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Marketing self-help – strengthen your understanding!

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‘Brain quenching’

In my role as a Chartered Marketer the company is fortunate to work with some fantastic clients. When I say fantastic I’m not referring to the fact they’re really genuine people (which they are), or that they value the work we do and willingly recommend us to others (which they also do), but that their businesses are rarely ‘run of the mill’ or ‘me too’ companies.

Yet without formally qualifying as a professional marketer, a result which came about after a lot of hard work and much reading, I may never have had the experience to have acquired them in the first place. But after completing the CIM’s Professional Certificate in 2007, E-marketing Award in 2009 and Professional Diploma in 2010, I was appointed a Chartered Marketer that same year.  A series of results that coupled with twenty-plus years practical sales and marketing experience enabled me to demonstrate our worth.  However, it was crucial for my studies that I was able to read around the subject at a much deeper level, something I have continued to do whenever a suitable book becomes available.

So far I’ve read (and sometimes re-read) books on everything from branding and marketing concepts to personal progression and marketing strategy. However, a few months ago I purchased a book to help me review my knowledge for some of our smaller clients. The book, titled the ‘Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book’ is written by Dee Blick. Dee is a fellow Chartered Marketer and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) too.  I’ve not met Dee or had cause to speak to her so far, but had it not been for other business engagements I were committed to, this would not be the case as Dee was appointed to speak at one of our recent CPD (Continuing Professional Development) events in the Midlands.

Initially, I personally found the book less relevant in the first few chapters because a lot of what had been written should be standard practice for someone in this industry e.g. areas such as: letter writing tips, surveying customers’ opinions and the quality of materials used when communicating to your audience. But unlike those movies that  don’t appear to be quite what you’d expected at the start, I believed this wouldn’t be the case with Dee’s book following the testimonials I’d read before purchasing it.

Dee Blick's The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book
Dee Blick’s The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book

Dee’s book had received much acclaim and with her experience I knew there would be more to come, a theory which ultimately proved quite right. As you’ll see from the inset picture (left), by the time I reached the middle of the book I was turning down one leaf after another and although many of the observations and recommendations Dee made weren’t always new to me, they did remind me of many elements that have a habit of passing you by. However, unlike yesterday’s news that we rarely ever need to read again, going over the content in Dee’s book was a bit of an epiphany, there were so many pages that contained some simple suggestions that I had long since forgotten. Elements that may not be so relevant with those multi-million pound turnover clients, but facets that can be used to good effect with many smaller businesses.

If you are a small business, and you spend a lot of time managing the needs of your clients before finding the time to market yourself, I’d suggest you’ll find reading Dee’s book will be extremely valuable and if you can’t find the time to implement the lessons you learn from it, why not appoint a small business specialist A useful place to find these impartial contacts is the CIM’s own website. Visiting will take you directly to the CIM’s Marketing Expert – Consultants Directory, where you can search for specialists by category and in your chosen location!

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