Listening to stories

Notes on life, by James Welch



#OnTheCouchWith… Augmented Humanity

onthecouchwith_episodeone-001-jpeg-001-jpeg-001[This is taken from the research project, TheFuture:Exposed (aka #onthecouchwith) which was kicked off by interviewing thought leaders in Dubai. This research will continue, on stage, at Dubai Lynx, the festival of creativity, on Sunday 5th March, 2pm, with two inspiring thought leaders, PK Gulati and Philippe Blanchard. Hope to see you in the audience!]


In today’s world we’re all having to learn how to cope with the pace of change and how to respond. The pace of change is something that – as consumers – we adopt without blinking but as businesses, we get stuck with the legacy of yesteryear.

This is why adaptation is key and one of the fastest ways to grow is to understand the psychology of people and trends across this distinct and exciting region.

The region is exciting but without a sense of purpose it’s easy to drift rather than drive. The only way to drive in the right direction is to find a meaning to what you do. And then to fight for a way forward, fight until you win; fight like a gladiator. Continue reading “#OnTheCouchWith… Augmented Humanity”

2015 in review: change is coming in all directions

JW_GulfNews_Nov2015This article first appeared in GULF NEWS, 17 November 2015.

The recent news reports have not been pretty for those in advertising or media: marketers are demanding unprecedented transparency from their agencies and consumers are trying to turn off advertising.

It is time for change, but what does change look like?

Budgets are being slashed. For example, P&G, the world’s biggest advertiser, last month announced its quest to reduce expenditure on advertising by $200 million (Dh734.63). “We are strengthening marketing — greater reach, higher frequency, greater effectiveness, at less overall cost,” the CFO Jon Moeller announced. Savings would be used, he continued, “to invest in working media and sampling”.

Agencies are finding that even digital spends are not forthcoming. For example, the Publicis Groupe announced poor Q3 results, with CEO Maurice Levy declaring, “September showed zero growth due to numerous campaigns being postponed, mainly in digital operations. The level of cuts are surprisingly high and coming from many different advertisers from packaged goods, automotive and pharma.”

Marketers are all putting their media buying up for pitch. WPP, the world’s biggest agency group, Continue reading “2015 in review: change is coming in all directions”

James Welch Has Moved On

James Welch, new business consultant, shopper marketing consultant, author of the “occasional blog” and host of The (slightly elitist) Next Dinner Party (TNDP) has moved on…

Moved on. Not passed on.

Moved on. Not moved away.

Hell, no! My new world is not even removed from my past. Indeed, it’s geographically and figuratively in the middle of everything I hold dear.

Singapore is a hub for a reason. It is easy to get to around the region. Hey, it’s only 8 hours from Sydney. It is a vibrant opportunity to relocate to a place which plays host to many a multinational business. From Singapore, I’ll conduct my business as Regional Director, APAC. (Let me know when you are passing through Singapore!)

It’s still an adland role. The business I’m joining entails me using the skills and expertise that I’ve built up over the years. Media planner turned brand consultant turned path-to-purchase advocate. And it builds on this, by adding a cutting edge technology platform created over the last few years under the awning of a big advertising group. This business is all about getting the best level of engagement with an online audience, whether the audience is at home, at work or out shopping. And it’s about getting more sales for ever tightening budgets. It’s about great acquisition rates. (Let me know if you want your digital media budgets to go further, smarter, brighter. And that’s everyone, I believe.)

Goodbye, Sydney. Thank you for being gorgeous.

PS. An announcement regarding the APAC launch of this business will be made mid July.

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