Senior Marketers make great Non-Executive Directors – Pt2 Strategy

Following on from last month’s blog where I spoke about the Governance skills already embodied within senior marketers, I wanted to follow this on with another of the four skills a Non-Executive Director should understand and be able to encouragingly influence amongst the executive team, this month is ‘Strategy’ (and its progression).  The term was used by the military for controlling and directing operations and movements in a war or battle in order to accomplish a long-term overall aim. As such, business also has numerous ‘battles’ to overcome at both the micro and macro levels before accomplishing its next objective. Unfortunately though there are many pitfalls that can arise en-route, namely from: staff appreciation, acceptance and adoption of new strategies, … Read More >

The Art of Pricing (Premium pricing decisions that can develop a brand)

Think that there’s just three options available for pricing our goods, and services, a low-range, a medium-range or a high (premium) price and that’s all there is to it? Wrong. There is a real focus, almost single-minded determination required when it comes to the pricing of products and services, because without it you’ll struggle to have a sustainable business over the long-term. Here at GDM, we mostly work with manufacturers and retailers, and although their customer groups vary, both groups operate in highly competitive environments despite being in some lucrative niche markets. So, with so much competition, how do they steer a path that means they’re not willing to compromise on their long-term success? Well the simple answer to that … Read More >

Detailed market intelligence reports come as standard!

There’s a saying that, ‘nothing in life is free (if it has value)’. Of course, there is one obvious exception that we humans value every day which is the very air that we breathe. Sure, put us on a rocket to Mars and it’s feasible some large corporation might want to charge for it when we arrive to cover the cost of our ticket, but right now air is definitely and thankfully free. So, with that in mind I wanted to see if there was anywhere else I could apply this theory, that, ‘nothing in life is free (if it has value), and disappointingly I couldn’t think of another example, so by all means let me know if you can. … Read More >

Corporate statements and the need to balance traditional marketing thinking

In order to be a professional and strategic marketer one of the things you need to constantly assess is the world around you; you have to remain relevant to your target audience, re-adjusting and blending what you know to be true with the latest pieces of information that you choose to believe; you also need to have the conviction of your thoughts and be prepared to act upon them for the benefit of the company. Doing so demonstrates to the organisations that pay your fees, not only your commitment to your beliefs but also that you can remain ‘progressive’ and relevant.  There are several marketers I enjoy hearing the opinions of: Professors Malcolm McDonald and Jonathan Deacon are two, Thomas … Read More >

As a retailer, can you afford not to invest in marketing technology?

Consumers with money to spend

According to Forbes, ‘The World’s Top 20 brands show that tech firms are on the rise and traditional businesses are having a hard time’ https://www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/list/#tab:rank. If you are a retail business, either traditional bricks and mortar store, or one that only sells in the digital space, you’ll invariably be using social media and email to tempt consumers to spend again. You’ll probably be asking them for product reviews and social ‘likes’ whilst simultaneously struggling to cope with a deep understanding of the data you ultimately possess? You may not yet have identified it, but your exhaustive efforts and long days/weeks are beginning to look remarkably like the last one. If that sounds like you, don’t be surprised, judging by the … Read More >

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 >

“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 >

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 >

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 >

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 >