Six months ago a number of personal factors aligned to make me consider what really mattered. The ultimate catalyst for change was a family bereavement but underpinning this was a realisation that at my most important job – being a good dad, I was not giving enough time, energy or support at home. Seeing my eldest daughter Isabella struggling with the situation was heart-breaking and so set off a chain of events which has seen me resign from my ‘grown up’ job and take the summer off and spend much needed time ‘pressing pause’ and hanging out with the family (and being Dad!)
I have been fortunate enough to work with some great people (thank you if you are reading this, you know who you are!) and develop and manage some fantastic brands and marketing programmes (see my profile if you want more details!) and I take great pride in what I’ve delivered across my career to date but now it’s time for a change. The brand I want to nurture begins at home and it’s Team Toms that needs to be put first, not shareholders I’ve never met. To this end, I am opening up a marketing consultancy with four ‘shareholders’ (myself, the wife and the girls) and in the spirit of putting the family first it is to be called 47 Marketing (the sum of the birthdays of the four of us), Mollie has also just turned 4 and Bella 7 and poetically it is the reverse of the year I was born, 74! The core aim of 47 will be to support brands, agencies and businesses who want to use my 20+ years of marketing experience in a meaningful way.
One of the brilliant opportunities this summer break has offered me is the chance to de-clutter my brain and be less distracted than I would typically be and actually listen and observe more than normal. Spending quality time with the family has afforded me the chance to draw some parallels with the world of business and here are three simple observations;
- Children ask laser guided questions, getting right to the heart of any given topic. Their ‘why’ skills derive insight on a par with some of the best agency planners I’ve ever worked with!
- Children are brilliant negotiators. I’ve been party to many a tough negotiation but nothing beats my three year old Mollie when she gets a goal in her sights (especially if it’s ice cream based).
- Children have a real knack of finding a solution (if they are so inclined!). Watching my two daughters playing with some similarly aged French children, it mattered not they didn’t speak the same language as they spoke the same international language of play and fun!
Which almost completes the circle really. Marketing from my perspective is pretty simple;
-You need to cut through
-You need to be able to persuade.
As a blue chip trained classical marketer there is of course significant depth to these statements but it’s not as complicated as many like to make out!
I am pressing ‘play’ again from the start of September and I’m going to be here to help those who are interested. A brilliant identity for 47 Marketing is in development and some more philosophical thoughts and details about 47’s services will be soon appearing online but until then drop me a note via linked in as I’d love to chat and see if I can help.
Hope you’ve had a good summer and see you again in September!
Thanks for reading, and massive thanks to the girls (Rach, Bella & Mollie) for the support and inspiration.