Marketer, what’s your motivation?


Do I want it?

Do I f*$cking want it?

I want it. I want it bad.

And if I want it, I take it.

I’m gonna go get it. Period.

Yes, ’cause I need it deep down.

I want it. And I go get it.


That, to me, is motivation. Print it. Say it out loud.

No project, no task will resist you. Good man.


Note: that came to me last time I went to the pizza place. I got my De Niro on.

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Marketer, do you work for Google? Yes, you do, and you pay for the privilege.

Everybody's working for Google? At least, most marketers...[tweet this]

I manage a digital agency and I’ve been in online marketing for years. A lot of my connections are in that line of work. Across many industries, blue chips or startups. And yet most marketers I talk to are de facto working for Google.

Google first

When I talk with clients and contacts about building blogs, or creating / redesigning a site, they don’t talk about the end user, the reader, the client or even their president or boss first. No, their first reaction is to mention Google. Will the site be indexed and how well? Which keywords, topics will Google like? How should it be built for SEO.

And then, there is Adwords. The 5 megaton gorilla in the room. The be-all end-all of any marketing budget.

Marketers at companies, big and small, feel compelled to be on Google

I sometimes work with startups who have solutions to a “latent” need. And there you struggle: what type of query will potential customers type into Google? What proxy can we find? Yet, the very fact that their prospects are without the shadow of a doubt on Google (probably to find Lolcats, animated gifs or pics of Jennifer Lawrence) and the fear of missing out make those poor souls worry sick about how to throw their seed money at Google.

As for established players, most often in undifferentiated commodity markets (e.g. retailers, financial institutions, telcos…), Adwords is a bloodbath of epic proportions. All on the same expensive queries. You know what I mean.
[tweet this]

“Are we on that goddamn first page?”

So there you go, dear marketer: you spend most of your time worrying about Google, and indeed working for Google. And yes, if you use Adwords, you pay for the privilege. [tweet this]

Now, has someone ever asked how to differentiate? “Let’s not use Google as the main source of traffic!” Or at least, just considered putting up a decent site and stopping there. Let it get indexed and so be it. Let’s move to more meaningful work. Maybe go talk to a client.

Why it’s not just about Google

Because the truth is Google is a destination for people who already know what they want. You, my marketing-inclined friend, aren’t shaping their desires, creating the spark or influencing their decisions with Google. You’re more like a hitchhiker on the side of the road, hoping someone will get you onboard (e.g. click your ad) and let you coast along (e.g. not bounce once on your page), and then maybe get you up to your destination (e.g. buy or sign up or contact you…).

Unlike Mars, there is life outside Google

Go explore. Build your brand. Surprise your clients and prospects. Delight them if you can. Put on a show. [tweet this]

Take your Google budget and spend it all on a tradeshow booth or blow it on a majestic party for your clients.

Just kidding.

Let’s turn the 20% rule on Google

You know how Google had this policy that their engineers could/must spend 20% of their time on projects outside their job description?

Why not do that with your Google budget and spend 20% on testing other marketing tactics? OK, OK, maybe not 20%. Take 5%. It’s not gonna hurt. Yet, given the size of Search budgets these days, this can amount to a nifty sum to play with.

And every month, try something new.
[tweet this]

Veer off the classics.

If short of inspiration, try the most incongruous or ridiculous thing you can imagine. After all, Volvo Trucks didn’t get to 75M views of their latest stunt with Jean-Claude Van Damme by investing on Adwords.

Street Marketing? Sampling? Staging a protest outside your industry main conference? Blendtec didn’t become an internet sensation by playing it safe! In their “Will it blend?” series, they have shredded, among others, every Apple device to dust and raked millions views and comments in the process.

And guess what? Blendtec doesn’t have to buy “will it blend” on Google.

So, you too fellow marketer, stop working for Google!
Be bold, imagine and experiment!

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Tuesday Marketing Book Club #3, All Marketers tell stories by Seth Godin


This Tuesday, I’m picking a more recent book than in the past weeks: Seth Godin’s new edition of All Marketers Are Liars, retitled All Marketers tell stories.

I think the whole premise is in the title and the title change of the revised edition: it’s about marketing. How marketers now need to be storytellers. And there is some ambiguity about what Godin calls a “lie”.

In a few words: Marketers make up stories which are not completely truthful, yet not disingenuous, and then, if it befits her “worldview”, the customer will adopt it, make the stories hers, telling herself and others a “lie”.

Overall, Godin is right and really gives a hard time to marketers who clench on to the “golden age” (1960’s type of TV ads). The brand doesn’t belong to the marketer anymore but to the customer.

Either you’re going to tell stories that spread, or you will become irrelevant

There are a couple of strong theories developed in the book which is sound advice to businesses and marketers. The first being that stories are key to marketers:

Truly great stories succeed because they are able to capture the imagination of large or important audiences.

Throughout the book, Godin hammers what a story is, how to tell a compelling one. The dos and don’ts. All this in a very down-to-earth way, using many examples.

The second important point to me is that marketers don’t have much control anymore and need to be ok relishing it. The point has not yet sunk in with a lot of marketers.

Successful marketers are just the providers of stories that consumers choose to believe.

This is important. People tell themselves stories. It’s much more powerful than marketers telling them stories. And Godin even argues that, then, people go to great lengths to make those stories true.

Besides, Godin warns:

As a marketer, you can no longer force people to pay attention.

This is not new of course. And, by the way, it echoes Della Femina’s 1970 book (our #2): “Nobody buys any magazine to read an ad.”

Another of my favorite ideas in the book is “the curve of making stuff up”. How the paradigm of value producing has changed from “production” to “invention” and “storytelling”. Concluding in the two keys to success:

1. Invent stuff worth talking about.

2. Tell stories about what you’ve invented.

And if I have to sum up the overall method in the book.

People have worldviews (your beliefs and biases of the moment) which influence their decisions. Marketers need to find groups who share such a worldview and address those by framing their stories accordingly. And if that niche can influence a larger group, then you’re on your way to grow!

There is really more to it:

  1. How to craft stories (in a large sense) and how only remarkable stories succeed.

    Because Successful stories never offer the things marketers are most likely to feature: very good quality. A slightly better price. (…) Convenience. Nice people. A quality brochure. (…) None of these attributes are story-worthy.

  2. The role of authenticity: being genuine and consistent in telling stories to get and keep customers – because most of the time, the first touchpoint the consumer notices is not the one intended by the marketer. And good stories drive enjoyment and satisfaction.
  3. The role of repetition (by the marketer and the consumer):

    The only stories that spread are the “I can’t believe that!” stories. These are the stories that aren’t just repeateable: these are the stories that demand to be repeated.

  4. How to compete with stories.

    You can buy cheaper somewhere else. Cheap is not Marketing.

    Godin also explain that it’s now impossible to compete with the same story as competitors, taping the same worldview – yep, you need to differentiate. Be remarkable.”

Let’s face it. It’s no easy task. But what better inspiration for today’s marketer?


A word of warning: Of course, as with a lot of 21st-century marketing gurus, Godin’s prose is repetitive. And the man goes overboard, like here:

Marketing is about spreading ideas, and spreading ideas is the single most important output of our civilization.

Still, I say the book is worth reading once and good to keep around for marketers to stay grounded.

All details about the book on Amazon: All Marketers Are Liars

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Tuesday Marketing Book Club #2

Let’s get into the groove of my new Tuesday Marketing Book Club series with a reference from the end of the 1960’s. The earthy, meaty, and often hilarious From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War
 by Jerry Della Femina.

It is full of gems and anecdotes and streetwise advertising advice. I think it is typical of that era of Manhattan advertising (of all the books I have read so far, this one actually gives the best insight of that period). And yet most of will resonate for today’s marketer or agency man. And you’ll get your fair share of tips you can apply to your campaigns – research, creativity, media buy…

If just to give you a preview before your go and buy it, a few extracts from one of the best parts of the book: his description of the beer market in Chapter 7, The Jolly Green Giant and Other Stories. It actually goes on for a few pages taking examples of best and worst campaigns. I laugh everytime I read it.

Twenty percent of the people in this country who buy beer drink about 80 percent of all beer consumed. I have an image in my mind of your typical beer drinker: the man never has a shirt on. He’s always in his undershirt (…). I may be wrong there, but I could swear that your typical beer drinker is proud of his beer belly.

These guys start drinking at nine o’clock in the morning – and they have their more than one by 9:05 a.m. And they drink and they drink and drink and drink, and this is the beer market.

The only thing you have to worry about in selling beer is to give these guys enough time to waste. I mean, don’t give these guys anything to do in which they have to use their hands, other than bowling. Bowling is O.K. because all they have to do is get up every seven minutes or so and roll a ball and then sit down (…) and start drinking beer again.

Just find enough leisure time for the beer drinkers, that’s your only worry. Leisure time, in a beer drinker’s mind, means all they have to do is reach for a glass or for a bottle. Maybe they’ll have to get up from the television set and go to the refrigerator, but that’s it.

Hope it gave you a good primer as to what to expect if you haven’t read it before.
You can purchase this book from Amazon: From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War

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My first 9 Marketing nuggets in one slideshare

I love reading from great marketers and collecting awesome marketing quotes.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I started sharing “marketing nuggets” on my Linkedin and Twitter. I have collected the first 9 quotes in this simple slideshare which I hope will give you plenty of inspiration.

I got a bit heavy on the madmen and women of the sixties like David Ogilvy, Bill Bernbarch, Mary Wells-Lawrence, Phyllis Robinson and Jerry Della Femina. Yet, I included industry pioneers Henry Ford and Akio Morita, as well as management guru Peter Drucker. And to tap into contemporary marketers: Olivier Francois from Chrysler, because getting Eminem and Clint Eastwood in your ads puts you in that league for me.

In just 9 quotes, we cover a lot of marketing ground: research, creativity, learning, testing…

I’m also trying to capture each marketer’s approach. What they are known for. Like Della Femina’s self-described “street- corner wise guy” style.

So, without further ado, for a nice dose of marketing awesomeness by some of the best marketing, voilà!

And what’s your favorite quote?

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Tuesday Marketing Book Club

Each Tuesday for the next couple of weeks,  I’ll post a book about Marketing which I am fond of.

This Tuesday, a very short yet thoughful read: the excquisite It’s Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be by Paul Arden.

As a Marketer who has been on both sides of the fence -advertiser and agency, I have found his advice very sound on basic topics like layout, branding and advertiser-agency relations in general.  It’s also a good book on how to drive your career and conduct yourself in business.

Incredible how all this fits into roughly 120 pages of large font, aerated, illustrated and light-to-read text. Definitely inspiring.

I have displayed it on my desk for at least 7 years and I often take it a read a couple of pages when I need a pick-me-up or inspiration. I also recommend it often to people who join my team. Pages 80-81 “Rough layouts sell the idea better than polished ones” are getting worn out.

You’ll find all the details on Amazon.

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Sept ans de réflexion

Sept Ans de RéflexionMon premier blog, je l’ai lancé en 2003. J’avais même écrit une application en Java pour l’administrer (Dana) qui avait évolué en un service lancé début 2004 (

Plus tard je suis passé sur Blogger et en 2007, j’ai arrêté de blogguer.

Sept ans de réflexion et seven-year itch, nous sommes en 2014 et je relance ce blog avec wordpress.

Hello (again) World! 🙂

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