Water Melon Festival in Italy


Armstrong Beech Marketing George's Mental Doodles Leadership/Management

George Raynault's Mental Doodle : 'you are not a sniper'

Sniper – another great Mental Doodle from George.  

George was the business brain behind Weekenders for which I worked when I first moved here to Bath some 20 years ago.  I had the privilege of attending around 8 days of management training from George; quite amazing. Not a note, no powerpoint, nothing. Just the ability to keep you focussed. Brilliant.

This is just a guess: you are not a Sniper.
So you don’t take infinite pains / time to aim and adjust and re-aim and re-adjust and…

until you pass to one ‘perfect’ action.

And so, because you are not a Sniper, your aim is off.
Oh, just a little. Well, as it leaves the barrel.
Then the further it gets, the more ‘wrong’ it becomes.

So, unless you are a Sniper, correct those things you (yes, you!) did wrong as soon as possible.
Otherwise, as it nears the target, the error gets so very large … then you truly are wrong.
Only an amateur believes that error correction draws unwanted attention to self.
Early correction of initially slight errors is the way all targets are achieved.
Unless you are a Sniper.

You’re not a Sniper, are you?
Then don’t delay to correct the initially small things!
(Family stuff too.)

These are Related:

# 5 Decision7 Disaster21 Interpretation83 Being Wrong98 Third Time
106 Plan B118 Right!122 Real!127 Not-Me146 Always Right159 Make a Mistake
185 First, Get Alive199 Everything

295 others here   

Armstrong Beech Marketing Pareto 80-20 Principle Podcasts Talks

Pareto and the 80-20 Rule

One of my favourite principles…..
So then, thinking about this principle in your business today…

  • Do 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients?
  • Do 80% of your sales come from 20% of your sales team?
  • Do 80% of your decisions in meetings come from 20% of your time?
  • Do 80% of customer complaints relate to the same 20% of your services/products
  • And your ROI on advertising – would this also be approximately 20% of your spend producing 80% of your campaign’s results?

You get the idea. So what?

Armstrong Beech Marketing Website page on ‘ology’
which I did earlier this year for TWBC national website.

Armstrong Beech Marketing Leadership/Management Marketing Networking Pareto 80-20 Principle Podcasts

Being seen as the Expert in professional service firms

Being seen as the Expert in professional service firms –
from Newsletter in March 2012
Really, really important to show you are the expert and have the ‘ology’:  Being seen as the expert is a critical ingredient for any professional service business and I’ve written on the various ways to communicate this previously.  I just want to touch on two ways today:
Article writing is an essential part of this and do try to increase the number of outlets for your articles.  Not only on your blog on your website and your newsletter!  But when you can link articles to topical news it’s even more powerful as you then have the opportunity not only to share with your usual readers, but also to submit to the press and different outlets for the article to be published. Here’s an example of two articles I’ve enjoyed recently to illustrate:
It Can Only Be A Question Of Leadership – received through Rene Carayol’s newsletter
“AVB Sacked at Chelsea FC
The media is in its usual frenzy as Roman Abramovitch seeks his eighth manager in his eight year reign as the owner of Chelsea Football Club”   and the article continues to explore in quite some detail what led to the downfall of AVB”.
And following the sinking of the Concordia in January, Jan Bowen Nielson from Quiver Management wrote this article:   “Where was the coach when the ship went down”. exploring not only the blame directed at the captain for causing the accident but also the wider debate around corporate ethics, safety and individual responsibility.
It was through one of Jan’s open courses I gained my coaching and mentoring qualification last year.  It has been such a useful tool.  If this has been something on your ’roundtuit’ list, do bring it up to the top – so many benefits for you as an individual and for your business.  See the link here to the forthcoming courses. 
And what about a podcast?   Something that’s been on my ’roundtuit’ for quite a while and I did two earlier this year for The Business Women’s Networking group’s national website.  I chair their Bath monthly meetings.
So far, two on networking and one on the Pareto 80-20 Principle.   I had a skype call with the TWBC contact and it was recorded that way.   How could you use this in your business – either keeping as a podcast or moving into You Tube?

Armstrong Beech Marketing

Bloodhound Super Sonic Car

Bloodhound Super Sonic Car
I’ve just purchased a gift certificate for £10 for my young cousin in Australia for his birthday. This will add his name to Bloodhound SSC’s fin – great idea and gift, I thought.
I attended the lecture about Bloodhound at UWE in Bristol at the beginning of March and am repeating below the part from my newsletter about it.
I thought this picture might give you a chuckle – new company car? not!  I was able to admire this wonderful vehicle this week when attending a brilliant lecture at UWE by Dr Richard Noble, project director for this whole scheme when he explained how the 1,000 mph BLOODHOUND Project aims to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians – breaking through 1000 mph speeds > Mach 1.4, so 3.6 seconds to cover one mile – or 4.5 football pitches in one second and 0-1000 mph in 52 seconds.    I can’t comprehend that speed – all with one rocket motor, one Eurofighter engine and one F1 engine!
Their philosophy on sharing as ‘open data’ everything about the vehicle on the website is visionary; Dr Noble’s passion, vision and persistence in the face of the whole project going belly up because of lack of funds or because they couldn’t get this or that bit to work has to be admired; the education project they have undertaken to work with schools around the country so that pupils ‘get’ engineering and technology and can be part of the progress of this project, watching it develop on line – all really inspirational. No public money nor bank loans are involved. Just donations and sponsorship (they have just struck a great £ multi-million  deal with Rolex)  But did you know you could get your/your family/friends’ names on the fin for just a £10 donation/name?  See the web page here if interested. The donation comes with a really nice certificate so what great Birthday and Christmas gifts this would make.  Bloodhound are also looking for more voluntary Ambassadors to follow through their work with local schools – ‘the younger the better’.  This seems to be the appropriate page.   (I believe my technical info is correct, but apologies is there’s something wrong)!

Advertising Advertising and Design Armstrong Beech Marketing Marketing

Do you use the word "Independent" in your advertising copy?

Another excellent article from CAP – 

The Committee of Advertising Practice

Independence and Impartiality

05 July 2012

A fundamental cornerstone of the CAP and BCAP Codes is that marketing communications must not materially mislead or be likely to do so. An ad can mislead by ambiguity, through presentation or by omitting important information. When considering presentation, advertisers should take care to think about the likely message that consumers will take from a claim. The ASA has investigated several complaints about companies that claim to be “independent” or “impartial”. Most recently, those investigations have been in the estate agency sector, where consumers might infer that independent operators offer greater local and specialist knowledge; and the funeral services sector, where consumers might attribute an “independent” business with a greater degree of empathy or personal service at a time of grief or vulnerability. 

Advertising Armstrong Beech Marketing Expert / Ology Marketing Social Media

9 ways to screw up advocacy marketing

9 ways to screw up advocacy marketing

Great article by Brian Cavoli in Boston in ‘iMedia Connections’

“Every brand can benefit from strong consumer advocacy. Fewer consumers are relying on ads and media coverage to make their purchase decisions. They are increasingly turning to each other and to social media to share opinions and gather insight before making purchases, whether it’s a big ticket purchase or an innovative new laundry detergent (have you tried Tide Pods yet?).

The fact that shoppers trust personal recommendations more than brand messaging is nothing new. But did you realize that even as social technologies mature, our trust in word of mouth is skyrocketing? Nielsen’s latest trust in media report shows that in the last four years, our trust in recommendations from friends increased 20 percent and trust in online reviews is up 15 percent. At the same time, trust in TV, magazines, and newspapers are all down more than 20 percent. The funny thing is this — that’s where marketers spend much of their money. Go figure.”

9 ways to screw up advocacy marketing

Armstrong Beech Marketing Business Growth Coaching Leadership/Management

10 tips for high-growth businesses owners/managers

10 tips for high-growth business owners/managers

by Jan Bowen-Nielsen

  • Jan Bowen-Nielsen

1. Work smarter, not harder

Prioritise your own efforts carefully. Whether you are starting up, or running a large business, your time is precious. It is natural to focus your attention on tasks you feel most comfortable with, that you are trained to do and enjoy.

But are these the activities that will make your business successful? Are you the right person to do these? In our experience, this is one of the most frequent areas we help business owners and managers tackle – getting their priorities right and being effective. And closely linked to this:

2. Stop being a hero

High growth businesses are often in constant crisis mode. Every day brings new challenges that need resolving (and always urgently), so business owners often spend most of their time responding to queries and trouble shooting.

It can become addictive and end up as the culture of your business: “We are really great at pulling together when the s**t hits the fan”. However this is not sustainable and will limit the growth of your business. So …

Armstrong Beech Marketing Marketing Presentations/Words

The effects of NOT "Taking Action"

“Take Action – Do it Now” is a challenge often given at the end of a seminar and possibly one you wouldn’t instantly connect with da Vinci.  And luckily for most of us, our ‘inaction’ wouldn’t have the same impact his did for 400 years.  The drawings at the exhibition are quite amazing – if you get the chance to visit, well worth it.


“This exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomist is the largest ever of his studies of the human body.  Leonardo has long been recognised as one of the great artists of the Renaissance, but he was also a pioneer in the understanding of human anatomy.  He intended to publish his ground-breaking work in a treatise on anatomy, and had he done so his discoveries would have transformed European knowledge of the subject.  But on Leonardo’s death in 1519 the drawings remained a mass of undigested material among his private papers and their significance was effectively lost to the world for almost 400 years”  
da Vinci Exhibition in London – until 7th October 2012. The drawings are quite amazing – if you get the chance to visit, well worth it.
Armstrong Beech Marketing Marketing Presentations/Words

Who loves presenting? (part 2)

The second of a two-part article on presentations:
Last time we looked at: Read Part 1 again –

1.  Understanding your audience and make a connection with them
2. Understanding the defined objective
3. Too much data? – less is more – try and keep to 3 points 
4. Writing your presentation

Now to continue: 

 5. Excite your audience

  • Be confident
  • think about your beginning and end. Don’t leave it to inspiration on the wing. 
  • How can you excite? 
  • Confidence issues? practise and practise and master the art of deep breathing

If you’re presenting to a larger audience in a large room, then you need to check out the room first, pillars, sight lines, lights, microphone etc.  

 6. Death by Power Point