Monthly Review – January

Our Monthly Round-up of the key pieces in Marketing for January – we’ve chosen five key articles and a podcast this month. As we start the year we focus on growth and relevance. Curated specifically for your sector, all our monthly reviews are now available on our website.

Our January highlights:

1. Our Top pick this month is a piece from McKinsey, 2024 and beyond: Will it be economic stagnation or the advent of productivity-driven abundance. Hoping for a soft landing in 2024 won’t mitigate current risks or raise business performance and living standards longer term. If companies pursue the three-sided productivity opportunity, they can do both.

Here is the link:

2. Secondly, we had to pick the latest from Julian Douglas – the ‘British make the Best Advertising in the World’, is a piece he did for the Creative Salon. In his new role as the UK Advertising Export Group chair, Douglas wants British advertising to embrace its excellence with lashings of creative swagger.

Here is the link:

3. Thirdly, we pick a piece by retail guru Tim Mason, he additionally has a new blog called the Golden Rule this month. Retail marketing centres on devising innovative strategies to engage customers and enhance offerings and interactions to shape desired behaviours and outcomes. With the rapid rise of AI and machine learning, retailers can do what was previously impossible – achieve true one-to-one personalisation and do it cost-effectively and at scale.

Here is the link

4. Fourthly, we pick Rishad Tobaccowala, Edition 179 – Strategy is “Future Competitive Advantage”. This definition works both at the level of the firm and at the level of the individual. What will the future look like? How will the marketplace change with evolving customer needs and expectations? Who will the competition be not just now but in the future? Relative to these future needs and competitors what advantage will we or our firms provide? It is simple way to understand and apply strategy. Here is the process laid out on one page on how every firm and individual can apply strategy including some key questions and approaches.

Here is the link:

5. Fifthly, are we witnessing the end of the CMO? No, and stop asking. Mark Ritson gives us his view – Marketers should cease pontificating about the validity of CMOs and their time in post, and start focusing on how to do the job better. It’s a good read.

Here is the link:

6. Sixthly, we’ve picked a superb podcast done by The Growth House. A series that explores leadership, teamship, and growth. Ben Fennell – founder and CEO – interviews Richard Phillips this month, one of the world’s leading coaches in personal communication, presentation and media skills. Authenticity – understanding yourself – growing on your terms, there are some great learnings here.

Here is the link:

Media: “The Future 100: 2024” an indispensable VML guide to the coming year. It’s a bumper edition includes bespoke research, expert predictions, and a new “Innovation” section that looks to an exciting new future beyond 2024. It can be downloaded here

Time for the Work: Well it’s congratulations this month to Cadbury and VCCP and a shoutout specifically for Dave Boscawen and the Cadbury’s marketing team, who have consistently driven this creative work forward. And here is the System One report.


Back to Henley: The flood waters have been – and gone. The countdown is on! With less than 150 days to go, the 2024 Henley Royal Regatta is gearing up to bring the spectacle and spirit of world-class rowing right back to the River Thames. Our weekly column in the Henley Standard continues where we interview local entrepreneurs.  It’s called Let’s Get Down to Business. We were delighted this month to interview Alan Wilson who is the Co-founder and Director of the Henley Distillery – the makers of Henley Gin.

We are here to help you with your agency ecosystem, resourcing structures, and benchmarking to improve your marketing performance – do give us a call with any questions we may help you with.

Kind regards,


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