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News from Marketoonist: The best of 2020



We present to you the best cartoons from 2020 by Marketoonist | Tom Fishburne.

26.12.2020: Update on Corona: Crisis and Opportunity? Marketoonist paints a picture on Digital Transformation. One comment.

Marketoonist zur Digital Transformation

This article/image has been one of my highlights over the last 12 months. The picture shows so wonderfully the disruption by external influences. In this case – as everyone knows – absolutely not a nice influence. Nevertheless, some cemented ways of thinking have broken down.

Meanwhile, 8 months later, this article has lost nothing of its content and meaning for me. More than ever, it is important to see the changes that have begun as an opportunity.
As written in the article, I don’t want to gloss over the drama of the virus here, but beyond that, just a few positive thoughts to turn the year around.

In 2021, we should continue to develop the achievements through digital process optimizations AND putty the social fractures as quickly as possible. Winners from the last months should think about how they can support the losers.

Examples include.

“the first 100 boxes from the cardboard manufacturer are free” or the temporary engagement of a musician or artist as interim manager or cook in the canteen.

Parents with well-functioning WLAN invite children who do not yet have WLAN or do not have good WLAN at home. They may even lend these children a current (modern) device. After all, better-off households often have several devices available.

There are enough ideas. Just (continue to) do it.

From 14.04.2020: Corona promotes digital transformation and collaboration

t’s certainly a fine line caricaturists walk in times of Corona. Nevertheless, Tom Fishburne has, in my opinion, succeeded in achieving this balance with his latest drawing. Because Corona promotes digital transformation and collaboration.

The wrecking ball is on the verge of encountering resistant “digital transformation deniers”

Let us all fervently hope that the real virus is not as resistant as the “concrete heads” Tom draws in his cartoon. But let’s look – for all the health drama – at the whole thing through positive glasses.

What has been going on for 1-2 months in terms of digitalization – or as the Americans call it – digitization worldwide. Not only marketing is affected. Sales, service, technology, research and development, human resources and, and, and. No person, no department, no company, no institution has remained unaffected.

Whether it was the application forms for the state subsidy loans, software adaptations, the web conferences, chats, digitally set up approval processes, more focus on the state health service, distance learning in schools, laptop sales, WLAN equipment at home or in the cities, video consulting at insurance companies and banks, issuing prescriptions or cashless payments at the baker and butcher. Interim conclusion: Corona promotes digital transformation and collaboration.

I could certainly continue the list for pages. Every individual and every company, every industry or guild has discovered for itself what is possible. Everyone tried, improvised, adopted best practices from others, made mistakes, solved problems, listened to recommendations. It was tinkered with until everything worked. And in the end: everyone patted themselves on the back because ideas were pushed through, projects were finally implemented, old habits were cut off. Hesitators, procrastinators and obstructors were overrun virtually overnight.

And the best thing for me:

Nobody scolded me if something went wrong. Everyone had respect for each other’s performance. Silo thinking did not take place. And all this with one goal: to motivate your own employees and to bind your customers in the best possible way.

Finally a personal wish:

If we now maintain this friendly attitude, attitude and way of thinking with the “helping hand”, we will TOGETHER bring the currently hard-hit industries (e.g. catering or tourism) out of the crisis. We need them all! This is social market economy in the sense of the inventors of this term.

31.05.2020 News from the Marketoonist: The Dashboard Madness


Tom Fishburne fascinates me with almost every new cartoon. Today: The Dashboard Madness

We look at this dashboard madness from two sides:

Before each software presentation, we make bets on how long it will take the presenting person to say the word “dashboard”. It never takes longer than 5 minutes. The absolute record was 15 seconds. During the software presentation, we check the Buzzword Bingo ticket to see how often the word Dashboard is used. The current record holder is 24 times “Dashboard”.

Other side:  The user – especially the management.

The more KPIs, the larger the dashboard, the more confident you feel in your actions. Every KPI is an additional assurance not to make a mistake. You have everything under control. You might think so, some executives think.

On the other hand, we observe the phenomenon of decisionlessness. We prefer to justify decisions that have not been made by saying that “the one” indicator that helps to make the final decision is still missing.

And that’s how these dashboard monsters are created, which Tom has drawn here, which in the end are of no use.

Erwin Staudt, a former IBM manager and ex-president of VfB-Stuttgart, said more than 10 years ago at a lecture: I can manage my company with about 5 good key figures. Of the few key figures, 4 alone were key figures from the RFMR formula. It’s that easy to steer a company successfully.

According to the old motto: less is more. Drop unnecessary ballast again and again

18.05.2020: What does customer-centric culture – or customer-oriented culture – not mean?

Marketoonist customer-Centric Kundenorientierung

As always, Tom Fishburne sums it up with a smirk: What does Customer-Centric Culture or Customer Orientation mean, writes the Marketoonist.

He quotes here from a publication, “The CMO Council found a few years ago that only 14 percent of marketing executives would say that customer-centricity is a hallmark of their company, and only 11 percent believe their customers would agree with that characterization.”

That’s not – I think we all agree – the expectation of day-to-day work. But, if managers are already saying that as a self-assessment, then (present readers excluded ? ) that’s an important self-awareness after all. And, it still means a lot of potential upside. So, customers should be happy.

I am convinced that all companies basically have the tools and “what it takes”.

What does Customer-Centric Culture or customer orientation mean in practice?

It’s partly due to the factors identified in the Muuuh Group’s recent CRM study. And, this is my personal conviction, it is also due to the fact that companies are positioned “according to functions” and not “according to customer groups”.

Those who are still set up according to silos or are given goals, their employees do not act in the sense of the customer, but in the sense of the functional goals.

This juxtaposition or opposition prevents customer orientation. It is as simple as that.

Most processes never end at a departmental or divisional boundary. All projects that are important for the company are never limited to departmental boundaries. Therefore, it is a necessary prerequisite to think and act in an overarching manner if a company wants to be customer-oriented.

The company also needs other goals. Goals that are oriented towards the success of the process or the success of the customer. If you only manage and act in terms of departmental or divisional goals, you do not create a basis for comprehensive – in this case customer-oriented – action.

As long as these boundaries or barriers exist, a company cannot be customer-centric or customer-oriented. It’s as simple as that!

Picture source: Tom Fishburne, Marketoonist

17.03.2020: During the Corona crisis, virtual collaboration becomes a core competence. How does our marketoonist see this?

Virtuelle Zusammenarbeit und Kollaboration

Virtual collaboration during the crisis is a must

Virtual collaboration or collaboration is the buzzword of the hour. But how does it work? And does everyone know what it is exactly. Are there rules for telcos? Is it a must?

Marketoonist brings a sequence to thought again. It doesn’t always have to be a hoot. Sometimes it’s just the thought process.

What could be rules for efficient meetings:

  • distribute the agenda well in advance.
  • moderator and minute-taker are two persons
  • announcement at the beginning that there are a few rules to follow. FOR EXAMPLE…
  • let excuses,
  • speak clearly and slowly,
  • You don’t talk, you mute your mic…
  • keep your sentences as short as possible and keep it short.
  • give a signal to the others that you are finished or give the right to speak back to the moderator or address someone directly.
  • request the right to speak via the chat function
  • the moderator repeatedly summarizes what has been said, thereby giving the meeting a structure and setting a milestone.
  • if it is allowed or accepted, make a recording.
  • however, a maximum of 10 participants, 6 or 7 would be ideal.
  • headset with good microphone is a must
  • use a professional provider or a tested web conferencing tool
  • at the end, summarize the most important things again and distribute tasks including appointments.

Here are two more tips from Marketoonist:

As soon as one or two attendees ‘dial in’ to any meeting, productivity starts to suffer …  Attendees often interpret virtual meetings as a license to multi-task. Meeting organizers tend to be less careful with the purpose and design of the conversation. And it’s not uncommon for one or two attendees to dominate the discussion while others sit back and ‘tune out.’”

Bad meeting habits are amplified by going virtual. So this is a good time to rethink how we hold meetings, starting with when to have meetings, who really needs to be there, the purpose of the meeting, and how to actual facilitate the meeting.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the meeting culture at DBS Bank they call MOJO. Every meeting has a MO and a JO. As they put it:

“The MO is the meeting owner, who’s responsible for ensuring that the meeting has a clear agenda, that it starts and ends on time, and that all attendees are given an equal say. The JO – or joyful observer – is assigned to help the meeting run crisply and to encourage broad participation.”

Here is a nice addition to the  1. Meeting-Cartoon2. Meeting-Cartoon  or his following speech.

09.0.2020: What does marketoonist Tom Fishburne have to say about content marketing?

What does marketoonist Tom Fishburne have to say about content marketing?

Marketoonist Tom Fishburne has been making a cartoon almost every week for many years, which I almost always forward, retweet etc. For once I discovered a video of his lecture in which Tom Fishburne the marketoonist talks about content marketing.

In this respect the viewer will rediscover one or the other cartoon. And within a lecture his cartoons become even sharper and more precise.

So have fun and pay attention. A grain of truth (or two) are always there)

Oh, if you want to see one or the other cartoon by Tom Fishburne, you will find a selection here or all his collected works, including a good explanation of each of his cartoons.

If you liked the video, we recommend this TED video.

And don’t look in the mirror, you might see a face that was just pulled through the cocoa in the cartoon. ?

His credo: bringing humor to business with cartoons

“Tom Fishburne started drawing cartoons on the backs of business cases as a Harvard Business School student. From an emailed cartoon to coworkers in 2002, Tom’s Marketoonist series has grown by word of mouth to reach several hundred thousand readers every week and his cartoons have been featured by the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and The New York Times. His cartoons have twice appeared on billboard ads in Times Square and once helped win a Guinness World Record.” Quote from his Website


Here are more articles, which are on the portal with graphical support from Tom:

Note: This is a machine translation. It is neither 100% complete nor 100% correct. We can therefore not guarantee the result.


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