Thursday, 29 September 2011

think businessmen take the train so they can get more work done? think again...

The image of business executives beavering away on their computers and mobile phones while travelling by train is a myth, official research has found.

Rather than use their time on board to catch up on work, most businessmen and women while away the hours staring at other passengers and gazing out of the window at the countryside.

The reality of how they spend their time on board trains was contained in evidence submitted by the Department for Transport to a parliamentary inquiry into plans for a high speed rail network.

Oxera, a firm of consultants called in by the DfT, found that as little as 10 per cent of journey time could be productive.

“In fact, more business travellers spent most of their travel time reading for leisure, gazing out of the window or “people-watching” than spent it working,” the study found.According to the Oxera study this has had little or no impact on the behaviour of business passengers who often pay huge amounts to travel by rail.

The findings will disappoint train operators who have spent huge amounts trying to make rail travel more attractive for businessmen by installing Wi-Fi and improving mobile phone reception in recent years.

Monday, 26 September 2011

when marketing goes wrong...

Do you blame the planning, the research, the brief, the creative, the account handling, the media buying...

or yourself!

Thursday, 22 September 2011

London to Bradford in 6 minutes with Grand Central

Ever wondered how you can get from London to Bradford in just 6 minutes on the rail network?

This great little video from Grand Central shows you how with a driver's eye view of the journey from London Kings Cross to Bradford.

It's something that should usually take around three hours, so it's fair to say the driver got a shift on. Let's just hope he wasn't drinking a coffee on the trip!


 Want to get from Sunderland to London Kings Cross in the same time? Now you can.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Which? report says train tickets are too complicated.

Train tickets are so complicated for passengers that only a small amount of train users fully understand what they are buying, according to a new report.

The Which? research found that people who buy train tickets are not as clued-up as they thought when it comes to purchasing online.

Some of the stats include;
  • over 50% said they were confident they knew their tickets’ terms and conditions when buying online
  • just 1% managed to identify all the correct attributes of the main ticket type
  • 51% of passengers were unaware that an off-peak ticket only allows travel on trains outside busy times
  • 75% did not know they had to make an outbound journey within five days of buying an anytime return
  • 61% did not know that advance tickets were non-refundable
  • 48% were unaware they had to travel on a specific train, after buying their ticket for travel
To back up the facts, train watchdog Passenger Focus also found that while people were confident when buying online, their confidence was misplaced and they often ended up not getting the best value for money.

A case of hiding the small print, TOCs being less than honest with the truth or a general lack of knowledge about the industry from the consumer? I would say primarily the latter.

TOCs need to go back to basics with their communication and explain everything they do - remembering it is not up to the consumer to know, but the operator to explain.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Kraft decide this way. What about you?

It's always nice to hear how the big boys choose their ideas.

Kraft vice president of marketing for Europe Daryl Fielding was recently quoted as saying that in working with agencies she prefers “a small number of decision-makers - especially around something creative, it is good business practice. 

Creative work is very subjective and if you have 15 people [deciding on it] you will dumb it down and you will get the work that everyone doesn’t dislike.”

She sounds like the ideal client. 

Would be interesting to see if her agencies agreed.

Friday, 2 September 2011

not your usual flashmob ad

Starts off as something you might have seen before...

and ends up as something slightly different.

Works well though!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

words, words and more words

If you think using lots of words in your marketing increases the chances of communication being more effective and memorable, take a look at this...

The Lord's Prayer contains 56 words, the Gettysburg address, 266; the Ten Commandments, 297 and the Declaration of Independence, 300.

A recent U.S government order setting the price of cabbage? A whopping 26,911 words.

Only a tiny, tiny proportion of the messages people receive everyday make it through to their memory bank, and less still wil get acted on. This in mind, why are so many marketers intent on complicating the issue by writing masses of copy for no apparent reason?

Written communication in its simplest form can be a powerful tool, and simple more often than not, means keeping copy short.

But as Mark Twain once said “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

it's premium and it's economy

Chiltern Railways are to launch an airline style 'premium economy' class on their services between London and Birmingham. 

The special 30-seat carriage will have wi-fi, large tables and wide seats and comes at an additional cost of £20 per leg of your journey. Passengers will still have to pay extra for any food and beverages.

Chiltern's marketing director Thomas Ableman said: "Businesses told us that space to work and a decent internet connection were absolutely essential. They also told us that additional privacy at key times for increased productivity was valuable."

A great initiative from Chiltern and will be interesting to see how the company promote the new service. However considering it launches on Monday 5 September, it's a little strange that a quick search on the company's website showed up nothing at all.

Still time to put that right though.