What on earth are we good at?

What skills and experience do we have? Who would want to work with us? Why would they want to work with us? Would anyone be prepared to pay for services we provided? What services could we provide?

The list of questions you encounter when you are setting up a company are challenging to say the very least. It’s an incredibly humbling experience and not for the faint hearted. In attempting to keep your options open many people will take the approach “I can do everything , just ask!” Quite quickly I made and then realised this mistake. In offering generic services I lost differentiation and my unique value proposition.

I was pondering the benefits and drawbacks of generic vs specialist during one of my daily walks from Richmond to Kew along the Thames Path in England. I quickly came to the conclusion I needed to “Seek first to understand and then be Understood” Stephen Covey – Habit #5 in order to determine the specialist skills and programs I could provide to customers.

I spoke to a LOT of different friends and former colleagues. Lot’s of lunch’s and coffee’s and the odd glass of wine or two. 🙂 I asked for open and honest feedback and WOW did I ever get it. Some were polite and kind, others were not. I listened to everyone and I learned a lot. To all of you that helped me during that time I remain eternally grateful.

The result of these conversations laid the foundations for New Journey Marketing Ltd. Dedicated to MARKETING. Where everything we do is personalised, delivers tangible value and is FUN for you and your team!

Lot’s of companies provide Sales readiness Training and Technical training. Countless Marketing agencies offer Marketing services for advertising, digital, PR and the like. Educational institutions offer courses for Marketing professionals and team building, coaching and mentoring companies offer generic services for everyone.

Who looks after Marketing departments? Who focuses on Marketing Readiness? Who provides programs and services designed to enhance the skills of Marketing teams? Who offers coaching and mentoring for Marketing professionals? Who offers team building events designed especially for Marketing Teams?

I decided to explore this insight with Julie Kerry. Over afternoon tea we discussed the challenges facing Marketing professionals and teams. Discussing the programs and services they required and lamenting the fact that “Marketing Readiness” services were so hard to find.

So we decided to stand up for the rights of Marketing people around the world. No longer would we allow Sales and Technical teams to get all the readiness love. We would empower Marketing team with readiness designed especially for them!

Truth be known that’s not what we said. The actual conversation went along the lines of …… hey no one else is really focused on Marketing Readiness, let’s do it!

Six years later we have run over 75 Marketing Program deliveries in 30 countries around the world providing services to over 500 Marketing professionals. The results delivered are above and beyond our expectations. Our programs are always measured on a scale of 1 poor to 5 excellent and our lifetime average is 4.5.

The comments following anyone of our programs are consistent ….

  • “Very productive and useful for alignment and team building. Original and attractive delivery with fun exercises.”
  • “Fun & interactive session that brought great alignment across different teams & departments”
  • “I loved it! The best planning workshop I have experienced, really integrated approach.”
  • “Everything makes more sense. It gives a sense of direction and order to what we need to do and how.”
  • “Relevance. This is the first workshop with outcomes directly related to my job.”

We now proudly offer Marketing Services designed by Marketing Professionals for Marketing Professionals and Teams. So if your interested in Connected Marketing Planning, Optimised Partner Marketing, Sales & Marketing Alignment, Marketing On-boarding & Mentoring or Marketing Team Building & Development we would love to hear from you, contact New Journey Marketing!

Thank you for taking the time to read our inaugural blog post. We PROMISE the next ones will all be shorter and filled with insights we have learned over the last 25+ years in Marketing. If you would like to know more please take a look at our NJM Blog to read our views and have the opportunity to share yours.

 

Nick McGrath & Julie Kerry

 

You want to me to work with WHO!?!?!?

Sitting in my office and minding my own business. Relaxing into a lovely coffee and getting busy with e-mail reading and deleting. The sun was shining and the birds were…. ok you get the picture it was a lovely day about to go horribly wrong!

I received an urgent e-mail requesting an immediate conference call from my boss. You know the kind of e-mail that automatically makes you question what you have done recently and who you may have upset. What other reason could possibly make my boss want me to drop everything and get on a call with him?

The call began with the words……. “Hi Nick I have an opportunity for you!”

Now those of you that are used to working in a corporate world will appreciate this opening statement is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it means your boss sees you as a go to person that can be trusted with responsibility and results. On the other hand, it means you are about to receive another top priority objective on top of your already full plate!

On this occasion the “Opportunity” related to working with an exceptionally difficult and demanding original equipment manufacturer across EMEA. We had just signed a new agreement with them for our company’s products to be pre-loaded and now an integrated Sales and Marketing campaign was required to help promote the new SKU’s to their channel partners. When I realised the size of the opportunity I didn’t know if I should GRIN or GROAN! If by some miracle I could get a campaign together and deliver timely results it would quite literally make company history.

I went to see the Partner filled with aspiration and hope. Undaunted by the challenges ahead and inwardly shaking at the conflicts I was almost certainly going to be confronted with.

The initial welcome meeting went smoothly, no issues. Everyone was professional and polite. Interested in working with us on a campaign that was a real Win / Win for both companies. Then the hard work began. When it comes to Optimised Partner Marketing success or failure is in the detail of planning and execution. You need to listen to the concerns your partner has. Write them down. Discuss them in detail. Explore options to overcome the challenges and never try to side step or sweep them under the carpet. The challenges, and the problems they are causing, won’t go away even if you try REALLY hard to ignore them. Trust me they won’t. They will simply get bigger over time and ultimately destroy the campaign and in some cases the entire partnership.

The approach I took was a simple one. Create a clear and compelling Vision of Success. Keeping working on this with your Partner until it becomes a SHARED compelling Vision of Success for both companies. Acknowledge it will face challenges on the journey into execution. Identify and openly discuss each challenge. Explore with the partner different options and solutions. Seek coaching and guidance from others on approaches we should consider. Make resolving each challenge a FUN experience by introducing new and innovative ideas. Don’t be afraid to throw crazy ideas into the discussion. It shows you are thinking creatively and who knows the crazy ideas are often the ones that lead to market making breakthroughs.

Thankfully the opportunity I was given was a great success. It came down to team work with a host of people bringing amazing energy and creativity to the campaign. We built a detailed, structured and measurable execution plan and implemented it with rigorous attention to detail. Hard work and rewarding in equal measure.

That’s my view, please take a moment to share yours.