If people were banged up in jail for blithering ineptitude, who should get the longer stretch?
Honestly, will you choose their phone because you go to work and are breathing?
Here’s a good one for you.
“Giving money to a bank is like handing a gallon of beer to a drunk. You know what he’s going to do with it. You’re just not sure which wall it will end up against”.
The same, I often reflect, applies to far too many marketers. Especially those in big firms, where the prime skill is not selling, but climbing up the greasy pole.
Since Microsoft took over Nokia at least 18,000 people have lost their jobs.
It is almost impossible for any sane person to see why they bought the business anyhow. That is unless you can understand this gobbet of corporate gobbledegook from the executive vice president of Microsoft’s mobile devices group, Stephen Elop:
“The Nokia brand name is available for Microsoft to use for a period of time under license”, But he says it “will not be used for long going forward with smartphones” as it lays the plans for “one consistent brand”.
You do know, don’t you, that use of the phrase “going forward” makes many sane people throw up?
But don’t let that influence you. Just ask yourself a question.
Do you think Microsoft/Nokia will give you a better phone than Samsung or Apple? Does the ad you just saw even begin, however vaguely, to tell you how and why? I suspect Mr. Elop, who is actually the former Nokia boss, felt a twinge of nostalgia for the firm he helped run into the ground. Who knows?
Let us now turn to Lloyds.
Their latest criminal currency scam had one “Money Week” writer wondering if it isn’t time to stick a few bankers in jail. Don’t all shout out at once.
But forget fraud. What about sheer cluelessness? If there were punishment for that, the following sent me by Stuart Ferguson would certainly merit a good stretch.
Had a phone call from an anonymous lady at my bank today.
Here is the entire sales conversation.
Me: (introducing myself) Stuart Ferguson
She: I’m just wondering if you want any insurance. We’re ringing people today.
Me: No, I’m fine, thanks.
She: Ok, thanks.
I often suspect that idiots, like whichever buffoon at Lloyds thought such a silly call a good idea, can cause as much damage, given the chance, as his colleagues in their Ingenious But Unpunished Fraud Department.
Returning to Microsoft and Nokia, a poster which is a variation on the example shown above has enraged me for the last week. Only instead of the pathetic cliché “I want a phone for work and for life” the smirking model says “I want a phone for everything life throws at me”.
I don’t have to explain to you what utter tosh this is. Is there even the faintest hint as to why you should believe Nokia is going to be more use to you than any other phone?
And to imagine one word – “Honestly” – is going to get people reading to see what pleasures await betrays a criminal failure to understand something as basic as what a headline is for.
On the other hand, you may think I am full of it. You may agree with Adam Johnson, marketing director for Microsoft Mobile UK and Ireland.
He told Marketing Week that Nokia’s story ”is evolving from a pure hardware play to one experience across platforms. … Now our marketing has become more seamlessly integrated in terms of tone and colour palette and so on.
Actually Nokia’s story is that they went broke amazingly quickly; but let Mr. Johnson continue:
“Consumers will feel this is more consistent across their journey. This is not just about putting a phone on a plinth [in retail], but more in context of the devices in the family and how the phone integrates with your PC, tablet and Xbox.
It seems that “for those consumers who do not currently own a Windows device, the marketing campaign – which will also use messages such as “effortlessly integrated” in the retail space – will position Lumia as an “entry point” into the “Microsoft software”.
That should do the trick, right? Don’t you wake up every morning wanting an entry point into the Microsoft software? Or do you just hate the bastards?
If you read this far and these quiet comments struck a chord with you – or even if you’d like lots of practical suggestions on how you can avoid making such ghastly mistakes and make more money – I have a suggestion for you.
Today is my birthday. I am 78. Maybe I should quit before I am found out.
So in about six weeks I shall pouring out everything I know about what works and what doesn’t in marketing, and especially the creative side – in two talks.
This will happen in the heart of London at EADIM. Being a modest, lazy and possibly just plain incompetent soul I have said almost nothing about myself on the site.
On the other hand I believe even if I keep my mouth shut this is an extraordinary opportunity for anyone even vaguely interested in marketing, business or success in life.
Have a look and see what you think. Whatever you decide this is absolutely the last time I shall do this.
And if you’re interested there is, of course, a special birthday offer.
Just write to me, Drayton@DraytonBird.com if you’d like to know more.