New year resolutions

31 December 2018

Off all the resolutions next year, the only one I’m going to have stuck to is meditating every day. But that’s a good one and I’m glad about that. And although they were mostly only for five minutes it meant I had to think about meditating to remember to do it every day and I feel like I’ve been more emotionally stable.

For next year though I’m going to up the ante, but should I say at least half an hour or at least an hour? I think an hour, got to prioritise this.

Another one is that I’m quitting smoking. That’s going to make work a bit more of a challenge for a while, mostly.

Also quitting that thing in requiem for a dream that drives must people crazy according to that weird TV guy. Don’t know how that’s going to go but should be interesting.

The other thing is that I want to get down to 12 stone, then stay below 12 and a half stone. So to have the calories to lose to pounds a week until I’m down to 12 stone then keep on filling in the calorie counter every day.

Needs, wants and demands…

16 July 2018

Interesting differentiation between wants and needs. Needs defined as a state of “felt deprivation” and the want as “the form needs take as there are shaped by culture and individual personality.” (p8) So like someone in the UK feeling hungry and wanting a Cornish pasty, and someone in China wanting… sweet and sour chicken balls?

img_20180716_091754825_portrait1734567707427122598.jpgThen a demand is what happens when you are able to pay for what you want.

So now to marketing – companies offer a “value proposition” to satisfy needs of consumers.

“Many sellers make the mistake of paying more attention to the specific products they offer than to the benefits and experience produced by these products. They see themselves as selling a product rather than providing a solution to a need.” (p.9). This makes me think of The Experience Economy which Rich was supposed to have read and I read a little of, about how what people really pay for with anything is an experience, not a product or service. Also makes me think of Glengarry Glen Ross at the beginning where Al Pacino is talking to that guy at the bar about dreams and trains smelling of shit and what-not, and he’s selling a piece of land (which comes as a surprise).

So this is where branding becomes important, so that your product means more to the consumer than just the product, it’s about the experience of using your specific product. It’s the reason to have Smirnoff vodka over the cheap stuff.

“Customer value – The consumer’s assessment of the product’s overall capacity to satisfy his or her needs.” (p.10) It’s what the customer gets from the product or service minus the cost.

“Smart companies aim to delight customers by promising only what they can deliver, then delivering more than they promise.” (p.10) Makes me think of Scotty telling LaForge that you should always tell the captain it’s going to take longer than it will so you look like a miracle worker.

“Marketing consists of actions taken to obtain a desired response from a target audience towards some product, service, idea or other object.” (p.11). So the response could be voting for a politician for instance, not just buying something.

“Increasingly, marketing is shifting from trying to maximise the profit on each individual transaction to maximising mutually beneficial relationships with consumers and other parties.” (p.11). Makes me think of that film with Kevin Spacey about the 2008 crisis (Margin Call) where they’re going to sell everything off and he is against it because he says that people will never do business with them again after they have been so deceptive. So the importance of thinking long term.

“A market is the set of actual and potential buyers of a product or service.” (p.11) So they have the same need or want. Or, I would say, more specifically the same demand because they need to have the ability to pay as well.

“Marketers must… seek to achieve the very delicate balance between creating more value for customers and making profits for the company.” (p.17) So basically you can go overboard on satisfying the customer, the point at the end of the day is to make a profit. Although there is also the question of creating lasting relationships. Which makes me think actually, I always wondered how Groupon was profitable for companies. But the point was not just to make money with that transaction but to get the opportunity to build a relationship so that you get repeat business. And that customer might tell other people so it could get you even more customers, and so on.

The societal marketing concept – the idea that it’s hard to sell things to people on a planet that is on fire or under water.





Marketing Now: Chapter 1

13 July 2018

Prelude Case: Nike

mvimg_20180713_1700410464258011041154461789.jpgI didn’t know that Nike is the Greek goddess of victory and that the “swoosh” is her wing. Hm.

Some questions are posed at the end of the “case”… a bit of textual analysis mostly. The third one doesn’t make a lot of sense to me but then it is very small. Got me thinking anyway, but I did feel a little uneasy about deifying these companies and their marketing strategy.

“No profit grows where is no pleasure taken” by Shakespeare is the quote that begins Part 1. So in defence of trying to make a profit, basically. Then at the beginning of the chapter, “Marketing is to selling what seduction is to abduction.” So Marketing is seduction and selling is abduction? Seems a little hyperbolic but I guess the point is that “selling” is more aggressive. I thought selling was a part of marketing though…

First definition of marketing given: “marketing is the delivery of customer satisfaction at a profit.” Which I suppose is pointing to the idea that it would be easier to provide customer satisfaction at a loss. To do so at a profit means to put less in to it than you get out. But with a customer being satisfied, they would also have had to put less in to it than they get out. So both parties profit. Which is basically capitalism in a nutshell.

“…there is much more to marketing than meets the consumer’s casual eye.” After saying that marketing is everywhere. I think that’s partly what attracts me to it. It’s another way of understanding just about everything. At least, everything created by humans. Does nature market itself? Well, flowers market themselves to bees I suppose. Animals market theselves in mating rituals, perhaps.

It’s about figuring out what people want and fulfilling that want. Again, capitalism basically. I think the reason people have such a problem with capitalism is that they don’t agree with what other people want. Or what they want themselves for that matter. So they blame the system that brings it to them most effectively.

“Selling occurs only after a product is produced. By contrast, marketing starts long before a company has a product.” (p6).  It goes on to say that marketing starts with assessing needs, and whether they are large enough and strong enough to make an opportunity for profit. I suppose I generally think of marketing as just ads and selling generally, rather than the initial stages.

Marketing is done to make “selling” easier.  Kind of like the model of getting things done by creating the conditions for it to happen, rather than trying to force it.

We get another definition: “We define marketing as a social and managerial process by which individuals and groups obtain what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and value with others.” (p6) I’m confused. So the individuals and groups here are the customers I suppose… except that they then create and exchange so that’s the business. I don’t know, it doesn’t seem to really mean anything.

It goes on to differentiate between business to business and consumer marketing… still doesn’t make much sense to me.

Ah, goes on to say that the needs and wants of the organisation may not be profit, which makes the definition make a little more sense…

Going on to Needs, Wants and Demands now, I will leave it there for now.


Principles of Marketing: Preface

13th July 2017

The Sun is out, Wimbledon men’s semi final on the television, I’m eating a sausage roll (okay, two) and just come home from work to start a three day weekend. What better time to start live-blogging a book about Marketing?

First of all, why?

mvimg_20180713_1511037495338031979432935614.jpgWell, I had an idea yesterday. That I would like to do a job that I enjoy, that is challenging and that also might make me some money. To be fair, that was not an original thought, but I hadn’t come up with a realistic solution to the conundrum. And then I thought, what about marketing?

Coming from a leftist background (since overcome) I think I had a feeling that sales and marketing were somehow evil capitalist inventions to make people spend lots of money they don’t have on things that they don’t really want or need. But now I think that there is a case to be made for the idea of marketing adding value to the goods and services that we  consume. Why is drinking wine from a nice glass so much more pleasurable than having it from a plastic cup? Why do sandwiches cut in to triangles taste better than their rectangular counterparts? Why shouldn’t a good marketing campaign make something actually better to experience, and worth the money paid for it?

Also, it’s something that is creative, and so potentially fun.

And why this book? Well, I just found it on a shelf in my flat. It’s pretty prodigious looking, and I think blogging about it is going to help me retain the information better. The general idea is to see if this is a subject that I really do have an interest in and whether it’s something I’d like to pursue as a career.

So, without further ado, The Preface.

“eponymous” – what does it mean? Related to Bob Dylan’s The times they are a-changin’. (something about giving a name to something, I still don’t really understand).

Started talking about politics and the European Union now, wasn’t expecting that. Ah, the changes in demographics is being related to marketers as well as politicians.

Gone on to Globalisation and quoted statistics from 2004, so not particularly up-to-date, this.

Okay, going on to the structure of the book now. Part 1 – Marketing Now. Providing a framework. Part 2 – The Marketing Setting. Stuff about the internet (a new tech!) also strategy and social responsibility… could be dated. Part 3 – Markets. Stuff about marketing to consumers as well as businesses. Hadn’t really considered marketing to businesses before. Also market research which could be interesting, might be an entry point for me. Part 4 – Core Strategy. How to position products to different segments of a market. Part 5 – Product. Branding, etc. Part 6 – Price. Pricing strategies, sounds interesting. Part 7 – Promotion. As you would expect. Part 8 – Place. How products and services get to the buyer.

Then a bit on what to expect in the chapters, examples and case studies and what-not.

It says there is a website, let’s see if we can find it. Nope.

Next Acknowledgements and About the Authors which I’m not going to read.

So far thought I’m definitely still interested, I’m thinking this could be an exciting avenue to go down.


Billions of Snooze

Work in the morning then I came home to a nice empty flat where I watched a few more Billions episodes and ate too much.

Rich has gone to Birmingham to see his friend who he fell out with about a year ago.

Oh before I watched Billions I put the snooker on for a bit and listened to a podcast about Rousseau on The Tom Woods Show. Then a Thomas Sowell episode on The Rubin Report. Followed by something on ET disclosure. But this was all while snoozing.

I had got up at about 5am to meditate before going to work. I’m trying to meditate more as it had got to doing just five minutes a day and that wasn’t really doing anything. Now I’m sitting long enough to at least give myself a chance. And it’s got to the point where I’m really not looking forward to meditating, which means that I’m seeing things that I don’t want to see, which means that it’s going quite well I suppose.


More Friday Night Dinner

Thursday 3rd May 2018

Had a Late in the afternoon.

In the morning watched some more Friday Night Dinner with Rich. And an episode of Billions, the third season.

Oh when I got home after work watched another couple of episodes of Friday Night Dinner. I’m not sure what it is about it that means we both like it. I think it helps that Rich’s friend Ross likes it a lot, so I think he wants to watch it so he can say he’s seen it and they can talk about it. But he does also laugh at it sometimes. There’s the slapstick stuff and when the dad says “shit on it” after something bad happens. The neighbour who’s scared of his dog… I suppose it’s all quite broad but grounded in reality as well. I suppose it just straddles the line… it’s not too stupid a comedy for me and not too smart for Rich.



Liverpool Through to CL Final !!

I went for a run in the morning, and did what I’m pretty sure is a personal best for 5k, about 29 minutes 30 seconds. I was going for 30 minutes or under and after the first 2k i was pushing myself because usually it’s in the third kilometre that I lag and I ended up doing that one in about 5 and a half minutes, so thirty seconds faster than I had to. It didn’t feel that fast so that surprised me. The last kilometre was difficult but I pushed myself and for the last minute or so went pretty much as fast as I could.


Then I went round to Banwell after that, after watching a Friday Night Dinner with Rich. We’ve found a show there that we both find funny and I can’t remember the last time that happened.

Watched a Homeland and played some more Resident Evil round Banwell. Rich called after having his meeting, no decision yet, has to wait another 4 weeks.

Then we went to play snooker. I wasn’t playing very well, but not terribly either. I think I won at least my fair share. Seb got lucky a few times, as usual.

Then did a bit of shopping, took it home and went round Justin and Tracy’s at about 7 for the second leg of the Liverpool match against Roma.

Had been a bit nervous during the day, but had a feeling that surely we would get through. Although of course I never said that out loud. Was a big relief when we scored, and when we scored again. Also Roma seemed to run out of steam or belief with about twenty minutes to go. To be fair, they needed three goals just to take it to extra time. Then we brought on Klavan to sure things up and conceded two goals. Luckily the last one was with so little time left they didn’t have another chance before the ref blew the final whistle. Then the players and the fans started celebrating as if we had won something… but getting through to the Champions League Final is a pretty big achievement. Should be an interesting game. I think we have a chance. They’ve got to be favourites but we’ll be no pushover. Should be a good game.


Avengers: Infinity War

1st May 2018

Had an Early in the morning, then on the way back home in the afternoon I got some fuel and picked up some oil as I realised that I hadn’t checked it in a long time and it was pretty low. I knew that it took 5W-30 Fully Synthetic oil but in the Sainsbury’s garage there were three bottles that fit that description, saying it was suitable for different kinds of cars, none of them Ford. So I chose the one that didn’t say anything about what kind of car it was for.

In the evening, went out for dinner with Rich and had a chunky tortilla salad at The Colonial, which was very spicy and better than I had expected. The reason I went for a salad is that I wanted to justify having a bag of sweets later as we were going to the cinema afterwards.

We went to see Avengers: Infinity War. It was really good, better than I expected even after hearing that it was good.



I noticed there was a theme going on of sacrifice. What are you willing to sacrifice? Will you sacrifice the thing that you most love for your cause? Thanos, the bad guy, was willing to sacrifice his daughter, his only love, for his cause. And his cause was to sacrifice half of the universe so that the other half can live better. A lot of the Avengers were put in a situation where they might have to sacrifice themself, or someone that they love, and sometimes they would and sometimes they wouldn’t. But really the question of good and evil seemed to come down to what is the correct sacrifice. And that is probably a pretty good description of it actually.

Also, the ending. I wasn’t expecting that. I wasn’t expecting Thanos to win, that just never happens. So he wiped out half the universe with the click of his fingers, and this included some pretty prominent Avengers. Then the film ended. It was actually quite a dark moment, and I did think about this being a movie a lot of children are going to see, and it could quite upset them. Not that I think that is a bad thing, I’m just very surprised that they were allowed to end the film like that. There is going to be another one though, which no doubt will have all the Avengers come back to life. Until then though I think that there’s going to be a lull in Marvel movies because how can you have another film when this is going on?


So that was good.