The Reception


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Lessons from RBG

'I am a Brooklynite, born and bred, a first generation American on my father’s side, barely second generation on my mother’s. What has become of me could happen only in America. Neither of my parents had the means to attend college, but both taught me to love learning, to care about people, and to work hard for whatever I wanted or believed in.'  - Ruth Bader Ginsburg I recently watched an excellent documentary about US Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg (‘RBG’). It’s the story of an incredibly talented, resilient woman who overcame the odds, step-by-step, to help build a secure legal framework for women’s equality in the US.

Applying the rules of UX

There is a principle within UX design called Tesler’s Law. The posher name for it “The Conservation of Complexity”, and it states that in every application there is an inherent amount of complexity that cannot be removed, simplified or hidden. I think it’s time we applied Tesler’s Law to the world in marketing communications, as an antidote to the modern world’s unhealthy obsession with over-simplication. I want it applied in two specific areas: communications planning and agency engagement. We humans love simplicity and we’re encouraged – especially by a few of the noisier bloggers and tweeters – to see the world in a very binary, overly simplistic fashion. But the world is complicated. Marketing is complicated. The modern communications landscape is very complicated. I’ve written before about how dangerous I think the over-eulogising of over-simplification is. I think the issue might be getting worse rather than better – but I’m willing to admit I might just be spending too much of my time on LinkedIn!

Launching a creative agency

In early 2018 Ben Hooper, Paul Jacobs, Mark Runacus and Matthew Brown, former Karmarama colleagues, set up Wax/On, an agency designed to put creative and media back together.  A year on, Ben reflects on what he’s learnt over the past 12 months and shares his tips for others who may be tempted to go it alone: When you announce that you’ve quit your day job and are setting up your own business there’s something fractionally disconcerting about being met with ‘Wow, that’s brave’ or ‘Isn’t the ad industry falling apart?’. As if this was a decision made in the pub the previous night. Those reactions were no huge surprise. We were almost unknown and were setting up a ‘new’ (well, old) type of agency, one that brought media and creative back together in some kind of retro partnership, the likes of which had all but died out. But kicking against the doubters was exactly the kind of the incentive we needed to get going.

Growth needs a north star

How do start-ups transform into solid businesses with sustainable plans for growth? Over the last few years, we’ve developed brand and growth strategies for some of the world’s most successful scale-ups. These are organisations like ASOS, Deliveroo and FutureLearn, all of whom have made the leap from start-up to proven business - with growing revenues, sizeable customer bases and international expansion plans. Experience has taught us that, over and above having a great idea at the heart of the business, there are four investments that help transform a start-up into a successful scale-up: 1. Investment in long-term brand building Start-ups often fall into a never-ending frenzy of growth hacking and customer acquisition. On any given week, they’re running numerous online activation campaigns, all with the singular intention of delivering an immediate return.

Nudging digital adoption

Across nearly all industries, companies are investing enormously in digital tools, from new apps to online client servicing.  And this investment makes intuitive sense, because “digital conversion” (i.e. moving people from physical to digital experiences) holds tremendous potential to create “win-win” situations: Customers benefit from increased convenience (24 hour availability, no travel time, etc.)   Organisations benefit from reduced transaction costs (via elimination of physical infrastructure)   In fact, many financial institutions are “banking” on this digital transition, as the UK has lost almost 2/3rds of its bank branches in the last 30 years (with over 13,000 branches closed). But there’s one major problem:  Many customers are not making this digital transition. And this challenge has little to do with technology or usability.  Instead, it is rooted in status quo bias, risk aversion and the difficulty inherent in changing human behaviour. 

Upcoming Events


Join us for a chat with Just Eat's newly appointed chief customer officer.

Debbie Hewitt MBE on what it takes to make the career leap to CEO

Attend our session on the human side of leadership, 20 March, 3.15pm

Editor's choice

Dear male allies. By Elle Graham-Dixon.

A memo to the many wonderful male allies supporting us on International Women’s day. Thank you for your support. It can be hard to speak out about feminism as a man. Hard, in particular to feel as though you have the right. So sometimes you may accidentally say things that don’t help because, well, no one is perfect. Because I know you truly care, I hope that you’ll appreciate some gentle feedback.


IWD 2019: thoughts from the women in our network

This year, to celebrate International Women's Day 2019, we went to our network to ask them one question: Two years on from #metoo, and with recent reports showing the significant gender pay gap, what do you think we can do as an industry and individuals to move the conversation forward and make change quicker?


Imposter syndrome and how to deal with it

Congratulations!  You've just been promoted / picked up an award / won a big pitch but instead of giving yourself a well deserved pat on the back, you cannot shake the creeping fear that Toto is going to pull back the curtain and expose you for what you really are…a fraud - and sooner or later everyone’s going to find out, writes Tanya Livesy.

Think piece