Maximising potential (A CIM event review)

The CIM Manchester branch laid on an interesting event involving speaker Chris Hughes last week. Here are my takeaway’s from an engaging session with Chris on improving not only your, but your team’s performance too. This plays to the ‘be inspired’ element of the blog!

1. Personal effectiveness is linked to time effectiveness.

2. Do you routinely focus on the small £10 jobs or that one important £1000 job?

3. Identify the non-productive emotions that inevitably manifest themselves when you’re not in your groove – anger, frustration, upset, lethargy etc.

4. Recognise that non-productive emotions lead to non-productive behaviours such as procrastination, time wasting, blaming others, putting things off, aimlessly browsing the internet, gossiping in the office etc.

5. Half an hour of dead time a day when extrapolated  is almost a month in unproductive time!

6. Remove quick wins culture and replace with continuous improvement, recognising that after any training and development there will be an inevitable increase but that over time it will fall off. The key is to continually invest so slight troughs always turn into bigger  peaks and that performance is improved consistently over time.

7. Applying a small change in thought inevitably leads to a big change in behaviour.

8. Focus on what you are best at. Master your potential, but seek to step out of your comfort zone.

9. Change always leads to improvement which leads to success. Learning from bad, poor, upsetting experiences is the way we learn best. Challenging yourself to try new things is critical.

10. Ultimately, focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Seems obvious, but hoards of people go into work dreading it… often because they are putting off the £1000 job because it is too difficult when it actually just needs to be tackled a little differently!

In summary, an interesting session delivering in an engaging way by a passionate, talented professional.

The do’s and don’ts of social media marketing (A CIM event review)

The North West branch of The CIM recently staged a ‘Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media Marketing’ event. It was interesting learning more about the CIM’s position on social media and to hear from two industry practitioners including Marketing Scout’s Helen Dolce-Lund. Here are my key takeaways.

1. In a presentation delivered by Regional Director Diane Earles, it was encouraging to see the CIM sit up and look at social media from a business-use perspective. Though some of the examples cited were a little dated (Dell Outlet succeeding on Twitter, the relaunch of Wispa via Facebook and US shoe seller Zappos delivering gold standard service via social media) there were some interesting statistics on social media use and how personal and professional use is beginning to blur.

2. It is critical to think about your objectives of getting involved in social media before you get involved. Go where your audience is and use the tools that best promote your products and expertise. Video showcases product, white papers, podcasts and webinars deliver opinion and perceived expertise.

3. Brands clearly need to take some risk to engage audiences through social media. Establish how brave or conservative your business is and choose the channels that are less risky.

4. Don’t look at a popular channel and assume you can’t make it work. You might not think your customers use Facebook, but they all have a life when they leave their office. You can use the targeted advertising tool to see if there is value in targeting a particular geographic, age, gender, job title or sector before actually having to use it. Having a profile on high traffic social media sites also does wonders for your search engine optimisation.

5. Helen reminded the assembled group that for professionals and jobseekers, it goes without saying that you should set up an active Linkedin profile – and that it should be kept separate from Facebook and Twitter accounts, unless you take a professional approach to them all. Understanding privacy settings is also critical – especially if you ever looking for a new position!

In summary, an interesting event with some new material for the social media naive and a refresher for the early adopters.

Information regarding future events is available from the main CIM North West site.

Improving marketing perception in your boardroom

Helen Edwards wrote a fantastic piece in Marketing recently (28th July) musing on how Peter Fincham took the top marketing role at ITV despite having no marketing qualifications or discernible experience from his time in broadcasting.

The fact he will now be responsible for all marketing and research budgets at ITV demonstrates the continued lack of regard given to marketing in Britain’s boardrooms. Helen pointedly argues that the same would not be the case if they were looking to recruit senior commissioners, finance directors or operations directors.

As a qualified CIM member with fifteen years experience from both sides of the client and agency divide, and a recently invested Chartered Marketer, I am frustrated when these situations arise, but they don’t surprise me.

In the real world, I come into contact daily with businesses where the owner, managing director or sales director hold the marketing reins. Sadly, this is often to the detriment of creativity, high impact (even daring) campaigns and frequently without the experience to properly brief and plan integrated marketing campaigns effectively.

This jeopardises the success of the client-agency relationships because at the core is a fundamental lack of regard for effective marketing.

So what has caused this and how can we fix it on the ground?

The CIM has a role to play but Chartered Marketer status will take a generation or longer. But will the Institutes’s CPD program ever truly achieve a similar status to those operating in the fields of medicine, accountancy or engineering?

Companies have a role. Any in-house marketing roles should demand experience and CIM related qualifications. Companies miss out in the long term when they promote the unqualified from other departments. In b2b companies, there is often a career path that starts in the field and progresses internally marketing management. The problem with this lies in the fundamental differences in the salesperson – living in the moment, securing the sale, where as marketers arguably build longer term relationships and see the bigger picture from a customer, product, market and competitor viewpoint. Controversial but, I think, accurate.

Individuals have a role, especially the graduates and students of this generation. How we manage our brand management teams and agencies, the type of consultancy we outsource, and the manner in which we plan, implement and evaluate our marketing campaigns, will determine how seriously marketing is taken in the short and long term.

In her article, Helen poses a number of questions that might come up in an interview for a top marketing job and encourages the long list of editors, salespeople, IT consultants, HR and accountancy professionals who might fancy a go in marketing not to.

Few companies have marketing representation in the boardroom, it is our responsibility to work to higher standards and secure our seat.

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