Richard Hill [richardhill]
What did you study and why did you choose to study that field?
Marketing. Because it's real economics - i.e. it includes people's irrational behaviours, wheras economists make assumptions. Look where that keeps getting the world economy every now and again!
How is the Interent changing the way you work?
Less travel - thank goodness.
What is the most important thing you have learned from experience?
It makes life easier. Seen it, done it allows faster rule of thumb decisions and makes them more likely to be correct.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.
What is your specialty in the interactive world?
Internet marketing. What's the point of having a business site if it doesn't bring you business? That's like locking your salesmen in a cupboard.
Where can we see some of your work online?
See the ECRM site - there are a number of client sites listed at http://www.e-crm.co.uk/about-you/some-clients.html
What kind of projects do you usually undertake?
At RaDiSH - http://www.radish.eu/ - it's a whole range with a whole range of companies. At ECRM - http://www.e-crm.co.uk/ - and at Innovecom - http://www.innovecom.com- we tend to work with SME companies on everything from simple sites through to ecommerce sites integrated with their systems. At innovantage- http://www.innovantage.co.uk/ - it's recruitment industry companies and corporates.
What is your professional background? What did you do before?
Started in telemarketing when PCs had not been invented and have spent all my working life in some form of marketing & direct marketing - and that's all the web is a glorified direct marketing tool. A very nice one too!
With which technologies do you normally work?
What is the secret to keeping customer expectations under control in interactive development?
Tell the truth.
How did the entrepreneurial spirit rise up in you? Were you exposed to entrepreneurship in your family or your social environment when you were a child?
After the MBO at CGA. Should have done it earlier. My father was not entrepreneurial but my step father was totally so. Left me a little mixed up!
What skills would you advise a want-to-be-entrepreneur to acquire?
A real understanding of cash flow.
Please list web addresses where one can see something about you.
A marketing strategy begins with an idea. How are yours born?
A marketing strategy begins with understanding the market which means the customers. That might lead to an idea, but just having an idea does not a marketing strategy make.
What is a better way to communicate your product: emotional or rational?
Both. To make marketing and branding work you must tell a story that your customer wants to hear and can relate to, that can be encapsulated rationally and emotionally in a message that tells your story simply and quickly and that is then supported by the experience of the consumer.
What's your answer to the typical question: does marketing create nonexistent needs?
It can't. By definition a need is something that is required. It may create a want, but that's different.
Are we heading towards more individualised marketing and advertising?
Yes, but people will always want to be 'part of the crowd' too so how individualised it will become is moot.
A few years ago, it was said that online sales would end up killing traditional store sales, but that has not been the case: how can you explain this?
People like social activities. They always will. However it's likely that over time they may just have a regular order of commodities online.
How do you evaluate the potential of social networks for marketing on-line? Do you really think there is a new 2.0 marketing paradigm?
No. Like most things it's a rehash of what's gone before + a dash of technology.
What business are you in and what is your position? Are you an owner or an executive?
I worked for corporates for 25 years. Now I enjoy working in the 3 small businesses in which I have shares.
Can you provide a link to a site where we can get to know more about you or your business.
Try this: http://www.radish.eu/profile.html
How do you attract and retain the best talent?
I'm not a great believer in 'top talent'. I believe business is about people and teamwork and if you can get get ordinary people to do extraordinary things then you really fly. 'Top talent' tends to "want more money" and "move on".
What techniques do you use to obtain customer loyalty?
Be nice, be honest, offer good value.
Do you have a well defined future plan, or is it in your head rather than on paper?
You must have a plan. You must also realise it's a guide and it really won't turn out like that. So, wavy lines not straight ones - that's the way it works.
How do you make use of the Internet? Have you already tried all the possibilities that the Net can offer you?
That really is impossible. However we keep on learning.
What opinion do you have of the tax system your business operates under?
The whole tax system should be simplified back to basics so even a child can understand it. That way the tax take would likely be more; people would understand it and likely be more honest and "advisers" would have to get a 'real' job.
Give us a simple prescription for happiness
Live for today within simple philosophical boundaries.
What is your sport, and what level of commitment do you have to it?
I used, before my back and knees gave out to run - the freedom was fun. Rugby and riding also made me very happy in different ways. As to commitment, it's sport, not a profession, so just enjoy it!
Is it a good thing to have a certain amount of rivalry among members of a team?
Yes, as long as it's within the context of fun. If it becomes 'serious' then problems start.
Have you have suffered any serious injuries? How is morale maintained during recovery?
Sport lead to me having to have my back operated on - three months just to get walking properly again. You just have to see the future you want. Now my osteo arthritis in my knees and neck and etc. prevents me from taking part but the fun of what I have done and enjoyed is compensation enough.
When did you start cooking? Who got you started in this art?
My Mum. When I was about 7 she said: "You know where the toaster is". It lead to me working out cooking was fun.
How would you define your style?
Gutsy. The first duty of food is to taste good.
Do you select and buy the ingredients yourself? Where?
Local suppliers including butchers, fishmonger and cheese. Supermarkets for the basics. Real food from people who know.
If any chef in the world could prepare a meal for you, who would it be?
What hobbies have you got?
Now mainly sdentary ones like cooking and reading. Before my back and knees went I loved sport - running, riding, rugby, tennis, squash.
A simple pleasure that for you is quite big or important.
A glass of excellent wine.
Are you an ex-smoker? How did you quit?
Yes. Just stopped.
Something in which you are completely incompetent.
A word or expression that you love.
Eadem mutata resurgo.
A word or expression that you detest.
How do you define your political position? What is the ideology that inspires it?
Ideology - ugh. Sounds so old testament. I believe in what works and, of course, in a democracy everyone has a different view about what that is. Having said that it seems to me that the 'basics' tend to get the job done. However, 'man' is a 'complicating animal' and so, as a group, tends to go too far in one direction and then to compensate too far in another. All to frequently 'do nothing more' might be a better idea.
Should parties that want to eliminate democracy be allowed to participate in democratic elections?
Er ... yes!
What political figures in recent history do you admire most?
Aung San Suu Kyi - http://www.burmacampaign.org.uk/index.php/burma/about-burma/about-burma/a-biography-of-aung-san-suu-kyi
Does a state have the right to attack or intervene in another country that has not attacked said state, if the country has committed grave injustices or crimes against humanity?
Complicated. Don't most of us want North Korea, Burma or Zimbabwe to be better governed than they are and the people there freed form the oppressive regimes? But then who determines grave injustices and on what basis? I guess there is no simple answer.
Why did the economies of communist countries fail?
You cannot direct people like they tried to. We like the freedom to trade, it's just a part of our nature. Look at kids who swap things or barter - we just like the challenge of it.
Are there too many taxes?
Should a maximum limit of permissible personal fortune exist; and thereby, place limits on individual wealth?
No. However those fortunate enough to amass great wealth really should think very carefully about how best to use it. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet seem to have the right sort of ideas about this.
What things would definitely stand in the way of any possibility of starting a relationship with someone?
What are the keys to a lasting relationship?
Liking each other. Giving each other space. Knowing you have to 'work at it' if you want it.
Do you love or hate to go to stores? Why?
Food & wine stores I love. The rest are a bore.