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

 

1000’s of reasons why you can’t ….

…. just find me one reason why you can!

The number of times I have sat in a meeting with exceptionally bright people and lost the will to live haunts me. You too have been in the same type of meeting, be honest you know you have. A great group of really smart people are brought together. The agenda is clear. We have a Marketing campaign or product launch that needs to get planned and driven into execution. The stakes are high driven by executives in the company. The “Virtual” team are all on point to deliver and the meeting kicks off with the Goal and Objectives that everyone needs to own and share.

Then the ideas on execution start to flow. Big bold investments and plans start to take shape. The “Radiators” in the room are all driving for highs in performance and in market execution. Then disaster, the “Drains” wake up and start to explain in great detail the 1000’s of reasons why the ideas won’t work or the issues we will almost certainly face if we tried. Using their knowledge and experience to devastating effect by destroying the entrepreneurial spirit in the room and ultimately the execution we are likely to deliver. Please don’t misunderstand the point I am trying to make. You do need realists and pragmatists in meetings or you would face total anarchy and likely embarrassment in the campaign you executed. This being said it’s about being balanced in the reasons why you can’t do something and in turn being open to the reasons why you can.

So next time you are in a meeting and trying to get everyone to take a stretch target or try something completely new, listen to the realists and pragmatists as they are trying to save you from making a mistake. At the same time challenge them to use their intellect and experience to come up with solutions and not simply objections. Personally I have used on many an occasion the comment: “I deeply respect that you can find 1000’s of reasons why we can’t do this, I simply need you to now find the 1 reason why we can”.

It works, try it!

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

Don’t confuse activity with results!

A number of years ago I had the great fortune of working with an exceptional PR Professional. She was relentless in her desire to promote the company and protect it’s image and reputation. I can recall on a number of occasions her literally breaking into the meeting room, dragging me out by the scruff of the neck and forcing me to phone a journalist. Regardless of my protests, concerns or prioritisation of other task.

No complaints were tolerated!

One particular day stands out amongst the rest. We were about to go into a review meeting with our PR Agency. A time to celebrate the hard work undertaken by everyone, drill down on the stats, facts, figures and charts and discuss future programs and campaigns. I asked her the question. “What is your greatest concern with the PR agency at the moment” Her answer “They are confusing activity with results.” They need to spend more time beginning the with the end in mind. Keeping focused on the outcomes we are seeking and stop spending a disproportionate amount of time reviewing and digesting our current position.

This comment stuck firmly in my mind. Whenever I now go into a review meeting I ask myself the very same question. “Are the team confusing activity with results?” It’s a simple way of keeping everyone focused on their objectives and stop them suffering from analysis paralysis. Helping them to see the light of insight on the journey they are taking and avoid the darkness of detail that often bogs teams and people down.

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