Nick's Notes

Privacy and Control

It will come as no surprise to the people who read this blog regularly that I have been exercised by the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica story still doing the rounds on the mainstream news programmes. My preference for privacy has led to me leading a near Google-free existence , preferring to use DuckDuckGo or IXQuick as my primary search engines []

Silence is Golden

Did you know that 68% of all statistics quoted in presentations are made up? That at least was the findings of a market research company who later admitted that they had made it up, to prove the point. As I write it is “Black Friday” – another American import to incite us to shop more. Last year we spent £1.9bn []

Event Horizons

At our Conference a couple of years ago, Dr Simon Moores illustrated the power of exponential growth by telling an anecdote about how long it would take to fill Wembley Stadium with water. Like all such anecdotes, you have to suspend disbelief – Wembley must be waterproof, the plumbing must be able to supply water at the required rates – []


Margaret Thatcher once said “advisors advice, ministers decide”. The recent referendum is not binding on parliament, it is advisory. But, in a representative democracy as Mathew Parris put it very eloquently in The Times, a referendum can create a massive disconnect between the representatives and the voice of the people. When the vote is split 52 / 48 that becomes []


Last weekend marked the start of 12 weeks of campaigning in the UK. The choice in the upcoming referendum is to stay in or to leave the EU. Pedantry causes me to reject the idea that the UK is debating leaving “Europe” – which a geographical construct and not a political one. There is no truth to be discovered in []

Emotional intelligence

It’s not easy being a CIO. The demands from business colleagues are relentless. One of the hardest parts of the role is keeping everybody informed. It takes time, commitment and energy. Many CIOs believe that the demands of the day job prevents them from working with their business colleagues, spending time talking about those colleagues’ needs and the opportunities that []

No Payne no Gain for a Chief Customer Officer… Part I

Bill Payne is Vice President, CRM and Industries at IBM Global Services Three years after his first appearance here, IBM’s Bill Payne has somehow survived appearing on such a disreputable media platform to talk to us about his refining vision for the future marketing function and, perhaps most importantly, how today’s businesses need to manage their most precious assets in the face of []

Let's get personal

Tweet, read, respond: someone, somewhere, is probably reading your tweet, even if it’s just one person. A million active users have tweeted at least a billion times using the ‘tweet this’ button during the past three years. At the same time, not everyone on the social networking platform is quite as active and as many as 25% of Twitter users []

Should CIOs encourage their business to use social media for customer service?

Ever-increasing numbers of companies are going digital in order to provide customer service. Social media provides a platform for customers to get a quick response. But is such a means of interaction good for the customer and bad for the company? Companies use social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to answer customer queries and take feedback. Rather []

Social Media: Friend or Foe?

Social media is hyped by the media as a means to create value for connections and contacts. While social media is undoubtedly useful, there can be too many assumptions and presumptions. The value of social media is not about how many tweets you post, or how many followers you have. Social media is about creating great content. And, often, []

The Holey Grail – the Single View of the Customer

No, not a misspelling. Very few organisations have a really good understanding of their customers. Organisations in retail, such as Tesco, are probably much better at it than almost anyone else. But across industries and in most sites, this information may as well be kept in a sieve. Last night we had a discussion around this subject led by Tony []
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