May 25, 2018

Is data profiling wrong?

The marketing community has been rocked by yet another scandal, this time concerning the ethics of data profiling and a consumer’s right to privacy. Cambridge Analytica, a UK-based data company, mined the personal information of 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge while working on Trump’s presidential election campaign in order to create psychographic profiles […]

KFC response to its chicken shortage is a lesson in crisis management

In the UK KFC has run out of chicken. For a food outlet specialising in deep-fried poultry this is something of a disaster! It has recently changed suppliers and the new delivery company is having “teething problems”; these are so substantial that it has resulted in a mass closure of outlets. At the time of […]

Bye Bye Market Segmentation and Target Marketing

Ten years or so ago, academics were extolling the techniques of market segmentation and target marketing (not to mention the third leg of the triumvirate, ‘positioning’) as the basis of long-term competitive advantage (see Marketing course Modules 7 and 8). Recently, this doctrine has come under serious threat. Classic segmentation techniques like socio-demographics have been […]

The authenticity of brands and self

Half a year has passed since I properly began work on my PhD at Edinburgh Business School so this seemed like a good time to reflect on progress and share some insights. I have written a substantial part of my literature review and so far I’ve focussed on exploring ideas about identity and self-concept within […]

Blockchain and why it is relevant to marketers

If you are an investor, you are probably keeping a very close eye on the Bitcoin phenomenon. The cryptocurrency recently surpassed the five-figure mark meaning one Bitcoin is now worth seven times the amount of an ounce of gold. Unsurprisingly, therefore, there is much speculation that the bubble is about to burst. But naysayers have […]

Perception and reality

How many people in your country own their home? Or have a smartphone? Or diabetes? What percentage of people aged 25 to 34 live with their parents? Or are under the age of 14? These are the sorts of questions that catch people out in the Ipsos’ Perils of Perception Survey, and the Ipsos’ Perils […]

Understanding the customer? You must be joking!

One of the most often and glibbest used phrases in marketing (and other circles!) is that the key to success is ‘understanding the customer’ (see the Marketing and Consumer Behaviour courses, for example). But what do we mean by that exactly? Let me elaborate. I was at a very interesting and enlightening marketing conference the […]

Facial recognition is about to go mainstream: what does this mean for marketers?

Facial recognition has hit the headlines over the past few weeks for a couple of reasons. The first – as I’m sure almost everyone will be aware of – is Apple’s adoption of the technology for the iPhone X. Instead of unlocking the phone with a passcode or fingerprint, iPhone X users will be able […]