Policies – Just don’t drop the ball!

We live and work in an age where the freedoms you may have once had in building your business have become increasingly tied to regulations and legislation and they permeate every discipline. Most are robust and are designed to leave no room for manoeuvre, whilst others may allow a difference of interpretation that doesn’t immediately lead to a financial penalty. Either the difficulty you have is that the policies you produce on the back of these should be clear and unambiguous and act to position the relationships with your stakeholders, be they customers or employees. Yet despite this (obvious) understanding, mistakes seem to be made from the very largest of organisations to the very smallest. A few months ago, the … Read More >

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“Experts built the Titanic didn’t they?”

Astronomer or Astronaut - who has the most experience in space

Over the last twenty-four months there’s been a lot of dialogue and feverish activity in some quarters surrounding the introduction of the new European data protection regulations (known as GDPR), the aim of which is the safeguarding of personal data in a business context. During this time, I’ve come across a variety of business responses that follow several marketing models, from those who rapidly adopt anything and everything that’s new to support their business positioning, through to those who significantly lag behind. I’ve spoken with a Chairman who believes it’ll be nothing more than a damp squib, likening it to Y2K, other large operators that ignored it until the last two months prior to introduction, some who have copied Privacy … Read More >

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The Transition to a Truly Sustainable Business

Businesses are constantly coming under increasing pressure that continues to challenge their very existence, so it’s easy to appreciate that issues which arise during the course of any given working day will invariably outweigh the opportunities of tomorrow. Pressures that come from regulation, local government controls, competition, consumers, lobbying groups and even a firm’s own employees, make running a business today a highly complex activity. These pressures combine to apply further pressure on the goods and services offered and the prices charged. But businesses that have the capacity to place themselves at the centre of their environmental and societal obligations, can use this aspect to manage the impact of their activities and ultimately drive cost benefits to the bottom line … Read More >

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To Charge or Not to Charge?

20th century social thinker & philanthropist

We live and work in an age where competition for market space has never been greater, so whether you’re selling coffee or cars it’s inevitable that most businesses feel compelled to provide schemes such as, ‘try before you buy’, ‘buy now pay later’ and ‘interest free’ offers. These schemes may be particularly relevant if you are trying to leverage your product amongst a wider group of consumers (such as those mentioned), but I’ve begun to notice that these initiatives are becoming more prevalent in the area of consulting too, and not just amongst the new entrants desperate for a piece of the sector. I accept that any business regardless of size may want to do adopt a range of initiatives … Read More >

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The Research That’s Generally Overlooked by B2B SME’s (your competitor’s customers)

Ask most consumers to tell you what they know about market research and they’ll invariably recall one of the many questionnaires they’ve received into their email account or smart phone after a recent shopping experience. Ask the same of the SME business-to-business environment and we often see an identical response, that of a business owner who cites a personal consumer experience. So why would a business owner not reference a business example as his/her first thought, and what does this tell us? Here’s four learnt conclusions; – Members of the SME business community rely instead on turnover and profitability figures believing these to be the only valid indicator for current (& potential) success. SME businesses who have used off-the-shelf tools … Read More >

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‘Revving-up’ Customer Engagement in the Automotive Sector (Event)

Revving-up Customer Engagement

According to internationally acclaimed journal Automotive News, the automotive sector accounts for 20% of the World’s largest 100 advertising companies with an ad spend of approx. $47bn, and included seven automotive manufacturers within the World’s Top 25 advertisers in 2015. This resultant expenditure highlights just how much manufacturers needed to spend in order to compete for a share of the 88 million vehicles sold the following year (Source: PwC). Volkswagen spent $6.6bn and was the largest ad spender but they still failed to appear in the Top 10 automotive manufacturers on brand value after the emissions scandal hit the news in 2015. So, we can’t underestimate the importance of automotive marketing to the consumer which will be the subject of … Read More >

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GDPR ‘Traffic Lighting’ – A Business Differentiator for the Consent Process

  We spend the vast majority of our time supporting SME businesses who rely on us to provide them with recommendations, observations and thoughts on how to continue building their businesses and their brands. One of the most significant subjects has been the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and in particular the matter of consent. In January 2017, we ‘kicked’ this subject around for a good couple of months whilst we assessed (as best as we could at that time) how much needed to be done to remain compliant. It soon became clear that these firms could choose to follow hundreds if not thousands of other firms and do nothing (believing they were already compliant), or to take the … Read More >

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Attend as my guest – CIM event exploring Artificial Intelligence

A Farmer and his new way of working

No one can have failed to notice the sheer number of stories that seem to make their way onto the front pages almost every day. Personally, I love seeing technology evolve but from an ethical perspective I do wonder what this will do to the job market and perhaps more importantly, what it’ll do with our own sanity if the human race isn’t kept busy. Are we simply going to re-train people (assuming there’s work for them to re-train in of course), or are most of us going to become shareholders in businesses and generate our livelihoods from the profits these firms generate? I’m wondering more than ever now because in the last few weeks’ I’ve been surprised about the … Read More >

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Marketer vs Marketing Leader!

We’ve been in a situation in marketing for a long time now where most people’s understanding of marketing is at the most basic level, so basic in fact that thousands upon thousands of firms who recruit ‘marketers’ tend to do so to fulfil a simple communications exercise with external stakeholders. Consequently marketing is seen as being a task that truly anyone in an organisation can fulfil and consequently they prefer to leave it to others. However, professional marketing is for me one of the single most important tasks within any organisation and it’s only right to explore why I believe this to be the case. According to “The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader” by Thomas Barta and Patrick Barwise, … Read More >

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Insider advice for promoting a new event

The Genesis Cup logo

Much like the conductor of an orchestra, you have to juggle lots of elements to ensure that come the date of the event, everything is in place. There are lots of individual component parts that require a lot of thought, time and money. Obviously an event isn’t an event without attendees so the events timing becomes an important consideration. Choose a date too soon and the people/companies invited are likely to have existing commitments, select a date too far away and you could fail to generate interest at the outset. So you’ll need to make allowances so that your own marketing will have a sustained effect. Today’s marketing environment has numerous channels for generating interest in your event. Social media … Read More >

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