Magazine article Marketing

Take on Military Intelligence and Benefit from It

Magazine article Marketing

Take on Military Intelligence and Benefit from It

Article excerpt

'Honest politicians' and 'military intelligence' are often given as waggish examples of the oxymoron - "a figure of speech with pointed conjunction of apparent contradictions" as my dictionary calls it.

The contortions of our 'ethical' government reconfirm the validity of the first regularly, but the second is rather unjust. No doubt there are many stupid soldiers, but no more, I suppose, than in any other profession; and it certainly takes acumen to win battles. What is more, I have usually found military people distinctly more able than most civilians.

For instance, about 17 years ago a clean-cut ex-Guards officer called Jimmy Meade offered to work for our agency free for six months. He had time to spare before going to business school, after which he planned to start a direct marketing firm. We accepted gladly - not just because as good direct marketers we believed in free offers, but because we started up with no money, no clients and no bank facility. However, we felt embarrassed enough to pay him a few quid to start with, and more as we learned his value.

After business school he started selling the sort of shirts toffs like him bought, but at much lower prices, direct to the public. So he had already discovered two important elements of a good business. First, find something overpriced; second, find a less expensive distribution channel. The third thing that helps is to get some really good people to do your ads and mailings. So he got two of our best creatives to do his work - the youthful Chris Jones and the loveable veteran Kate de Toptani. …

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