My Skills, Experiences and Values
I hold a degree in Marketing from Lancaster University, consistently ranked as one of the leading Higher Education establishments in the country, whose Management School is one of the most prestigious in the world.
While experience within a specific industry is always helpful, the reason a good qualification matters is that it imbues the skills to understand the differing forces affecting any given marketplace. My degree shouldn’t just be a means to tick a box to progress to further consideration; it’s my toolkit to gain clarity and effect improvement in any sector and in any circumstance.
I’ve been doing this for years
Since graduation, I’ve progressed from being an an Assistant, an Executive, a Manager, a Head of department, a Director and a Consultant. In that time, I’ve devised and implemented countless campaigns, with increasing scale and complexity. Inevitably, this has required a keen and evolving ability to measure ROI, evaluate opportunity cost, consider return of effort and much more besides.
Any well-executed campaign demands a deep understanding of planning, scalability, KPIs, USPs, the adherence to a multitude of deadlines, internal marketing, stakeholder negotiation, competitor analyses, strategic reviews, whatever the sector, whatever the brief.
As a Committee appointee and, more recently, as a Consultant, I’ve gained an insight into a far wider world of marketing requirement than ‘merely’ retail, online or even B2C. We may all inhabit different parts of the marketing ecosystem but my experiences have shown that the fundamentals of the discipline remain the same everywhere.
Most people underestimate data. I understand it
I’ve consistently found that the answers that most organisations are looking for can be found within their own datasets – it just requires the right questions to be asked of it. Where reliable external data can be found, it can be allied with internal data to provide a formidable resource. Whether it’s the propensity of a household to require a client’s services or the expected market value of a proposed store’s catchment area, by drive time, I’ve been able to demonstrate time and again that the data a business holds can be a highly predictive resource to inform and develop marketing strategy
As current as this all sounds, it’s not really new. My early career was spent in the field of Direct Marketing, where more parameters could be known than ever before and a deep understanding of conversion data could be gained. As the world has become more digital, these techniques have become part of the mainstream marketing currency – requiring a clear understanding of the validity of the data at our disposal. Today’s marketing challenges can be just as much about the over-abundance of data as the lack of it.
I communicate to compel
Customer communication is where your brand should radiate the values it purports to hold dear. It should demonstrate your relevance and attempt move the reader further along the continuum from stranger to advocate. Whisper it quietly, but it should even be a means to incorporate the best aspects of good, old-fashioned salesmanship: “hey we think alike…and I think you’ll love this”.
I’ve often found that the main enemy of evaluating communications is the word “like”. Effective customer communication isn’t meant to be just aesthetically “likeable”, it’s there to do something more specific than that – at various points, to show knowledge, authority, empathy, to reinforce identity, to demonstrate respectability, to compel a course of action. Too often, marketers (and non-marketing stakeholders) sacrifice all of these important considerations at the altar of “liking” and attempting to be “liked”.
As parents, we often advise our children that “it’s more important to be respected than liked” but as brand owners, we frequently fail to uphold that distinction.
I manage situations and lead people
I’m an experienced manager with a proven record of building talented, high-performing teams, maintaining high standards and a strong, collaborative culture. I’ve been proud to collect industry awards on behalf of my Marketing & Design team (‘Best Mail Order Catalogue’) and also one of my retail store teams (‘Best Retail Store’, pictured).
I’ve also gained crisis management experience, as a result of a fire that destroyed a flagship store. I was part of a Senior Management Team that, for the next year or more, had to meet the challenges of re-orientating the business, re-defining and re-building the store and then re-opening it.
Some other things about me
- For over a year, I was designer, project-manager, tradesman’s apprentice and labourer, as we converted a barn into the house we live in today.
- I’ve travelled extensively, often independently, and driven in almost every country I’ve visited.
- I’ve briefly flown a plane and (not during the same flight) parachuted out of one.
- I’ve given a speech at The Royal Society and been introduced to HRH The Princess Royal.
- I’ve done a number of endurance events for various charitable causes, including ‘Tough Mudder’ and the Manchester to Blackpool bike ride.
- I was the surprise support act at my wife’s 40th birthday party.
If you’re intrigued, why not get in touch and we’ll see what we can do together? I’ve sat on your side of the desk and I know what your concerns will be. I know you’ll be worried about paying a fortune and expecting a whole load of fluffy “concept” without any hint of cold, hard facts to show you whether or not it was money well spent. You should be bothered about that – I always used to be.
I’m sure you’ll be surprised at how inexpensive and demonstrably effective a bit of resonation can be for you.
Let’s speak soon,
Mobile: 07387 108383