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Thursday, 25 August 2011

Another failure on my part: I didn't make myself clear, Lorraine

Two days ago I talked about Rowan Gormley's unique Naked Wines club as a rare example of genuine social marketing.

Lorraine Rogerson, who I see lives on the Turks and Caicos Islands, lucky beast, wrote on facebook saying, "I like Naked Wines, but I didn't realise they were a direct marketing success, just nice wines. Is that the point??"

My reply: "Not quite, Lorraine. A great many successes today rely on direct marketing, as all internet sales and messages are direct. In fact I can't think of many firms that don't use direct marketing - usually very badly.

What makes Rowan's business special is the idea behind it - of getting the customers to support wine-makers too small to afford big marketing by buying their stuff. It is genuinely a social approach. You can even become a Wine Angel."

I have interviewed Rowan for an hour as part of my Commonsense Marketing course. Fittingly the first time we ever met, a few years ago, we spent a fair amount of time drinking wine.

He really is one of the very few people who has a bona fide social ingredient in their business. Not just in sales, either. I believe that when he set up Naked Wines every one of his colleagues at his previous firm joined him.

By coincidence yesterday I saw James Brown who founded Loaded magazine make a hilarious speech here in Sweden in which he said one thing I profoundly agree with - that success is all about finding the right people.

He also said that "Luck is when ambition meets opportunity."

My partner Al who tries desperately hard to educate me about things like Adwords has a saying I love: "Failure cannot live with persistence."

Many years ago I asked Ken Roman, my boss at Ogilvy & Mather, what he thought made David Ogilvy so remarkable.

“I am pretty determined,“ he replied. “If something doesn’t work I keep trying for another year, then another, then another. I don’t give up easily. But David never gives up”.

And I recall that in a survey of chief executives not too long ago persistence was the most important reason most gave for success. Of course it helps if you know what you’re doing. Few marketers really do.

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