The Death of the Marketing Persona

Earlier this year I was invited by Tim and Joe to be a guest on their Real Marketing Rap podcast. During the course of the chat we talked about:

  • How B2B marketing teams should be preparing for Voice Search.
  • The death of marketing personas.
  • LinkedIn as a marketing channel.
  • Core themes for marketing in 2019.

I thoroughly enjoyed taking part. Have a listen: The Death of Marketing Personas




Make it easy for customers to leave

A lot has been written about how we should make it easy for people to sign up for a service whether that’s optimising the UX or shortening a cumbersome registration process.  What we don’t hear much about is the ease with which customers should be able to leave a service.

For obvious reasons, we make our services as sticky as possible. We work hard to ensure that without our service, our user will find it hard to save time, money or effort.  And for all the associated effort we marketers put into ensuring our customers are satisfied, the journey shouldn’t end with a smooth sign up or onboarding or license renewal. It must also end with our customers being able to leave easily.

Now, the circumstances by which they leave can vary. Nevertheless, whether they leave on happy terms or sad, we should strive to make it easy for customers.

Take my recent experiences with cancelling my subscriptions to the wall street journal and the New York Times.

I’ve had an NYT subscription for 2 years now but find I’m reading it less and less. My Wall Street Journal sub, I’ve had for 3 months, which was essentially a lapsed free trial. So, I looked on both sites for how to cancel. Both offered phone numbers but only one provided an alternative.

I called the Wall Street Journal on the European number provided on the site. I was then told my subscription was with the US so I needed to be transferred to a different department. Fine. Call transferred. I was then asked some security details and told that I’d been passed to the wrong department. I was then forwarded to the ‘correct’ department. I then endured a fractious 10minute call with a disinterested rep, to whom I had to repeat my details three times and spell out my name phonetically. We talked briefly about my wish to cancel my subscription and at this point, I think he gave up. He told me he’ll cancel my account. “Thank you,” I said “when will my cancellation be eff…” brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  He hung up. Splendid. I’m still awaiting the confirmation.

Compare this with my experience with the New York Times. On the cancellation section of their Help page, I was given the option to phone or live chat. I took the live chat as I honestly thought it was too good to be true. Turns out it is true. Fantastically so. A chat window popped open. I submitted my email address and I was introduced to Brianna who, after stating that I wanted to cancel my subscription, set about doing just that. Other than asking why I was leaving, there was no upsell, no counteroffer. Just a simple thank you for your readership. I was then presented with a net promoter survey. All good. Seamless. No hassle. Positive.

As a result, I have two very different experiences. I honestly don’t think it’s a difficult thing to be able to deliver.

There is no reason that customers shouldn’t be delighted to leave.


Photo Credit: <a href=””>classic_film</a&gt; Flickr via <a href=””>Compfight</a&gt; <a href=””>cc</a&gt;


I’ve just finished re-reading Les McKeown’s Lead. It is an area I’ve been reading into lately for a number of reasons. Primarily, it was to get a clearer understanding of what leadership really is. It’s a term that gets thrown around, seemingly at will.

Les defines leadership as

” helping any group of two or more people achieve their common goals”

So it’s really about people adding value rather than knowing more than anyone else. It’s certainly not defined by rank or seniority.

This means that there will be leaders scattered throughout any organisation.  They won’t have a fancy title or perhaps even see themselves as leaders. These are people who will do something differently, take on a new challenge, experiment and test. They will quietly deliver projects and actions that help their colleagues, their departments, and their companies achieve their common goals.

In whatever shape or form these actions are, they will undoubtedly take several other members of the organisation with them. And when these individuals act and behave as leaders it will become a natural step rather than a conscious decision to follow.

B2B Marketing Awards 2016

Pleased to have been a judge for this year’s B2B Marketing Awards. Once again I’m astounded by the quality of all the entries. The creativity and the results continue to demonstrate, to me at least, the B2B marketing is in rude health.

Best of luck to all the companies and individuals nominated.


Storytelling in 3 videos

I’ve been thinking about storytelling lately. More specifically, I’ve been thinking about how the company I work for might be able to better tell stories.

So I started researching into how other industries and brands tell their stories. The following three videos are all ones I’ve found this week. Each with very different narratives but each one contains the key elements of a great story: a setting, a plot, a conflict and a resolution.

The Contenders

I’ve talked about Dicks Sporting Goods before.

Drink Better Beer – Matt Lane

This is a fantastic story about how BeerBods came to be. Very funny, very honest.

A film about Vitra

I recently treated myself to an Eames DSW chair for my home office. I love the mixture of history, ethos and tone in this video. I now feel part fo the club. Not part of the furniture, that wouldn’t be very Vitra I don’t think.