A note to all aspiring young marketers

  If you’re an aspiring young marketer, I really hope there’s something you can learn from this blog that helps you propel your career. I’m a big advocate of having goals, things that make me strive towards something, to give me direction and a purpose in life. Not everyone thinks like this and that’s fine, but if you’re looking for direction in marketing, I’d say the Chartered Institute of Marketing is a valuable partner and ally and well worth the price of membership. Prior to 2003, I was employed as Sales & Marketing Director in a modestly sized private business that employed around 30 people. I was paid well and enjoyed the variation in my work but felt that the … Read More >

Too little (Business & Marketing) planning, will lose your business tomorrow

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world, I thought it would be useful to share this blog post from 2017 that more important today than ever… I’m fairly sure I work hard to develop and safeguard my business, my children tell me this regularly – my wife has given up telling me. But this blog isn’t about how I work because I really don’t see it as ‘work’ as I get paid to do something I really enjoy, helping other business owners to see their businesses in a different way (cliché I know, but true). What I wanted to do in this blog was to show how others can benefit the same way. You see it’s not just … Read More >

Steering a course through COVID-19

As we navigate through the global COVID-19 pandemic we all share a thought for all those workers that continue to help us and keep society functioning. This turned my attention to all those in the healthcare profession, council workers, food retailers, couriers, postal workers and those in the Merchant Navy who bring essential goods to our shores from around the world. It reminded me of the late 1970’s when I served in the Merchant Navy initially joining Tate & Lyle’s small fleet of six vessels where I  joined the largest and newest of two sister ships, a 30,000-tonne bulk carrier called MV Sugar Carrier (yes, that’s me in the photo). During my early career at sea I took my ‘Steering Certificate’, a process … Read More >

The Key to Growth is Understanding your P&L Summary – Part 4 Finance

If you’ve read my three previous blogs on how to perform well as a Non-Executive Director, then you’ll have already started to build a good picture of the type of person that’s required for such a role. Exemplary skills in Governance, Strategy and Leadership are all essential attributes none of which can escape the need for a clear understanding of the financial position of the client company. Having worked with small to medium sized businesses for my entire career, I invariably see the senior management teams focus on the day-to-day needs of the business and its customers. All too often the Profit & Loss (P&L) is something they might have initially looked at once a year when they sit with … Read More >

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 >