Power of Marketing – CIM Northern Conference 2015

A great day at the CIM Northern ConferenIMG_20150624_090910ce, this blog was created and updated during the day.


We were attending as an event sponsor so set up our stall early


Follow these links for highlights from the speakers and their presentations during the day.



The Constantly Connected Consumer


– Alex Blaikley, Google

Alex demonstrated how important mobile now is for marketers, some key stats:
– 18 – 24 years olds check their phones on average 53 times per day
– 35% of smartphone users check their phones within 5 minutes of waking every day
– 40% of online transactions are from mobile devices

During the purchase decision process smartphones are playing an increasingly important role, the percentage use at each stage is:
– early inspiration – 46% comes from information retrieved on the smartphone
– 32% of compared choices are conducted on the mobile
– when advice is sought 28% comes via mobile
– 24% of the preparation for final purchase is done by mobile
If those stats don’t convince people of the importance of a mobile strategy in not sure what will!

IMG_20150624_095302It isn’t all good news though, when it comes to online advertising people don’t really like to see it, 50% of people not liking sponsored content but accepting it is required, the trouble is that means there are 50% who do it accept it, many of whom probably use ad blockers. Additionally, in the UK 33% of people feel deceived having read content and then discovering that it was sponsored content.

Video on mobile is increasingly being consumed, largely aided by faster networks through 4G, stats are that:
– 25% of people now watch video daily on mobiles
– 27% watch weekly
– 16% watch monthly
– 5% less than monthly
– there are still 21% who never watch it however.
And just for information, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, who has time to watch it all!

wpid-wp-1435142084140.jpgA final quote from Alex was sourced from John Cleese (quite amusing to quote him at a marketing conference knowing his attitude to marketers)
“Creativity is not a talent but it is a way of working”





For anyone studying for the digital marketing elective modules at both Certificate and Diploma in Professional Marketing levels this contained lots of great information.


Making your CPD deliver ROI

An interesting and very interactive discussion on the value and use of CPD from Mike Wood of Gardiner Robinson, the key takeouts being:

  • Mindset matters
  • Have a vision
  • Make a plan
  • Review it
  • Allocate resources
  • Have balance
  • Seek guidance

Comments were raised indicating that CPD from CIM needs to more accurately reflect the learning activities undertaken by members to develop their own soils, some of which are not easy to fit into the current framework.

Watch this space!

Information about the CPD programme for Chartered Marketers is here

Getting your Unfair Share of Business

Barry Holder of Fantastic Media helped delegates gain an unfair advantage with lots of “Fantastic marketing” tips, interspersed with quotes. Some highlights were:

email marketing

74% of marketers believe email will be most significant for ROI over the next 5 years
Fantastic tips for email –

  • Target and personalise
  • Clear CTA
  • Add rich media
  • Optimise landing pages
  • Follow up


For PR there was a great quote from Richard Brandon – “A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad”
Tips for Fantastic PR:

  • Maximise everyday activities
  • Build media relations
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

Social Media

Fantastic tips for social media included:

  • Diverse content
  • Outreach & engagement
  • Efficient interactive management
  • Results focussed


“Never let your ads write cheques that your website can’t cash” – Avinash Kaushik

  • PPC + SEO
  • Google analytics expertise
  • CPA
  • Test & measure

Many of these areas are covered in detail in the Integrated Communication and Digital Marketing modules of the Certificate in professional Marketing as well as the Digital Strategy module from the Diploma in Professional Marketing


Using content marketing to generate new business leads

Amy Byard from UMPF gave an insightful talk about content marketing – an area of massive importance for marketers due to the benefits it can provide for visibility, particularly online. Although, as was pointed out by Amy, it isn’t just online where content marketing can be used with the oldest recognised application being a magazine called “The Furrow” which was first produced by the John Deere agricultural tractor maker in 1895 and remains the most read agriculture journal to this day.

A better know example for many people is the Michelin Guides, produced by the tyre maker Michelin to help motorists on their journeys, thus encouraging car use and, correspondingly, tyre use. The guides were introduced in 1900 when there were less than 3000 cars in France, but today sell worldwide.

Content marketing can take many forms, Amy mentioned:

  • White papers
  • Books
  • Microsites
  • Blogs
  • Social posts
  • Videos
  • Games
  • Infographics/interactive graphics

There are many reasons for using content marketing, the most common being:

  • to establish expertise
  • build online presence
  • enhance SEO
  • avoid sales pitches
  • alter perceptions
  • build trust
  • capitalise word of mouth
  • connect and engage with audience
  • build a conversation funnel.

One of the examples Amy showed was a content marketing programme from Umpf for the “World’s first dog selfie mirror” – if you want to know more have a look here.

We cover content marketing in many of the CIM qualification modules, in particular at level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing in the Integrated Communication and Digital Marketing modules and at level 6 Diploma in Professional Marketing in the Strategic Marketing and Digital Strategy modules.

These talks were followed by the lunch break.

The SPA Professional Academy students, past and present who won tickets in our draw for the conference are pictured here during the lunch break:



Strategic Collaborative Advantage

This was a great talk (best of the day for me) from Paul Skinner of Agency of the Future and Pimp my Cause, full of fantastic tips for any business and also those studying CIM qualifications, particularly the Driving Innovation module of the Diploma in Professional Marketing.

Starting with the question about whether competitive advantage is the wrong goal, and should we be moving from a control to an influence position Paul said their needs to be a change in mindset.

There are many challenges in Competitive Advantage now, these include:

  • IMG_20150624_144710Zero sum industries where no one makes any money or gains advantage
  • Sub-optimal societal outcomes – overall society can lose out whilst organisations pursue advantage for themselves
  • Unsustainable practices
  • Ignoring white space innovation (this should be a familiar concept to those who have studies the Driving Innovation module!)
  • Overly hierarchical
  • Simply no longer useful

A great quote about competitive advantage from a book I have now ordered – The Lords of Strategy, from Harvard Business Press – was given by Paul:

“The 21st century of the discipline will have to do more to help if, or when, the dominant verb becomes not compete but something like co-create”

A proposed five step approach to open participation to develop strategic collaborative advantage through an outside-in framework is:

  1. Set the agenda – define unique pursuit you support others in participating in
  2. Innovate – By creating useful, engaging ways for people to participate in your shared agenda
  3. Engage – by creating an environment of roles and customs that help people to participate alongside each other
  4. Enhance – work with your early adopters to reach a broader mainstream
  5. Scale – by partnering up to achieve more than you could alone

Many thanks Paul – really great stuff which I look forward to sharing when teaching, particularly for CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing and Chartered Postgraduate Diploma qualification courses.


The Warburtons Growth Story – how a focus on quality built a brand to rival Coca-Cola

From Bolton to using Hollywood superstars – fascinating insights into the growth of Warburtons to be the second largest grocery brand in the UK from Mark Simester, Marketing Director of Warburtons.

The start point was something I didn’t realise – Warburtons is the second largest grocery brand in the UK, beaten only by Coca-Cola. The adverts have told me that it is a family run business, with succeeding generations having taken over, the current management of three cousins having been in place for 24 years.

The expansion of Warburtons since the 1980s has involved classic marketing principles, starting from thei bakery in Bolton they sent their drivers further east across Yorkshire, giving samples of their bakery products to shopkeepers to try. Once customers discovered the products and said they wanted to continue buying them the shops listed Warburtons, allowing them to build up enough trade to open a Bakery in Wakefield to serve fresh bread to Yorkshire. This was repeated by heading North to Tyneside and then Glasgow before heading in a southerly direction to the stage they now have the UK covered with bakeries serving 16000 shops per day via their own fleet of 1000 trucks.

Warburtons believe they have grown through consistenIMG_20150624_155539cy – consistent quality of fresh bread but also consistency of leadership and messages. Their key values are simple:

  • Family (ownership and family of employees)
  • Ambition
  • Responsibility
  • Quality
  • Care

But how are Warburtons different from other bakers? Passion seemed to be the answer, although the specific points mentioned were:

  • Long term plans without knee jerks
  • Investing in the best equipment
  • Purchasing the best ingredients
  • Employing expert bakers

Warburtons deliver better quality of bread, and do it through five things:

  1. Partnering with farmers to get their specific strain of wheat
  2. Bake from high protein wheat to provide strength in the loaf
  3. Have the best bakeries and bakers
  4. Deliver direct to store to ensure freshness, no regional distribution centres involved
  5. Bread is stronger and doesn’t rip when buttered – butterability!

Mark talked through the marketing communication process that led to their current advertising using Sylvester Stallone. They were aiming for an advert to show their dedication to delivering fresh bread every day but realised they were in danger of making something more suitable as a film for a supply chain conference so stopped the process. They then (in conjunction with their agency) had the idea to make their own action movie and someone suggested using Sylvester Stallone. Through a connection they managed to get in contact with him and he agreed to the idea, if you have seen the result it is here.

What next – we will have to wait and see but they do have ideas!

Overall, how have Warburtons built a brand to rival Coca-Cola, it has been through:

“Commitment to freshness and commitment to quality”

Surely something that can be applied to any organisation, demonstrating a clear, determined strategy.


CIM Northern Awards

The evening was the CIM Northern Awards dinner, we had more students invited:



It was a great evening, hosted by Andy Crane IMG_20150624_221858(originally known for presenting children’s programmes on BBC) who enlivened the awards ceremony. Special mention has to be given to the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award – Robert Chiswick – on his retirement from running his study centre in Sheffield. It was great to get a mention from him in his speech in relation to taking over the study centre, an honour to carry on his tradition and big boots to fill! Robert seemed a little camera shy however




Finally, a photo of the table 6 occupants, the SPA Professional Academy students and representatives from Clock Creative and myclever Agency – both of whom won awards, congratulations:



All in all a great day with some helpful take-outs related well to all marketers and those on CIM qualifications at all levels.