Happy Birthday UAE

It is 2nd December 2015, the 44th birthday of the United Arab Emirates, a country I have called home for almost 5 years. I have lived and learned, developed and honed, broadened and focused. At this point in time I am grateful that I am increasingly healthy, not so wealthy but certainly wiser.

I made the decision earlier this year to step away from circumstances that were clouding my professional and personal character. Since that day, following weeks and months of evaluation and discovery, I have been able to realign and recalibrate with the support of my dear wife and various other key people (you hopefully know who you are and also read this blog).

I am proud of the work I produce for clients I am thrilled to collaborate with today and I wish this for everyone. This post may be slightly late for Thanksgiving, but I believe it needs to be written and today is as good as any.

Thank you and a very happy birthday to all our readers.

The Downside Of Publicity

The last few months have been incredibly eye-opening and one of the reasons I first began this new venture – I have been able to fully embed in a company looking for hands-on marketing communications guidance and production and genuinely make a difference. The step away from rigid agency¬†life into a closer client role has been refreshing, and occasionally frustrating but that is another blog post…

There was an odd pride came over me yesterday during lunch with the founder and CEO when he told me he had got into an argument with his wife. When I asked why, expecting the response to be about a shopping trip or forgetting an anniversary, he explained that a friend of his wife’s had seen in the news an announcement of a major industrial accolade for his company, and his name all over the press. The CEO, always focused on sales and market development rather than the glitz and glamour of events and awards, was in trouble with his proud and supportive wife because he had forgotten to mention the prize. He was grassed up by his newfound fame, all because of a media campaign I had instigated with the Head of Marketing.

That CEO is Bakhtiar Wain of Avanceon and they are now recognised as Best System Integrators by Schneider Electric, a company they have partnered with on various projects across the Middle East. This little anecdote serves to remind me of the great strides I have managed to take at this company, where the very idea of communicating their success is alien. Now, with this little taste of fame, we are starting to turn the corner.

Before You Go on Vacation…

Unfortunately, we are not revealing an exciting new holiday spot, fantastic prices on airfares or unveiling newly discovered cultural delights. We are however giving a brief overview on the benefits of proper planning before getting on the plane.

Here at Ashton x Ashton, we always seek to deliver actionable consultancy. By getting to know you and your business requirements, most importantly your goals and objectives, we can generally map out a clear strategy, a journey to get you there. A comfortable but efficient extension of your own team, we are as interested in your financial goals as your marketing because at the end of the day we have to boost your bottom line.

Once goals are established we present our recommendations. These will be highly targeted to meet your specific objectives, in order that they are measurable and we can all see how effective an approach is, then have the humility and agility to adapt as necessary. The best laid plans cannot remain firm and the more flexibility available the better. All details, down to  the last tweet, should be subject to A/B testing in the real world, optimum results noted and actioned with immediate effect.

Perhaps the most important step in our process though is the foundational audit. To start any activity before this is in place is like going on holiday without researching your destination, who your are travelling with, what kind of cuisine is available. The audit allows us to benchmark against your competitors, find the keywords people are using in your industry and assess your existing digital estate. From this point onwards we can make educated steps in the right direction to optimise existing tactics and recommend new ones.

Continuing the holiday metaphor: if you go to the same resort as last year, you’ll get the same photos. But please, send us a postcard when you get there as we would love to hear from you. And next time we will help you pack your suitcase more effectively.