Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Golden Sweet Spot


The magnificent Goldsmiths Hall was the location for the Marketors' Annual City Lecture. This superbly elegant building at the junction of Foster Lane and Gresham Street is on the plot which the Company has occupied since 1339, this being their third hall on the site. For us to present such an occasion in their great hall surrounded by the wealth and splendour of the Goldsmiths was indeed an honour, but one which I feel the Marketors more than lived up to.

The invitees included forty Masters and Clerks from other City Livery Companies, so a lot of meeting and greeting during the reception, particularly by the Mistress who worked her magic ensuring no one was left out. In addition there was a party from the event sponsors, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and St Dunstan's School, and 151 Regiment all of whom were joined by over sixty Marketors. The subject for the evening was "Hitting the Sweet Spot: How to Achieve Lasting Organic Profit Growth" and was opened by the new Chief Executive of the CIM Anne Godfrey who introduced our speaker for the evening. Emeritus Professor of Management and Marketing at London Business School and Chair of Which?, Patrick Barwise is not the usual academic despite ove 30 years at LBS; his interest is in what works in practise rather than theory hence him being the first academic to present our City Lecture and my first choice as guest speaker. That I also lectured for ten year at LBS, if only as a visitor, may also have had something to do with it.

Not surprisingly an excellent speaker, Patrick introduced us to the subject of achieving sustainable profitable growth and, by way of a warning , also to how companies fail. With examples ranging from B&Q and NTL through to Tide and Apple he both educated and entertained us. The key message for me was that customers rarely buy a product or service because it offers something unique - they simply want something that is better. The Q&A session was very lively with questions covering a vast array of topics including the City, local government, pickles, confectionery and branding - all handled expertly by Patrick. My theme for the year of Marketing: the Business Driver was more than proven.

And so to Supper which was a somewhat casual affair for Goldsmiths in that, while seated at tables for ten, they were un names and service commenced once a table was full. In this relaxed atmosphere discussion and debate continued. It would seem that a good time was had by all while several of the Masters told the Mistress and I that is was the best City Lecture all year. Another successful piece of positioning for the Marketors.

John Flynn
Master Marketor 

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