Saturday, November 22, 2008

Talkin about this genn er ashun.....

Todays spoilt audi estate , Sports pack full turbo, generasjon is spoilt and credited to heck. Good times will but only that house you gotta stretch to.....take that extra credit card.,...our house will go up 30 percent ad infinitum....

In other words, there is a whole generation which has not been “adversity tested”.

Robbins says that to cope with the current level of change on a personal level, and to help us stay focussed on opportunity rather than fear of loss we should train ourselves emotionally – to build our “emotional fitness”. He states that we all have emotional patterns, or habits which will play out at times of great stress – angry people will get angry, fearful people will become even more fearful and so on.

So his strategy is firstly to identify what our habitual emotional patterns are, and then to consciously condition the emotions which are more helpful to us in terms of our response to crisis (for example, creativity or determination).

Robbins also encourages us to look outwards rather than inwards – to find a way to get outside of ourselves and realise that no matter how hard things are, there is always someone who has it harder. As he says, “If you help someone else, it changes you too.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

To Suceed....Fall Flat on Your Face; Repeat.

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success?....

It's quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure ..."

Thomas J. Watson – Founder of IBM

cont.... " You're thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn't at all... you can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it. So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember that's where you'll find success. On the far side.” –

Albert Einstein was by many accounts or rather interpretations of his intellect, a failure.

His language was late in developing. In fact he made no attempt to talk until he was more than three years old. His teachers' considered him mentally retarded because of his strange behavior and his failure to learn by memorizing. He had been home taught to the age of seven and didnt fit into the germanic, regimented and learn-by-rote ways of the education system. That his intelligence and inquisitiveness was evident from the many hours he spent experimenting with a pocket compass at age 5 was maybe however not lost on his father who gave him that probably fateful gift.....

In 1894 his father Hermann's business venture fails again. The family then relocates out over the Alps to Milan, Italy. After two months on his own, Albert obtains a doctor's certificate saying that he is suffering a nervous breakdown. The school authorities dismissed him. From there he spends a year in Italy. But again the business fails and the family moves to Pavia. Where again the business fails. Without a diploma he is not able to enter a University.

There are numerous examples in the world today of highly successful men and women who had to overcome many failures and setbacks along the way, but who also had the perseverance, determination and self belief to keep on trying.

For example, in his early career the actor Harrison Ford was told by the Vice President of the “New Talent” program for Columbia Pictures that he didn’t have what it took to make it in the movie business.

The VP said that in the first movie Tony Curtis ever appeared in he had just a 10 second shot delivering a bag of groceries, “but you could tell just by looking at him that he was a movie star”.

Ford replied that he thought the point was to look like a grocery delivery boy, however the VP didn’t find this funny and fired him. But with the true mindset of a winner, Ford simply said that was fine, as he didn’t want to work under those circumstances anyway.

He was also initially rejected by George Lucas to play Hans Solo in the first Star Wars movie, and was not the first (or second) choice to play Indiana Jones either, but the rest, as they say is history.

Another example is Basketball legend Michael Jordon, where at High School he tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year. However, at 5 feet 11 inches he was deemed too short to play …….

If either of the above examples had succumbed to the false belief that their failure in each case was final (as so many people do), how differently would their careers and lives have turned out?

The difference is that these individuals, and all individuals with a winning mindset learn to view failure as a positive thing rather than negative.

They understand that in order to be successful it is inevitable that failure will occur along the way and they learn to embrace failure rather than fear it, as the vast majority of us have been conditioned to do.

As Jordon says, “I know fear is an obstacle for some people, but it is an illusion to me… Failure always made me try harder next time.”


- det nye språket ved SMS!

Samtidig som "rubrikkannonse-språket" blir mer og mer utrydningstruet, har det oppstått et langt mer avansert språk. mange tiår, om ikke lengre, har man daglig kunnet lese forkortelser i avisene, som for eksempel: "Volvo 240, blå met. p.brukt. s.v.hjul, h.o.b. 50.000".

Inntil internett revolusjonerte kjøp og salg mellom privatpersoner, gjaldt det å spare penger når man annonserte - man betalte ofte for antall bokstaver eller linjer. Dette språket har nå mer eller mindre forsvunnet - men det har i samme periode oppstått et annet språk. Formålet er ikke å spare penger - men tid.

Språket(om man kan kalle det et språk) består i hovedsak av forkortelser og fungerer som et internasjonalt språk som brukes over hele verden. Under er en ordbok vi har samlet sammen på nett. Hjelp gjerne oss å lage denne komplett ved å foreslå ord i kommentarfeltet under.

AAK Asleep at the keyboard
AAR8 At any rate
ADAD another day, another dollar
AFAIC As far as I?m concerned
AFK Away from computer keyboard
ASAP As soon as possible
A/S/L Age/Sex/Location
ATM At the moment
ATW Around the web

B Back
B4N Bye for now
BBS Be back soon
BC Because
BCNU Be seein' you
BFN/B4N Bye for now
BG Big grind
BIL Boss is listening
BITD Back in the day
BMG Be my guest
BOTOH But on the other hand
BRB Be right back
BTDT Been there, done that
BTDTGTTSAWIO Been there, done that, got the t-shirt and wore it out
BTW By the way
BYKT But you knew that

CD9 Code 9: Parents nearby
CID Consider it done
CSL Can't stop laughing
COZ Because
CU See you
CUL eller CUL8R See you later
CULALIG8R See you later aligator

DQMOT Don't quote me on this
DMC Deep meaningful conversation

EOM End of message
EZ Easy
EG Evil Grin

F2F Face to face
F2T Free to talk
FAQ Frequently asked questions
FUGLY Fucking ugly
FWIW For what it's worth
FYI For your information

G2G Got to go
GAL Get a life
GF Girlfriend
GGN Gotta go now
GID Glad I deg
GJ Good job
GL Good luck
GOL Giggle out loud
GR8 Great
GRT Great
GTG Got to go
GW Good work

H8 Hate
HAK Hugs and kisses
HAND Have a nice day
Hax Hacking/ Jukse

IAC In any case
IAE In any event
IC I see
IDC I don't care
IDK I don't know
ILY I love you
IMHO In my humble opinion
IMNERHO In my never even remotely humble opinion
IMNSHO In my not so humble opinion
IMO In my opinion
IMPOV In my point of view
IOW In other words
IRL In real life

JIC Just in case
JK Just kidding
JTLYK Just to let you know

K Okay
Kewl Cool
Kgid Kjempe glad i deg
KIS Keep it simple
KIT Keep in touch

L8 Late
L8R Later
LBH Let's be honest
LOL Laughing out loud
LO2 Lotto (flaks)
L02K5 Ekstrem flaks
LØV Love

MIRL Meet in real life
MILF Mother I?d like (to) fuck
MORF Male or Female
MOS Mom over shoulder
MTFBWU May the force be with you
MYOB Mind your own business

NE Any
NBD No big deal
NILF Nerd I?d like to fuck
NMU Not much, you?
NP No problem
NRN No response necessary
Noob "Newbie" ? en nybegynner

OIC Oh, I see
OMG Oh my god
OTP On the phone
OWTTE Or words to that effect

P911 Parent emergency
PAW Parents are watching
PCM Please call me
PIR Parent in room
PILF Professor I?d like (to) fuck
PLS Please
PLZ Please
POC Point of contact
POS Parent over shoulder
POV Point of view
PRW Parents are watching
PWNED Owned/ Å bli eid i feks, data spill.

Q Question
QLT Kult

ROFL Rolling on floor laughing
ROFLMAO Rolling on floor laughing my ass off
ROTFL Rolling on the floor laughing
RL Real life
RSN Real soon now
RUOK Are you okay?

SFETE Smiling from ear to ear
SIT Stay in touch
SNX Snakkes
SOZ Sorry
STFU Shut the fuck up
SYS See you soon
S2R Send to receive

TAFN That's all for now
TBA To be announced
TBH To be honest
THX Thanks
TIA Thanks in advance
TMB Text me back
TOY Thinking of you
TER Ta en Rune/ Drite seg ut offentlig
TTFN Ta ta for now
TTYL Talk to you later
TY Thank you

U You
U2 You too

WB Welcome back
W/E Whatever
WFM Works for me
WTF What the fuck
WTG Way to go
WTH What the hell?
WU What's up?
WYGOWM Will you go out with me?

XOXO Kyss og klemmer

Y Why
YT You there?
YW You are welcome

ZZZ Sliten eller trett

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

condensed bullet points for short talk

  • positives in the recession- less experienced people in work seeking jobs; Risk Aversion
  • USP - Your own unique selling point - for that company !
  • MMO - Motivation is king , opportunity is in your favour
  • Go South
  • Open Applications - Quality, and get on the phone
  • Networking- market research and getting your face known in marketing depts.
  • Have a personal visiting card or make an MSc course card!
  • Go direct to the Decision makers
  • Use the career office for interview technique and preparation
  • 5 interviews to get on your career path - the first rung
  • With knock back for jobs or ANY delay of more than say five workign days it is VITAL to GET FEEDBACK on anything you could improve on in application and interview.
  • You don't need to stick a job a whole year if it is off track or just a foot in the door
  • Be demanding in what you want to do when offering your time free through work placement, LEC graduate schemes or just voluntary marketing for charities- get onto some juicy experience. Work shadowing is more productive than photocopying or tele "marketing".
  • Bend a sales job in an SME into a marketing job.
  • Get a sales job located near the HQ of the company
Tasks or Projects

  1. make a class business card and buy the print
  2. make a class flyer or web site- build the brand
  3. Locate all the marketing departments you can in Scotland and say Bristol or somewhere a bit nice to live. DO the same for all the agencies- ad agencies, internet, PR etc etc.As a class, phone them all ! get the key decision makers and find out if they are expanding or just possibly recruiting soon.
  4. Locate any recruitment consultants who actually help graduates into their first job or decent temporary work
  5. Find out about work placement schemes with the LECs, the uni here
  6. FInd as many local potential places to work as you can near where you live or may live back with your parents!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Your First Marketing Career Move in the Recession

Following on to "Job Hunting for the Marketing Graduate in 2008-09

Let's be positive! Companies need marketing in a recession, some are desperate to survive by reaching new customers. Also companies can be more demanding in who they recruit into marketing because they will expect those few to have a high retention and develop their careers with them. Maybe they will specify marketing education for these first positions whereas before they percieved a more open "best person"- they will be facing many more applications from graduates so they may use this as a filter.

Take another angle as presented in the last blogging, there will be fewer applications from experienced candidates in work because they will be keeping their heads down. Only a handful of marketing managers or even assitants will lose their job, so the competition from them is far less. Further to this, people will not want to leave a secure job to work in a start up or higher risk profession. Sales people will stay out in their cars, and marketing assistants will not move into advertising agencies for example.

The down side is that many, many more graduates will be seeking work and applying to advertised vacancies. It is therefore your task to save companies money by going direct before they advertise or go to the expense of comitting to recruitment firms. You are going to

Going south to the London area becomes more attractive because there will be lots and lots of rental properties and other northerners won't want to risk moving there. COnversely people in marketing jobs in london who own their houses or have a cheap place rented will not want to move due to the whole negative equity thing for the former. So some jobs in the provincial counties ie Up North, out West etc may be more available.

So once again- my key advice: do many, good quality spec' applicaitions, network to markeitng managers to find out how they got there and maybe get your name known, and move south. Get involved with new spin outs and start ups and any LEC or Scottish Enterprise support for small companies or placements for graduates.

The Size and Shape of Your First Job

Being in a job makes it a lot easier to get another job. It puts a value on your head for the recruitment constultants and a percieved "pinch" from another firm of someone who is willing to get out of bed early and work hard. Also YOU are showing your mMO for the job at this other firm OVER that job you have already.

SAYING IT ONCE AGAIN: last time I promise : YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED ONE YEAR IN YOUR FIRST JOB to be able to move to a better job.

This puts a new complexion on things- you can take a job any time after your exams and either stuff doing the MSc project, or run it as a project in your job which is a lot better than struggling on in the evenings with it and will get all round brownie points AND probably move you more in to a marketing stream in the company rather than say just sales-

Once in this job you do need to keep it relevant to be able to sell your self out or indeed to just hold on to it and your sanity if nothing else really turns up by the time a year has gone by.

How do you do this? Well you may get taken on a very vague premise as a graduate trainee or just a placement by a LEC and it is easy to get side lined into what becomes largely a telesales job. Turn this on it's head by doing the MSc project there and doing some good quality market research. Demand some marketing responsibility - PR is free, web pages cheap as chips; or actually ask for a defined, ring fenced communications budget. Use my SBM techniques to mopve your job as far away from being a dull direct markeitng, telesales follow up or just endless presentations to potential "partner" ie punters.

Small or Large?

When looking at the above, LEC and spinout/ start ups then these are mostly small or smallish companies. If you land a "marketing assistant" job at a big company it can actually be harder to move out without first moving UP and that can take time - meanwhile you are the marketing dogsbody with your MSc the butt of jokes!

When coming into a small company you have more levarage over your job title. Be cheeky- try and get somethign like product manager, brand manager or even marketing manager ! Avoid being landed with "marketing assistant" or the vague "executive" and ask if you could be at least an Assistant brand/product or marketing manager. I have been offered brand manager and declined out of embaressment for their measily budget after a LEC placement came to be a job.

Small companies don't have the time to waste going back to recruit new or take someone else on a placement so use this leverage and the power of your MSc to win a decent job title in order to spring you out when you want to move into a proper budget company!! Having at least "APM" as job title will make you much more sellable by other people- and on paper, but especially when networking and doubley especially when now contacting those once disinteressted parties, the recruitment companies. Michael Page Marketing will now be calling YOU quite frequently.

When workign for large companies, at entry "assistant" level, you need to make sure that you aren't walking into two years of photocopying or if there are unexpected surprises- try and talk to the person last int he job and push the line manager as to what tasks you will get andwhat the likely career progression would be given hard work! (phrase it as much as what is in it for THEM as ME!) For example there are several jobs in Scotland I have been to which were marketing assistant to begin with and progressed to being a sales or account manager - with few positions ever becoming vacant beyond that. A large company may expect you to serve your time in sales to ever get a brand manager job, and this pretty much reigned in the whisky and beer marketing jobs when I was graduating- a long slog flogg!

Using an Outside Job Offer as an Internal Springboard where you are!

In a recession, complaining about your job when it is clearly as it was in outset is a bad idea.... and even if the "maybe get to do's" talked about don't come to fruition, complaining can put your head on the block when it comes to cut backs or when a bosses niece wants a marketing job! ( i was sacked for this very reason and very nepotistic replacement as the bread winner in a family with children by some fukkking norwegians last year!)

BUT if you aren't getting to do juicy marketing then there is something wrong. You should have looked the gift horse in the mouth and outlined a couple of concrete projects to utilise your skills before you even sign up..... but all that can go wrong and petty jealousys from those already employed can soon see you side lined in an "assistant" role. Trying to get onto projects is good, but you will quite likely end up the dogs body !

IN big companies then you do have to be aware that the best route may be a short time in sales rather than as a marketing dogs body, or alternatively to work in smaller companies as say an APM and come over quickly into such a role in a blue chipper. Ask carefully how for example a brand manager has got into their position.

Ad Agency Versus Client Side in a Recession

Advertising agencies and all the other marketing and related IT business services have a tough time in recessions BUT recover very quickly because they are lean and mean!

The economics of nearly all agencies is simple in a recession- lose a client, lose your job! Big or small, loss of a major client, several smaller or just big budget cuts from them means the company is "right sized" over night.

This is all a very known fact amongst experienced marketers and it is known as a high pressure, long hour job. Agencies of all sorts may be very open to a trial period, free project period or placement because they don't incurr costs. Also you can maybe get in as a dispensible graduat account executive on a low salary. A perfect spring board to other agencies! keep on lookign for a job elsewhere !

Under a recession while in the ad' agency you may find that you have more responsibility earlier than in any client side job, and also it can diversify more quickly as agencies struggle to win "through the line" business from existing clients rather than doing too much pitch work (they have right sized and often just don't commit resources to more than defending current clients as In agency.) So you may start in account planning and end up running a big internet site for a customer!

You will as always get very hands on experience int he mechanics of producing all that is visible in marketing. ALso you will get exposure to doing this profitably with lower budgets! This makes you ideal as a marketing manager in a company needing to cut budgets when you leave the agency world for "client side"


As I stated above, many marketing positions demand that you have worked in sales wihtin that company or at least industry. I would say in b2b marketing, 90% of product manager have worked in sales. Also there are some plumb foot int he doors at big companies as sales people leave or fight for promotion to an office job which may be percieved as safer. Take overs and down sizing are rife and it is often the cream who leave at the first wiff of redundancies. So there is space often in good territories (worked well by the last guy and with enough potential customers in a small enough geography to maximise your time in creaitng any growth figures)

I would extend whisky and beer sales for PM entry to probably financial marketing- the biggest two employers of marketers for nine years agho when I was a lad!

As a graduate sales trainee you are actually more sheltered fromt he recession than the marketing asssitant. Also you are not expected to be truely performing until 12 months are up, so you may well have moved on before you need to slog those 12 hour days in the mondeo to get a sales track record as a springboard- both strategies in one scentence! Work hard, get results, threaten to leave or just leave to a competitor as a marketing person armed with invaluable information !

Some elements of sales are related to your degree and you should exploit this so as to show prospective employers in marketing how you are apllying your knowledge in not just the usual sales day. Business analysis, customer segmentation, analysing market research reports, business planning, sales conversion analysis, consumer behaviour, real world versus internal blah-blah claims for products. Crucially, marketing communications at the coal face- what works and what doesn't hold water right there and then from the customers response.

As long as you have a nice manager and fun team to work with at training and conferences on Tenerife, sales is fully tolerable and indeed an alternative career in itself. TO move on you will need to get results, which means finding buyers and listening to them over a period of time and winning their trust enough to really find out what will be decisive. Simple as that. wiht a lot of tyre wear and shoe leather using up your grey matters time on this planet. With an arrogant, overbearing and dominatn boss and managemetn structure it can be a nightmare and you should be getting out into their marketing dept asap.

CIM Dip Marketing in 2009-10?

If you are not in a sexy, hands on marketing job but rather at assistant level, in sales or in shitty job, a CIM course wiht attendance at meetings can:

  1. keep you sane
  2. use your brain
  3. case study is good for personal development
  4. network with potential managers who may employ you
  5. find out who sales reps work for and beat them into their own marketing departments before they qualify in CIM!!!
Armed with the Dip CIM you can always go down further career development plans with them, and also you can hunt down employers who prefer CIM (only ever met one small company, but LECS maybe like accreditation for consultancies)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Getting A job in Marketing in the 2008/2009 recession

Job Hunting in 2009 for the Strathclyde University / business school MSc Marketing Graduate.

Okay there is going to be a recession ….in many business sectors at least this means slow growth, and in some areas downsizing. It means less recruitment and less marketing budget.

This is going to be a big recession in some sectors- housing for example and recruitment consultancy luxury ‘capital items’ (yachts, holiday homes, camper homes, flash cars) and premium mass consumer items because joe mortgage punter has been using his capital as leverage on loans. Now him, the bank and any given company which did the same based on it’s stock value are in the same boat. Fubar.

Given even a recession as bad as the early 80s, it is still vital that companies recruit competence in marketing at this time to capture share, retain customers and in fact use the opportunity to make their marketing even more cost effective.

For you people at Strathclyde's MSc Marketing course, it is going to be even tougher to get on the career ladder because the competition for jobs will get worse- fewer general graduate traineeships (milk-round), fewer people risking to change job, fewer people starting on their own, fewer people retiring early... and so on, the career ladder or tree is more locked internally and at its roots of entry level.

On the last point this means that there are in fact fewer experienced people out there applying for jobs FROM within a good job, but this doesn’t really help you against the masses of applications for advertised jobs. However it does mean that many companies with needs to recruit or expand in marketing, and other 'foot in the door' jobs of interest to you, do not get many open applications from experienced candidates . Also higher risk jobs, mainly in establishing new businesses, divisions, regional/country S&M attract less interest.

So now you will get the feeling that scouring the S&M pages and searches on your usual web sites will no longer be your prioritized, time weighted job searching activity. Instead you will turn the usual system on it’s head and utilize open approaches to companies, networking and new shaping.

First of All let’s talk about the most attractive market sectors and job types:

Attractive Market Sectors in a Recession

This is for your personal job market and not just by product / industry category. When I was graduating in the early nineties I would say most marketing graduates or oxbridgers looked upon the demigods in FMCG as being their future womb for APM to brand manager career.

Now I suspect there is a different attitude amongst you, post the dot com boom and “reboom” when google, yahoo etc sold out, and the years of down sizing and “euro marketing” which have ravaged the blue chip companies. Also there is far more public focus on the SME sector than in the early 90s.

In a recession, or economic slow down, there are actually companies which grow their top line, or just bottom line. These broadly split into:

· Gazelles

· Recession Opportunists

Gazelle companies are those young enterprises who have exhibited the highest growth in a given geographical area ( and to given top line targets in maybe achieving 100k GBP or euros or what ever in year 1 and growing more than 10% or twice the general company or GNP figure. ( see gazelle awards / competition from Scottish enterprise, the Scottish office or for other areas in uk or feks. Dagensnæringliv

Many of them have such sound business propositions and strong, hard working teams that they continue to grow in recessions. However many are very related to those areas hardest hit in the recession- retail, travel and housing/ building. Those that live outside a housing, consumer or IT bubble may well continue to out-grow the market and actually perform relatively much better, thus attracting more investment from the stock markets or hungry private investors starved for decent ROI.

Gazelle companies are always upsizing at the time you catch them as a gazelle!

Since the IT and internet revolution there is no longer the expectation that gazelles simply fall prey to acquisition by the big entrenched players. Often they move so fast and give such firm ROI that shareholders or VC do not see the need to sell out to the big companies and float on the stock market! Or they are better than that- privately held by entrepreneurs like bill gates or the yahoo / google boys until they float out as multi millionaires while retaining heavy interests and salaries!

Recession Opportunists:

There are of course ‘vultures’ out there or rather canny entrepreneurs or flexible divisions in larger companies who spot a new market sector or know that an area is going to be attractive.

For my money in 2009-2011 as we ride out the housing finance crisis, the best of these will be in rental accommodation. “loan sharking” be that illegal or barely legal may also grow but as a marketer working in rental property can be a very good career start for working in this hole area or just getting a portfolio or web pages, flyers, database marketing, customer/client handling, sales and administration behind you.

The building boom around Europe has left a lot of new properties unsold, and first time buyers have been locked out by the ‘ladder leverage earnings’ most people enjoyed over 2001-2007 or over a longer term. Now there is a new dynamic in the market and first time buyers will be a sought after quantity when credit stabilizes around the key western economies.

There may also be a return to ‘bucket’ supermarkets or other products or even services being sold at a premium. More people may travel by bus and rail or buy the super-budget Kia type cars. All areas fighting for peoples lower dollar. Of course in the EU and EØS lands so many people work in public sector or in unionised industries that they will be in a bit of a bonus time- finally affordable houses and a safer than most job! Recessions at their worst mean that two out of three people of working age are in work.

Personal services such as babysitting or stress counseling may well also show growth in 2009-11 as people work longer hours to make up for negative equity or just to keep their jobs. As things pick up, home improvements become attractive (DIY as it used to be) because people want to sell up while they can in a busy buyers market.

Other areas attractive under a recession can include management consultancy and venture capital- well known vultures in recession. VC an do quite well out of recessions because people have money and their ROI is much less on the “street” ( wall street) Shares are devalued and dividends slashed. The safe havens of bonds, secuirities etc are low ROI so any signs of recovery mean the “money” wants to jump ahead of the game – get high ROI and then go back to the stock market. Also in any VC fund there is a spread betting across industries or even competing emerging companies and so they act like a high growth hedge fund, defending at least in part one area by having investment in either complimentary areas or other sectors where the lead indicators and, erm bullshit is looking in double figures ( now an entrenched view of ROI / Top line and profit growth for it to be worth VC going into)

VC and management consultancies act like true vultures in terms of mergers and acquisitions- many of these are more attractive on paper than they turn out to be in reality. Talk of ‘reduced redundancy’, shared overhead and market-access are actually little proven in reality, but in the short term, firing a lot of people is good on the balance book. Eventually customers get pissed with crappy service and enough of the good former employees go out and compete in one form or another that the merged company looses share.

Recession opportunists also like to work cheap- fees are down, and they don’t want to pay 100K a year for people with a good CV from the city but no work in the last 6 months! See new shaping. So you are in with a shout. Many fresh MBA graduates go there without much work experience.

However recessions are good for real-world capitalists, if not bankers and stock brokers – dead wood can be cut out, some sectors can be exploited.

Job Seeking in A Recession

Networking, Open Approaches and New Shaping

These are all actually well trodden paths in the job seeking market, especially in a recession or downsizing time. However I want to give you a new spin on these. They relate to paths fought out by you, the individual, and should be the focus of your job “shaping” activity out over the next year.


I’ve written fairly extensively about this in a previous Freddie blogg. But now there is a new spin:

Your friends and family now have a far better excuse for unashamed nepotistic acts!

It’s a tough time, she’s really struggling to get work that is going to take her anywhere….anything you could do…......I want to pull in that favour you owe me Jim…do you know of anyone taking people on..….

To recap there are two things important in 2009:

1) Degrees of separation- there need only be one or two – everybody knows somebody who can at some point get you a job.

2) Plead desperation: use any family emotional levers, or favours owed to your family!

3) Personal branding- clever, hard working, reliable and fits in the team are enough for now.

4) Avoid the word ‘marketing’ necessarily ( more on that soon)

Snowballing will be less effective in the now “bear market” because you lose any emotional blackmail by being too many degrees of separation away! Combine any tenuous links now (and not in the good times as presented earlier) with open approaches.

Open Approaches

I choose to say ‘approaches’ very consciously over ‘applications’. Open applications are too easy to be lazy over. You can just fire them out.

If you aren’t really skilled at DM writing and execution then in a recession you will get no where, even locked out when they do recruit because you were so generic and blasé with your first letter.

Your objective in an open approach is to be a good marketer – listen to the needs in the market and adapt your communication to meet the customer expectation and close the deal.

Also another big door slammer if you like, is to approach a firm’s personnel division or for an SME their director or general manager and mention the word “marketing” in the first sentence. Why ? well for the larger companies they are inundated with people wanting to work in marketing while they only have maybe one graduate position a year. For SMEs they equate marketing with spending money and not making it - not good in a recession! -and may have had their fingers burnt with young, naive over spending marketing graduates before.

So don’t mention marketing, at least at first.

In fact be very coy. Go so far as to introduce yourself as a mere "business graduate". The focus is firmly not on you but on them! Take time to research who you approach and flatter them by showing interest in their company, then ask what areas they may need to recruit in over the next six months.

Okay, so now you have noticed I am moving you into the area of getting on the dreaded telephone and talking to people. I am myself very, very skilled at writing well targeted letters selling myself and have had good jobs on the back of this, they contacted me back in fact. But in a recession you have to work harder and raise your game to get the best hidden opportunities or even to get a job as a stepping stone out of shitty student jobs.

What you are doing is a classic open consultancy sale. You are flattering the person or corporate adoptive personality, and then establishing their needs. After establishing their needs you can match some of your competence to those in a well targeted open application. Management consultants get paid to define problems and needs and then of course are experts overnight in any given industry and market.

Your Approach > Be to the Point, Polite and Prepared to Walk Away and Come back later.

Foot in the Door Jobs

In a recession it can be the best thing to get into a company and spring board internally, because there are many factors in favour of internal promotion. Of course you may end up going down a completely different and rewarding career path: project management, customer services management, sales/Key account, etc But if you are able to be enthusiastic and motivated to work for a company which really interests you then getting in the door is better than sitting in a BS marketing assistant “gofer” job elsewhere getting demotivated in the company selling washers or washing powder or whatever.

BE thee the extrovert networker, the quiet hard working type or the assertive pedantic one - working in an entry level job can lead to a rewarding next move into marketing - that move being from a job in customer services, purchasing & logistics, business analysis, book keeping, IT (database and web can be integrated to marketing) delivery or last but not least of course sales or sales support.

What’s in it for the employer in Open Approaches?

As with any time, you save them money by avoiding recruitment costs in going direct. In a recession companies know that they will be inundated by applications and calls if they advertise and are pretty happy to get someone quick while the bosses\investors are willing to allocate that head count (people are dreadful empire builders and like more toy soldiers on their floors!) Also recruitment consultants can milk them under recessions just to survive on current customers.

It is well worth while contacting lots of local companies to where you live/ this saves them relocation costs or worries at least, you too, and in a recession you be offered less to get in the door. Don’t oversell yourself- in recession some rich parents were paying firms so that their law graduates to get their years practice instead of being unemployed!!!

In relation to getting a foot in the door job, there are other costs which are avoided because you have been there a while! For example general corporate H&S training, data system courses and learning curve, company wide quality initiatives etc.
Not in the least is that as far as personality, reliability and ability to work hard and affectivity goes they have had maybe six months to a year of test driving you while you have been avoiding the dole queue. Not to mention a graduate who can't egt out of their bed in the a of m.

Account Mapping and the DMU

Using a very open approach with personnel departments, in order to enquiring about future recruiting is the very best foot in the door to a company. After all it is their job to hire good people and do that quickly. Even if they have no jobs now, they may be interested in taking in an open letter and CV or if you have sent a letter (don't send a CV ever in the first place!) they will maybe remember you.

But in fact especially as far as marketing goes, quite often they are either blind or reluctant to tell about the forthcoming positions. Marketers by nature are ambitious and competitive and compared to say accountants or personnel people they change jobs far more often, either internally or by moving on to pastures green(er). So it is important to get in touch with the marketing manager or director to uncover any un mentioned acctual forthcoming percieved needs at least which personnel may not be savez to.

Furthermore, personnel are merely gate keepers for marketing recruitment. It is the marketing director or line manager who selects candidates for interview once need arises to employ. They then have the final decision or most influence if it is just rubber stamped by the CEO. Hence define your DMU/ decision making unit in terms of an actual job or potential.

  • This can be more torturous than you may think and there are often hidden agendas and nepotism along the way. But at the end of the day they will consider several people for any position most often. You just have to be in there and keen by that very presence.

    In contacting the decision maker, or strong influencer, once again the approach is the same> research, flattery, interest in the company either now or in their future and when with they may be recruiting.

    When the two doors of personnel and key marketing manager have for now shut with no fruit, then it's the time to put them on the back burner for a wee while. BUT if you really, really wanted to work for them or within that industry or job position then, now go and find someone else in marketingthere. Say at product manager or marketing comms level who is prepared to speak to you at a meeting to find out more about the job, company or industry.

    Now if you are working at this level we can move on to making your own luck so to speak, in talking about new-shaping.

    To summarise so far>

    · You have identified desirable companies you want to work for
    o Hand picked from gazelle companies
    o Near home for working cheap!
    o Relevant to your first degree
    o Relevant to your motivations and career goals
    § Pre/requisite that they have a positive view on marketing communications and maybe market research

    · You have made an initial approach expressing interest by letter or phone

    · At this point, or at the next, you have established ANY recruiting going on

    · You have found the key decision maker in marketing recruitment

    · You have built an open application and CV around THEIR current recruitment need

  • o or if they are not recruiting at all, you present your MOTIVATION and any USP in relation to their marketing department

  • · You have sent this targeted appplication and followed it up

  • o Focusing on getting a foot in the door, forget marketing if they aren\t hiring there.

  • o Ask if you can have a first brief interview for a specific job or recruiting area.

  • o Focused on working for them, that industry, that chance to work now!

  • o maybe asking for an opportunity to present yourself for their future reference

    New Shaping

    Now as a class you could just do a very basic thing to ring around the top 100 employers in Scotland and the top 20 gazelle companies in your home area to ask if they are recruiting into marketing. The productivity of even generating leads would be quite low and then you would be 30 or 40 people applying wouldn’t you!?

    Far better, as an extension to your open approaches, to really think about what motivates you and where you want to go.

    Marketing in terms of defining customer needs, shaping product and communicating benefits to those ends is a business fundamental. The world\s first marketing manager was probably a cave man pimp. At some stage all companies need to do marketing of some form.

    So your objective is to present yourself to companies, entrepreneurs, investors, technology transfer/new start agencies and find out what they are up to and then turn it all around to the basic need for marketing.

    For an SME, market communication is far more cost effective than sales, but it’s hard to pull off because people who can do it, like to have more budget. However todays SME is tomorrows Microsoft or Apple. Often their greatest need for marketing is market research at the very outset of what I call “decision to commercialise” a term taken out of just tech transfer.

    Many companies fail because of bad market research and a proposition to a niche which had no market size in it. In high tech arenas they are often ahead of the time when consumers or businesses will be comfortable to use the product and the technology would be better being sold into R&D boffins than people\s homes.

    In many cases what the new start entrepreneur believes is a totally unique spin in the market is just that to consumers/ a spin, a bluff, bullshit and not truly a unique differentiator. Often a new service, technology or style just doesn\t actual perform that much better in getting the consumer from A to B, so to speak. There are many pitfalls which can be avoided in start ups by having good market research and an awe inspiring, insightful and actionable bit of research can not only lead to success for the company but allow you to build a whole marketing empire!

    As a new masters graduate I was lucky to have some quality work experience in a graduate professional sales position prior to coming here. But it did trap me in the belief that some nice corporate in Scotland was going open it’s doors with a fan faire for the marketer with a sales track record. I would go into the womb of a major FMCG or medical marketing department and be born again a shining brand manager. I hope this belief is somewhat more balanced in your minds by working in gazelles, in the emerging industries and in new start ups.

    That’s not to say don’t apply to Guiness Distillers PLC or Baxters soups or the likes. Just be aware that you can often shape your own future more fruitfully and more satisfactorily by looking at alternative approaches to what creating a job and career step means.

    Everyone is unique, has a USP to say it in an acronymous way, and often the most rewarding job is one which is uniquely shaped by that individual.

    In intellectual businesses, like advertising or many internet bureaus, often new business development focuses on shaping something the customer has never even thought of. In going to customers locked into other agencies with fresh ideas or actually sources of marketing funding!

    Now I happen to have some examples of new shaping in my own career> firstly a very good demonstration of why the response to advertised jobs fails and secondly in working around the recruitment chain to get an open application to the key decision maker. I was able to present my USPs and what I could do, and had jobs either made for me specifically or had then matched around me and faced no real competition in landing the roles, all of them key in my career incidentally.

    Back in the early nineties I didn\t feel much like a new shaping, entrepreneurial type with a silver tongue and a nose for potential. I felt more like an expectant spoilt middle class kid who didn\t feel they should have to try to hard. At first in November 93 it went well for me with a little bit more than a practice place in RFM consulting on an interesting project. But through lack of savey and grasping all that I could maybe, I left behind that potential springboard to flounder for basically the next two and half years!

    I feel that new shaping is a likely consequence of my own need for control, variety and the impatience to move on to the next project. Also that until now I have had no choice in my relationships at work and now want to create those which are most positive and find those under workers whom most support the team and my visions. I do continue to feel that I need “one more meaty marketing job” and I have the luxury of piles of experience to make applications on. However do I really have the motivation beyond that usual, hee I am getting a pay cheque 30 november for this??

    In ten years time from today, some of the SMEs you will work in will be blue chips or remain very dynamic and stimulating companies to work for anyway! Conversely, many of today’s blue chips will have merged, some gone bust and yet others centralized European marketing to somewhere in Belgium!

A lot of you aren't going to get lucky on the blue chip marketing career chain and if you do struggle either there or in boring SMEs then please reconsider what you are doing...........> >> If after a couple of less than fully satisfactory years go by, find out who, where or what type of company culture you want to work for and try to shape your own position and future within that.

The last comment on new shaping is the obvious one in this topic- start your own company. I think this should be the practical experience unit of ANY business course. As soon as you take the initiative and start going to all these LEC and SE meetings and the universities initiatives you find sources of money to do most things like feasibility/ (read market research). Even if you don't get anywhere after a few months of establishing contacts with potential funders, grant & course providers and not in the least customers then you will be doing an apprenticeship in hard knocks and it will pay you in good stead later if you see the opportunity to start something good.

As a parting comment, think of this-

like an athelete you set your own goals, your own milestones to achieve and shape yourself to get there. No one else is going to jog five miles a day for your heart, and no one else is going to make your career happen and shape it into a stimulating and rewarding journey in those many working hours you have before you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Well the wee man cam to the world of light and wonder almost exactly a week ago.

18:53 on the 14th. With a fairly sunny evening underway in arndl maternity wards.

The birth was only remakrable by it's speed. Waters had gone on the wee hours of friday 2.30 about. Thereafter it was clearly needing to happen within three days. We hoped for a voiding the terrible 13th and did so. They told us to come in early sunday, we obliged and they stripped and induced at 12 ish. Everything came in motion quite literally after that where 2cm as soon opend to 4 then 8 then 10 and out. We had nice, matter of fact and caring jordmor this time. I got to sit with him a long time looking at him with the eyes of an exoperienced 40 year old father! Maturity. A little distance and understanding for him being just a wee flekk right now with only routine and the usual things to avert or pander to his crying.

This time was more of a regular daddy visit than with evamo. Then we had our own wee womb of hospital for several days with the smell of new baby with me 24 hours. Now big sister is of an age to be just out of all things baby- she walks most places now and we are only giving her dummy as a kind of tuller thing. So it's a good distance between births to walk.

Big sis' needed quite a lot of time but was good as gold in the car helped along byt casper og jesper og jonotan. In total we did a trip thursday, friday saturday then in for the birth and then back again tuesday and finally home quite early on wednesday. I was sick of the road but to add a sting in the tail an accident in fortn of us made for a long way round along the horrid twisty coast road in the car we had loaned.

So felix came home in the end in the rather cramped three up back seat of a citroen zsara we had loaned amd saw the back end of Tvedstrand and a fair few corners in the 410 before coming down the swings to our new found home town.

Arendal actually is very tempting- a feel of life about it with boat commuting seemingly populatr across the Tomøy sound. Our wander lust again. The grass does seem greener when you are helt new to a place.

Nayway this is the wee man blogg, so we are on the way home and there is an accient...yep. we got home and I am on a camp bed in the south land house with it's chamring ans certainly not king size built in box beds. The wee man likes feeding at night, maybe a primeval instinct. mum hunts and gathers in daylight, he reaps the profits in milk dividends at night-

He is both quite simialr to his sister and different. Temperament is quiter but grumpy as heck when he is hungry...hmm womnder where he gets that from. He can almost hold up his own head as well. lovely new born smell of soap and warm skin perisists though as does the endless orang bæsj.

we are home and all is in it's place. His wee bed and day cot. The stella table and the patented nappy bin. The wee glimpses of personality and the peaceful sleeping outwieighing any actual crying.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Getting the flat tidied out and washed must have been the biggest anticlimax in my life.

From the monday night through saturday 1pm I must have doen 16 hour days to get it done, and all this after 22 hour stint on sunday with the van.

The main problem was just the confusion and the unknown. Eventually I plnned my work and worked my plan. It didn' get too scary until about midnight friday. Then I was knackered and needing coffee and pizza and beers. I managed to get the hall and the bog done, just leaving the kitchen and the balcony along with the final once over the thoroughfayres.

The main stress point was the stuff to chuck. Eventually like a lull in the gale, and after failures with various attempts to rid me of cooker, desks and chairs, I got Nikolai to help me up the stairs and then arne and me took the stuff away. Fretex refused it, but as if the sun had now come out after the storm, the recycling dump was almost void of people because it was shuttign on the 30th not for the 30th.

Arne was lured by further cash payment and so came to do the balcony. Proff job while I stressed over te kitchen and even final 'sergeant majors' on the bathroom and windows.

Done and almost dusted so Arrived the owner with daughters on a lovely dry sunny day, perfect for moving. She was veryt pleased with the cleaning. With the car stuffed for the tour I just had to take off down the road....

the sense of anticlimax was enourmous. As if I ran a marathon to discover the finish line had been cancelled due to lack of interest.

So the new life and family focus came upon me with the amazing Risør energy. Fills the soul with peace.

That is where life should be now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Further Notes on Pulling the Plug on your erstwhile gainful period of employ

Often people leave for either or both of two main reasons: dissatisfaction and stress. The two are inextricably linked.

However what you really need to ask yourself before pulling the plug is if it is the company or just the position you are in? Or even just a paticular set of circumstances, a situation or something else which is going to blow over. The point being that you can influence your situation and environment more than you may think. Think of your exit point as being rather the rebirth of your career and personal-job-lifestyle balance. An emergence with new found assertiveness in a hail of positivity rather than just a 'phew, Got TFO of there.

One observation i have is that when people are leaving to do something better ( not being fired as in'¨persue new challenges" ) and are not given the so-called gardening leave or get-out-of-jail-free cards, then their effectiveness increases. Basically they focus on what's important to tie up and finalise, what is worth spending effort delegating on, and those internal and external relationships get a new spin of relaxed positivity. What happens is the shit gets dumped off. All company video conferences are mysteriously forgotten. Continual improvement committees are left a seat empty roudn the table. Small, time consuming 'pet acorn' customers are ignored. Large,low margin customers get the bare service vaneer they actually earn! So the reasons for a the rise in effectivity are clear- but why didn't you put some of these into place before you resigned?

In considering a move it is worth preparing long in advance. Dissatisfaction comes from either having too much work, or the wrong type of work tasks or actually not earning enough because your work tasks and position are not "percieved" to be of high enough value to warrant a bigger salary. So there is a clear first asseriveness tool for the would be resignee. List out what you do want to do, what you don't, and what you know has money or prestige on it: usually this is obvious financially, but for other tasks you need to be cunning.

The key to success in big companies and small is understanding that you have to suck up more than you dump on people UNTIL you are in a position where you need to dump on everyone. Being assertive means not being a little doubting thomas or wet-blanket (like I have been often myself when less than enthusiastically recieving a delegated 'dump'.) A reasonable task to get dumped on you is a reasonable task if you have the time to do it and the person you do it for is able to help you in your current position- Excepting ambushes where a prick/bitch sucks/feltches your own boss or internal customer into getting the task done and sits you in a meeting to force you to do it. (this is an assertiveness rant paragraph) Once you get your head around the feeding chain and where you are EXPECTED to behave on it's links , and that you get paid to do something less tedious than play with the kids all day, you should think a little more positively.

But often there is a frustration between where you are and where you want to be or unfortunetly where you expected to be given either a vague job description, false promises or plain old self-delusion. In your career you have to be very clear on WHERE you want to be next, ( even if that is just continuing on, a bit irrelevant to this? no actually, no) Once you are clear on where you want to be long term so can you begin to chart out the dots to then fill in with your career line.

Being realistic ? Set a goal you can see yourself acheiving in light of your personal life and nothing much more. You want to be a MD? Burn to ride the tour-de france? You are only morally grounded in what you owe your family and loved ones. If 14 hour days are not in your happy daily life with the kids, then forget CEO of a wall street listed company.

So start with Gap analysis- your own little situation and status now, a SWOT, and the goals / measures which define or ar demanded of the future 'dream job'. This is how atheletes achieve, they measure their current performance and have not just blind ambition- they set a long term goal, get coaching and break down tasks into daily routines, then new challenges, preparing for events, competing, working their way up the ladder. The trick is in moving out of the comfort zone and taking the first step. It can be a real leap of faith and that belief is in your self. Often the lever in achieving the very first step is to threaten to leave or at least open discussions on dissatisfactions or better, positive personal development to the betterment of your performance.

Knowing where you are is have the battle if not more, won! Working yourself into a position of indispensibility as a key bargaining position is another approach rather than just plain sacking yourself.

I had a coworker who was a business analyst. Basically a laid back former blue collar guy who was street smart. He kept a low but freindly profile. He was advanced if not expert in excel, but that is more than any boss over the age of 45 is. So he could run rings around them and make a fairly simple task out of complex 'slicing and dicing' and do it quickly. ( slicing and dicing montly reports was high need for bosses BTW) He found new means of doing things quicker and getting IT to deliver cleaner data but only so far that his own little manual operations remained integral and in a black box twixt the geeks and the suits. He had worked his way up to a little niche and reached the dissy heights of BA, better paid than me for half the work load and half the brain power!

So this is to exmplify that a "must have" information need can actually lead to a higher percieved value of your work and developments. A good IT manager could have put our man Jim out of existance in short order but he did his little magic niche and became indespensible.

The other issue is that in many positions reporting to white collar management you are higher value in leaving than you were at your desk. Just like posthumous record sales, you can be worth more in your mnetaphorical coffin particularily if you have gardening leave as company security policy (your personal items will be returned to you at security!) Why??

I had another coworker by the name of Dr. Klenka, seriously that was his name, and this bouncing Czech as he was known became a grand master of getting ever higher salaries. He managed to more than double his salary and move positions seemlessly as if being promoted magically by outstanding information. He just threatened to leave all the time. What he was able to exaggerat was the loss of a highly qualified person. Whether or not he was wily enough to time this around stress points at management I don't know. But he played on the modern-man-managers weak points: 1) retention of staff targets 2) development of internal staff / internal sourcing. These are both two little figures which lead to sweat on the brow if a departmental manager has had the dick out the trousers on this. That is to say it is no problem what so ever until it is a problem and sticks out. So like hitting a gofer with a hammer he nails two goals with one swoop.

Your strategy in choosing this path has to include a back up plan. In fact you should have a back up plan as soon as you get the deep urge to get up an leave before you take any visible, audible or even psychic action to resign!


okay we have discussed around nice ways of coming out shining by either threatening to leave or asserting what tasks and position is of most mutual benefit to both parties. What if, as in my last blogg, the situation is truly one of intolerable cruelty? Is your treatment really actually outside that which you expect? Agrression and sarcasm, social exclusion, domineering micromanagement ? Talk with your freinds and don't stick out one of these situatons very long. Maybe you are the source of anger, stress and resentment in others. This may be a severe personality flaw or mental illness or actually just that a couple of key colleague relationships are chalk and cheese, cats and dogs. It just is square pegs and round holes, you are just a catalyst for their bad behaviour but the focus can be placed on YOUR behaviour. This tends to happen when very extrovert personalities work with stable, quiet, controlling types or the reverse. Opposites do not often attract in the work place- hence IT are geeks , marketing luvvies and accounts are the way they mostly just are- dull and flocking.

Is there a definable boundary for when a situation is serious enough to just GTFO?

# inability to switch off at home
# disturbed sleep or appetite
# palpitations
# heighten anxiety or even panic attacks
# loss of concentration and ability to perform tasks proficiently as before
# dizzyness, tiredness which is a danger in driving, operating machinery etc
# stomach or chest pains and distrubed bowel movements
# high aggression from you to coworkers and others outside work

If you have two or more of the above and you work in a small concern with no real touchy-feely atmosfere and no personnel division to cosset you then plan to GTFO.


I think it starts with maybe the majority of people being either B mennesker or A people who would rather not conform to any time table. Anyway for most people in the west the daily commute gets the various stress chemicals going. THen the very act of coming in the doors of the orroffice can get the blood pressure up. Like pavlov's dogs we fall victim to subconscious conditioning. In fact we get completely and utterly masochistically addicted to this state of stress. It becomes not only a 'natural' daily reaction to our environment but also the norm, the safe, the to be protected. Moving away from a status which makes us eventually very ill is positively resisted. Like some kind of magnet from our inner deamons we carry on carrying on.

So be aware. That clinging, sinking feeling you get when your conscious left hemispered personna tries to take control and resign (plan first now!) has to be conquered otherwise you will continue in a stressful situation without probably realising anything of your at least nine-to-five potential.

Monday, August 11, 2008

extended notes on cessation of gainful employ

I have quit on more occaisions than I usually care to mention but here goes:

balfours, dales, kennings, wimpey, KM, McCanns, Ivgn, and maybe you could count crumby lil' ol night and day - maybe even an.n.oter I forget. KM was a two way street but I effectively refused new conditions.

On the other side of the coin I have been roundly fired from two positions - Hoffsvei and earlier the cafuffle in Cannonmills. Also MarbleH and you could say KM as per above.

On balance I have done more quitting than dusting my ass off on the doorstep.

So what are they key steps? Roughly you can divide it into the hard and fast shut down, the

preparation for this and other preparatory steps to make your exit safer, more productive,

painless, and generally more fun.

well here are the actual orderly methods :

1) Do a lot of organisation before you go. Prioritise. Look professional.

2) read and re-read your contract and any law in your area or rules at your company then read

again. You may have lapsed into or unwittingly signed a 3 month notice, work-every-god-dammed

-day period. Read ten times any new contract of employment you have. Agree ten times and in

some dtail the actual working tasks you will have in a new job.Know the minimum legal notice

and payments(usually a two way street i.e. the same for both sides)

3) when the big day comes, do it in writing and to multiple contacts- personnel, your boss,

and their line manager / director. Don't do it to the MD / CEO or owner-director if you can

avoid it. Let them hear second hand if it is a clean break. The reason for this is that you

may get quite a lot of BS blackmail and payrises to stay so that they save face, later

highlighting you for the chop in any cut back round and generally making you uncomfortable.

This avoids little incidents and bosses hiding. If your boss is losing staff because he/she is

a dickbitch then they should be the last to know. Some bosses will try really nasty tactics if

you are a performer or just if they will miss their retention targets.

4) if you are leaving just because of pay and conditions then get another job and then go to

personnel. You can go whine before or threaten to just leave, but the security of another job

is a much better bargaining tool. In the forkant of enough discontent to draw up your pitch,

then sound out possibilities with personnel and your bosses.

5) Presume that you may well be asked to emtpy your desk and leave that day- get organised.

All those gonks and mugs should be gathered up, one by one over a period of 'cleaning out'.

5) organise your references- use some smoke and mirrors or just get them confirmed before you

go. It can be an embarrising or surprising let down if you don't get them agreed as or before

you leave. A reference for a sports club for example is a good way to open them.

And the tactics:

1) know when you get paid- in clear monies, and resign after this! With two months pay

outstanding you are at a disadvantage- they have a lever over you in that they don't need to

pay cessation payments maybe until you leave.

2) In advance organise any expenses and other outstanding benefits in kind get to you. Ask for

advances on any commision and make sure you are getting paid. Perhaps hold back on holidays

in the expectation of a 'double bonus' ie.e gardening leave, untaxed cessation AND holiday


3) steal all the stationery you need and put together a CD rom of all your work or anything

else you wanna take- remember e-mail addresses - do this several weeks b4 your post-payday D-


4) give everyone your personal phone and e-mail details without any particular reason- just

for future reference.

5) work longer hours so you can do all the above when no on is in the office!

6) make passes at anyone you find flirty or interested or just with a pulse. You may as well

get a lay out of the old place.

9) your Boss should be the last to know, given the average relationship and management style

I've encountered. If you are in sales, you should start suggesting to your customers that you

are thinking of a move to something more interesting and would they see you under that guise?

In purchasing make it even clearer to your best and cheapes bttom dollar sellers.

10) write an org'chart and find out a little more on who BUYS what in your company and who

decided on HIRING. These are both worth money to you in future.

There is then how you handle the post trauma scenario of 'what shall we get them to do now

they have resigned?'. This is indeed a time to be a fiddle player and not the fiddle. In

essence the bosses can decide to

1) cast you out the door
2) make you politely tie up all loose ends
3) give you shit to do for three months

The latter are usually reference dependent. Be clear over your period of notice as mentioned.

Then organise your work around priorities to make you look good and organise around dump,

dump, dumping. First of all dump all the assholes who are no longer important. Swap yourself

out of any dumb or vague project committees and let someone else get in. Use delaying tactics

for anything non important. Write opening instuctions or SOP style documents- print them out

so that they loose an element of tracebility down the line. These should look detailed,

inclusive and exhaustive by virtue of a professional front page and masses of detail for about

2 minutes reading thereafter. Multi-delegate. Pitch out tasks to diverse people, exploit the

weak and emphasise the risk if it isn't done to the strong. With outside parties you are

dumping off, you can choose to either 'ostritch' them or pass them on by being all 'don't give

a shit' and suggesting who may be taking over from you. Hold onto your golden globes though-

something to be remembered by and some things to lighen up your confidence.

Walk tall and proud out the office. If you hated them, don't do any leaving lunch. In fact

tell the assholes you leave monday and don't turn up at all, enjoy some drinks with pals on

the friday!

Okay but wait a god darn minute here muskie...why are you leaving?

I suppose you can break these down into categories. Conflict, motivation and performance:

First much loved of the divorce attorney, 'intolerable cruely'. My manchie jobnumber one was

under the lash of a little pitbull. The agency was running out of customers based on being

over priced and under-creative. Darren hadn't given a shit for about a year and I got really

shit creative from wasshis face witht the tasty, tasty girlfriend. My own creativity was

better and in fact there was a point at hand! more on that later. Ok, now back to you- if it

is a littel wee shitty company then do all you can to get another job and just leave. if

things are really bad then you just have to go. With bigger companies you can either move jobs

internally or play a higher risk game in discrediting your boss - just being another nail in

their coffin. The same is true with cow-orkers if they are harrassing you. But like me, maybe

you are quite a frustrating person to work with in this type of job?

P is for Performance. It's also for Penis and if you are trying to squeeze yourself into a job

you are not right for then you are a dick. Maybe the job is too demanding, too detail

oriented, too touchy-feely, too busy, in fact why am I able to get a paycheck out of anywhere?

If you are underperforming it is due to skills, application of those skills, knowledge and

confidence in the job and most of all motivation (to which we return). In a small company you

may be multitasking and have some ability to say steer from sales into more project management

and customer services. In a larger company you need to have a little trumpet to play when

thinking of moving-say sales into marketing, accounting into personnel or the like. Also there

is the last ditch for a company big enough to absorb you and that is from a pressure job to

something you can handle- and considering part time work to ween yourself out of the situace.

Motivate Me! motivation is the big deal. In most western labour markets the non-nigger jobs

in between there and the high flyer fast trackers can be filled by just about anyone with

motivation to shuvvel metaphoric shit around and be happy with their own "yess" as they slam

the phone down on a supplier. Motivation is the key to performance and usually the discouple

means a slide in results. In times of recession negative motivation turned a dollar-and-a-cent

but in these days of the educated empowered work force companies should be little board room

cheer leaders for you. There are some skew angles here as well- you may be very, very

motivated and dedicated to your own job but not at all to the individuals you work with. This

is a big fault of mine- I get nicely task oriented around one or two internal customers and

show little interest in coworkers. In fact in marketing and other areas being motivated to be

"with the in gang " is far more important than any actual performance. The marketing matrons

will keep you in their head count if they like you. If they can hide a performer they don't

like / have control over then despite effectiveness, at head count 'right sizing' they are

out! All that useless team rubbing and sniffing of arses and wagging of tails I just can't do.

This type of team work is the social disease of marketing and renders departments costly and

underproductive. In a stroke I say it- marketing and personnel for that matter are too

"female"- too groupy, touchy feely and not task oriented enough.

I also suffer from motivational problemos that I see in others. Motivation yo-yo. It's much

better to have an even motivation in a job than be up and down. Now as an older man though my

motivation up lasts just about long enough to get 'permanence' for you yanks, read benefits

and three month's notice!

Getting a new job takes higher motivation and deception levels than I usually can muster but

on two key occiasions in 1998 and 99 I did just that and had some continuation on paper at

least. For the breasted of the species it is easier- one you can suck your way, two you have

someone kissing your pussy and three people accept women into temp-office roles way over men.

Men are labelled over qualified- read under beavered, over ego-ed.

Be Brave!

Deciding to quit a stressful or otherwise unrewarding job is about "searching for the hero in

side yourself, before you find the key to your life". You need to start by untangling some of

the financial ties you have- what I am doing right now - downsizing perhaps or moving to a

better job market. The other ties like geography are just chains to be broken. The real battle

is the sub conscious fight against homo sapien as a habitual creature. Changing a habit of

even a few months duration - commuting, logging on, being with the creeps at work - provides a

pyschic entropy which the core of us resists. So long as we are fed and warm humans will

resist changing environment at a very deep level. Extra stress will manifest itself in

nervousness, distrubed sleep and appetite. It is much better to leave but in a planned way. In

fact the very process of planning - tidying up your loose ends, prioritising any small success

stories for your CV, tellign the boss his wandering hands are unacceptable can change your

actual situation in the work place to a level where by you won't want to pull the trigger!

Organising to leave a job is the type of assertiveness and objectivity boost which can catlyse


Friday, June 06, 2008

Deconstructing Your Direct Marketing- Pragmatism, Planning, Execution

Direct mail campaigning is the crux of business-to-business marketing. Success should be measured in figures above 4.5% response with a sales conversion on numbers of around 1% original mailing ( >20% of respondents actually buy).

Personally I have achieved this and much better in both a professional capacity and actually job seeking activity with my own custom e-mail! An e-mail with over 80% response and about 10% fruitful interviews is pretty much amazing but was based on the fundamentals of marketing as were my successful mail campaigns.

First let’s forget the word “strategy”. Much loved of all academic MBA types, the key to successful direct marketing has little to do with strategic planning unless a business will wholeheartedly focus on this as the largest route to market. That which matters is getting down to basics and delving into data in detail.

The Key Factors for Success

1. Data That Works for You and Not You Working for the Data
a. A Target oriented /segmentable Mail List (CRM)
b. Clean Data
c. New Data or at least ageable data
d. Well Organised, well populated Record Fields
e. Quality controlled buy-in lists
f. Good Data Tracking from the Campaign
g. Known numbers of quality leads out and hits back in.

2. An Eye Catching Creative with A Sharp Value Proposition

3. A Snappy response mechanism – reply paid, SMS, web

4. A pragmatic and researched delivery schedule

5. Following Up systems for people and IT

6. Tracking of Success and input to Continuous improvement

Direct mail often goes very wrong in B2B contexts because of a lack of seriousness, professionalism and common sense. “Do unto others as you have done unto yourself” is one starting point- would you respond to your own DM material? Take it one step further, if it is warehouse managers would your own warehouse read it and respond?

The fundamentals are to target market- have a key message, related to benefit or demand, which reaches the right people, and an appropriate response mechanism. Easier said than done. Especially when this is coordinated with a follow up telesales round.

Marketing suffer from both having their heads in the sand of data mass, and wearing the emperors new clothes. At one well known Californian company, about 2 million dollars was spent on a SIEBEL database which was installed then promptly furnished with unreliable, incomplete and largely out of date contact data. Marketing had minimal budget to clean the database and did not want to admit to their earlier lack of data quality control. Using the system for sales reps and product managers became an administrative task in addition to their work rather than a tool to facilitate sales and the interaction between direct marketing, web and the front line of customer visits.

These failures in quality management and attention to detail are unfortunately value chain deep with DM suppliers- at the end of the day someone, somewhere has paid for phone calls and a resulting data list to be generated and after it’s first sale it is becoming not only obsolescent but also potentially fatigued ie over utilised. Lists are sliced and diced, sold on, sold out and even sold illegally. The key thing is of course that marketers hate detailed, repetitive work and that is right down the feeding chain to your basic little list broker.

Managing Internal Expectations

As a marketer it is most important politically to understand expectations and manage them! This is mainly in dealing with sales management, but also with IT, senior management, customer teleservices and even technical services.

Expectations can be obvious yet overlooked or devious and unconsidered !


• Sales expect to save the quarter on your leads and want 2000 good ones
• Management gods expect higher growth and mean 2% points
• Accounts expect to save money diverting away from advertising
• Customer services don’t want to have any extra work / hassle
• Your own “marketing excellence” programme dictates an improvement from 2% to 5% response
• IT expect to get to install a new CRM system and win more power over what marketing authority has had previously
• The previous ‘free stress ball when you call’ campaign by Bert Numfunk and Doreen ‘The ass” Glamerpuss had a huge response ( people like the balls, but didn’t buy anymore product )
• The sales management don’t want to double discount- ie. existing customers getting a discounter mail which is an offer they may need to honour!
• Sales personnel expect to do no cleaning of the database or feeding you with ‘pre-leads’ for your own successful marketing.
• Your own staff expect “some intern/student/outside company” to actually clean the database.
• No one anywhere in the company expects or desires to change working practices without a damn good explanation and crucially a steer from senior management.

So expectations are diverse and some are not obvious or actually predictable. This is why women do so well in marketing because their softer, persuasive and listening abilities ie “people skills” are frankly better. If you came into marketing and didn’t want to stoop to working in sales first, then sorry- you have an even bigger, multi level sales job to do in order to get your ideas accepted and not be rolled-over by the likes of sales, IT or worse visiting management consultants on departmental raiding license.

You have to understand perceptions, change them or at least move them a little, and otherwise manage expectations around this proactively. That means selling- confronting people,getting their attention, explaining the relevance, listening to their viewpoint, charming them (yeuuch!) and persuading them to cooperate or at least take a non partisan view on a DM activity.

In this respect your biggest job will probably be to wrestle the CRM and prospects database out of the control of IT and make them your bitch, not you theirs. Sales management swing into this equation but usually don’t have the time or if appointed don’t stay long in the position once they get bored with the be-pluked IT guys body odour.

Objective Setting and Planning Pragmatically all the Way!

Mean while, back at the ranch…You have to understand what is achieveable in DM. A mass market e-mail or mail blast to a new leads list can result in a less than 1% response with only a 10% conversion within that. In other words the marketer would have been better off spending their time on other tasks! What is the expectation? Companies can only grow the top line in a few ways with respect to customers- sell more to existing customers, sell to new customers, sell different products to either or put up prices! The latter is often unpopular with sales of course. Usually they will be interested in leads to new, fat customers who are ‘hot to trot’ i.e. in the market for the company’s offering. Often they are not very keen on mail campaigns that try to sell diverse or larger quantity items to their existing contacts at customers because they like to “own” this area, but in terms of new contacts in their larger existing customers for new products they are only too happy to get the leads.

If senior management really have a serious expectation that marketing will deliver the platform for top line growth then they must put their money where their mouth is. As a marketer you have to realistically get more budget for new resources and channels. One thing to avoid is the IT director taking a big slice, as above zillion dollars, for a system to which marketing play Cinderella. Big data CRMs are often seen as panacea for the faults in data quality and sales management people-systems.

• Get the objective correct- manage the expectations and investment in resources around this:
• who you want to target, why , how many responses, how many from internal data
• Get the data cleaned*. Funnel it. Get down to a target customer and prospect group who are actually worth mailing.
• Calculate budget and have an idea that this is either going to be a really good focused and folloowe dup campaign or a mass market 1% response junket. I.e get a handle on ROI.
• Buy new lists in- quality control these before you do
• Plan the whole timetable out in advance, taking public holidays, busy periods etc into account. Find out if your competitors for example run a Q1 discount in march and run one in February! Stagger the logistics to avoid overloading your mail room or those at multi contact companies.
• Organise that responses are measurable. Make a special post box with the post office even! Set up or reserve a phone line, email address, SMS number or web form
• Organise some degree of follow ups. This can at least nurture out a few more sales meetings early after a mail to abate the sales managers. Hand pick a few good leads at big, new prospects for this treatment. Sales managers will feel good and not get bored by easily forgotten marketing stat’s.

* age the data, organise it into existing customers and non-sale prospects, buy in new prospect lists, use any product sales data, exclude people without job function, exclude syntax fucked up addresses, de-duplicate on individuals and while doing this watch out for take-overs and company name changes, exclude possible data error characters like ‘pipes | ‘ or hidden tabs, merge or demerge data field like title/firstname/initial etc.

In mailing campaigns the usual ‘head in the sand “no problem with our data” prevails in marketing because marketers are lazy and don’t like detail. That’s why they aren’t in accountancy, purchasing or R&D. They’re sales people with college degrees in marketing. So the usual approach is that marketers will either buy in or use internal telesales services to follow up a mailing to elicit more meetings with customer or a Russian doll further targeted marketing. Given the usual low quality data for new prospects this is putting the cart before the horse. If you are not sure about the quality of your list and it’s age is best measured by carbon dating, then use telesales services to clean the leads in the outset. Self cleaning mailings are a “total waste of time”. However new ‘ we listen to our customers’ market research flyers with just a few question can generate a lot of leads as can such on your big point of touch, the web site.

Getting your Hands Dirty

In order to clean your data you have to understand it’s overriding quality. You have to top and tail it so to speak. Get a feel for how hot the listing is.

The best way is to understand the basic fact that all relevant data can be reduced to ASCII and merged into one spreadsheet or table. This can then be examined ‘forensically’ in Excel or Lotus.

Excel allows you to sort data on the various columns and records with empty fields can be excluded or sent for call rounds to establish new leads.

If you are lucky you will have a date field which allows you to age your contacts and if you are even luckier a last ‘point of touch’ date may be available. This means you can at least exclude leads/contacts who are say 18months without touch or 5 years. However you may want to do the exact reverse and actually win back lost customers and reactivate prospects – this depends on knowing your market personality- do people change jobs often and do these types of companies go bust or get bought out frequently?

Other cleaning ways in excel are to exclude those with incomplete names and addresses and send them to the poor fool who has to ring around them.

Working Up Prospects From the Points of Touch

Data capture is a term which kind of defines it’s own weakness. It takes a blinkered fast fix view on placing a customer name and address onto system. IT don’t understand quality of leads, and often don’t really care about quality of data- they are more interested in the installation and running of the system and willing to blame marketing for not cleaning the data instead of fixing the ‘forms’ to exclude bad data entry.

Working up prospects means taking a little information, giving some back, getting a little more information and then getting either a sales call to them or actually just defining a good prospect for mailings. In Web terms it is sometimes called ‘permission marketing’ whereby your ‘data dialogue’with the customer begins very non committal and easy to do at their end- so just an e-post or user name. You then offer something of value back and go onto to capture their details and interest areas before eventually profiling them further.

Creep Out Your “Mailing”

The mailing in itself may be a reasonably well focused list, but this may actually reduce your actual mailing numbers. A well targeted list of say 100 is better than even 10,000 mailings to a badly screened list. However the cost of doing 100 proffessionally designed and printed items will be pretty much the same as for 5000. Excluding mail which is the one fully scaling factor.

So here comes the rub- what other points of touch do you have? The very best of all is the pack insertion of mailers. This is because they uncover a lot of actual end users who are key in the decision to buy more of that product, swap it to a newer product or buy a related product or service. Often these are ‘off sales’ that means to say no rep as ever identified them or visited them in the last couple of years so orders are either well established or just out of the blue. Most warehouses have pack insert procedures and will do it willingly. Failing that you could invest in self sticking plastic envelopes and stick these on stock items ready to go out from shelf ( frequently purchased items) . This will be a very good use of those 5000 mailers you got printed.

Also you can use mailers at exhibitions and rep stands on sites, and they find good use at distributors. Finally as a left behind calling card from reps to new potential customers or those they have just missed or “forgotten” to put on CRM.

You may need to get your hands into those catalogue requests. Customer services may have a cosey arrangement in taking the glory for these bookings or just not care to log them to CRM. An hour stuffing your latest flyer into the catalogues likely to go out in the next six weeks is good.

Also a pdf version these days seems de-rigeur and could be sent on a snow-balling or chain mail way, but this is probably just a few sprinkles on the cake.

The one last suggestion is better for the SME market is to send the mailer out with bills

Quality of Message and Creative '

This is usually top of the agenda for any marketing activity but all the time and money in agency land is wasted without being secure that at least you have tried to get the very best out your mail lists in terms of quality leads.

DM has to offer some value to the customer. Many marketers interpret this as either being headline grabbing discounts or some nice freebie either included or to be redeemed by calling in/e-mail/web etc. This is a fundamental presumption of ‘doing some marketing’ that marketing is all trinkets and no content. If the product is relevant and the creative is attention catching then the information and even entertainment value in itself is of enough value to the customer for them to atleast remember it and have more propensity to react.

• Something to avoid it going unopened.
• A creative which gets attention / interest to read the headline
• A headline or strap line which leads to curiosity for more information
• Further information in brief
• Call to Action with Response mechanism

Often the head line (and strap line) these days is based on either a benefit, a key discount or SPIN risk based approach. Often a combination of ‘don’t miss this opportunity’ ‘for a limited time only’ etc on discounts runs the spin way. A spin head line should be balanced with the solution to that ill in the strap line otherwise known as the sign off line. A double negative is probably too vague and just unappealing. It overemphasises the risk without offering cure.

You have about 8 seconds from time of opening to get to the strap line and then maybe ten to 20 more for reading any body text.

When I say earlier some reason for them NOT to just throw it in the bin this means either neutralising the envelope- a clean, quality envelope with the address in a window or making it a little personal. Any printing on the external envelop shouts spam. An alternatively shaped envelope or actually just a card which is fully visually evident is a good compromise for creativity but can end up in spam land regardless.

One campaign I sent out in brown envelopes seemed to keep up to my usual standards, people presuming they were bills and giving them some attention.

In terms of combining content and response to actually getting new data, one little campaign I did with about 10000 from our list was to go after “look warm” leads with a nicely designed “ we listen to you” mailer. This did 6% whilst normal marketing was struggling at 0.5%-2%. So sidling on up to your customer in the guise of market research can be an approach which leads me to :

Russian Doll Marketing and Mail-ReMail

Faced with a poorly segmentable yet quite ‘young and fresh’ database of prospects you may want to screen the field first. This can be done as above with a “tell us what you think of us/ tell us what is important to you in this area’ or a further questionnaire on line.

The concepts are- Russian doll- you start big and respondents get re-mailed and screened at this point before they get the gift or discount or brochure. Often the inner most doll, or layer of the onion is redeemed by a sales person actually calling to deliver the highest value item. Russian doll works very well now with the web as a second tier- capture e-post and reply opt in at least for this campaign, get them to do some more data entry on the web and then move forward by post once again.

Mail re-mail means either two general approaches- you do one cheap mass mail aimed at the *Sharon* market- who ever the hell responds to all the freebies and win a holiday shit. Then you do a second to the same list, deducted those who answered round one.- which offers something else, like a proiduct specific discount, or just with a good creative. Finally you deduct again the responses and send for instance a personally addressed letter reminding of the earlier mail and maybe including another copy. In this way you somewhat reduce production costs, but moreover find out which customers respond to which type of marketing. Products, creative or gifts. Thereafter you can segment the market a bit more for future campaigns. In many markets there are freebies and loyalty campaigns which make the difference to securing business with some customers who feel they like this and have the latitude to get away with basing their ordering around the best freebie!

The other approach to mail-remail, is simpler- just mail them periodically including a personal letter at the end of the rounds of mailing- this is better suited to pestering a well targeted list who are maybe being a little slow to respond. You will actually find that response rate goes up after the second and even subsequent mailings - if the list is ‘fresh’ i.e. not mailed too often already and quite young or at least filled with current sitting names in their positions. Only polite of course to deduct out respondees. If you deduct out those who respond within 2 weeks then you save on mailing and you save on production by just using the same item each time, with maybe a run of letters at some point. Like TV advertising, the run of how often you spike the audience is disputable but a first mailing followed by a second two weeks after is fresh enough in the mind. The majority of respondents probably do so within a couple of working days of getting the post. So if you know of strikes, holidays, geographical delays etc then stagger accordingly based around a two week minimum separation and then possibly a monthly mailing for the rest of the quarter or offer period. Pester power works because they either do get pestered into it or finally even reading it but also because sometimes secretaries and mail offices open mail and chuck out items like this. This is where the personal letter comes in infact! You get through some of the gate keepers and also you appeal to the more personal, traditional side of some people.

The first mailing can be a little cheaper in production than usual items, and offer something general to the market- like a big discount, a nice freebie. Holiday competitions outside office supplies are a waste of time unless you have like 100 to give away when people feel they have a chance. Free gifts with purchase can be good, but watch those warehouse workers sticky fingers!

The Aftermath

I use this title jokingly because armed with a new attitude to be detail oriented and hands on, charging in with heavy quality control and a healthy scepticism bears fruits of being able to objectively analyse what has worked and what has not.

If you have been so bold as to actually qualify your data and quantify how potentially good your lists are then you can at least get a metric on the top line mailing figure. Just like top line on the accounts sheet, you need to get more prospects in there and be realistic on just how many you can get. You may for example find that a particular target campaign reaches 99% of companies yet has a poor response. It’s time to find more users at those companies, new internal locations and departments and more people in the DMU chain. The top line figures for different market segments and the mass market as a whole become useful in terms of budgeting for future mailings and for aquistion of more share of “vision” on the market- ie. how many customers you hear out there! This then leads to an established share of voice in terms of DM. In a very large busy marketing department you can actually over dominate an entire market with flyers and offers and end up with the worst case- management want you to consolidate offers and promos and NPIs into a montly, worse quarterly special news letter. Hence you dilute targeting, dilute message and make measuring worse. If you like desk top publishing this may be for you though.

So now you can exclude hopefully your top line figure of propects you want to have an idea of actually how many are ‘targeted’ and how many are pretty much blind. This depends on your segmentation of the market and which data you used. But given for example job title and industry sector you should be going down one funnel which leads to more touches than using either in isolation – for example. There comes a point when the SQL build just gets too granular and you are down to handfuls of customers to mail for a three branced criteria. If so it can be tempting to work quality back up over, by reverse-profiling other candidates but at the end of the day.

Having a good idea that the lists were clean, targeted and quantifiable you can now start to consider other factors which made the campaign response either very fruitful or below average. This is creative content, message take-out, response mechanism, postal addressing, going in the waste paper basket etc.

To grab a handle on how good it is all going you need to have snappy response mechanisms which are trackable. You need to be able to tally up how many hits you are getting back to customer services, sales etc. Unfortunetly the human element creeps in and I firmly advocate removing any motivations not to note an enquiry came from a mailer by eliminating human elements outside marketing. Hence post , e-post, telephone or perhaps best for the moment SMS should be fullyu monmitored by marketing. For a really big campaign expected to run to many orders it will be hard to do this, so planning a special product number code to quote for ordering the actual item or better still a package deal ( where the new product number does not replace any of it’s components, just flings them together in a kit or bundle!) This is completely unoavoidable for the whole company and moreover the customer if they want that deal. It is also a big hit with sales because it gives them true revenue recognition when they co promote it with marketing. They get half the job done for them and just need to ice the cake, and it really works for everyone. Worth the effort and also worth the effort of putting agreed systems, awareness and training in place with the other departments.

Finally you should have historic data on mail campaigns to compare yours too, and these can be very much in the way of being % and relative until you start to run regular product # promos when it is top line which talks and not a 10% response rate.
I hope you get an understanding, as an academically educated marketer, that you must give a shit about the small detail. You can’t want to build a gleaming machine like a new sports car when you don’t give a damn about the engine components and just hope someone else takes care of the details. Good creativity and marketing ideas are easily forgotten by endless return, addressee unknown and otherwise low response rates. It takes a great deal of planning, evaluating, going square eyed, coercing, charming, bullying and outright attention to detail to move up from being a so-so 2% marketer to being a success in this area.

Live Long and Prosper in Your Marketing Career.