'Oh My God! A split-infinitive!'

I had an interesting encounter in the supermarket last night whilst attempting to wrest an unwieldy carton of soya milk from a very slippery shelf.  I bumped into a financial advisor that I had met previously at a number of networking events.  Believe it or not, we started talking about the pitfalls and the profits associated with social networking.  Now this is a subject that has been on my mind for many a month and such is the depth of my passions …

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"Interested? No? Fair enough. Bye."

One of the requirements of maintaining the status of a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing is that I undergo many hours of continuous professional development each year.  As one of life’s willing students, it’s no big deal for me and because I am on a continual learning curve, I can never delude myself into thinking that I have all the answers in the marketing universe.

I enjoy learning in many ways, none more so than on a Sunday morning when I play …

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'But it was a great idea - no way could I lose'

Today’s blog post is a warning to any small business owner in too much of a hurry to sit down and analyse whether individual marketing activities really have brought home the bacon.

Are you sitting comfortably?  Let me begin.

Last week I had my regular monthly meeting with a business that I’ve been working with for several years.  The business owner, like most of my clients, is spirited and independent and therefore prone at times to making …

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'I just wanna be loved' (sniff)

I occupy a curious position in dealing with the media. I spend some of my time securing editorial coverage for clients,whilst at other times I write  editorial and articles in my own name for a number of business publications and websites, including Financial Mail Women’s Forum and BT Tradespace.  In the latter role, I am often on the lookout for an articulate and timely comment from a small business owner to spice up my feature.

So I understand the challenge of trying to …

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Don't worry, I'm sure they'll call back soon.

I spent most of last week in my homeland of Yorkshire, working with a business that has been established for a fair few years now.  It’s fair to say that previously they had grown through a blend of recommendation and holding onto their customers.  However, the good times have stopped rolling in over the last couple of years, hence the need to involve me.

What became glaringly apparent within just one hour of our first intensive marketing planning session was that …

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'Oh yes, it's all in the preparation, you know'

On Friday I spent the day with a long-standing client who tasked me with planning the launch of a new product.  Actually, although I say ‘new’ product, it had in fact been batting around for a few years. The aim of the launch, though, was to introduce it  into a new marketplace – automotive.

Now despite the fact that I immediately had headlines excitedly bubbling away inside me, I realised that in truth I wasn’t too familiar with the product …

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Im gunA wrt somit sENs8NL

When I started out in marketing 26 years ago, I had the sheer good fortune of attending a seminar being delivered by the world’s most celebrated and successful copywriter, Drayton Bird.  Although the seminar lasted only 30 minutes, it was more than enough to instil in me a deep-seated conviction that the written word has a powerful role to play in generating sales.

Given that we are now firmly entrenched in the era of all things online, I believe that we are in danger …

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"and another thing...." "Ooooooh, I know."

A couple of days ago I was asked by the editor of a business magazine if I would whip up an additional business article, something along the lines of a rallying cry to marketing action.  I settled on writing  about the importance of delivering value and how it’s the small things that count, illustrating my musings with six easy to implement, but oh so easy to overlook, tips.

Now it just so happened that later on that day I met a friend on …

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'You know that we are living in a material world....'

I’ve always been a fan of Madonna.  I can’t say that I would like to be her best friend, but I do love her music.  And one of my favourite songs is ‘Material Girl’.

Whilst singing along to this in the car the other day – without teenagers in tow, I hasten to add, or my dulcet tones would have been drowned out by their wails of protest -  I started thinking about the difference between American and British …

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'Ahem, unaccustomed as I am....'

Last week I was invited to speak to an international audience of 60 marketing managers representing a global brand.  As you can imagine, I invested a significant amount of time in preparing and practising my speech.  I decided against PowerPoint even though my allotted time was 2 .5 hours.  What is it with PowerPoint?  I often think that PowerPoint exists to make life easier for the speaker.  It reminds me of those pubs that you go into where at one end is a …

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