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Aarron Spinley
Credit SPINLEY.CO

When I wonder, did the marketing and customer experience people lose their mojo? There is an almost cheerleader culture in the ranks, where we repeat catchphrases, slogans, and mantras without stopping to think. It’s as if, someone ran off with our brain. Well, I beg to differ!

Do you like my introduction?

I‘m using “provocative appeals” theory, where the principal (me!) seeks to provoke an audience into engagement through anti-establishment, or even extreme narrative. Now, I hope it worked, because I so want you to read this. But also, I’m serious.

The “Profession” — I’ll use that term to wrap…


Credit: Gettys

If you’re a parent, you will have noticed those signs at playgrounds, telling oblivious children to “Play with Caution”. No one expects kids to read them of course. Such signs are erected mainly to ensure liabilities have been denied, or limited, and insurance premiums modeled down. You may have also laughed out loud at the instructions on your new hairdryer, cautioning you from using it in the bath.

Our fear of risk, and of litigation, permeates the world with pure insanity.

So you could be forgiven for wondering how it is, that despite hundreds of millions of deaths, and families…


Needy. It’s a word you’ve probably heard. You could have even used it yourself, in which case you’ll be imaginging a deeply insecure person who places undue pressure on relationships, usually as they look for acceptance or belonging.

The more cruel colloquialism, usually found in the world of dating, may also spring to mind…“Stage 5 clinger”.

Ouch.

But in fact, needy is used to characterize a range of behaviors related to imbalance, and the truth is everyone experiences neediness at some point in their lives. …


Mt Albert Rugby League Club Senior Team, 1965

I played a lot of rugby as a kid. A lot. I played all the way into my late teens, stopped for a while to study, work, live, drink, and fall over, and then hankering for the days of my youth, I played a season again in my early thirties.

That last part didn’t go so well.

The body once relieved of the rigors of rugby duty, isn’t in a hurry to get bashed again. And recovery wasn’t what it used to be. Still, I loved it! Plus, my Dad played senior competitive rugby league for a long time. That’s…


When you look around at the world, at society, and at the technological tidal wave consuming us, you are likely to fall into one of two camps. The sheer pace and potential of it all may have you giddy with excitement. On the other hand, the uncertainty and the change to your profession may have you suffering anxiety.

Both are entirely reasonable and understandable human reactions.

But despite the arrival of all things digital in the marketing world, one could argue that it has been inoculated from, or perhaps resistant to, truly bone-deep change for the better part of a…


Credit: BBC

So, get this. Three in four Australian consumers reckon that brands outright lie to them in marketing communications. Lie to them.

Kapow! Bam! Whacko! Smack! Boomfa!

But before we turn this into a 1960s re-run of Adam West’s Batman (look it up), let’s just all acknowledge: this is one heck of a zinger to local brands.

That headline statistic from a late 2020 customer loyalty survey commissioned by the agency, Customology, was among many that ultimately found, that the majority of Aussies lack any kind of trust in brand communications.

Ain’t that a slap in the face to all that…


Credit: Dreamstime

Ever notice that some things just don’t go together? Until they do, that is. For instance, two things that will never go together — certainly in my house — are brussels sprouts and ice cream. That’s a personal worldview.

Yet one of our favorite summer refreshers is a wonderful piece of invention that combines shiraz with gin.

I’m not kidding.

There are probably weirder examples I could have picked, like ketchup and pizza, cottage cheese and mayonnaise, pickles and orange juice, or mango and panini; but I’ll stick with my provocations on brussels sprouts and ice cream, shiraz and gin.


Image Credit: HerWay

Journey Mapping has been such a misunderstood practice. It’s true. This was, and remains, a cause of great angst to its many proponents. But despite this, it is still widely lauded. A perceived pillar of customer-centricity no less.

In my world of marketing and customer engagement, I have to fess up that we do like to adopt favorite children. Especially the ugly ones. Buzz words, ill-conceived methods, undisciplined destruction of meaning, institutional immaturity spawning institutional confusion.

And in the case of Journey Mapping, we’ve doubled down on a mistake, unable it seems, to self-correct.

Yes, the practice endures, mainly through…


Credit: FEC — Top Retail Design Fails

There are very few industries that celebrate their peers like the retail industry. Gala events and ritzy award ceremonies dispersing lavish praise on an almost monthly basis.

We’ve all seen the social media pics. Glammed-up guys and gals at the photo wall, euphorically hoisting a trophy and screaming down the lens in triumph.

“It’s been a tough year,” they say. “I love my team.”

And among all the hype, an insistence, both underlying and in-your-face, that retail is the unquestioned leader in all things customer experience, and digital, and other shiny things.

But it ain't. Not remotely.

And that’s a…


Credit: Getty Images

All over the world right now, a whole bunch of performance advertising folks are sweating. There is wrenching of hands, clammy palms, and for some, quite deep anxiety. Feathers, my friends, are ruffled.

And all of it, because of Apple.

Yes, that old fruit impersonating tech giant, who we all love, and occasionally hate, but mostly love. Mostly.

Truth be told, Apple has gone and opened up a can of worms that should have been opened long ago. Their new operating system, iOS14, will now require apps to get your permission before arbitrarily collecting your information.

Ergo, a whole lot…

Aarron Spinley

Growth & brand theory from a top 10 global thought leader (Thinkers360). SPINLEY.CO [Managing Editor of THE HEADWAY]

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