Cause and effect

Not every cause leads to an effect. Not every effect can be immediately linked to a cause.

The fact is, we are not rational beings and we merely use reason to find an explanation to things that have already happened, to decisions that have already been made.

That’s why brands and stories have so much power. They don’t engage with reason and they leverage the most tribal and innate of our insticts.


If your company wants to measure brands and stories, if they want to find the thread that links brands and stories to material results, they are probably missing the whole point. And the opportunity to establish relationships with employees, customers, stakeholders that can determine long-term competitive advantage.

You got to have faith not to miss this opportunity.


Recruitment is customer service.

For many employees, their first contact with your organisation is via your recruitment function. For most people, the only interaction with your organisation is with your recruitment function.

Both recruitment and customer service deal with a high volume of traffic that makes it difficult to identify what matters. And in both cases, this challenge often translates in poor service and missed opportunities.

The fact is, recruitment and customer service are windows through which people look inside the organisation. They might become employees or not, they might become customers or not. But for sure they will leave with a clear impression of what you stand for – an impression that will spread to the people with whom they will share the experience.

Recruitment and customer service are powerful tools for word-of-mouth.

It is worth investing in them with intention and strategy.

Post-sale nuisance

One thing many customer service professionals fail to understand about customer service is that their work is not fixing issues.

It might be that a customer reaching out for a late delivery, an unexpected charge, a faulty product actually wants that rectified. But that’s only on the surface. What matters infinitely more is for them to find somebody to connect with. Somebody who can chat with them through a bad customer experience – and sometimes something more that goes on in their lives. Customers want to be heard and respected. And that’s why sharing ten possible solutions to their superficial problem is often ineffective, even when one of the ten might actually help them.

For companies to not look at customers as post-sale nuisances, they need to invest in a customer service that starts with empathy and does not immediately falls prey to problem solving. A customer service that says I am sorry, that explains what is going on, that asks smart questions, that forgets about the script, that takes the customer by hand and guides them towards what’s next – which, by the way, might be a non-resolution.

Of course, that will mean some of the metrics will be off.

And in that case, just make sure you are measuring the right ones.


Perhaps thinking that 88% of digital ad clicks are fraudulent is an exaggeration. And perhaps it is true that digital ads are so cheap that at the end of the day ad fraud is not a big issue.

But at some point, as marketers, we will have to acknowledge the big hallucination we are living through.

Influencers can buy fake followers by the truckload — roughly 20% of them are fake. Approximately 40% of Donald Trump’s followers are likely bots. Social media platforms are rife with cats and bots: Facebook admits to shutting down billions of fake accounts on its platform every year. Even app store installs are fake. Bots/click-farmers download 1 in 5 iOS apps. On the Android platform it’s 1 in 4.

Scott Galloway, here

Might this be one of the reasons why CMO tenure is at the lowest in more than a decade?

And when is the last time you have had a digital ad ignite your buying process?

To feel dumb

Imagine this.

Most texts on writing style encourage authors to avoid overly-complex words. However, a majority of undergraduates admit to deliberately increasing the complexity of their vocabulary so as to give the impression of intelligence.

As this.

Most texts on writing style encourage authors to avoid overly-complex words. However, a majority of corporate websites deliberately increase the complexity of their vocabulary so as to give the impression of expertise.

The paper introduced by the first text found that students using more difficult words actually end up giving the exact opposite impression: “needless complexity leads to negative evaluation”.

Using a very non-scientific method, I’d like to extend the findings to the situation I made up in the second text.

Nobody likes to feel dumb.