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Field Notes

Tips, guides and articles on marketing, sales and operations to help you grow your business

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How Frederick the Great Marketed the Potato

I love historical stories of great marketers who weren’t actually marketers ( Cicero , Aristotle   Cave Men ). This week I discovered Frederick the Great’s Marketing Problem. He ruled Prussia from 1740-1786 and although he is probably best known for his military activities, he was also a great moderniser for social improvement and wealth creation. When there was a risk of famine in Prussia, he introduced the potato which had only recently been

Where to go for Brexit help

During October you will be bombarded with “help” to prepare for Brexit, from the DIT to anyone who wants to climb on the bandwagon. Having sat through DIT presentations and seen what other organisations are planning, I can save you a whole lot of trouble. All they will do is signpost you to https://www.gov.uk/find-eu-exit-guidance-business because, quite simply, nobody has a better guide, and nobody has any information on how it will

How to protect your pricing –

– and avoid giving things away! Pricing is always a sensitive topic. Customers want to know how much something costs before they buy it, and suppliers don’t want to tell everyone (including their competitors) what something costs because often “it depends”. Unless you are selling a commodity product where the price is known at the start, there is a debate about whether you should expose your pricing structure early on

If you take payments online…

What is happening? From 14th September 2019 an update to the EU’s Payment Services Directive (known as PSD2) will change requirements for many online payments for customers in the European Economic Area (EEA). From this date, Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) will be required for online payments between businesses based in the EEA and customers based in the EEA. SCA requires two or more of the following elements to authenticate someone

“It ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it”

Fun Boy Three and Bananarama, 1982. Does that take you back? I am constantly seeing debates on LinkedIn arguing whether cold calling has been superseded by social selling, or that digital marketing is the way to go. All I’m reading is about “what” you do not the “way” that you do it. You know what? It doesn’t matter what you do if you aren’t doing it the right way. Whether you are cold calling

Let’s get rid of Marketing

Brian Halligan didn’t say that, but he made me think it. Brian is the founder of Hubspot, the sales and marketing app/suite/platform that has been a huge influencer in the world of business development since 2006. I was fortunate to catch Brian in a “fireside chat” session hosted by Christian Kinnear at the London Hubspot User Group meeting. Brian is awesome. He is one of those entrepreneurs who come up

How to ace a difficult client meeting

Have you ever dreaded going to a client meeting, knowing it was going to be really tough? It happens to all of us, and I have had my share of them. Some caused by my own actions, latterly in senior roles to take one for the team. I have learned some tactics over the years, which can not only make the experience less stressful, they can significantly improve the outcome.

Book Review: The Speaker’s Coach by Graham Shaw

Book Review: Graham Shaw: “The Speakers Coach – 60 secrets to make your talk, speech or presentation amazing”. You can add to that list: pitch, demonstration, lesson – or any communication where you want to attract, engage and inspire your audience. There are some lessons here that can be used in simple conversations too. I am a big fan of Graham Shaw. He is an expert at communicating visually –

How to get a good night’s sleep…

“I slept like a baby” How come people never say “slept like a stressed out marketing director?” For the very good reason that often, adults don’t sleep so well and as a result their energy and performance suffer the following day. We invited Dan Collins, Team Facilitator and Sleep Coach to speak at our January techUK Marketing and Sales meeting to tell us how improved sleep can improve our performance

“Black Box Thinking” by Matthew Syed (book review)

A colleague recommended I read “Black Box Thinking” by Matthew Syed. Not quite knowing what to expect, I did. And what a powerful message. A message about the value of learning from mistakes, and the critical importance of maintaining an organisational culture that welcomes the opportunity to learn from failure rather than punishing it. The title comes from the key example of the benefits of this approach. As you can

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Resources

Here is a collection of our own videos and ones we particularly like from other contributors. There are also ebooks and assessments to download and enjoy.

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This 36-second video shows you how to easily find the cursor and edit text with the new version of Apple iOS 13.1.2 on an iPhone or iPad

The Mystery of the Missing Cursor!

This isn’t really a sales and marketing video, but it may be helpful anyway! In the new Apple iOS 13.1.2 on an iPhone or iPad, you might wonder where has the text cursor gone? This 36-second video shows you how to easily edit text with the new version of iOS. Register for more tips with the Ascent Club .

Video Tip #5 Video without video

How to improve and add visual interest to DIY video with additional footage, even if you don’t have any video footage (The Ken Burns Effect)

Marketing tips from Freddie’s Flowers

Four very effective marketing tactics used by Freddie’s Flowers that can be applied to any business, yet a surprising number of businesses don’t use them.