News Views

Citizen Success.

What the Government could learn from a Customer Success Manager.

This week I have been researching the role of the Customer Success Manager in-between scrolling Twitter and observing the dramatic and farcical collapse of our government and I have concluded that we should get rid of the role of Prime Minister and appoint a Citizen Success Manager instead.

This in particular from McKinsey hit hard “Handled poorly, a company’s new emphasis on growth can undermine a customer’s trust in [Customer Service Managers] and create a sense that they are simply interested in increasing profits.”

The focus on pure growth and customer retention is now seen as outmoded and the world of business has moved on from this to embrace the Experience Economy recognising that companies need a broader perspective, and they need to look at the sum of all the experiences customers have with their product or service in order to remain competitive.

Unfortunately for us, our government has not moved on to embrace this model, but if they did a Citizen Success Manager would look at how citizens engage with the government at many different touchpoints across healthcare, work, travel, and education and they would aim for each experience to be positive.

They would measure citizen success by the outcomes for the citizens, not for themselves, and they would look beyond retention and the blunt tool of economic growth. They would actively engage with citizens, get to know how they were living their lives, and measure if they were achieving and progressing in the way they had hoped. By doing this they would ensure that they would stay in their job.

So, all hail the Citizen Success Manager, it’s not a job I will be applying for though, I think we all need a break from Lizzies. 

Marketing Views

In the space between reality and dreams.

If Father Ted was still going, I expect there would be a whole episode that would deal with the ambiguous and intriguing nature of the metaverse, and much like Dougal struggles to distinguish between dreams and reality you might find yourself struggling to come to any conclusion about what the metaverse is. Which is fair enough, as it doesn’t exist yet.

The metaverse sounds very dramatic and sci-fi, but a more mundane term is extended reality or XR. Or course this being tech related you can expect lots of acronyms, XR can include AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality). AR overlays images on real-life settings, for example, that Snapchat filter that gives you whiskers and cat ears- that is AR, or the ‘see in your living space’ feature on Google that can bring a Red Panda into your living room.

AR can be achieved with your mobile phone, VR that’s a bit more complex you need more equipment, a headset possibly some gloves or body gadgets depending how in-depth you are going. VR is more immersive as it creates a simulation of a physical space where you can wander about frolicking with Red Pandas in the form of your avatar who mimics your real-life movements.  

Of course, the metaverse has the potential for lots of very important uses like training and teaching people safely how to do things that would in reality be very unsafe, like open heart surgery and firefighting. Unfortunately, as the metaverse is really just the next stage of the internet we can probably expect that it will be used for a lot of things the current internet is used for, things like porn, seeing funny cats in an almost real-life setting, and games where you shoot things.

Antonia Forster has coined the phrase metaverse-y, rather than thinking about the metaverse, it might be more useful to view apps and platforms as having metaverse traits.

So to the tune of That’s Amore!

When you have been working with someone for 3 years and have no idea how tall they are…

That’s so metaverse-y

When your kids swap Roblox handles in the playground…

That’s so metaverse-y

When you do your big shop and browse the aisles from your sofa…

That’s so metaverse-y

When your Daughter and your mum are having a video call that makes them look like they are astronauts…

That’s so metaverse-y

When your favourite band launches an nft and cryptocurrency…

That’s so metaverse-y

So, if you feel like you are living somewhere between a dream and reality- you’ve got it! That is the metaverse.


Are you waving, or drowning?

I am a good communicator. What does that actually mean? It’s up there with I enjoy swimming with mediocre one-liners you might have in your CV.

Can you swim, are you actually any good at it? Would you survive at sea, or do you think you are a good swimmer just because you haven’t drowned yet and you find the action of not drowning mildly enjoyable?

Good communication is not a feeling, and it is better measured by actions. If your organisation has clearly defined roles, tasks get completed on time and people are happy and engaged and not crying in the toilets, these are all signs that communication is going well.

My Dad used to say that the hardest thing about running a business was getting all the men (and women) in their tasks and facing in the right direction.

I went to Q&A recently with Erika Hall and what she said on communication really resonated with me, “Someone’s job should be to make sure that people are communicating, that there are team-based incentives. Communication doesn’t just happen it needs to be designed. Good communication isn’t self-organised it doesn’t just happen by continually putting people in meetings.”

So maybe you are a good communicator, or maybe you are not, but don’t leave it to chance or your subjective opinion. If you hold a position of seniority in your company the chances are that even if you are terrible at communicating no one will have told you.

Sometimes communication works better when you don’t do it, why not let someone else, someone more neutral or even external to your company look at your communication and how it could be designed better. You might be surprised at what you find, you might find some of your people who you thought were waving, are actually drowning.

Reference: Not waving but Drowning, by Stevie Smith

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

Marketing Social

Your Nan’s on Instagram

Your Nan’s on Instagram.

At school pick up you learn a lot. There is normally an intense ten minutes of conversation where parents talk at high speed before the kids come out. Last week’s hot topic was foolish teenagers posting pictures of themselves on Instagram with no thought about who would see it, as one of the mums pointed out “and I said to them, your Nan’s on Instagram!”

It made me laugh because as well as being the ideal title for the teenagers’ first rock album, it rang true, older people are on social. I think maybe marketers need to be reminded of this too

If we take the age you could technically become a Nan or Granddad as bit on the young side as 45 and over (I know, I’m brushing the sides of this category myself and my daughter is only six), but that is the data I have available so go with me here.

27.3% of the over 45’s said Instagram was their favourite social platform.

And more for the ‘Nans’- 16.8% of women over 45 said Instagram was their favourite social platform.

And that is not counting all the over 45’s who are on Instagram, but it isn’t their favourite platform.

Many years ago, when I was working on a direct mail campaign for an agricultural company, we supercharged response rates by increasing the font size to 14 which made it much more accessible for our target audience of Irish farmers, most of which were over 60 and couldn’t actually read the small print.

Sometimes it is the obvious tweaks that can make all the difference. So next time you are looking at potential audiences, or product launches don’t forget:

Your Nan’s on Instagram.

Source: Digital 2022: Global Overview Report. is available at


Memories of the Ploughing.

As I reach for a Lemsip I smile and think yes here it is my annual Ploughing Championships cold.

I used to blame the Championships for my annual sniffles, the stress of the busiest time of year. Will our clients’ leaflets get there? Will the signage all be the right way up? Would the many different promotional items arrive in time and be printed in the right branding colours, would we ever find a parking space?

For those of you who don’t know what the Ploughing is you may be picturing a quaint scene in rural Ireland with a few tractors, which is part of it, but now supersize that to include everything from a Céilí to a fashion show and try to visualise the fact that on the opening day yesterday they welcomed 91,500 people through the gates!

Forget Glastonbury, the Ploughing championships is Europe’s largest outdoor event and if you do the full 3 days you will feel like you have been to Glastonbury twice.

It must be the only place you can watch a ploughing competition, get a fake tan, and buy a new hat and a tractor, as well as getting countless goody bags and your fill of ham sandwiches. I will never forget the haunted face of the man at the Denny tent wiping the sweat off his brow as he produced yet another cooked ham to be devoured by a group of fifty children who descended like locusts.

Another memory is the lady on the tannoy, narrating the day’s events and news in real-time, “Michael is here at the lost children’s tent looking for his parents Michael Senior and Bridget, he is dressed in cords and a navy jumper and he tells me he is sixty years of age, but sure you are always someone’s child.” Also, I had heard the phrase tyre kicker, but at the Ploughing I saw it in action, people actually do kick tyres.

Who goes to the Ploughing?  Everybody, families, kids, farmers of course, politicians’, Agricultural firms, in fact, any business that is in any way connected to the countryside all gather together to showcase their wares and enjoy what is usually the tail end of the summer sunshine.  

It’s been at least 7 years since I went to the Ploughing and it is back this year for the first time in 3 years after Covid, so I have to admit my September cold can’t really be blamed on the Ploughing but for me, Lemsip, golden sunshine and a ham sandwich will always conjure up memories of the  Ploughing Championship. For all of you exhibiting and attending I hope the sun stays shining and that you have the best time, and for those of you doing the full three days I salute you!

Photo by Lomig on Unsplash