Science fiction or breakthroughs that will change our world

There is a huge amount of time, effort and money being poured into the next generation of scientific breakthroughs and quite often the sci-fi writers’ imagination is going to be the reality of the future.

I’ve written about 3D printing in the past, predicting its rise in 2014, and it has started to revolutionise medicine with the creation of replacement jaws, hips, backbones, skulls and in the next decade; hearts. It has also been used to create low cost housing in a very short time, suitable for a growing population and disaster zones.


With a population that is predicted to hit 10 billion by 2050, it will be imperative that technology and science help us manage the future of our planet, and to this end Super Photosynthesis will help to increase crop yields and help feed the world. Synthetic foods will also help, with laboratory grown beef being created from stem cells (20,000 thin strands of muscle tissue being used to create a synthetic burger), and this mass food production is predicted to be possible within a decade with positive environmental consequences.

synethetic burger

With energy being at a premium, with less fossil fuels being used, there have been some leaps and bounds in terms of artificial energy. Lasers being fired at frozen hydrogen atoms to create mini stars through nuclear fusion, creating more energy than that being used to make them.

mini stars

With medical science innovations and breakthroughs happening all the time, here are some of the most interesting; cybernetic immortality – human consciousness, personality and intelligence into robots, telepathy – brain-to-brain communication, gene editing – modifying human embryos to correct genetic diseases, suspended animation – used in surgery to stop the body functioning normally to allow more effective surgical techniques, as well as artificial lifeforms – building bacterial genomes to improve medicine.


The military is always looking for more effective ways in which the soldier on the ground can be better at their jobs; with the advent of exoskeleton suits, which may be bullet-proof, but also help paraplegics walk again and help clear up disaster zones.



Although scientists are continually making breakthroughs, it often takes longer than predicted to see them in reality; some may fail but undoubtedly some will come to fruition and change the way the human species evolves and exists in the near future.

Mark Cadbury

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Emotional versus Rational

I’m sure you’re all aware that decisions that we make on a daily basis are emotional or non-conscious.iceberg-decisions

However, the science behind that is indisputable, our nervous system reacts faster that our logical decision-making capability.

Non-conscious decisions are complex, fast and constant, they rule our lives and are effectively the most accurate definition of who we are, therefore no decisions are made without an emotional response. When conducting research, you really shouldn’t ask “why did you decide that?”, as our conscious brains take over and make up and justify the decision, rather than what is naturally occurring – the non-conscious decision. How about asking “what’s important to you?” You’ll get more insight from that.

Our first impressions take milliseconds, and a visual pop-out is actually more important to our reaction – for example a large image placed centrally on a website has the best response. Equally being more human solicits a better response, use of colour and greater proximity to an image create a more emotional response.

When writing websites, interesting content, marketing material and so on, remember that people react in different ways to different sensory language, some may prefer writing that is written about feelings, others may prefer a more visual style – using words such as see and look. So write for all, not just the way you like writing.

Other elements that work on an emotional level are:

  • Social proof increases spend
  • Extra is more valued that discount
  • Fear of loss is more motivational than opportunity to gain
  • Pleasure now, pain later

Needs and benefits equate to rational behaviour, the emotional is often the irrational, but connects to us.


P.S. A debt to LAB for the ideas

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4 good reasons for a strapline and a quiz

Straplines have been a part of brand culture for many years and are important for a number of reasons:

  • They are an effective way of raising brand recognition and enhancing the values associated with a brand
  • They reinforce a brand identity and enhance customer engagement
  • The importance of choosing the right strapline to fit with a brand and for the right reasons cannot be underestimated
  • Promises made by a strapline need to be delivered upon by the brand itself


Here are some straplines that you may remember, answers below:


  1. ‘To our members we’re the fourth emergency service’
  2. ‘We’re number two. We try harder’
  3. ‘The Best 4 x 4 x Far’
  4. ‘We’re getting there’ (to some ridicule)
  5. ‘Live today. Tomorrow will cost more’

Food and Drink:

  1. ‘A glass and a half in every half pound’
  2. ‘Good things come to those that wait’
  3. ‘Finger-lickin’ good’
  4. ‘Reassuringly expensive’
  5. ‘Any time, any place, any where’


  1. ‘It’s good to talk’
  2. ‘Liquid engineering’
  3. ‘Solutions for a small planet’
  4. ‘Don’t be evil’
  5. ‘Where do you want to go today?’


  1. ‘Don’t leave home without it’
  2. ‘If it feels good then just do it’
  3. ‘Eight out of ten cats prefer it’
  4. ‘Hello boys’
  5. ‘Free enterprise with every copy’

The best ones are simple to communicate, distinctive, easy to remember, truthful and aspirational.



Transport: 1. AA. 2. Avis. 3. Land Rover. 4. British Rail. 5. Pan Am
Food & Drink: 1. Cadbury’s. 2. Guinness. 3. KFC. 4. Martini. 5. Stella Artois
Technology: 1. BT. 2. Castrol. 3. IBM. 4. Google. 5. Microsoft
Other: 1. Amex. 2. Nike (the original). 3. Whiskas. 4. Wonderbra. 5. The Economist






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5 marketing predictions for 2017

Here are five digital marketing predictions for 2017:

  1. Cognitive insight  from unstructured data such as images, natural language and video will be correlated and analysed to reveal unique insights into a customer’s emotions, attitude and tone. This can then be used to create singular yet cohesive moments throughout the customer journey that will be tailored to each person’s needs, beyond any single product or service.
  2. There will be a rise of private customer communities, essentially these are your advocates and influencers, a limited number of people who will get a differentiated elite experience from smart organisations. It’s about selective customer intimacy – creating more revenue from fewer, better
  3.  Listen, respond and personalise – ensure you provide content, services and offers that are specific to your customer needs, leading to greater loyalty, better retention and more revenue.
  4. Digital transformation programmes will need to provide hard, fast and quantifiable answers to measure the business impact of digital strategies.
  5. Combining augmented and virtual reality with big data will enable you yo deliver highly customised, multi-dimensional experiences.

There is a constant evolution in marketing, however the fundamentals of good insight, robust strategy and a willingness to learn are all part of marketing.

Have a great 2017.


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Five interesting technologies that could change our world


Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) – are simulated brains that are driven by computers. They’re getting bigger and more sophisticated every year. Currently ANNs optimise logistics, detect online fraud and recognise Facebook photos, but soon they will be able to power self-drive cars, next generation drones and the smartest virtual assistants.


CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) – has been around for a few years and is a tool that enables scientists to edit or even replace gene sequences. It has been used to genetically modify crops, eradicate viruses, screening for cancer genes and genome engineering. It’s controversial as it’s beginning to be studied for use on human embryos, potentially eradicating hereditary diseases such as cystic fibrosis, sickle-cell anaemia and Huntington’s disease. On the other hand is designer babies.


Indoor farms. I’ve written about the world’s demographics before, with 75% of the population living in cities by 2050. Along with a raft of ideas, there’s a new one – indoor farms. They don’t require pesticides nor herbicides, they can be grown where they’re needed and more efficiently with greater yields and lower growth times. In Japan, an indoor farm produces 30,000 lettuces per day, every day of the year.


Reusable rockets. Blue Origin (funded by Jeff Bezos) and SpaceX (Elon Musk) have managed to finally land rockets back on Earth. This means the cost of getting stuff into space will get lower, leading to more satellites, better telecommunications, more accurate weather predictions and so on. The ability to get to and from space will have a huge impact in the future.


Blockchain – is a decentralised, widely distributed database that has been used for Bitcoin transactions and could be used for distributed cloud storage, self-executing contracts, alternatives to patent systems and in the future to collect taxes (as an example only 3% of Indians pay any tax).

For marketers, all of these technologies will change the way people work, live and play, and we will need to understand the potential accelerated technological growth curve in order to communicate the advantages of these technologies.


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Getting older

I had my birthday just the other day, and inevitably one thinks about one’s age. Children are growing up and one is getting older.

But does getting older mean getting worse?

As a global population we’re getting older, with 800 million over 60 and more than 300,000 over a hundred years old.

But older people are becoming wiser, have a greater experience and understanding of the world, while also being happier and having better sex!

Apparently immune systems have a memory and can react more rapidly to bacterial and viral infections, with evidence that older people survived such events as the flu pandemic of 1918 and the swine flu outbreak in 2009, than younger generations.

Older people have better vocabularies, verbal memories, problem solving abilities and spatial orientation and there’s an accumulation of certain types of knowledge known as crystallised intelligence.

Also studies have concluded that older people are getting greater sexual satisfaction when they’re over 60 compared to when they were in their 40s, and it’s usually about confidence in expressing themselves.

Image result for getting older is better

So, always the optimist – older is better.


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Is it better to say something, than nothing?

In the world of marketing, it’s really a case of less is more.

Recently I worked for Nuffield Health and bless them they tried hard, with the right attitude. However, some of their recent advertising was hard to read, had multiple fonts and font sizes and different messages. In that instance, saying one thing in a strong way was probably the best way to go.

But, there are circumstances where it’s better to say something. My best friend is suffering with throat cancer and writes his irreverent blog here –

I have spent time with him, often simply there to support, although I’m afraid that I’m not really very good at confronting his issue.

He has said that he hasn’t heard from some old friends, but others have made a real effort to see him or contact him.

The truth is, in this situation, it’s better to say something rather than nothing – always! What matters is that people acknowledge what’s happening and demonstrate a willingness to support him.

One way it to write a letter, it can be re-read, savoured and enjoyed (tell him your latest news) and has no need of a reply, but is an opportunity to express your support and love.

Go on, do it.





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