Posts written by Matt Richards
Do you ever get tired of trying to be real? Get disenchanted with trying to be authentic? That feeling of tension between what you believe you should be doing, and what is easy or comfortable? I get it all the time. Even kicking off this post there’s a tension. There’s the safe, easy, vanilla option. Create a simple, unchallenging piece. Five hundred words. All uncritical and evangelical about how good authenticity is. Good for oneself. Good for a business. All smug, and cosy and political... more...
Part One: The Decline Of Traditional Marketing Agencies It never crossed my mind when I joined Publicis as a Grad Trainee in the early 90s that by 2015 I’d be debating the very future of marketing, digital or creative agencies themselves. I guess this isn’t surprising. In the second half of the twentieth century agencies had enjoyed an unprecedented period of growth, influence and prosperity. Saatchi and Saatchi, for example, was a household name and even credited with playing a game-changing... more...
In a highly commoditised market, with literally hundreds of agencies to choose from and very little obvious differentiation, the prospect of selecting a PPC agency can be a very daunting task. To make the challenge easier, we’d suggest you adopt a simple, two phased approach. Firstly, and this may sound counter-intuitive, focus on your organisation and the questions you need to clarify about your needs before going out to market. Then, and only after this, focus on the questions to ask agenci... more...
Please join our Webinar on Wednesday January 27th @ 1pm - "5 Reasons Your PPC Account Is Not Performing" January is a time for new beginnings, but sometimes you just need to finish something off beforehand. In the following post we take a look at the results from our survey on the seven reasons for firing your Search marketing agency and evaluate the sense beneath the hormones. Reason Number One: “I’m firing them because I don’t trust them” The foundation of every good relationship is trust.... more...
The Background: Twenty Two Speed Dates In A Day. Speed dating came a little late for me. It’s okay, you can breathe a sigh of relief. We won’t be meeting. I guarantee it. When the craze took hold a decade or so ago I was already happily engaged, and now ten years on, balding more than I care to admit, with two young daughters running rings around my wife and I, the concept seems entirely alien. And that’s the way I thought it would always stay. But things do change. My personal circumstances... more...
A lot of bright commentators have speculated on shifts in digital marketing, tech, and culture in 2015. Many of these commentators take a “tech first” perspective, looking first at what is likely to be technically achievable, and only secondarily at human motivations and needs. In contrast, I believe it is peoples’ needs which drive lasting innovation. My hypothesis is that though data and algorithms are crucial, brands now need to focus on being more human. And to be more human they need to... more...
Even as a “cup half full” sort of person, it genuinely startles me that within the communications industry still many agencies do not have a meaningful vision. This is fundamental. No vision means no dream to inspire and excite staff and clients alike. No vision means no big, guiding direction for decision making. No foundation for principles or ways of working. And no right or wrong. It leaves one buffeted by whim, and the tactical. Directionless. Great visions and great dreams inspire loyal... more...
It’s a big claim. But I am going to make it. Most marketing agencies’ methodologies or mantras are either banal or bankrupt. They have no genuine meaning. There it is. The cat’s out of the bag. It may sound harsh, but even when we look at some of the top agencies their sound bites on strategic approach quickly wear thin. Mediacom are without doubt a strong media buying agency. But hear them talk about their “Real World Communications” methodology based on “deep understanding of the consumer”... more...