It’s great when your own work comes home

We have just had an application from a brilliant potential employee. The most focussed presentation we have received in 18 years of running Purple Circle – a branding and graphic design business. When you get 50 speculative applications per week, to have one this good restores your faith in humanity.

She even used one of our own quotes that she found n the web, summarising what branding is all about to show she had read through all of our materials and then demonstrated it by allowing her own brand to pervade everything!

Our summary of what branding is all about.

“Branding is far more than simply sticking logos on things; rather, it is about an organisation – however big or small – setting and managing a tone for its entire communications and ensuring that the core values of the company pervade every aspect of the business. If you can do this, it doesn’t matter whether you are speaking to your team or to your customers, you can create a brilliant brand.”

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CRM is not enough MCR is getting closer though

I was speaking to Andy Hanselman today about the much talked about topic of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). He has the view that this is just not enough. What we should all be looking at is Maximising Customer Relationships (or MCR). Branding has become such a wide subject now that it is far, far more than just doing logos, it’s about every single aspect of your customer interaction.

A system that maximises customer relationships seems to be a far more sensible and holistic way of dealing with your customers.

If you look at your existing customers, are you genuinely delivering them all of the available products or services you offer? Or more likely, are they using you for one or two of the things you can do for them and buying others from others?

In an article about agency survival by Alain Thys, he gives us some great pointers about what we should be doing. Perhaps the most important of these is making ourselves accountable for the work we produce and delivering a sensible ROI for our clients. He argues that many of the reward models for agencies are just wrong, because they reward overspending and not results.

At the Marketing Live conference in Leeds a few weeks ago, one of the main topics discussed was again, about agency rewards. I was the only person who held my hand up saying we had been doing this for years. As an agency, Purple Circle has always put its money where its mouth is and for the right projects will either take an investment in the company, or find a reward system that is based on results.

Duncan Bird, a long time friend of ours is at Anomaly in New York and they have built their entire business model on this idea. They not only create brilliant work, they invest in the business and take a shareholding. They are truly rewarded for their work and this is the future for an agency.

The Drum Marketing Awards Pictures

 

The very lovely Laura from Aura PR in Scotland presenter of the first award
The very lovely Laura from Aura PR in Scotland presenter of the first award

 

John Lyle with Drum Marketing Award Grand Prix for BeWILDerwood
John Lyle with Drum Marketing Award Grand Prix for BeWILDerwood

 

 

 

John Lyle with Richard Draycott Editor of the Drum and all round good man
John Lyle with Richard Draycott Editor of the Drum and all round good man
Angela Lawrence of Itero Marketing - Emerging marketeer of the year - Who was my fellow Whooper at the awards as neither of us knew many people there!
Angela Lawrence of Itero Marketing - Emerging marketeer of the year - Who was my fellow Whooper at the awards as neither of us knew many people there!
Keith Vernege of the COI Publications - Chairman of the judges and obviously a very wise man
Keith Vernege of the COI Publications - Chairman of the judges and obviously a very wise man

As promised, here are the pictures from the awards the other night.

Firstly I have to explain the unshaven look. Its a lucky beard. We had an amazing few weeks, winning new business and both my daughter and son winning major football matches. It couldn’t have been anything else but the lucky beard, so it had to stay for these awards.

And the reason I have no dress shirt on is not because I’m trying to be cool, its because I forgot my cufflinks and had to wear the scruffy linen shirt i’d had on all day!

Considering I went to the dinner on my own, not really knowing many people, I ended up chatting to loads of people and having a thoroughly good night out. I guess it’s always better when you win stuff.

When I was standing around in the bar, nursing a beer on my own, Angela Lawrence from Itero came over and just started gabbing away to me. We agreed that if either of us was lucky enough to win an award, we would whoop and holler for each other.

We both won!

for even more pics, have a look here

www.thedrummarketingawards.com/gallery/

Canadian call Centres – It’s the future

It’s the future for me! I was genuinely quite nervous about moving my car insurance for the first time in years and did the usual of going onto the price comparison website www.gocompare.com which I have to say was remarkably easy to use and offered me some prices that seemed much lower than when I had been insuring it previously (like nearly half price!)

The one that came out on top for both my car and my wife’s was Admiral Insurance (http://www.admiral.com) who also seem to offer a multi car deal. This sounded a little complicated, so with some trepidation, I clicked the button to allow me to speak to a real person. I presume at this stage, Go Compare’s business model charges Admiral Insurance for me as a very hot lead. Many companies we have dealt with in the past, still seem to exercise massive sales prevention techniques – even at this stage.

But I spoke to Cathy Arnold in their sister company call centre in Nova Scotia and she was quite superb. Nothing was too much trouble, she was keen to do things right, apologised for some of the (required) bureaucracy and was overall a lovely person to deal with.

If this is the way of the Canadian Call centre operative generally, I can only see it being a very large growth industry for them in the future.

Admiral are trying very hard to build a brand in the UK and they are backing up lots of expensive advertising with brilliant service, excellent prices and smart people to deal with. I can’t believe I am saying it about an insurance company, and I may change my opinion if I ever have to make a claim, but we could all learn something from these people.

Another Award

I was up at the Midland Hotel in Manchester last night for the Drum marketing Awards, which had a brilliant judging panel headed by Keith Vernege, Creative Director of the COI, Simon Pestridge – Marketing Director, Nike Uk Ltd, Mark Hardy – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (PlayStation) and Martine Ainsworth-Wells – Marketing Director for Visit London.

Our shortlist was for BeWILDerwood – Marketing a swamp – in the New product/service strategy. As we’ve never entered a marketing award before (we normally do the design ones) it was a bit of a surprise to actually win the section. Its a nice trophy too.

But then to top it all, we went on to win the overall Grand Prix.

Have a look at the work and the other winners here

But here are the trophies with a poor pic taken on my phone.

I’m sure there’ll be some pictures to follow of the Kate Winslet Moments, which I’ll post when I get them.

But it was great to meet some friendly folks from other agencies. All the nice people from Hemisphere, True North, MCMNet, Laura at Aura, Rosie from Oxford Marketing College and Richard and Victoria from the Drum.

Thanks for a great evening and a fuzzy head today.