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.
A few thoughts from within the industrial marketing landscape in Dubai, where we are embedded currently. It is essential to remember your audience and stakeholders at all times. No matter how long you have been working in communications, it doesn’t count for anything if you are speaking another language to your client. This language could be Digitalia, standard English or, even worse, British.
You read it right. British English can be easily confused, either because of our convoluted lexicon and grammatical idiosynchracies (actually maybe that is just me), or simply because we talk too fast and don’t want to offend people by checking they understood. Big mistake.
This applies across the board. I am currently requesting indirect clients to help with simple research on hashtags and Twitter handles on topics relevant to the company for future use and a combination of assumed knowledge and linguistic obstacles has resulted in an incomplete research task. Slightly frustrating but certainly fixable 🙂
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.