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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

God bless Lucy Kellaway - and another helpful idea for you

If there were no other reason for the existence of newspapers, Lucy Kellaway of the Financial Times would do.

She comments on Corpora-drone better than I ever could.

The other day she quoted three corkers. The first was Microsoft on their new browser which “delivers a richer, faster, and more business-ready Web experience. Architected to run HTML 5, the beta enables developers to utilise standardised mark-up language across multiple browsers”

She then quoted Bob Jeffrey, the head of JWT: “Global consumers are rapidly re-evaluating and readjusting their value paradigms and purchasing decisions. Our job is to keep our ear to the ground with these consumers, providing relevant real-time insight to our clients that inspires cutting-edge, cost-efficient solutions.”

That is linguistic anaesthesia. How in hell did a man who can't write English get to run one of the world's biggest ad agencies? Just imagine sitting in a meeting with him.

But her most glorious example was an ad from “one of the largest and most trusted banking and financial services organisations in the world”, that wants a “customer journey re-engineering manager”.

I cannot improve on her demolition of that, which follows.

"This title contains three layers of obfuscation: the ludicrous yet ubiquitous idea that a banking customer is on a journey; the idea that this journey needs re-engineering; the notion that this needs managing. There is only one conclusion to be drawn: surplus profits generate bonuses and bullshit in equal measure.

The only customers who are really on a journey are those of the transport sector."

What a wonderful woman - and I almost feel like apologising for my contribution, but
here's a helpful idea for you that saved one man from going broke.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

"8 things that are dirtier than your toilet" - is that a great headline, or what?

I saw that on Yahoo, and I defy you not to want to know what they are.

I only quoted it because Warren Cottis from Australia scolded me yesterday for not delivering what I promised.

He reminded me that a couple of weeks ago I recorded a new set of helpful ideas, swore I would stick one up every two days - then promptly reneged on the promise.

I have no excuse, except that I have a tragic problem: I am constantly being side-tracked - by myself.

I have the ultimate grasshopper mind - never cease having thoughts about this and that, and the minute I have them, out they pop.

Anyhow, one of the ideas had to do with THE most important element in an ad, insert or mailing: the headline. You might be surprised by what I reveal. Here it is.

You can watch the video, or listen to a podcast, whichever you prefer. And I faithfully swear that I will put up all the ideas (there are 11 in all, I think).

Monday, 27 September 2010

Number 1 in Google within 2 hours for $19 and an hour's work. Is this possible? Come and see

Any time I start to think I know it all, someone teaches me better.

Here's the story.

Once a month I run three hour sessions in my office where I fondly imagine I help people improve their businesses.

The truth is they often give me ideas.

For instance, imagine how I reacted when one man told me how for a massive investment of $19 and an hour's work he rocketed to the Number 1
and Number 2 spots on Google against 12.7 million other entries in the same category - in two hours.

Frankly, I was as sceptical as I bet you are. It sounds like one of those cons that besmirch the internet every day.

But the extraordinary thing is, he's done it twice. And the other extraordinary thing is that he isn't a wild-eyed geek or a smooth-talking pitchman. He is about as conservative and quiet as you could possibly imagine.

I am not one of those who believe the be-all and end-all of business success is to get to those top Google spots, but it sure helps.

How was it done? To find that out you have to attend EADIM.

As you may have noticed, that is an event about which I am slightly biased, so I am arranging to run a free webinar featuring one of the speakers and a delegate.

Interestingly the delegate in question already had a very successful business before joining us. Strangely enough successful people seem to believe in learning more than unsuccessful ones.

There may be a moral there.

You can register here.

The other person on the free webinar is one of my co-speakers, a very entertaining Dane called Michael Leander. You can see 60 seconds of him here

Friday, 24 September 2010

A priceless lesson from London's nicest bus driver

This is something that changed my life, and could change yours.

But let me tell you the story.

Most mornings I take the bus from my flat in Chelsea to go to work. The others I walk, because walking is good for getting ideas.

The bus drivers vary. Some are miserable buggers, losing no opportunity to pretend they didn't see you at the stop and sail past, or ignoring you when you get on.

But one shines out like a good deed in a naughty world. He gives a cheery good morning to everyone, and they respond. He gives smiles and gets smiles back.

He may not be THE nicest bus driver in London, but he's the nicest one I see regularly. His name is Sacha Jovecic, so he must come from some part of what was Yugoslavia.

Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone is from a poem by Ella Wheeler. It is true.

When I was younger, especially when I was successful, I became unduly arrogant and snooty. Failure taught me a little humility. And I also developed the habit of smiling pretty much all the time no matter what.

The act of smiling makes me feel better. But it doesn't stop there. To start with, people smile back. Not just some people, but a very high proportion. And this has an almost miraculous effect. It makes you even happier yourself.

I apologise if this homespun wisdom is boring you. I can only say that it is one of the most valuable, and simplest, lessons I have ever learned.

If you've read this far you may be worried that I'll start flogging the joys of EADIM. You can relax. I won't. I'm going to talk a little more about happiness.

I have a good friend called Professor Srikumar Rao. He is famous. You can see him talking http://www.ted.com/talks/srikumar_rao_plug_into_your_hard_wired_happiness.html.

The other day I got him to come and let me interview him. We were talking about his new book, Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful - No Matter What. I recommend it.

One interesting thing is that like me Srikumar speaks from experience. He told me that he spent years being miserable in his job: he was an executive at Warner Communications and McGraw-Hill before becoming Dean of the Marketing School at Long Island University, which is where we first met.

I am not getting a commission if you buy the book, by the way. I just think that happiness works - and the more happiness the better.

By the way: one small confession, Srikumar did speak at EADIM two years ago - but not this time.

Oh, and if you'd like to see the interview, let me know.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Chloe's secret skills - plus what recessions do to newspapers ...

We may be no bloody good at our chosen trade but now we have a cunning plan.

Two days ago the radiant Chloe who now suffers the awful pangs of PA-dom here came in with a box full of cakes like this.

I tried to get her to pose in three of them but she refused.

Moving swiftly on from that rare lapse, they taste as good as they look, and she really made them herself. I particularly recommend the chocolate ones.

We'd have a lot less trouble and a lot more waistline if we went into the cupcake business, so screw the marketing.
I don't know how The Times can have less trouble and more business, but I suspect they're going about it in the wrong way. They have now given up something insane they were doing, and found something that I fear is worse.

What they were doing was paying people to stand outside tube stations and try to sell copies of The Times and the Sun when less than 20 yards away everyone could get free newspapers. A pretty fine way of pissing away money I would say, but they persevered for many months.

Now they have gone one better. They're offering a £6 House of Fraser voucher to everyone who spends £1 buying The Times. To get someone keen enough to commit themselves to a paper takes quite a few issues. I wager that no-one has done any tests to find out just how many issues that is.

During the last great recession - The Slump - the newspapers went mad offering incentives. They were offering whole Encyclopedia sets to new readers. I believe one national paper almost went broke, before they all realised it was madness and agreed to stop.

I also believe this sort of thing does a paper like The Times no good. There is ample evidence to show that too much promotion kills brands. And their idea of trying to get people to pay for their on-line version will end in tears. They have as much chance as King Canute did.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

My little pony goes to college - with the usual results

One of the funniest comedians in this country did a sketch years ago which made me deeply happy.

It took place in an advertising agency, where a bluff northern client had come for a presentation.

It is hard to parody advertising presentations because the real thing is often so pretentious no fiction could outdo it, but this sketch managed to do so. The best joke was when the client addressed the creative director (who had a pony tail) as "my little pony".

I remember that around the same time I had got the creative director of Ogilvy & Mather to come and give my staff at the direct agency a presentation. Everybody attended to see what they could learn, which was not much.

David Ogilvy, who seemed to know everything, rang me and said, "I understand that mincing pansy at the advertising agency came to give you all a presentation. Will there be a return engagement?"

"Well, I offered to do one," I replied. "But only five people were interested. They know everything already over there."

There are more sins committed in the name of creativity than I care to think about. A good example is above.

What looked like a pretty bad grade (just above failure) was supposed to entice teenagers to take a closer look at the pluses of attending Drake.

This idea (which no doubt was sold in a presentation as a "concept") has had people all over the States laughing, with a smart local store selling loads of "D+ student" T-shirts to no-hopers - and delighted Drake students.

Five years ago friend who works for a university in California tried to get them to pay me to write stuff for them, but they wouldn't pay, so he had to do it.

He is no copywriter, so this short term saving has probably cost them a fortune. The good thing, though, is that he has no creative pretentions.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Here's a foolproof way to screw up a good service - Bill Bernbach in reverse

The late Bill Bernbach once remarked that nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising.

Absolutely true: the better a product is advertised, the faster people will try it and discover it is rubbish, thus hastening its demise. But here is Bird's corollary** to Bernbach's axiom: few things will damage a good product more than bad advertising.

I'm not saying it will kill it but I guess if you waste enough money on the wrong messages you could go broke before the product had a chance to succeed.

All of which brings me to the picture here, which promotes BE broadband.

Now, this may well surprise many creative people but research shows that when they see a picture of a sumo wrestler near the word sumo, normal people, amazingly, think the message is about sumo.

Having got that far, if the sumo wrestler is having a tug of war with a number of people, only the most imaginative will conclude that the advertisement is about broadband.

This is a shame, because what BE offer is, as far as I can make out, very fast broadband speeds, and a service so good that it has won an ISPA award.

I believe there are millions in this country who are deeply frustrated by the rotten service they get from broadband providers. BT's speeds at my flat are so slow they are almost in reverse. When we switched to Virgin we lost caller ID and TV subtitles. A colleague would happily shoot everyone at TalkTalk, who are all words and no action.

If I am right, BE have what the late Gary Halbert called the ultimate marketing advantage: a starving crowd. But what they hunger for is better broadband, not sumo wrestlers.

When I ran a large creative department people would show me their ideas and - if I seemed puzzled - often say, "Let me explain".

I would then reply, "Sadly, logistic and budgetary constraints prevent us from sending you round to every prospect to explain what the f*** you had in mind when you thought this up."

I think that if BE said something dull and uncreative like, "Faster broadband speeds or your money back" they might do a little better.

If they wanted to be a little imaginative (they have a good story, carefully concealed) they could explain how the big providers actually slow down their speeds. That would turn customers' justified resentment into sales.

** My partner, who has a Phd in philosophy, says this is not a corollary, but I don't care. It deserves to be.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Why most (not some) marketers stumble around in a fog of misapprehension. - and a free webinar that may help

As I have noted before, the marketing press never fails to provide me with a rich compost of the ludicrous.

AdNews did not fail me this morning with a piece that enlightened me as follows:

Telstra’s director of brand & advertising Chantal Walker has resigned, as the company announces a new role for former Microsoft marketer Inese Kingsmill.

(For non-Aussies, I should explain that
Telstra - which they no doubt paid some "consultants" to think up - is the silly name for Australia's Telephone company.)

Telstra is set to formally (as opposed to what? Casually?) announce the changes today, which see Kingsmill take a newly created role as director of business unit marketing & communications.

Kingsmill was director of strategy, marketing and programs at Microsoft

Walker was second in charge to former executive director of marketing Amanda Johnston-
Pell, who resigned from the company and was acting executive director of marketing during Johnston-Pell’s maternity leave.

All these changes, it seems, are the work of
chief marketing officer Kate McKenzie who has also appointed former adman Mark Collis as director of creativity, innovation and brand strategy.

What, you may ask, do all these people with their pretentious titles
do? Apart from reading and writing incomprehensible reports, attending meetings and waiting to get new titles?

In that excellent, though somewhat weighty tome "Commonsense Direct and Interactive Marketing" the author,
Drayton Bird, draws attention to a questionnaire sent to senior U.S. marketing executives designed to find out what they knew about marketing.

The people who ran it concluded that if every respondent had answered "I don't know" to every question" the average marks would have been higher.

So statistically these highly paid people in the world's most advanced market knew less than sod-all about what they are supposed to do.

If you too are sometimes bemused by the tidal wave of guff and the army of creeps who promise a magic formula that guarantees you endless cash while you sleep you may like the free
webinar I run on Monday next.

It is called
The Bare Essentials of Marketing in 60 Minutes, and you can register here. I have developed it for two reasons.

1. When I was speaking at Perry Marshall's London event 5 days ago I told delegates I would talk about anything they liked. This is what most of them asked for. They loved it, so you may too

2. It will introduce you to my own event which runs on 27
th - 30th October here in London.

Don't worry - this is not a prelude to one of those product launch formula nightmares where hordes of people send you emails about their best friend
Drayton Bird the genius.

It's just a foretaste of the event, so you can make your mind up whether it interests you or not. A fair percentage of previous attendees say it changed their lives.

At the very least you will leave knowing a damn sight more about marketing and how to make money in the real world than a lot of people who have fancy titles - but no idea what they're doing.

But you can make your own mind up by joining me

Thursday, 16 September 2010

I almost applied for this job

Creative Writer Required (London)

I am looking for a creative writer to fill out job applications and send my CV on for PAID positions.

You will be: smart, have a knowledge of the current employment market and have contacts within the print magazine industry. I'm looking for something that involves either: listening to music, playing computer games, watching TV/movies/sport/porn or eating cakes/pies/fast food

You will be expected to: send out CVs on a quarter hourly basis, attend interviews across Greater London and kindly tell sales recruiters to get fucked.

This is an unpaid role and you will be expected to pay for transport to interviews, waste valuable time filling in job applications and written tasks for positions that won't contact you with their decision. You can also undertake several months of internships at places that have absolutely no intention of hiring you or retaining knowledge of your (i.e. my, you are doing it on my behalf) existence after the internship has finished.

Location: London

Compensation: Upon successful discovery of a job for me, I might buy you a pint and get you your own internship (i.e. one that's not on my behalf) at my place of employment.

Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.Please, no phone calls about this job!Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.

Funny thing is, about six weeks ago I needed two young people to come and work for me for around the square root of fuck-all.

Rather than pay grasping recruiters - mostly as much use and as greedy as estate agents, but deal in warm bodies - I mentioned it here.

I had the two within a week and I'm thrilled to bits with both of them.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

A little Aussie frivolity. Stop me if you've heard it.

An Aussie truck driver walks into an outback cafe with a full-grown emu behind him.

The waitress asks them for their orders.

The trucker says, 'A Hamburger, Fries and a Coke,' and turns to the emu, 'What's yours?'

'Sounds great, I'll have the same,' says the emu.

A short time later the waitress returns with the order 'That will be $9.40 please,' and he reaches into his pocket and pulls out the exact change and pays.

The next day, the man and the emu come again and he says, 'A Hamburger, Fries and a Coke.'

The emu says, 'Sounds great, I'll have the same.'

Again the driver reaches into his pocket and pays with the exact change.

This becomes routine until the two enter again. 'The usual?' asks the waitress.

'No, it's Friday night, so I'll have a Steak, Baked Potato and a Salad,' says the man.

'Same for me,' says the emu.

Shortly the waitress brings the order and says, 'That will be $32.62.'

Once again the man pulls the exact change out of his pocket and places it on the table.

The waitress cannot hold back her curiosity any longer. 'Excuse me mate, how do you manage to always pull the exact change from your pocket every time?'

'Well, love' says the trucker 'a few years ago, I was cleaning out the back shed, and found an old lamp. When I cleaned it, a Genie appeared and offered me two wishes.

My first wish was that if I ever had to pay for anything, I would just put my hand in my pocket and the right amount of money would always be there.'

'That's brilliant!' says the waitress. 'Most people would ask for a million dollars or something, but you'll always be as rich as you want, for as long as you live!'

'That's right. Whether it's a gallon of milk or a Rolls Royce, the exact money is always there.' says the man.

Still curious the waitress asks, 'What's with the bloody emu?'

The trucker pauses, sighs, and answers, 'My second wish was for a tall bird with a big arse and long legs, who agrees with everything I say.'

Alright, I know it's not new, but I like it.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Oh dear! Tom McPhail gives me a spanking - and rightly, too, but there's a lesson for you

If you follow finance in this country you'll almost certainly run across the name Tom McPhail.

He is the leading spokesman for Hargreaves Lansdown, a firm I dash off the odd paragraph for, and is constantly being quoted in the media, probably because it's easy to understand what he says.

After my last piece about corporate advertising he took me to task with such hilarious accuracy that I thought I should quote him.

The first part is too flattering so I've edited it a bit. But the point he makes is bang on.

Generally speaking, your output is so near to gospel as to be unquestioned ...

However, the final line of your recent blog had me spitting tea across my wipeclean laptop.


Is Drayton seriously holding up Nationwide as some beacon of enlightenment in this stygian miasma of corporate guff through which we stumble?

Who do you find fronting Nationwide's website, television and poster campaign?

None other than Vikki Pollard, the nauseating and unnecessary creation of Matt Lucas. Maybe I'm getting old but any organisation that thinks it can endear itself to me by using the epitome of crass, ignorant selfish and superficial youth as its 'brand ambassador' is most certainly not going to enjoy the benefit of lending out my hard-earned cash at the usurious rates of interest which now seem customary in these post credit crunch days.

I don't really care how clever the ads are, they couldn't have deterred me more effectively if they had simply given over their website landing page to a high definition close up of Ed Balls and Gordon Brown indulging in a bout of gentle petting.

He is right, and I am wrong. Nationwide were running excellent ads poking fun at the banks. Now they have strayed on to the lush but poisonous pastures of creative masturbation.

The ads obscure the message.

I sit at my antique computer, chastened and corrected.

The man who summed up the problem was the late Bill Bernbach, voted greatest adman of the 20th century, who said:

"All this talk of creativity worries me. I fear lest we keep the creativity and lose the sell."

Monday, 13 September 2010

A rich seam of intellectual sewage: the vagaries of corporate advertising

For years I wrote six pieces a month for various marketing publications. Come to think of it, I now do more, but they're on line.

Someone once asked how I managed it, and I replied: "Easy. I only have to open any marketing magazine anywhere in the world to find something idiotic to write about."

Most of these publications are made up of gossip, who's just been fired and who's just been hired, the latest campaigns and which accounts are up for grabs, which are looking for new agencies and stunningly dull supplements to get advertising. And there is usually a sickeningly sycophantic profile of some shooting star in the marketing firmament.

These profiles, which usually position their subject somewhere between Jesus Christ and Batman, are made up of two chief ingredients: arse-licking comments from suppliers and people who work for them and arse-licking comments from people who would like to be suppliers or work for them.

Fame is brief in the glittering world of which I speak. The average marketing director stays in the job for under 2 years - just long enough to make big promises, change everything, good or bad, fail to get results, and get fired.

This is not as sad as it sounds. They usually get new jobs for a simple reason. Those who hire them know even less about marketing than they do, and never bother to find out what results they got in their last job.

Among my current favourite sources of stuff is Adnews, an Australian magazine in which I saw that the biggest Aussie bank, Westpac, has just fired their agency, The Campaign Palace.

They earned their fate as you can see from one of the ads they "created", in which, besides the deadly dull headline I spotted that the man in the box is "decision-enabled".

If anyone working for me ever used a word like that I'd have them run over by a truck.

Bank advertising is usually a good source of jokes. There was that idiotic campaign a few years ago for Barclays featuring the well-known financial expert Samuel L Jackson talking to a pig. They capped this by sticking fatuous "consumer-friendly" tripe up all over their branches like "the hole in the wall" over the ATMs. The millions they pissed away on that little pranks must have had an interesting ROI.

My current favourite is the campaign for Natwest/RBS which announces a "Customer Charter" - which says little more than "Guess what? We're going to try to do a decent job. We don't actually guarantee we will, but we'll try". How fucking sad is that?

But then in a world where banks generally do a lousy job, I suppose it's quite a promise. I wonder if their people are "decision-enabled"? What do you think? I suspect they're mostly just fed up with working for grasping, overpaid, incompetent creeps who run advertising that makes them feel slightly ashamed of themselves.

P. S. Bill Bernbach remarked that one average campaign run for ten years is better than ten brilliant campaigns, one a year.

HSBC have run the same campaign based on their international strength in various guises for over ten years.

It started out as absurdly pretentious (and still is in some respects) but has slowly morphed into something quite good.

Their main competitors have almost all followed a strategy Bernbach never considered: an endless series of rotten campaigns based on nothing in particular.

The only shining light in this subfusc world is Nationwide. Relevant, entertaining, right.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Good stuff from Harvey Mackay if you want to succeed - and a reader scolds me

I often quote Harvey Mackay's remark that something you know about your customer may be more important than anything you know about your product.

He just sent out something excellent headed "The most valuable card in your wallet" which opened as follows:

When Ben Franklin founded the first public lending library in America in 1731, he probably had no idea what he would inspire. There is no better bargain than a library card, and what better time to sign up for one than September -- library card sign-up month.

Studies show that children who use the library tend to perform better in school. They are also more likely to continue learning and exploring throughout their lives.

Frequently people ask me the secret of success in
copywriting, and I usually say, among other things, that good ideas do not some from thin air. They come from the resources you have within you.

The more you know, the more connections are waiting to be made in your mind. And the more connections, the more ideas.

You will NOT find all the ideas you need in books about marketing, most of which are very narrow in scope and often very badly written. You must broaden your horizons.

Having said that, a reader who publishes
SUBvert magazine - an excellent source of stimulation if you want to be creative - told me off, rightly, yesterday as follows:

He said, "Despite the very high level of confidence I have in all your advice I have never purchased any of your books.

You have published several haven't you?

I will happily open every email you send and study every point you make. But I'm too lazy to go researching to find out what your books are / were and if they are still in print.

I buy about 2 books a month, often from people I've only recently become familiar with.

It might be an idea to make it easier for us to remember and buy your books if they are still available.

The desire to reciprocate is already there, the credibility is there. Just need to spoon feed the laziness that is also there.

What a fool I am! If you go to www.draytonbird.com you can read about my books. And if you want to buy any, I'll match Amazon's price.

Would you like your copy signed? Just write to me, Drayton@draytonbird.com and copy Chloe@Draytonbird.com.

The most comprehensive book I have written is Commonsense Direct and Interactive Marketing, which David Ogilvy said was "Pure Gold" - though that was before I covered subjects like the internet.

The best if you want to know about copy is How to Write a Salesletter that Sells.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The absurd inflation of the meaningless: what are you selling - bricks or hot air?

Today I am off to the Ogilvy offices in Manhattan to meet the man who won a contest to find the world's greatest salesperson.

His task was to sell a brick, and I hope to find out how he did it.

You know what a salesman is, right?

Someone who sells things.

Just as you know what a soldier is, or a cook, or a thief or a footballer.

But do you know what a National Strategy Director is?

I only enter into this because I just read that someone has just been appointed National Strategy Director at an advertising agency in Australia, and I was curious to know what exactly they do all day.

I mean, how often do you need to create a strategy for anything? A strategy is a long term thing. I once had to write one for what was then Ogilvy & Mather Direct. It was in essence a five year plan, and as someone who generally thinks ahead as far as lunchtime this was quite a challenge.

But unless you only have a very sketchy idea of what the word strategy means, they are not called for very often.

Which brings me back to Ogilvy. Years ago when he came to meet everyone at the agency I had just sold to Ogilvy & Mather I first introduced him to my co-directors.

He asked Chris Jones, the Creative Director, "What do you do?"

Chris said, "I'm the Creative Director". David said, "Yes, but what do you do?"

What does a National Strategy Director do?

I would hope whoever runs the agency determines its strategy - or what are they paid for? And I would hope their clients have someone in charge of their strategy, too. If I were them I would hesitate to pass that job onto someone at the ad agency. It would be dereliction of duty.

If I had to guess, and knowing the ad agency business, I would imagine the National Strategy Director is there to blind clients with high sounding bullshit, starting with the title, so they can charge more money for what is essentially a very simple job - creating and placing advertising.

A bit like salesmanship, really.

Friday, 3 September 2010

There were these two guys in a bar ... plus a little music for you

If you're interested in little details of marketing archeology, you may find this interesting.

It's a three generations and a barmaid picture.

I have mentioned the setting before - a bar in Chicago's South Side.

The distinguished gentlemen next to the old fart on the right is Perry Marshall - perhaps the world's most highly regarded commentator and teacher on Adwords and related subjects.

Ken McCarthy took it the evening after Perry and I had joined him at The System event in Chicago.

Why three generations? Well, Ken was inspired to get into direct marketing after reading my Commonsense book in the New York Public Library quite a few years ago, and Perry was one of Ken's students when he started running The System.

So in a weird way, I am two generations older than Perry. If you'd like to see us both together talking about an extraordinary concept of Perry's called The Swiss Army Knife, go here: www.perrymarshall.com/uk. This is a remarkably perceptive idea that could transform your success rate on the internet.

I'm writing this in Brooklyn, where I arrived last night to visit my latest grandson, Rowan.

On Monday I shall be seeing someone else whose career I once helped a little. He is now the worldwide head of Ogilvy One. More about that later.

Perry, Ken and I were in that bar to see the astonishing Von Freeman, one of the last remaining tenor sax players from a golden era. And coincidentally the highlight of my stay here this time has been the release of my 14 year old daughter's first ever single.

14 year old? Yes. And yes, she does sing in tune. And yes it is very professional.

If you don't like the music just watch the intro and close video she does. I have never told her a thing about online marketing or presentation, but she seems to know more about it than quite a few large corporations I can mention.