Jeremy Bassett [corvecons]
Up till now, what has been your professional career path?
I spent the first 25 years of my working life in international and domestic corporate finance as a lender, an underwriter and as the guy that had to work out the marketing and sales strategies for my divisions. Ten years ago I decided to leave the corporate world and start my own business - Corve Consultancy - which works predominantly with UK based owner managed businesses, developing business (marketing) strategy, creating marketing communications and where neccessary helping to raise new debt or equity
Please list web addresses where one can see something about you.
Almost everything you need to know is on the Corve Consultancy website at http://www.corveconsultancy.com
You will also see me on the Consultants Directory at the Chartered Institute of Marketing http://www.cim.co.uk/KnowledgeHub/ConsultantsDirectory/directoryhomepage.aspx
And with some kindred spirits at the UK's best business networking club http://www.cbc4me.co.uk/county-business-club-members
What is your stance as a marketing professional? What are you good at? What differentiates you from others?
Part of Corve Consultancy's unique positioning is high level expertise in strategic & tactical marketing AND business finance. So many marketers are bamboozled by the numbers side of business and hey - don't ever let your accountant get involved in marketing strategy or comms!
Most of the owner managers I work with, in large and small organisations, have excellent technical skills in their chosen discipline, but are often held back because they don't have that breadth of knowledge in these two key areas, which can make or break the long term success of the company.
A marketing strategy begins with an idea. How are yours born?
Mine are born out of years of experience. I'm not vain enough to describe myself as a leading original thinker, but I'm great at taking what's out there and customsing it to my clients' specific needs and building from there. Over the years I've worked with hundreds of businesses, appraising them as a good or bad risk (in the days when bankers were actually trained and skilled enough to do that!!) and latterly using all that knowledge to help clients find success through strong competitive positioning in crowded market places.
In which market, products or services, are you currently working?
I work across most business sectors through my client. I don't think the sector in which the client operates is that important to me, they have the technical expertise in those areas, I provide the wider support in strategy, communications and finance that is often missing.
What is the consumer or user like that you have to win over?
I work on B2B and B2C solutions. There is no typical profile of a consumer or user that my clients want to attract, we approach it a different way, on the basis that evey consumer is as demanding as possible and we have to be at the top of our game all the time to meet their specific requirements.
How do you determine what consumers think and feel? Is something more than qualitative research necessary?
I do much more B2B primary market research than ever before. I actively encourage my clients to open up their customer base to me as one of the means of helping to shape future strategy. Ethnography is a great means of adding value to traditional qualitative research, but much as I love the concept, there's little opportunity to use it in my world.
What type of communication are you utilizing?
The most effective ones to reach the specific audiences! (But more and more online)
Who/what is your competition?
I have a simple view on this. I collaborate with many other Chartered Marketers in the UK, sharing clients and services, when our own business infrastructures are stretched. I see these guys as partners who can add value to my business and my clients and in a manner diametrically opposed to my corporate days I embrace these working relationships rather than being frightened of them.
The people who I want to "see off" are the armada of unqualified consultants who offer so called marketing expertise to businesses in the UK without any real accredited background whatsoever! Rant over!!
What differentiates your product/service from the competition?
Simple - it's me! All of us have a unique style and modus operandi we bring to our work which is the platform of our brand. It's also the biggest obstacle to stretching the Corve Consultancy brand as introducing additional people into the business will change the brand promises - ok if it enhances our reputation, but a bit tricky if it goes the other way!!
What is a better way to communicate your product: emotional or rational?
Rational in the first instance. There are solid business reasons why clients need to work with strategic marketers and in these difficult economic times that message is resonating stronger than ever amongst UK owner managers. Once that connection is made then the clients can use more emotional judgment as to whether it's me or another properly qualified consultant they want to work with.
What's your answer to the typical question: does marketing create nonexistent needs?
It can do, indeed in some circumstances it has to. A better question might be is marketing guilty of prolonging unrequired needs?
My big problem with marketing is that so few people truly understand strategic marketing and as a result so many waste money on tactical marketing (communications) without any real chance of success. Their spend is driven on by irresponsible individuals and agencies who just need to feed their machine and will take cash off any unsuspecting business.
I listened to a keynote presentation, a few weeks ago, on branding given by a household name full service agency to members of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Their grasp of brand development was so shallow it was laughable. All the time I meet businesses who have spend significant sums of money on unsuccessful communications, led down the path by advisers who didn't know what they were doing.
This is the issue I want my industry to address - it's more important than a debate about stimulating or creating non existent needs - honest!!
What is the most surprising thing you have learned about digital marketing in the last few years?
That so many people still do it so badly!!!
A few years ago, it was said that online sales would end up killing traditional store sales, but that has not been the case: how can you explain this?
The people who said it didn't really know what they were talking about!! It's the same reason that while there is a place for facebook and myspace and all these social networking sites, we'd still rather go out and eat/drink/dance/talk etc "live", rather than live the whole of our existence on line. It ain't rocket science we like human interaction and always will do.
Be a prophet. What phenomenon will revolutionize marketing in the next few years?
Revolutionise is too strong, but I think that as we become ever more reliant on our hand held electronic devices, we may see consumer marketing make real breakthroughs in terms of the personalisation of messages and in the development of better profiling. This may lead to a big down turn in junk communication as marketers get more specific about the individual rather than just chucking loads of stuff out to everyone and hoping it resonates.
I would love to see junk mailers and spammers driven out of business by better profiling and more bespoke communications tailored for individuals which give a far higher success ratio
Are you part of any professional networking sites? Has it served its purpose for you?
I'm Linked In - here I am
It's ok and it's a nice thing to invite your pals to join, but i don't work hard at it and have never received any enquiries via it