Peter Eales Welcomes you to DBA

What happens at a Dorset Business Angels Investors’ Dinner Pitch Event

I’m often aked, “What happens at a Dorset Business Angels Investors’ Dinner Pitch Event” so I thought, it makes sense to describe it, simply for you here. Dorset Business Angels (DBA), hold investors’ dinners every three months, four times a year at Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton.

The evening starts with registration is at 5.30pm for networking drinks.

Don Welcomes

At 6.15pm there is a welcome from our Chairman Don McQueen.

Partner Sponsor Presentation – from an expert presenter

Our partners are Investec Wealth & Investment, Saffery Champness, Bournemouth Council, Bright Blue Day and UK Business Angels Association – from one of whom there is usually someone giving a brief presentation. For example on investor tips, or contract issues regarding investments – whatever may be helpful to our members. This is just a short 10 minute slot.

Presentation Pitches

Onto the main business. Five pitches are given. These are selected from submissions DBA receives, from which the directors choose what we hope are the most appealing for our members. This is based upon reviewing business plans including financials. Companies come from across the UK; it’s about what is a good deal, although we do hope to offer local business opportunities to members and support the local economy.

The Pitch Presentations 6.30 – 8.30pm

Frank Guinn, our Vice Chairman is MC. He introduces each company, giving members a brief synopsis of what they do; are looking for by way of investment and who will present. He reminds them, they have 10 minutes, and that he will give them warning when they have a minute left. Sometimes it is the owner, or it may be a couple of presenters, similar to Dragons Den. They will usually use PowerPoint, and possibly have a video and samples. Once the time is up, Frank then invites audience questions for 5-10 minutes. The presenters then leave the room, and wait in an adjoining room.

Member Investor Discussions on the Pitches

Frank Guinn will ask, “is there investor interest?” Not to actually invest, but to progress further with the company. And also he encourages questions regarding which Don McQueen often takes the lead. Members often share points such as, “Does anyone have experience in this market?” “Does anyone know of competitors in this market?” “Is what the presenter says re x,y and z fact or figure, true or correct?”. If there is interest, hopefully a group of investors, this is recorded with a lead investor chosen, to manage the next stage of the discussions with the company. If not then DBA will share the information with members not at the evening to see if others may be interested. Peter Eales, leaves the room to share this information with the company, whether the information is good or bad. Meanwhile Steve Royffe his fellow director gets the next presenters in to present.

Dinner 8.30pm

At the end of the presentations there are announcements, given by Peter and Don. After which we enjoy discussions over dinner. About the pitches, deals and all manner of business ideas! This is a great opportunity to share issues, and seek out thoughts from other members and investors. The evening finishes with coffee 9.30-10.00pm. What happens at a Dorset Business Angels Investors’ Dinner Pitch Event does not change, but it is still the most exciting couple of hours in the Dorset business calendar. Because futures are decided and opportunities created every three months, four times a year at Hallmark Hotel Bournemouth Carlton.

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

angel investor entrepreneur journey

The angel investor investment process, the journey, from due diligence to success

What does an angel investor do? Here is the angel investor investment process, the journey, from due diligence to success. Beginning with doing the deal with entrepreneurs to ideally giving a good return on the investment on exit.  But you probably realise there can be many outcomes: company failure, further funding injections and radical changes to the original plan – to mention just three possible situations the entrepreneur and investor can face. To learn about the angel investor experience, a great way to do this is watching and listening to people who have done this, angels and businesses. Videos here are taken from our Dorset Business Angels Investors’ Conference. Plus case studies from Dorset Business Angels investors.

Beginning of the Journey

Peter Cowley – ‘Best Angel Investor in the World 2017’ ‘What I wished I’d known a decade ago!’ Enjoy his video here. Some key points in the video include, invest in people first not the plan. People with “high growth ambitions”. Peter invests in at least 2 people, 3 works not 4. A UK Company. Local enough for you to travel to. Have your own board or a trusted Non Exec Director.

Processes for the Journey

Learn How Successful Angel Investing Can Be Rewarding & Stimulating

The Processes – Don McQueen. Don explains how to look for opportunities, audit them before investing, documentation, working with businesses and the ongoing relationships – video

Case Study on a Failed Investment – Don McQueen

In September 2016, the Dorset Business Angels attention was grabbed by one of the pitch evening event presentations. The company, The MacGuffin Project, was an ‘Escape Room’ entertainment venue in central Bournemouth, Dorset. Due to open in early 2017, five DBA members thought this to be a good investment opportunity. An experienced investor, this was Don’s second investment through DBA. Following the pitch, 5 DBA members were interested in investing £30K each. Delays in opening the venue occurred and significant extra costs were needed – most of which should have been predicted with a more experienced management team. In December 2017 the company was put into liquidation. More on this, and lessons learnt – see here.

Case Study on a Successful Investment

Wizzle is a web service and smartphone application enabling consumers to easily create accurate and transparent vehicle appraisals with a view to selling their cars direct to interested dealers, at the best price possible. Don McQueen led a DBA investment team. In all the total investment from the DBA team was £550k. By Autumn 2018 the business has just reached a profit level.  The company is well behind its original revenue plan, but it has learnt a lot about what works and what does not. More on this case study here.

How to Avoid Getting it Wrong as an Investor – Justin Levine

Avoid seeing your cash vaporize. Minimise the downside. Invest, do not speculate. How do we find the right investment? Justin shares data on what % of angel investments end up in what situation for example 50% go out of business, 20% sale to a larger company. Are there ways of minimising risk, or getting money out before a liquidation event? Enjoy his video.

Exit Lessons for Investors Case Study from RocketRoute co-founder – Kurt Lyall

A co-founder, seven years invested in my company. An aviation company finding the fastest way to fly through the air with his company. He started with small aircraft we moved up to business jets. As a founder you don’t have luxury of 25 investments, you have a portfolio of one investment, one your company. Watch and listen to his story here.

Conclusions

So, what does an angel investor do? The angel investor investment process, the journey, from due diligence to success varies in almost every case. As is shown above beginning with doing the deal with entrepreneurs to ideally giving a good return on the investment on exit. Exit, meaning the investor, hopefully makes a profitable, sometimes very good return. It should be noted, that the term “patient capital” is a very appropriate term, recently coined. Because angel investors, seldom make a “quick buck” and recognise they are involved for usually a number of years. With investments, there can be many outcomes: company failure, further funding injections – “funding rounds” – and radical changes to the original plan – to mention just three possible situations. If you want to find out more, about the angel investor experience, there are more articles on business funding and finance on our articles page, or just visit the Dorset Business Angels website, you can book to attend a pitch event.

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

marketing plan

How to do a Marketing Plan

Here is how to do a Marketing Plan. It might be part of the Business Plan, of which I see many. It could be as a stand-alone plan for your whole business. It can be a marketing plan for one of your services, a brand or a product. And the beginning of the year, start of a budget period, or when your launch a company is a time when you need a marketing plan. Marketing plans are used for all types of businesses and organisations. The challenge is the same. The shape of the marketing plan is the same. You start with a vision, you assess the wider challenges on a global or regional context. You look at opportunities and threats more locally. And you have your marketing objective to achieve. Your do a SWOT and audit, develop a strategy and produce a marketing mix plan, with and a more detailed implementation schedule, with budgets and KPIs. This is how to do a marketing plan, with templates, guides and how to implement your strategy with useful links. We include in particular a mind map and CIM step by step guide.

2019 Marketing and Sales Plan
(Click to enlarge)

Mind Map

A brief note on Mind-Maps. I am late convert to these. We use XMind which is one of the most popular. Why do I recommend it? Simple, because:

  • You can start with a free version
  • Upgrade to different levels
  • Export to pdf, Word, Images and various documents
  • It produces in colour, black and white
  • It is quick to use

I have not looked up their sales blurb….these are just my reasons.
And reasons why I think Mind-Maps work pretty generically for creative, lifestyle or business planning are:

  • Ideas are not usually sequential
  • Ideas are linked
  • Ideas come at random
  • It helps to picture and place thoughts and see a “Map”
  • Life and Business are fast paced and we all want a quick and easy way to put things down
  • Mind-Maps help us easily share ideas
  • You can subsequently share Mind-Maps in different formats indeed XMind prints out a written plan in a more traditional sequential format should you want it.

Here is a review of some other mind-mapping tools.

Marketing Plan Templates

We are not precious about this, and are constantly on the lookout for good practice. So you will not be surprised that in 2017 we find the Australian Government offering an excellent template here.

You need to be a member of the CIM to access the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) templates here https://marketingexpert.cim.co.uk/

CoSchedule has a wide choice of plans here

Write a Business Plan

Frankly a business plan shares a similar format to a marketing plan, but the key differences are the inclusion of more content on finance, personnel, suppliers, and infrastructure. It is after all a view of the whole business rather than how you intend to go to market.

Government UK website Business Plan templates
BPlans for your sector here

On the Mind Map template above, is a reference to “budget”. Some companies wouldn’t know how to do a marketing plan but in actual fact are forensic, indeed superb planners. This was because of very thorough budget processes. I worked in corporate companies with excellent global budgeting combined with first rate strategy and marketing planning, and this completely closed the loop: it means that ideas, products and services get costed, paid for or thrown out at the budget phase. More recently a client I know was very rigorous in his budgeting. Always adding a percentage on for inflation, and demanding his managers sort their budgets out. I think a good budget process combined with knowing how to do a marketing plan, and good strategy planning makes for success.

We’ll be sharing more links soon. Good luck!

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

confused

What does your company do?

What does your company do? Yes, there is the Government’s Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code system. Typical groupings include Manufacturing, Engineering, Finance, then sub-groups and niches within them. However the very idea and spirit of innovation is to create new solutions. So even if a new solution is within an existing category, this may not be the same as another business or it would hope to be different. That doesn’t mean it should be impossible to understand! You probably spend money and time trying to advertise, market, sell and appeal to customers, but do they understand what you do? Are you jumping a few steps ahead before you highlight the problem. Explain your solution – why is it better, different or cheaper. And who uses and needs this – perhaps help people understand by adding case studies. This is a problem with new companies but also with all companies. First with companies when trying to get money to fund the business, they can fail to get investor interest quite often because investors simply are confused. At Dorset Business Angels (DBA) I have the job, very often, of telling presenters how many people want to invest, after they have presented . When it is nobody of very few, the reason is sometimes due to people not knowing or “getting”, what the company does. Or not being convinced there really is a problem the entrepreneur claims that needs solving. I’ve seen investors proved wrong, but I would blame entrepreneurs for not getting their story over. What can you do? Not just as a new business but what can we all do to tell our business stories better?

The Product or Service

I have conversations most days with people calling me about their new business ideas, products and services they need to fund. Are you sure you have a product or service that someone out there really needs? Needs more than another business can satisfy? Or is cheaper or better than is out there on the market already? Great! How do you know? Well, as long as you have tested this, somehow…because you have sales, or very solid research. You know your customer(s), problems and what you can do that they will pay for. I wrote about this in: So What? Is there a Problem?

The Company

Can you delivery this solution profitably? Your vehicle to do this is a company. A team. Investors love ideas and IP (intellectual property), but what they really invest in is people. And the organisation the people create to deliver the service. A service to make a profit, and a return on investment over a specific period of time. I’m no longer surprised at pitch events for funding how, an engaging entrepreneur on the phone, can completely fail in front of an audience. You never know. A relatively dull but knowledgeable engaging, trustworthy guy (I use the term gender neutrally here), can easily win an audience with their ease at handling challenging questions on competition, finances, market issues and so on.

Communications across all media

Pitches, that is presentations at angel investor, private investor groups, require entrepreneurs to look at most of the communications elements and one specifically: audience presentation. But I’m not really overly concerned with the latter here. I think that can be over-emphasised. It’s far more important to focus on a sound business plan and marketing plan which demands using a raft of media and  integrated marketing communications. In other words in the 21st century, people buy in all kinds of ways. So you need to use communicate with customers in their buying journey, from initial interest to the final purchase, all the touch points – I wrote about this recently.

Segmentation – target your customers

One of my colleagues at Dorset Business Angels suggested it was dangerous for another colleague to promote his accountancy business as being “one hundred years in business” because it would not appeal to young people. My view? Segmentation is the issue here. A more senior audience would probably value this, a younger audience probably not. Equally, The BBC is promoting it’s BBC SOUNDS service to replace the online radio service, without the care to target older audiences and budget to promote to them. All the money is biased to attract younger audiences. It is a one message fits all approach and little clumsy. Branding products such as Mars bars and other retail products enabled the retail market for decades to target specific audiences. Segmentation and good branding separate and target audiences for products and services.

Making Words Work

John Drewry, a top copywriter writes: “The writer sees it fine, but has failed to understand that the reader is a completely different animal.” I would go further, many businesses give us the same challenge when presenting themselves to the market place. And not just new ones, pitching for funds. Think for a minute. Or just take a random look on Google. How many companies sell stuff, that your read about, that just does not make sense? You may think, you do not understand that sector. I used to keep quiet and think, “I must be stupid. It’s technical or something for a niche market.” Well, I know there are always cleverer people out there! Now I have learnt, by asking others, that I am not the only one who doesn’t understand. It’s like the old fairy-tale of The King’s New Clothes – if you don’t believe or understand what you are being told, just say so. Just ask “What does your company do?”

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

customer marketing

The Purpose of Business and The Purpose of Marketing

Peter Drucker wrote: “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation.” He also wrote, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself… The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” The purpose of business and the purpose of marketing is therefore a focused complete understanding of the customer, producing something different for them to solve their problem, that has a measurable impact (i.e. innovation). Thanks to Nick Hixson for clarity on the definition of innovation – see his excellent video.

Effective Marketing is NOT

  • Advertising
  • PR
  • Promotion

Effective Marketing IS

In fact, it is not stuff produced to sell things. In fairness, it can be some of these things. But effective marketing requires:

  • A strategy – what do you want to achieve, where do you want to go from where are you starting
  • Establish a crystal clear brief
  • An absolute understanding of your customer, prospect or what is often called these days the persona
  • A problem to be solved
  • A Marketing Plan

So, in summary, “…the aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous.” The purpose of business and the purpose of marketing is therefore a focused complete understanding of the customer, producing something different for them to solve their problem, that has a measurable impact (i.e. innovation).

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Marketing Strategy

How to “do” Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps

Does your Boardroom know how to do anything apart from add up, make things and sell? You might think that is enough? Peter Drucker said: “…the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation…Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business.” I was in an organisation recently focused on its sales and numbers. This got my thinking about my prescription to shift it and any outfit in a series of steps to be more marketing focused which I describe below. This of course says nothing about the personnel…. In summary 1. What is the problem you’re solving? 2. Who is/are the customer(s) 3. What are the solutions 4. What is/are your customer journey(s)? 5. Your marketing communications match this/these journeys, to try and gain, keep and grow customers. NB you monitor activity at all stages against strategy and plans. This is a super simplified approach to what is required. There is a lot more to strategy in terms of innovation, problem-solving, marketing etc. However, I write this short blog in the context of a when you might be working with marketing “non-believers”, very sales or financially driven colleagues. I guess this means most people…! How to do marketing strategy in five steps means focus on your customer, their buying journey, and as Peter Drucker says focus on marketing and innovation. Your marketing and indeed your selling match the customer journey to the point of purchase and beyond.

What is the Problem?

Be certain there is a problem to be solved with your product, service or solution. And that there is a business for you in providing your solution. Simply: research why your idea will work, will be used, make money, compete, and you can deliver it profitably. Entrepreneurs and inventors come up with ideas and ask for support or funding. Or employees and managers ask their bosses about a problem, or to support a solution they highlight a problem. Investor colleagues and Boards, I sit on will first ask the person, are you sure this is the real problem, the real issue and your solution therefore the right route to take? Too often work starts or is commissioned based upon a poor diagnosis. Peter Bregman in a 2015 Harvard Business Review article says, “Are You Trying to Solve the Wrong Problem?” More on problem solving in my article here.

Who is the Customer?

Have you ever heard people ask, “who buys this stuff?!” Who buys your stuff, precisely, is what a Customer Persona is concerned with. A Customer Personal is a fictional customer profile, a representation of your ideal customer. Personas help us all – in marketing, sales, product management, and customer services – picture the ideal customer we’re trying to attract and relate to our customers as real people. Having a deep understanding of your buyer persona(s) is critical to driving content creation, product development, sales follow up, and really anything that relates to customer acquisition and retention. More on this plus a template for you to use from our article on Customer Personas.

Your Solutions

What do you have to offer, to sell, to solve your customer’s problem? You may start with one product or service and then diversify. The whole challenge of how to evaluate the specific opportunity, research, get feedback, design, test, prototype and launch the product is written about in our article here. A whole industry and approach to business has developed in recent years with agile and lean. This is in the advent of software development, with quicker introduction of products to market. The old “waterfall”, step-by-step approach, has been replaced in many markets, by quicker cultures and processes, “trying out” product earlier that in the past, then making changes based on market feedback. And using flexible teams, modern technology and communications to help speed solutions to market. More here.

What is your Customer Journey – or Journeys?

When your typical customer, considers you then purchases, what is the pattern of their purchase behaviour? There may be some more typical journeys which you can identify. Once you have done this you can respond to them. It’s important not to confuse a similar but different “journeys here” which I would describe for the sake of forensic accuracy:

  • the potential customer, or prospect journey
  • your existing customer experience purchase e.g. a customer buying an airline ticket

The customer journey is the path and all the points of contact between a consumer and a brand, a product or a service and includes, all moments of interaction between customer and company. These can be directing such as face to face, phone, in-store and alike. Or they can be online: social, blog, email and reviews to mention just a few. Here is a useful video on how to create a Customer Journey Map.  Here is another example.

Marketing to fit the Customer Journey

What are the contact points or touchpoints, your prospects and customers have on their journeys with you? From first thinking about you to purchase, and after sales? You can list all of these on a chart and then list on a table all the people who interact at each stage. For instance, online, you call these touchpoints are all the places on your website that your customers can interact with you. Based on your research, you should list out all the touchpoints your customers and prospects are currently using, as well as the ones you believe they should be using if there is no overlap. HubSpot have long been experts in these field and here is an excellent article by them.

Growth – the Commercial Realities

A critical issue from a commercial point of view is managing the growth of your business, any product or campaign. Every year, indeed any budget period is a challenge for a business. We all have targets and objectives to achieve. Customers can never be taken for granted, they may leave, buy less, and new customers need to be found. Nick Hixson who runs Hixsons Business Enablers, wrote a fantastic blog recently: “Save Your New Business – Avoid The Chasm“, he writes, “The first people to buy your new product or service will be innovators and early adopters – people who like new things. But then you have to start selling to the rest of the market…And that’s when you hit a problem. It’s described by the chasm. A place where suddenly sales dry up. And losses mount. To avoid this double dip the new business needs to retain enough resources to fund the double marketing effort so that the chasm is reduced or eliminated.” So how to do marketing strategy in five steps means focus on your customer, their buying journey, and as Peter Drucker says focus on marketing and innovation. Your marketing and indeed your selling match the customer journey to the point of purchase and beyond.

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Professional People

Marketing Professional Bodies, Institutes, Trade Bodies and Networks

Here are some of the main UK Marketing Professional Bodies, Institutes, Trade Bodies and Networks. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has estimated there are several hundred thousand people involved in marketing in the UK. If you include, digital, sales, affiliate and business development to the marketing networks the numbers may well be in the millions. Here are some of the notable marketing societies and institutes (mainly) in the UK who are also active globally.

NAME URL ABOUT THE NETWORK
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) http://www.cim.co.uk/ The Chartered Institute of Marketing supports, develops and represents marketers, teams, leaders and the marketing profession as a whole. As the largest professional marketing body in the world, CIM offer membership and career development, professional marketing qualifications, training courses and helps businesses grow with tailored support to enhance marketing capability.
The Marketing Society https://www.marketingsociety.com/ As the world’s leading network of senior marketers, we inspire and challenge our members to think differently and become bolder leaders.
The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing  https://www.theidm.com/  The IDM exists to support, encourage and improve marketing performance with development programmes to help you be the best you can be.
 The DMA  https://dma.org.uk  Our network of more than 1,000 UK companies is privy to research, free legal advice, political lobbying and industry guidance. Our members connect at regular events that inspire creativity, innovation, responsible marketing and more. Most of them are free. A DMA membership is a badge of accreditation. We give the industry best-practice guidelines, legal updates and a code that puts the customer at the heart. We represent a data-driven industry that’s leading the business sector in creativity and innovation.
Market Research Society  

https://www.mrs.org.uk/

 

 The Market Research Society (MRS) is the UK professional body for research, insight and analytics.
UK Marketing Network  https://www.linkedin.com/groups/1780141/profile  The UK Marketing Network is the country’s largest and most interactive LinkedIn group for UK only marketing professionals, powered by Cambridge Marketing College and Only Marketing Jobs.
UK Affiliate Marketing Networks  http://www.amwso.co.uk/affiliatenetworks.php A list of UK focused Affiliate Marketing Networks.
The Institute of Sales Management https://www.ismprofessional.com First established in 1911 as the Sales Managers Association, the institute has striven to be the authoritative voice of selling and the custodian of sales standards, ethics and best practice throughout its existence. Now rebranded as the Institute of Sales Management, it exists to promote the professionalism and integrity of sales by providing internationally recognised learning opportunities, thought leadership, peer to peer guidance and advice and industry related news and information.
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations – CIPR https://www.cipr.co.uk/ The chartered body for public relations and the largest
membership organisation for PR professionals in Europe.
Public Relations Consultants Association https://www.prca.org.uk/ The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and communications work,
helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.
The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications,
providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.
Marketing Agencies Association – MAAG https://www.marketingagencies.org.uk/ The MAAG is at the forefront of the sector, working with and on behalf of our member agencies
to adapt and respond to the ever-changing landscape.
Advertising Standards Association – ASA
Committee of Advertising Practice – CAP
https://www.asa.org.uk/ The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s independent regulator of advertising across all media.
We apply the Advertising Codes, which are written by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP).
The Digital Marketing Institute https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com The Digital Marketing Institute sets the global standard in digital marketing and selling certification. We have certified more professionals to a single digital education standard than any other certification body.
The Advertising Association https://www.adassoc.org.uk/ Are the only organisation that brings together agencies, brands and media to combine strengths
and seek consensus on the issues and opportunities that affect them.
The Institute of Promotional Marketing  

https://www.theipm.org.uk

 The IPM is the leading professional body for the promotional marketing industry, and we are here to serve you – our members.
The Institute of Business Development http://ibdi.org/# To provide ethical and professional leadership and guidance to business professionals globally by promoting high standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence that are recognized worldwide.

For more on problem solving using analytical and creative tools contact us:
Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Up To Date Marketing

How to stay up to date with marketing

The best way to stay up to date with marketing is to work closely with innovators and leading marketers. I do this in two ways, first at Dorset Business Angels, part of UK Business Angels Association – UKBAA- , where we work with innovative start-ups and growth companies. Secondly as a Chartered Institute of Marketing, CIM Chartered Marketer and Fellow, part of the world’s largest professional marketing body. We are all busy. Certainly I am. So to save you and me time, let me use this article as a vehicle which I will continually update with the latest from DBA/UKBAA in terms of news and innovation. And the latest ideas from CIM on how too to stay sharp with your marketing and be alert to what is innovative. In other words how to stay up to date with marketing and be innovative.

Marketing

Chartered Institute of Marketing

CIM is the world’s leading professional marketing body with over 28,000 members worldwide, including more than 3,000 Chartered Marketers. Here’s a list of their courses. Here’s the CIM twitter feed with lots of free helpful content. There are CIM events all the time you can look out for here. And plenty of content online in terms of CIM Catalyst Online Magazine, podcasts, videos, and webinars. Daniel Rowles, CIM Course Lecturer, CEO of TargetInternet.com delivered a terrific webinar on the topic of staying up to date with marketing. My topic is slightly different as I focus on innovation too. He occupies the digital space. I am more of commercial, investor centric, but still similar and share many interests. Daniel shares some terrific resources including:

  • CIM Webinars – including his “the future marketer ” for CIM Members
  • Daniel’s a huge fan of podcasts and top of the list comes Masters of Scale by @reidhoffman
  • Digital Capability– award winning model from TargetInternet – how ready is your organisation for digital?
  • Feedly – a great way to an easy way to aggregate your information feeds in one place.
  • Internet live stats for key sites eg websites etc,  Live counter showing estimated currentinternet users
  • Assesses your digital skills in a variety of digital marketing disciplines against industry standards and best practice – here
  • Digital Skills Benchmark Report from TargetInternet here

The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing

The IDM exists to support, encourage and improve marketing performance with development programmes to help you be the best you can be. As someone active in digital and direct marketing, I have been a member (and a Fellow) for years. It is an agile training focused organisation, with great speakers with many courses to help you, and well worth a look. See here for website. And for helpful twitter content and updates see TheIDM here.

Digital Marketing Top Websites

From o i solutions resources to help you with your digital marketing. Tools and ideas to help you post, find content, measure, and research digital, online, marketing and social media. My favourite site, I unashamadely post regularly is the fantastic DIGITAL STRATEGY CONSULTING, celebrating 15 years of digital marketing research and news.

Marketing Professional Bodies, Institutes, Trade Bodies and Networks

Here are some of the main UK Marketing Professional Bodies, Institutes, Trade Bodies and Networks. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has estimated there are several hundred thousand people involved in marketing in the UK. If you include, digital, sales, affiliate and business development to the marketing networks the numbers may well be in the millions. View here are some of the notable marketing societies and institutes (mainly) in the UK who are also active globally.

Innovation

Innovation from new ideas, products, services, and creative entrepreneurs at Dorset Business Angels, and the many angel networks, venture capital groups and networks part of UK Business Angels Association – UKBAA- , where we work with innovative start-ups and growth companies. So working with DBA, UKBAA and CIM is the best way I find to stay up to date with marketing staying close to innovators and leading marketers.

For more on problem solving using analytical and creative tools contact us:
Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Shareholder or Partnership agreements

Your Strategy is the bedrock for Shareholder or Partnership agreements

In a new startup or small business, you want to ensure a fair relationship between the leadership team, govern how the company is run, set out rights and obligations and if there are shareholders, protect their investment. Do you need a Shareholder, Partnership or any other form of Agreements? And how does this vary from a Business Plan. What about all that other stuff you hear about Vision, Mission Statements and values….Words, words, buzz words and jargon perhaps. Or are they? Shakespeare as ever, summed it up: “Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” However more positively, George Byron wrote, beautifully: “A drop of ink may make a million think.” To cut to the chase. Nick Hixson, from Hixsons Business Enablers, where I head up the marketing, sums it up perfectly in his helpful blog, What Shareholder Agreements Are Really For. Nick, with nearly four decades of experience advising small businesses, stresses the need to agree your strategy, vision and mission. And with his clients, he seeks to regularly revisit these, as the business develops, and situations change. The issue with a Shareholder Agreement, or in fact any type of business agreement, is that they are written at a specific time, lawyers help you in good faith, but as Nick writes in his blog, their involvement stops when the agreement is signed. Or it usually does on a routine basis, certainly. Create your strategy first, it is the bedrock for shareholder, partnership in fact any appropriate agreement. The strategy, vision and mission, agreed by the leadership team generates growth and innovation. And this is something that needs to be revisited and sustained for success.

A Toolkit

At Dorset Business Angels, the dragons den (if you like) for Dorset, where I am a founder director, a question always asked of all presenter pitches, is about the people running the business. Who is in the CEO, the key players, shareholders, is there IP and what happens if someone leaves? I covered the pitch presentation itself in a previous article, What investors want to hear. This was in essence about knowing you are solving a real problem, your market, knowing your target customer, and having a clear ROI for investors. Now let’s focus on what a startup or small business needs on its growth journey. To keep it simple:

A Meeting of Minds

I’ve been involved with new businesses, where partners or directors say: “hadn’t we better have a contract, partnership or some kind of shareholders agreement?” I’m now very clear, having worked with a lot of accountants and especially with Hixsons, the need is to get your ideas organised first. It’s about your vision, mission and strategy: simply, what you want to do, with whom and for who. It’s the same as when you go to get a service from a supplier. Such as a website. The clearer your brief to the supplier, the better job they do for you. And if you and your fellow partner(s) and director(s) can agree your strategy first, it makes documentation much simpler. I like the phrase used in law often: meeting of the minds, (also referred to as mutual agreement, mutual assent or consensus ad idem). It’s is a phrase in contract law used to describe the intentions of the parties forming the contract. It refers to the situation where there is a common understanding in the formation of the contract. Create your strategy first, it is the bedrock for shareholder, partnership in fact any appropriate agreement. The strategy, vision and mission, agreed by the leadership team generates growth and innovation. And this is something that needs to be revisited and sustained for success.

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited

Love your Customers

Lead Generation, Business Development, Marketing? Love your customers.

Our local Tesco Manager is terrific because he seems to love his customers, the staff, he’s energetic and always walking around the store helping. I know Tesco isn’t American but this chap’s attitude is typical of service attitudes in many US firms. I love the attitude of American companies. I worked for one, the first 15 years of my career. And then after that with others distributing products across Europe. Yes, they can be aggressive, and I learned about lead generation, selling, direct marketing and hitting quotas to make profit. For the good of the company. But also, to love your customers. This can sound shallow, but in 2018 to really love your customer, just like a partner in life, you need to understand them 100%, their buying, and then deliver a service. I thought I would just remind myself a few key pointers in order to do this.

Love What You Are Doing

Like our Tesco Manager, it’s about energy. I could have chosen another example: this time I will name him, Don McQueen, Chairman at Dorset Business Angels. He is packed with energy. And few surprises, he is a serial entrepreneur, chairman of many companies and a successful in many businesses. Doesn’t he have problems? Yes. Does he somehow have an easier time than the rest of us? Of course not. But the trick is to make decisions to do what you want to do, be positive, and you can love what you are doing.

Know Your Customer

You need to know who to sell to. You need to know what their problem is that you can solve. It is hopeless, trying to sell something that people do not want. A heater in the desert or ice to eskimos. Be crystal clear who is your customer. The Buyer Persona is a great tool. The template, prompts you to supply the detail of exactly who is your customer, their background, profile, problems etc etc. You can then tailor your solution, product or services to help them.

The Customer Journey

The customer journey is the path and all the points of contact between a consumer and a brand, a product or a service and includes, all moments of interaction between customer and company. These can be direct such as face to face, phone, in-store and alike. Or they can be online: social, blog, email and reviews to mention just a few. Here is a useful video on how to create a Customer Journey Map.  Here is another example.

Love Your Team

People love people, and the younger workforce, millennials look at a brand purpose as much as just salary, when it comes to who to work for. Customers are not just the people who buy. They are the people who help create the products and services, in our company. So, following the same principle of getting to know the external customer, really work on trying to understand the team. Not just an annual or periodic appraisal but as with any relationship, real-time constant effort to empathise.

What Works Best?

I listened, or “attended” a great CIM Practical Insights Webinar on emailing the other day on Emailing. It made the point that effective emailing is loved by customers. It is wrong to imagine people hate email. Bad emails are unsubscribed. Good messages, which understand our customer problems, feelings and issues will work. And in fact, there is no problem emailing even weekly. I mention this, because the webinar presenter stressed the need to focus on your customer. Love them. To love them, you need to really know them, and fit them into marketing relationships including social media, blogs, events and your whole range of activities you engage with them. In 2018 to really love your customer, just like a partner in life, you need to understand them 100%, their buying, and then deliver a service. I thought I would just remind myself a few key pointers in order to do this.

Contact us if you have any questions

Peter Eales BA Hons Chartered Marketer FCIM FIDM
Founder Director Dorset Business Angels
MD o i solutions limited