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I am fascinated by the marketing process, especially marketing communications, because it has people at its heart and – like people – it is always changing and making new discoveries; there's always something new to learn. I am an inveterate planner, and marketing is all about planning, so it suits me well. It is also an activity which is intended to make people happy, to deliver customer satisfaction; I enjoy spreading happiness. I particularly like the challenge of the often-overlooked part of the marketing process: to anticipate customer needs.
I have provided advertising consultancy to the marketing departments of many FMCG companies, including Unilever, Procter and Gamble, Kraft, Nestle, Heinz, Dairy Crest and media owners.
My key specialism is in the area of effectiveness research and very specifically the topic of effective frequency: how many times does a message need to be seen before it generates a purchase response?
I think that the erosion of trust which has arisen due to fake news, hacking and less-than-exemplary actions by large, powerful companies has left marketers in a position whereby they have to justify their authenticity to be believed. Many are now trying to find a medium which is deemed to be reliable, in an age when even the BBC is constantly charged with bias. It is hard to identify a medium which can be trusted by consumers.
I am working hard on my physiotherapy as I rehabilitate following my life-threatening stroke in 2011. I write poetry, I follow current affairs closely in order to keep close to the zeitgeist which may illuminate likely future trends in customer needs and communication channels.