consumption moments” – the goal for both drinks giants is the same: getting closer to consumers. Bacardi announced this week that it is switching its focus to brands rather than categories as part of a number of changes to its marketing structure, including the launch of its marketing Center of Excellence (CoE) in Europe to be headed by CMO Shane Hoyne.


What marketers need from a new Twitter CEO

Marketing Week, 12th June 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo is to stand down at the end of the month following concerns about slowing user growth and ad revenues. The company is now on the hunt for a new boss, but what will marketers want from the new man in charge? While as recently as two weeks Costolo was claiming his job was safe, Forrester Research analyst Nate Elliott says the news “isn’t surprising”. “The bottom line is that Twitter isn’t very good right now at serving either its users or its marketers,” he adds. Twitter investor Chris Sacca wrote an open last month highlighting where he thinks the company has gone wrong.

What marketers need from a new twitter CEO
Why a CFO can’t fix Twitter’s marketing problems

Why a CFO can’t fix Twitter’s marketing problems

Marketing Week, 22nd May 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Twitter has given its CFO Anthony Noto responsibility for marketing. It is an interesting choice for a company that is facing a challenge in attracting new users because it is struggling to explain its purpose to the masses. Noto has admitted Twitter has an image problem. Hundreds of millions of people have heard of it, he said. It has 90% global awareness. But only 30% of people on social media use Twitter. Twitter wants to close that gap and it knows it needs to do that by having a “clear brand proposition”. Noto has identified the lack of brand vision as one of the reasons why.


How brands can make content measurement count

Marketing Week, 12th February 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Content marketing is a vital element in initiating and maintaining conversations with customers, but measuring its effectiveness is a new challenge that marketers haven’t yet got to grips with. Brands are at a crossroads with content marketing: there’s a pressing need to determine whether it should be a tool for branding or for direct response. If it’s the former, then how do you measure whether it has been effective? The answer for most brands seems to be ‘with difficulty’. “The traditional brand performance tools aren’t really geared up to measure content, so we all need a new set of benchmarks.

How brands can make content measurement count
The power of words

The power of words

B2B Marketing, 2nd February 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

With the explosion of content marketing, marketers are writing more and more. But quantity doesn’t mean quality. Maxine-Laurie Marshall goes through the basics of writing well. ‘I have a dream’: Martin Luther King. ‘I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king’: Elizabeth I. ‘If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?’: William Shakespeare. Words are powerful. The words above have lasted the corrosive test of time.


BA’s restructure puts marketing at the forefront of its business strategy

Marketing Week, 22nd January 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

British Airways’ recent marketing restructure will put marketing at the centre of its strategy as it attempts to keep up with the emerging trend, which sees marketers partner with commercial teams as well as focus on the consumer. BA announced yesterday (20 Jan) that it would split its marketing team with part of the team joining the commercial department and the other forming a new customer experience team, which focuses solely on the travel experience. A BA spokeswoman told Marketing Week that the change is an effort to put the customer at the heart of everything they do.

BA’s restructure puts marketing at the forefront of its business strategy
Asda hires non marketer

Asda moves shows why marketers don’t need a traditional marketing background

Marketing Week, 16th January 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Asda has just replaced its marketing boss with a man that doesn’t have a traditional background in marketing. That move is similar to one made by a growing number of brands that are increasingly looking to new skills in areas such as ecommerce and customer focus, rather than a history in branding and campaigns. Barry Williams, Asda’s new marketing chief, was previously its chief merchandising officer for food. That is a commercial role that gave him oversight of fresh, ambient and non-edible areas of the Asda business.


Why McDonald’s dumped product to rekindle customer ‘lovin’

The DRUM, 7th January 2015: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

McDonald’s decision to refresh rather than revolutionise the love in its long-running ‘I’m lovin it” mantra signals a marketing switch from product to customer that could reignite sales growth. The restaurant has lost market share to fast casual brands such as Nando’s and Subway over the last two years but believes it now has the recipe needed to restore that loving feeling. Positivity is McDonald’s key ingredient and just like Coke’s Happiness and Cadbury’s Joy it is now playing on the lighter side of life – moments of freedom or indulgence.

McDonalds dumped product for customer experience

Tesco eyes joined-up approach for customer experience

The DRUM, 3rd December 2014: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Tesco’s promotion of group multichannel director Robin Terrell to its top marketer role amid its second management shake-up in six months signals a more joined-up approach not just to marketing but the wider customer experience. The supermarket has named Terrell its head of customer, a slight tweak on the role his predecessor Jill Easterbrook served as chief customer officer from June. She will now lead the company’s business transformation programme from Janiuary as part of the reshuffle that will also axe the chief creative officer role, held by former chief marketing officer Matt Atkinson


Customer centric marketing is fuelling agency and consultancy collision

Marketing Week, 10th November 2014: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Publicis’ admission that growing competition from consultancies in the marketing space fuelled its $3.7bn capture of Sapient reflects marketers’ growing need for technical expertise amid mounting pressure to shift from creative-led campaigns to ROI driven ones. The rise of consultancies in the rapidly changing marketing space is posing a conundrum for the big agency groups. Companies such as Accenture and Deloitte are now more firmly camped in the marketing field, exploiting their operational expertise to adapt to the evolving strategic demands of marketers.

Customer-centric marketing on the rise
Carlsberg social media consolidation

Carlsberg to consolidate social media around branded sites

Marketing Week, 5th September 2014: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Carlsberg is to centralise social media content for its brands around what it claims are “state-of-the-art responsive websites” in an attempt to make the fan journey from social to web seamless. The project, dubbed Pegasus, sees the business introduce the online template to support its 500 plus brands in more than 150 markets. It allows marketers to build and manage social and web activity from a single content management system, which the brewer claims empowers those teams to “think customers and content first”. Carlsberg hopes the platform encourages brands to reuse content from other markets.


Mondelez scrapping the CMO role to improve marketing accountability

Marketing Week, 5th August 2014: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Mondelez International’s rebranding of the CMO under the newly created chief growth officer title does not signal its dwindling faith in the discipline but rather a growing appetite to making marketing more directly accountable to the business’s bottom line. The change is part of a C-suite reshuffle at the snacks maker that will see top marketer Mary Beth West leave after three years. Her marketing focused insight and consumer services responsibilities will pass to chief growth officer Mark Clouse, who will also take charge of the corporate strategy, global category, innovation and quality units.

Mondelez scrapping CMO role
Is the marketing director role dead

Is the marketing director role dead?

Marketing Week, 4th July 2014: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

Procter & Gamble is getting rid of marketing directors in favour of brand directors, one of a number of companies introducing new titles that they hope will better explain the role marketers do.. Effective from 1 July, the move is part of wider global efforts to simplify P&G’s marketing structure and make the firm more agile, as well as giving brand directors more accountability. It follows the decision to restructure P&G’s marketing division and rename it brand management to ensure that disciplines such as market research, design and PR work more closely with marketing.


Nike v Adidas: The brand World Cup

Marketing Week, 10th June 2014: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

The 2014 World Cup is just days away. Aside from the battle for dominance between the world’s greatest players it will also see the latest chapter in the rivalry between Nike and Adidas. Nike has traditionally outshone FIFA sponsor Adidas in terms of Buzz and acclaim for its marketing and this year is no different but fresh data shows early signs it is winning the battle for customers as well. The stakes are high for both. The American company is looking to outdo last year’s $2bn (£1.2bn) in football sales, while Adidas has targeted €2bn (£1.6bn) from football sales this year.

Nike vs Addidas - the brand world cup
British Gas content marketing shift

British Gas details content marketing shift

Marketing Week, 14th April 2014: Comment from our COO, Scott McLean

British Gas is exploring how content marketing can bring consistency between its campaign and customer service activity as it looks to pull away from product-based marketing. The energy firm is working with marketing strategy experts Institute Consultancy Services (ICS) to map out the customer journey across all its communications channels. The map will use content to understand how effectively channels such as email work in harmony with its service engineers rather than using them isolation to broadcast unrelated promotions.