Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Marketing Audit

One area of the CIM assessments which students sometimes struggle with is the preparation of the audit for marketing plans and other areas which need an audit as a base. I have just produced a document which outlines the areas which are likely to be included in a typical audit, although this may not be appropriate for all situations and will need amendments to suit the particular context of any organisation.

The document is available as a free download from our website here

More documents will be added shortly so do keep checking the site.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Conference and Seminar filled day

Today was busy and interesting, most of the day was spent at the Yorkshire Mafia conference in Leeds meeting lots of local business people and attending seminars and then this evening at a CIM Mid Yorkshire event on Social Media. The great thing is that I learned some things new, and discovered that there was a lot I already knew and practice which is reassuring!

The best seminar at the Yorkshire Mafia conference for me was the one from Gary Verity – Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire. Interspersed with references to the very successful activities undertaken by Welcome to Yorkshire to promote Yorkshire as a tourism venue Gary discussed his views on what makes successful businesses, leadership and how he has helped to turn around businesses he has been involved in. He stated that in his view business is simple, and that there are three things which are needed to make a difference – understanding the problem, finding a solution and execution of the solution. Whilst he was talking I was relating it to CIM qualifications and there are direct links in two ways:

1) The major elements of course content, especially marketing plans.

  • Problem – recognising the situation the organisation is in relative to marketing, the first stage of the marketing planning process whether at an operational or strategic level. For business turnaround Gary said how important it is to talk to the staff in the organisation to understand their views, they are close to the day to day running and often well aware of what is happening and what customers think – a point marketers can often miss!
  • Solution – looking at the options which are available to overcome the problem. What are the marketing strategies which can be applied to make a successful difference? As Gary pointed out, the key thing is to make sure the solution actually matches the problem.
  • Execution – the tactics and actions which we put into place to ensure the solution is successfully delivered to return the results required. Being aware of the barriers to successful execution is vital, as Gary said, when executing the solutions people often go pear shaped!

2) The overall benefits from the CIM qualifications

  • Problem – people do not understand the full capability of marketing, it is an underutilised capability within the organisation, and people do not recognise the difference good, comprehensive marketing can make.
  • Solution – choosing the right qualification for your existing knowledge, capabilities and aspirations.
  • Execution – taking the learning and applying it thoroughly to the context of the organisation to achieve the desired results both in terms of successfully completing the course and building a better business.

Many thanks for this wisdom Gary. Just to add, the 5 things mentioned for success are:

  • Reason – why you are doing what you are doing
  • Opportunity
  • Method
  • Belief
  • Commitment

All of which can apply to the qualifications just as to business.