Marketing Leaders Masterclass Launches in Leeds

I’m delighted to announce that some of the UK’s biggest brands and industry leaders will be taking part in next month’s Marketing Leaders Masterclass, which takes place at Elmwood’s Leeds office on Tuesday 21st April 2015.

The masterclass in association with Network Marketing (Headline Sponsor) will provide delegates with a unique integrated marketing experience, as five industry experts share their latest thinking across a number of hot topics including:

  • Digital: Ian Lloyd, Director of Digital Operations at WMG
  • Social Media: Paul Mallett, Managing Partner at Brass Alt
  • Creative: Simon Preece, Director of Effectiveness at Elmwood
  • PR: Stuart Bruce, International PR Advisor at Stuart Bruce Associates
  • Consumer Insight: To be confirmed on 17/3/15

Delegates include:

  • Head of Insight & Reporting, Asda
  • Senior Marketing Manager (Convenience), Morrisons Supermarkets
  • Senior Marketing Manager (Planning), Morrisons Supermarkets
  • Media Relations Manager, Morrisons Supermarkets
  • Head of Brand (UK & International), Quorn Foods
  • Director of Marketing, University of Bradford
  • Professor of Marketing, University of Liverpool
  • Head of Marketing, University of Leeds
  • Publisher – Prolific North

If you would like to secure your delegate pass, please proceed to the official booking page on Eventbrite or email


One question to always ask yourself during a negotiation

We do it everyday in our personal lives – don’t we? We are in the supermarket doing ‘The Big Shop’ when we are suddenly faced with a number of exciting promotional offers as we walk down our favourite aisle. So many choices, but which brand do we buy this week?

As much as I love shopping, I don’t want to stand in the cereal aisle for any longer than I have to, so a decision is made and I go with the store’s own brand of Fruit & Fibre.

As a marketer who may be responsible for spending your organisation’s budget, you have many important decisions to make, as it’s your job to deliver a strategy that will help  your business ‘defend and grow’ the client base, turnover, market share and industry reputation.

Upon embarking my agency-side marketing career back in 2005, I found it confusing when faced with so many different media options for raising the brand profile and generating leads. To me, there appeared to be too many industry events and awards – all claiming to deliver something uniquely different. In truth – not many actually did. The only difference was the huge price that the account manager was demanding for my agency to come on board.

Today, things have not changed that much in terms of the options that are available, however, my greater experience and understanding of my market has equipped me with the tools to quickly assess the value of any proposition being sold to me.

Ask yourself – why should I pay more than I have to? In reality, you don’t and should never, as long as you can benchmark the opportunity cost during a negotiation.

In 2013, I decided to invest in an event that was £60k less than a competitor was paying for a similar event. The decision-making process was very simple, because I knew what I wanted to achieve and how this event could deliver what I wanted. It was nice to save my agency a lot of money, however, I was simply doing my job and my experience and assessment of the opportunity cost meant that I could free the marketing budget up for other things. The event delivered!

If you can continue to develop your marketing radar to the point where you know the right price to pay for a service, based on the ‘Opportunity Cost’ – your ability to negotiate becomes a lot easier.

Why passion is everything when negotiating

We all know that in life and at work, being passionate about what you do makes a big difference. It not only enables you to enjoy what you are doing, but it also radiates to those around you and can sometimes inspire – if channeled in the right way.

In the build-up to my negotiation training workshop, I wanted to touch on its importance as a key ingredient when trying to reach a desired outcome with suppliers, as it may help you achieve a better result.

To be a truly effective negotiator, you must harness your passion with your in-depth market knowledge and ability to communicate with people, as without this spark – people may not be as responsive to your demands.

I remember travelling to London a few years back to meet a supplier to discuss an event sponsorship package and was immediately lethargic and negative upon meeting him – why? Well, I can honestly say that this person did not have a passion for what they were selling and it made me feel uncomfortable during the chat.

I am  not saying that you should jump through hoops and sing from the rooftops, just enjoy what you do and this will make any negotiation more fun, productive and fruitful.

On the other side of the coin, there are many people I have had the pleasure to negotiate with and I must admit their integrity and enthusiasm made the difference in agreeing a mutually attractive sponsorship.

It’s not too late to register for my workshop, so I hope to see you there!

The importance of reputation when negotiating

The ability to negotiate effectively depends on many core ingredients, however, one of the most important is your reputation and how you are perceived by your suppliers and peers.

What does this mean?

It is very important that when developing relationships with your key contacts and suppliers, you do not breach their trust. A good negotiator is not someone who gets a fantastic deal once, but someone who through their ability to develop honest and sound relationships can deliver the maximum benefit for their organisations on a consistent basis.

If you have managed to agree a package with your supplier, always deliver what you promised, as this failure will come back to haunt you in the future, as reputation is everything.

I always enter a negotiation with a clear understanding of what I want and what I will be happy to agree to, and will always deliver on my end.

If you become known as someone that can’t be trusted or who always fails to deliver on a promise – you will find it impossible to succeed at anything.

If you would like to further develop your negotiation skills, I will be running a training workshop in Leeds on Tuesday 24th February – get in touch if you are interested.

Why every marketer needs to be a good negotiator

As a soccer mad Tottenham fan, transfer deadline day is a special time of the year – when I am truly gripped to my TV until midnight.

It’s that time of the year when every football fan stays up late to find out which superstar their manager has signed and also what big signings have been made by the competition.

We all know that some managers are special at this time of the year because of their ability to negotiate a great deal,  and a skill which just might make the difference in what position they occupy at the end of the season.

As a marketer of 15-years it made me reflect on one of the most important skills a marketer must possess and continually refine – the ability to negotiate.

A marketer who is strong in this area will not just help boost the effectiveness of their organisation’s marketing output but also make substantial savings in the process – something every CEO loves!

I have had the pleasure of working for some amazing companies and people in my career and yet I have rarely come across a marketer who feels comfortable or enjoys the challenge in being able to negotiate a fantastic deal for the brand they represent.

I must admit, I personally find it one of the most enjoyable parts of the job, as it provides a real opportunity to put your ability, career experience and people skills to the ultimate test.

On Tuesday 24th February, I will be running a negotiation training workshop in order to share my experience and provide a series of practical tips that will help marketers deliver more for less.

Hope to see you there!