It has been 12 months since I left full-time permanent employment, taking on a part-time role as a freelance content writer (for my old company - Maximizer CRM) as well as delivering a couple of projects for other businesses. It felt good to take a break from full-time employment and try something new.
Of course, none of us could foresee the gigantic shift in our personal and business lives, due to the COVID pandemic. It has been a huge challenge for all of us, in so many varying ways and continues to be so. I know for many self-employed freelancers and marketing consultants, including myself, work came to a very sudden halt some months ago and will unfortunately take time to get back to pre-lockdown activity levels.
However, the enforced break, has given me the ideal opportunity to review, reassess and consider what I love, value and enjoy about marketing. I have compiled this as my Top Marketing Must Haves, to remind and keep me focused on the direction I wish to take – to my New Beginnings, wherever they may lead!
I thought this would be a good place to start for my first blog under Blooming Blue Marketing, giving you a little more insight into who I am and why I am offering the services I am. I hope you enjoy!
1. Working with SMEs
With such economic and financial uncertainties, it’s fair to say, I am completely open to exploring how I move forward with my career, whether its staying in self-employment, contracting, or returning to some form of permanent employment, or a mix of these.
I do know that I want to focus on UK based small and medium sized business (SMEs), working and collaborating with people who are ambitious, passionate and determined to grow their business. Helping those who have no or limited marketing resource or expertise, are taking a new direction or struggling to make headway and get results.
2. Creativity at my Core
I am at my happiest when being creative, taking joy from the process of learning and exploring different creative avenues, be it drawing, painting, print making, writing poetry, gardening or DIY.
Marketing has been and continues to give me another diverse creative outlet – whether it is coming up with new strategy ideas, writing content, designing campaigns, websites or even putting together business processes or customer journey mapping. I love it all!
3. Marketing Strategy
I confess to getting excited when talking about Marketing Strategy. It has so much potential to focus, influence and contribute to a business’s direction and success, and on a much wider level than many perceive. It continues to surprise me that marketing is still often thought of as just ‘the doing’ of brochures, website, email, social media and events!
I strongly believe, that these activities, sadly often undertaken ad hoc and intermittently, need a holistic, integrated strategy, to deliver long-term sustainable results and make the best of marketing budgets and resources and help a business grow.
Its why I am passionate about helping others learn, adopt and realise the many benefits of developing smarter marketing strategies, and is a major focus for my new beginning.
Watch out for upcoming blogs on this, my favourite marketing topic.
4. Content Creation
l am also deeply passionate about the importance of putting content strategies in place. Too many businesses invest in content creation without considering the bigger picture. Its where content strategy comes in to play!
Understanding and aligning the creation and use of content assets to each stage of your customer’s journey, their challenges, and needs, can make a huge difference.
Making better informed decisions about your content requirements and how to optimise their value, improves customer experience and sales opportunities as well as increased return on Investment.
5. The Wonder of Websites
I’ve designed, written, built and manged a fair number of corporate websites in my career and made use of the advances in technology and analytics to improve customer experience and website performance.
However, I have also witnessed how easy it is to get lost in the data and reduce websites to very impersonal, formulaic, and complicated experiences.
A recent website I completed for my Yoga Teacher and friend, took me back to the basics and why I love creating and building websites.
It was a refreshing experience, not only giving me access to a new market but allowing me to explore and create a website that truly reflects the brand’s ethos, customer journey and needs, plus delivers an automated booking and business management solution that frees up time to allow my client to concentrate on better supporting her clients and growing her business. A fab result all round!
6. Data, Data, Data
Yes, I love creativity, but I also believe passionately in the power of data to gain insight and help inform smarter decisions. I enjoy the process of researching, compiling, and understanding markets, competitors, customer drivers, challenges, and needs, to inform marketing strategies and actions.
A well-managed CRM (Customer Relationship Management) with comprehensive up-to-date, valuable data is without doubt, in my mind, the Marketer’s best friend.
I love using and showing how data can help in setting marketing goals, identify new trends, customers behaviours and value, as well as the most effective marketing tactics and campaigns. There is nothing more satisfying than tracking sales back to specific marketing strategies you have implemented.
7. Customer Success
I have had a varied career and experience within product development, marketing, business development, sales, customer services and business management which has given me a deep appreciation and understanding of the whole customer journey and the importance of focusing on customer experience, not just within marketing, but holistically across all business functions. I am still amazed that this still seems to be a challenging concept for many businesses.
I love the whole process of customer journey mapping and building customer-centric marketing strategies, as well as celebrating customer success through interviewing and writing customer case studies. I find it so fascinating to learn about people’s ambitions, challenges, and achievements in their business and how products, technology and services help them achieve their business goals and growth.
I am so looking forward to my new beginnings, doing the things I love (my Marketing Must Haves) and showing how my passion and experience of smarter marketing can make a difference and contribute to business success!
Interested in working with me? Then please get in touch!