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When people ask me what 'Chairman Emeritus' means, I tell them it’s Latin for 'We don’t need him any more.'
If they started by saying you have to prove to me this has a 90 percent chance of success, they'd never invest in anything.
Advertising is not being broadly seen for what it really is, namely, the single most powerful tool to produce profitable sales growth and to increase brand value. The purpose of creativity is to enhance the ability of advertising to actually sell.
All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarise that society. We can brutalise it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level.
An economist is an expert who will know tomorrow why the things he predicted yesterday didn't happen today.
Business is not financial science, it's about trading.. buying and selling. It's about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it.
Chances are that neither the client nor the agency will ever know very much about what role the ad has played in sales or profits of the client, either short-term or long-term.
Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.
Emotion. Passion. Ideas. Simplicity. These are the big things that big business needs from its creative agencies. No one else is going to provide these essential elements for business.
Experience has taught me that advertisers get the best results when they pay their agency a flat fee. It is unrealistic to expect your agency to be impartial when its vested interest lies wholly in the direction of increasing your commissionable advertising.
Hollywood has its Oscars. Television has its Emmys. Broadway has its Tonys. And advertising has its Clios. And its Andys, Addys, Effies and Obies. And 117 other assorted awards. And those are just the big ones.
I honestly believe that advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It's done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the mickey out of the consumer.
If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.
If I were starting life over again, I am inclined to think that I would go into the advertising business in preference to almost any other. The general raising of the standards of modern civilization among all groups of people during the past half century would have been impossible without the spreading of the knowledge of higher standards by means of advertising.
If you ever have the good fortune to create a great advertising campaign, you will soon see another agency steal it. This is irritating, but don't let it worry you; nobody has ever built a brand by imitating somebody else's advertising.
In advertising there is a saying that if you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs - then you just don't understand the problem.
In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.
Let me give you one piece of reassurance. The day Saatchi & Saatchi puts risk management at the top of its agenda,you can be sure, like Elvis before me, that I will have left the building.
The basic prescription for preventing deflation is straightforward, at least in principle: Use monetary and fiscal policy as needed to support aggregate spending, in a manner as nearly consistent as possible with full utilization of economic resources and low and stable inflation. In other words, the best way to get out of trouble is not to get into it in the first place.
The business that considers itself immune to the necessity for advertising sooner or later finds itself immune to business.
To achieve success as a leader, one has to have the ability to develop visions, set clear goals, formulate strategies, align goals and objectives with the strategy and vision, engage in partnerships, invest in new, better and faster production plants, organize an efficient production process, etc. Nevertheless, this is insufficient – many leaders can accomplish these tasks.
Without passion, you don't have energy; without energy, you have nothing. Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.
You can't overestimate the need to plan and prepare. In most of the mistakes I've made, there has been this common theme of inadequate planning beforehand. You really can't over-prepare in business!
Innovation today is much more than technology or new products and even more than just new products, technology or processes – like an orchestra, it is a balanced interplay and interaction of all these elements.
Customers must trust an organisation and its people.
A lot of people think big business in America is a bad thing. I think it's a really good thing. Most people in business are ethical, hard-working, good people. And it's a meritocracy.
I think that the best companies are companies that have a real purpose.
The meek shall inherit the earth, but they'll never increase market share.
Every product has some element of service, and every service some element of product.
Innovation is everything. When you're on the forefront, you can see what the next innovation needs to be. When you're behind, you have to spend your energy catching up.
Government caters to those screaming the loudest, regardless of what they’re screaming about. In business, it’s exactly the opposite! You invest more in the most successful departments, and less in those that aren't performing.
No one can possibly achieve any real and lasting success or 'get rich' in business by being a conformist.
Politeness and civility are the best capital ever invested in business.
You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do.
Executive: a man who makes quick decisions and is sometimes right.
Retail is selling things that don’t come back to customers who do.
Economics and ethics are not mutually exclusive.
The first law of economics is that when the price goes up, consumption comes down. This is a divine law.
One of the most important tasks of a manager is to eliminate his people's excuses for failure.
Clients want agencies to be a cross between the vendor who does as they say, and the doctor who refuses to provide medicine that doesn't cure his patient.
Organic growth from current operations and incremental innovation is not usually sufficient for long-term survival. The growth rates will be stable, but probably not enough.
In the 19th century China dominated the manufacture of porcelain. Then European factories discovered a cheaper method of making pottery of equal quality, demolishing the Chinese industry – the exact reverse of what is happening now. World economics have turned full circle.
It is time to recognise there is a strong case for the disestablishment of advertising as the de facto starting point for planning thinking and practice.
If you think about a corporation as a giant machine, you compartmentalise yourself, become a cog in its wheels, and attempt to move it through force by identifying leverage points to build a business. If you think about a corporation organically, then you become part of an ecosystem in which you compete to find your niche, and you grow business through patience and cultivation.
Tracking account planning is rather like counting a mixed batch of tropical fish. You think you see patterns, but they've all changed by the time you've finished counting.
Both agencies and research companies need to take responsibility for helping their clients create a more totalitarian regime. Some may ask: 'Do we really want to encourage some of our clients to get in touch with their despotic side?' But I say, better a despot who decides, than a procrastinator who is never more definite than 'maybe'.
Briefing your agencies is not a chance to pass the buck and sit back. A subtle blend of styles is required: information and inspiration; prescriptiveness and openness; and focus and dialogue.
There are really very few economies of scale in centralising or standardising advertising.
Pitching can be a very time-consuming, frustrating, disheartening and expensive process. All too often, the unfortunate incumbent becomes the scapegoat for all the brand's problems.
Who are the agency conductors of the future? The clients? The aligned inter-agency team? The agencies that are positioning themselves as fully integrated? Or the consumer, in our increasingly consumer created world?
We start with our consumers and spend an exorbitant amount of time talking with them, trying to figure out what's driving them, finding out where they are and how they're changing things.
The point at which planning is today is not just being creative with what we have, but totally forgetting what we know and making things different from what we already have.
No movie becomes a hit without good reviews and word-of-mouth. No agency ever became a great brand by merely saying it was great - in advertising or by any other medium.
No longer will we be silent and complicit to the failings of logic and reason when it comes to the barriers that have prevented this great industry from genuinely reflecting diversity of race, ideas and experience; we promise to raise the battle-ax and help tear down the walls that keep us from the truth.
The current model is broken. It's under attack from all sides, including within.
Applying creative thinking to our clients' business strategy—this should be our industry's new core competency. And—in what is very good news for our industry—this kind of creativity, creativity that goes to the heart of business, is more in-demand than ever.
It's relentless, brave agencies that win good clients. Agencies who know what they're in business to do, who have a clear point of view, and who've built their businesses from the ground up to be laser-focused on winning— be it in the marketplace or in the presentation room at some Holiday Inn Express off the interstate.
It seems to me that in their natural anxiety for pre-determined results many advertisers are walking right past basic principles, which have been around for a long time, or after having gone as far as possible with research, either shy away from really great and daring ideas or pull their punches in the execution of them.
Acquiring information is becoming easier and easier. It comes to you don't have to choose it. The challenge is to transform and integrate that information into a business process.
Our business involves a process of rejection ... But you have to feel you can make mistakes and not get in trouble. That you can bounce back.
Companies will be a part of sustainability, or they'll be bowled over by it.
At the root of all sponsorship strategies is sound business planning.
It was tough when media companies were spun off from agencies. It's one of the things I hate. Separate is as separate does. It has to come back together.
If I had one dollar to invest. I'd invest it in service. That's where I'd get the best and biggest return.
If we don't find a way to self-regulate, we will be regulated.
We created a new kind of agency ... We had to retrain our people. But the corporations that will be successful will be those that are willing to change.
The advantage ad agencies have over digital specialists is that we tend to have lead relationships with clients, and we are called in a little earlier and on a more strategic long term basis.
To be relevant, we need to focus less on research and more on business; to show how and where to win.
We need to get to kids who have no idea what we do. We need to open the doors wide and let them in. There are many undiscovered voices out there - voices that, against all odds, can rise up and enrich this culture and perhaps change the very nature of the marketplace for the better.
Like it or not, the walls of a corporation are becoming transparent. Customers, suppliers, and even critics, have the ability to reach inside the walls of a company and connect directly to employees at every level. Today, you have no choice. Every company must either be more open or risk being defined by others on the outside.
There will be an enduring role for the 'soft' side of planning. The piece that deals with meaning, identity and ideas. This is the slightly intangible piece that creative agencies hold at their heart.
Speed is the key strategic and insulating advantage. Every other strategy can be copied.
Ideas are future cash flow for our companies: if you do an excellent job on innovation, you will drive the bottom line. The right ideas – focused on big economic levels and profit – equal success.
You get the clients you deserve. But you have to recognize your limitations as part of your responsibilities to their business if you really expect to make a difference to their brand…. When something isn't working, it's okay to say, 'Stop!' and change everything. Learn to be fallible.
Once upon a time, your only intent was to sell the brand. Not any more. Now you work for the people and they'll carry the brand.
The media agency model has been hit by a perfect storm ... We are chasing share in a broken system, rather than changing the system.
We are ROI rigorous. But you can't get anywhere until you try something. You just do it and learn… take a portion of your budget and experiment.
The biggest challenges aren't coming from the internet and new technology but rather from the different kinds of relationships customers will demand from companies. It will take more than sending colleagues to internet conferences to paper over the cracks.
Businesses are beginning to realise that becoming more sustainable can create new sources of competitive advantage, as well as achieving cost savings and stimulating innovation.
The human race has survived turbulence only through adaptation; the same goes for organisations.
Innovation without insight is failure.
Major brands don't know what to do with happy customers. They make it hard for customers to say thanks and way too often companies don't celebrate and embrace customers' positive gestures.
Business has still to embrace emotion as a leading indicator of future behaviour, let alone advertising effectiveness.
More brand valuations, it appears, are commissioned for financial purposes than for marketing purposes.
Facebook could be used by corporate executives to allow some business-decision dynamics - and even some personal information - to become "public." Two-way communications must be encouraged.
It is not sufficient to merely have social goals at the centre of the communication strategy. Authentic CSR stems from a way of doing business and is most powerful when it actively involves consumers.
Co-creation is a slippery term. It has been used so widely and so loosely that it has virtually lost all meaning.
When written in Chinese the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters, one represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
Diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and persuasions contribute to a more inspiring and creative environment - the kind that stimulates marketing processionals to produce the best work possible. Businesses that support inclusion set an example for their employees and positively influence society - at large - by broadly socializing the inherent value of diversity.
Market-led innovations is one of the top issues for B2B companies and gaining end-user insights is the largest perceived capability gap.
The concept of 'the line' came from a financial model that no longer exists – production funded from commission – yet it is still in use today.
If cost is the focus of attention, then strategic thinking is superfluous.
Why has corporate social responsibility failed so spectacularly to address the very issues it claims to be most concerned about?
The paradox of success is you need to embrace failure to achieve it.
The greatest challenge of doing business across cultures and markets is the ability to localise products, services and ways of communication.
The paradox of the 21st century economy goes like this: On the one hand, consumers are confronted with an ever-increasing amount of products and services; however, this complexity seems to generate more confusion than happiness. On the other hand, companies face an intensified global competition, which often leads to shrinking profit margins.
The benefits of a well-communicated 'vision' in the innovation process might mean the difference between approval and investment or a return to the drawing board – no matter how good the blueprints.
“Sense the market and respond” should be today's paradigm instead of the “invent in your laboratory and sell” philosophy of the production-led past.
One of the most effective and cost-efficient customer touchpoints is the sales force – yet salespeople are often unaware of what the brand positioning is, how it better meets customer needs than competitors and how to bring the brand experience to life.
The industry’s main source of inspiration, ideas and insights (people) has evolved. Today, people demand value from businesses. If they get it they will do anything for you – if they don’t, they won’t hesitate to do everything against you either.
The best innovations are the result of uninhibited exploration and collaboration. The key tenet is that transformation requires taking risks and challenging conditions.
The quest to do something great doesn’t change, but don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that re-applying your previous successes is genuine greatness.
It's been said that there are five kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, statistics, benchmarks, and delivery dates.
Getting consumers used to paying less for more makes it very difficult to compete and make a solid profit, unless you can really provide differentiation and value. But ultimately investing in what drives loyalty is where a brand can clean up.
If clients are from Mars, agencies are from Venus - namely, agencies respond well to the touchy-feely, emotional "thank yous" in life.
A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter – and getting smarter faster than most companies.
Like Damocles, if you keep looking up at the sword hung above by the single thread of horsehair, you will only distract yourself from the profitable business in hand. That is looking after the brand.
Don't get seduced by the next shiny thing, because you'll get caught up chasing shiny things and that will keep you from addressing what you really need to accomplish.
You as a marketer should lead change. If you do not lead change, your partners won't lead change. If you ask for 'x' but pay for 'y', you'll get 'y'.
The walls have to come down at agencies. We can sit and work together with them, but we can’t work with silos. The future is not in competition but in finding partners and building businesses together.
Agencies could actually have charged more money for that, and recognised that, ultimately, the very thing that digitalisation was going to do was to commoditise the one place where they were making money - production. Their loss is the gain of a whole plethora of new businesses.
Despite clear demands for better service, customers report almost no improvement in the last decade. Why? Companies too often ignore the dynamic people issues that truly affect customers' experience.
As clients, too often we choose the comfortable agency, when we should be looking for something unique and different - with something we don't have, with some people who can challenge us, and make us stronger…. And we fail miserably when an agency looks too much like its clients.
Ironically, the end of eyeballs may also mean the end of the individual creative agency.
One of the biggest silos we need to break down is our own ‘funnel vision'. Shoppers don't follow the funnel. They simply don't see their behaviour in those terms.
Every business wants to be innovative and to do things differently, whether it is talking about R&D of new products or communication and marketing. So it is perhaps surprising that some of the best examples of successful business come from old concepts.
The only companies who stand a chance of coming up with new categories and brands are those that consistently cultivate new capabilities.
Most companies are focusing on the intended output when they should be focusing on the input.
We recognise the power of markets outside the organisation to allocate resources efficiently and inspire entrepreneurialism. Introducing markets into the rigid hierarchies of traditional companies has the power to reap the same kinds of rewards.
Character is the tree, reputation is the shadow.
All business growth can only happen if business learns faster than the rate at which its customers change.
Success often looks seamless. People are much more likely to recall failure. So, think hard and invest time in making the right decisions, as early as possible in the process.
People talk about the businesses of the future needing to be more agile and more responsive if they are to be successful. But this requires a deep change in the way organisations work.