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Original Coffee Morning pin, now a coveted rarity

A few years into my planning career, I came across Russell Davies and nothing was ever the same after that.

First some history. I started doing planning in Bucharest, Romania in early 2000. There was just a handful of us planners back then, and I believe I was among the first “girl planners” (I used to love calling myself a “girl planner”) in Bucharest. We were all in different agencies and the biggest group was in Leo Burnett at the time, and all of the rest of us admired and hated them because they had a Department and they could talk to one another and show up at events in a group. I was the only planner in a small agency, and knew a few other “only planners” in other agencies but we didn’t mingle as much. …

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Photo by Mehrnaz Taghavishavazi on Unsplash

When I had my namesake blog, I used to write a post every December 31st and look back on the year, then set a number of resolutions for the year to come. I did this for about 6 years just before I moved to the UK, and then gave it up, not least because I never actually did anything about my resolutions. The posts were mostly a reflection, a melancholy one, on the time passed and it did me good to think there was a plan.

A few weeks ago I wrote this. It’s a post about what happens when fundamental, structural change happens and it’s a post rooted in deep, deep anxiety. Since then, I have all but stopped writing, have posted occasionally on social media but have been in anguish about it, and it’s all come to a head in the last few weeks when, with London having gone back into a near-lockdown, me getting a random bout of idiopathic tinnitus and my partner getting sick with what I can only assume is COVID. …

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Photo by Stephen Phillips — on Unsplash

A while back I heard someone (can’t remember who) say something to the effect of “Seth Godin also had this framework, permission marketing, but that didn’t really amount to much”. That statement combined with the onslaught of newsletters I have been receiving lately has made me think about how much, if at all, relationship marketing has evolved past the initial shock of GDPR and in-built Unsubscribe buttons.


First, let me say this, I am not a specialist in relationship marketing. Just the fact that I use “relationship marketing” as a stand-in for CRM should tell you something. I have heard from my colleagues who ARE specialists in that type of marketing that CRM is no longer “du jour”, much like we now call Intranets “WX” for “workplace experience”. …

I have gone through writing blocks before. They come and go and in the past used to be triggered by life either being too exciting or being too predictable. If I scroll through my Twitter feed there will be the occasional moans about not being able to write and not finding inspiration, asking for advice and then realising everybody goes through this and the advice is always the same.

This time it’s different.

I cannot write because it feels there’s nobody to bounce ideas off of.

When I wrote in the past, although I try not to write with the avowed goal of having people read and react to my writing, it’s always proved to be creatively incremental when people had something to say about the subject matter. I built my ideas off of people’s conversations, I mentally sparred with tweets on the same theme, I asked questions and recorded responses, and pieces formed in my head. Occasionally, I did this with whoever was sat next to me at work. Even less frequently, I would ask my boyfriend what he thought about something and he’d give me the non-marketers POV and that would trigger a piece. …

Not sure why I called this “junior edition”. It’s meant to reflect the fact that while you’re encouraged to ask for advice at any point in your career, the thoughts below reflect my findings around getting asked for advice by people looking to start with something or enter a new/different line of work or industry.

This post is mostly a child of my frustration with how I am approached these days with requests for advice. I would also hope that this serves not as a deterrent from people who want to ask me for things/advice but as a guide for how to use my know-how to the max. …

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Photo by Tj Holowaychuk on Unsplash

Decisions about one’s life are never easy, but unless they are precipitated by illness or sudden long distance love, they come with a feeling of being “KNOWN” due to their ritualistic nature. We go away to school, we move for jobs, we make sacrifices for the dream house, we need a bigger house because we decided we wanted kids, etc, etc. There is something big but at the same time reassuring in the knowledge that you dance a decade old dance, and the world around you has been constructing itself in ways that mirror and support that “dance”. …

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I’ve been spending all my free time this week parsing the two new pieces of research that have been circulating in the marketing community. One is this short article on “share of search” which Contagious published citing Les Binet, and the other is the much heftier and longer study on the Messy Middle by Google itself.

My plan is to come back with a close reading of the big one by Google, but meanwhile, I thought it interesting that these two pieces were being discussed at the same time because, in my opinion, they are inextricably linked.

But first, let me say this: if you’ve worked in marketing or performance marketing or digital marketing, none of this information will be new to you. If you’ve ever spent days building connection plans for a car brand, you will know that decision to buy a car is never as straightforward as “I saw the TV ad” and then I walked into a dealership and there IS and always has been a “messy middle”. …

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Right, this is going to be a weird one because I will have to confess to my love, nay, obsession for K-pop. I do, I like K-pop, Korean pop music, multi member bands that look more like the whole junior class of an arts college doing a gig together, crazy costumes, even crazier choreos. I don’t like all K-pop and, at this point, really, having sampled a lot of what’s out there, my obsession is firmly set on two groups, Blackpink and EXO. In Blackpink I particularly like the badass nature of the girls, an incredible progression from what I understand where the original two typologies of K-pop girl bands (cute vs sexy). …

As always, a random comment on Twitter sparked yet another post.

I was watching a talk by Dan Makoski of Lloyd Banking Group about how himself and his experience designers are trying to reinvent the banking experience. This was was part of Nudgestock 2020 which this year, amazingly, was free and live streamed to anyone who’d signed up to watch (for which we should be forever thankful to Rory Sutherland the the lovely folks in Ogilvy Consulting).

Now, Dan Makoski spoke about reinventing finances for people and described one of the first steps him and his team took to understand how to do that. This was what a designer would normally describe as discovery or empathy, that stage when you interact with the users of your product/service to ask them about their experience with the category so far. Makoski’s team asked bank users if they could visualise their relationship with personal finances and proposed that they draw their visualisations. The resulting images showed a person carrying water between a fountain and a leaky barrel (where the fountain was one’s job and the barrel, one’s savings) or someone walking a long winding road where each curve in the road was a key life moment, like going to university of getting engaged. …

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Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash

It seems these days most of my posts are inspired by little thoughts I leave on Twitter and which make and impression. A few days ago I wrote this



Digital Strategist. The Internet will save the world (pending verification). Views expressed here are my own/should not be construed as coming from my employer.

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