Armstrong Beech Marketing Marketing Networking

Welcome to the Armstrong Beech Blog

Hello and welcome to my first official blog post…. As you can see I’ve been sort of posting stuff before now, but as from today I’m fully integrated. Hoorah.   This post will also drop into my Facebook for Business page and my Twitter account.    Just a quick request here before I continue – could you just link on my Facebook page and ‘like’ me – I need to get 25 before I can have a proper looking URL that’s recognizable. That would be fantastic. Thanks so much.
OK then, so what’s my blog going to be about?  Across all of my social media channels, I’ll be posting

  • Industry news that’s interesting and relevant for you
  • News and updates about my business and any offers which I hope will be relevant
  • Random news which I hope will be of interest to you and which may just from time to time include information about my daughter Bea and her progress with her cello

So for example when the ASA advertising rules changed in March, I put links to this from my newsletter and they are still on my articles page on my web. I’m always learning and updating my knowledge, especially with social media, so when I come across interesting posts then I’ll post these too.  But I won’t forget the basics of marketing.  When I give my 60 second intro about who I am and what I do and I use the M word – “I work with business owners/directors of SMEs to support them with their marketing to transform their vision and ambition for their business into a reality by creating a sound marketing strategy”- I see eyes sort of glaze over – “Does she mean advertising? Does she mean social media? Don’t really know what she means”.  So I love the opportunity of talking to local business groups to explain the 7 “Ps” of marketing and that Promotion, which embraces advertising and social media, is just one of these 7.
I’m passionate about –

  • Identifying who your customer is and who your support network are
  • customer service and the customer journey
  • customer analysis – why is your tranche of customers your top customers, apart from the fee income/turnover they bring you?
  • Self and own business analysis – your SWOT – not just for the sake of doing this but so that you can use the results
  • My favourite Pareto and the 80-20 rule
  • How to increase sales – only three ways – sell more, more often and up/cross sell
  • Ensuring your brand is carried through your whole business, both through what you and your team do/say as well as physically on print
  • Making sure each product or service you offer is understood and identified (not as daft as it sounds)
  • That you really understand your target market
  • Competitive analysis so your sales team can get right in there with your benefits
  • And of course the Marketing Promotional Mix – what’s worked, what hasn’t and let’s get a strategy in place for the best way forward
  • Getting the best from your email newsletters (another half day offering)
  • Getting started with Linked In (also a half day offering)
  • Testing and Measuring and lots more

The initial AUDIT I offer is just an amazing tool for getting right there with a summary of where you are now and if you can find full details here of all my Marketing Projects (on the right hand side). I’ve always been perceptive and a quick thinker so love undertaking this with clients.  A brilliant way to start of growing your business and shrugging off this ‘recession’.
My clients cover a range of sectors, but certainly include professional services , education and hospitality. I’m based outside Bath, UK so the majority of my work is local-ish but am always happy to consider trips further afield.
My web site has got lots of info about me as has my LinkedIn profile, so I won’t repeat all of that. Suffice it to say I’ve been working in sales and marketing for more than 30 years; it’s just within me on auto pilot if you like –  a silly example – I’m the Bath host forThe Womens’ Business Club and we had a hosts’ meeting earlier this month. One of the ladies runs a fitness club and a client in their range rover had arrived for their appointment, failed to stop before the premises and had driven, quite literally, through the plate glass window.  No-one was hurt, but as she was telling the story,  I was thinking, “what a great picture that would make” and my brain was working on the headline that would have accompanied it.
In the early 80s, before the days of mobile phones and email (!),  I was working in the EFL business – the teaching of English as a foreign language. I was sales and marketing manager for one of the then largest groups in the UK and the sales part of the role took me to Central and South America, half of Europe and Syria, Jordan, Turkey etc. The most amazing opportunity and experience, but if I didn’t have lots of common sense and the ability to see the sensible solution, I wouldn’t have survived.     My first trip was replacing a Spanish speaker at short notice with a 10 day-trip to Caracas, Venezuela with British Caledonian Airways (who remembers them, then?), to appoint an agent. The agent would not only have to be effective in recruiting students on our behalf but also in collecting money and transferring it, so integrity was key. I could speak good French, but then had only a smattering of Spanish, and wasn’t HR experienced, but had and still have good intuition and gut feeling.  The person I appointed, after having interviewed loads of people, became one of the company’s best agents in providing long-stay students year round, and was with them certainly for 15 or so years.  And we remained friends for many of those, long after I left the business, married and had children!
So then to finish, I have a fantastic family. My husband Bernard is currently in Hong Kong where he is on the panel of music examiners for one of the UK Boards (remember if you ever took a music exam at school?). He’s back at the end of the month, having been there for 6 weeks;   he then will do some UK work here more locally. My elder daughter Rebecca is a staff nurse in Bristol and my younger daughter, Beatrice, is just finishing her fourth and final year at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, studying cello, and in September will continue with her studies at The Royal Academy of Music in London on a two year postgraduate MA course. She was awarded a scholarship for this which is just amazing, though sadly the monetary value of it at £1K won’t go that far in London so we’re still sourcing funding for her studies – any pointers gratefully received!
Do follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook for Business as well as my Blog here.  I haven’t got an auto-connect just yet with Linked In as I want to see how things develop.  What thoughts anyone on including Linked In?
My goal will be to write a weekly blog and then supplement with re-tweets or quick links of interesting ‘stuff’.
Debbie Newman FInstSMM
Armstrong Beech Marketing