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Run with Foxes

Make Better Marketing Decisions

By Paul Dervan

Paperback £14.99 / $19.99
eBook £11.49 / $14.99
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Run with Foxes

Make Better Marketing Decisions

By Paul Dervan

Jacket text

Paul Dervan has spent 20 years in marketing, working for high-profile brands, creating new ones and helping to rescue those that have got in trouble. He was also given the unique opportunity to build a marketing lab where he undertook hundreds of experiments to see what really worked – and what didn’t.

He’s been up close with some of the world’s finest marketers, and seen both successes and failures – sometimes on a colossal scale.

Run With Foxes is a blistering, must-read collection of real-life stories from this fascinating world, revealing the messy reality of decision-making in marketing and the secrets of making better decisions.

The fact is, most marketing lessons that get shared come from successful campaigns; marketers are too afraid to be honest about mistakes. But everyone makes mistakes in marketing: and there are hugely valuable and unique lessons to be learned from taking a closer look at failures big and small.

Breaking open marketing triumphs and disasters with brutal honesty, as well as sharing exclusive first-hand interviews with some of the world’s most respected marketers, this is the ultimate insider’s guide to being a better marketer.

About the author

Paul Dervan currently consults with marketing teams on their decision-making. Previously he was the Global Brand Director at Indeed, the world’s largest and fastest growing job site, with over 200 million visitors every month. There, he was tasked with growing the brand in multiple markets, managing a global team of 80 people, and was responsible for investment of hundreds of millions of advertising dollars. He also started a Marketing Campaign Lab, where he created and tested hundreds of marketing experiments in America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Before that, Paul was with PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker brand, as Creative Director for their Full Tilt brand. He was responsible for repositioning and relaunching the brand as part of their brand portfolio, targeting new mobile audiences.

Prior to this Paul worked for Telefonica, in various roles. He was Brand Director in their Digital Unit in London, focusing on launching youth brands in Ireland and Latin America. He was Head of Brand for O2 in Ireland during the brand’s most successful period, becoming market leader of postpaid segments, with 35% market share.


Chief marketing officers must avoid cultivating departments where the primary objective is not to screw up. We need to cultivate cultures where things might not work, where that s OK. Not the patronising pat on the back of failure as a learning opportunity. Failing is terrible. It really sucks. Paul doesn t promise any easy answers but his book will remind you that we are in the thinking business and any way you can challenge your own critical thinking is a good thing.

Jonnie Cahill, CMO, Heineken USA

Run With Foxes is a treasure trove of confessions of an experienced marketer, who is prepared to share his mistakes so that all may learn from them. It is practical, understanding advice from an insider, not an outsider s lecture on how we could all be less dumb. Nor is it a bragging tale of how he kicked ass in marketing. Paul acknowledges the real-world pressures and inputs that sometimes make us take poor decisions, but that we can t simply ignore. Helpful and comforting in equal measure.

Peter Field, author of The Long and Short of It

Media coverage

From :

I bought and read the book because Paul wrote it. But I’ll re-read, reference and recommend it because it’s a brilliantly concise marketing communications playbook.

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From Branding Strategy Insider:

As is often the case in marketing, there is no one approach that is always the better option. As Mark Twain said, “All generalizations are false, including this one.” It is too easy to find cultural and market differences. We will always find them if we want to. A starting point for teams might be… Read more »

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About the Author

1. I didn't wear a seat belt
2. We are hedgehogs
3. A hedgehog that believes in being a fox
4. The first thing I'd do
5. Differentiate, or die trying
6. Serial killer
7. “Only a desperate, insecure idiot would buy a Vespa these days.” (I own two)
8. I'm breaking up with Tesco
9. Loyal. Just not faithful
10. I'm just not going to buy six large coffees a day
11. Good enough
12. Firstly, Paul, that's not even legal
13. When we needed less efficiency
14. Thieves
15. The surest way to lose your budget
16. Brand marketers have a brand problem
17. So brand campaigns sell. Who knew, eh?
18. We need to eat today
19. A rather unfortunate truth
20. What we carry in our heads
21. What is brand salience, anyway?
22. Not just the pipes
23. My narrative fallacy
24. Perhaps we do buy from clowns
25. Spectacularly untargeted
26. I wish my son had cancer
27. Swing for the fences occasionally
28. There was fear in the room
29. So we made a TV ad in Japanese, for Ireland
30. We need to talk about monkeys
31. Paul, you know that's not a test, right?
32. Must we grab their attention?
33. Sciency marketing
34. Teenagers don't talk on the phone. They text. Right?
35. My hunch was wrong. Damn
36. No wins this quarter. Again
37. Bake failure into the process
38. All generalisations are false. Including this one
39. The first draft of anything is shit
40. Seek out people who don't like your work
41. They are not rules
42. The memory-making business
43. I've killed a hell of a lot of people to get to this point

Published: 07/04/2020
Edition: 1st
Pages: 188
Formats: paperback - ISBN 9780857197726
ebook - ISBN 9780857197733
audio - ISBN 0000000000033
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