A great learning experience. All of my courses are highly interactive, include tools and techniques and have lots of examples, including the very latest work from awards.
I have been running courses since 2004, after I published a book about the digital revolution called The Communications Challenge (APG 2004)
I have learnt the hard way – by practice- how to run a really good learning session. But don’t take my word for it- ask any of my clients listed below
I work both in the UK and internationally. In the past year I have run courses in Canada, USA and Pakistan
How to book. You can book courses through trade associations listed below or directly. I also develop tailored training courses and adapt existing course to individual needs.
MAA (for marketing agencies)- Contact Avalyn Kasahara
ISBA ( for clients/brand owners )- Contact Mark Willock
APG (for agency strategists)- Contact Alison Trotter
– or get in direct contact for a bespoke session- firstname.lastname@example.org
New course alert for 2018
Smart strategy for Comms planning (developed in partnership with Neal Fairfield, Strategy Director of Sapient, and Sarah Newman, Director of APG) .How to develop a full digital strategy and bring your thinking and idea to life in the world. Next course runs on 06.02.18. Detail on the APG website here
Training Courses for Clients and Brand Owners
Creating ideas and getting the best out of your agency. Designed in partnership with Patrick Collister of Google. A two day course with three key elements that help marketers get clear on what they want their agency to deliver and inspire them to deliver it
How to define creative ideas. The different levels of creative idea and getting clear on what you are asking for from your agency. Great examples from around the world
The key elements of an agency brief. Clients have a lot of information they can share with agencies – but what are the really important questions ?
Role reversal– in this session teams write a brief and then answer a creative brief. Anyone can have an idea when they get a good clear brief
How to motivate agencies and give feedback on creative work A one and a half day course specially designed for ISBA and SKY that helps clients brief and manage multi-disciplinary agency teams
The first part focuses on the key strategy questions that clients need to answer in order to give direction to agencies, how different agencies think differently and the leadership skills that are needed to get the best out of agencies.
In the second part we develop skills in evaluating and giving feedback on creative work. It covers the psychology of perception as well as practical tools for giving feedback, including understanding the difference between idea and execution
This course has been popular for over 8 years which reflects a deep need among marketers to bring greater simplicity to a sometimes confusing challenge- the agency scene has become more complex as a result of technology and specialisation
How behavioural economics can change your life .A new course commissioned by ISBA for the 2017 curriculum. This three hour seminar explores the key ideas behind BE and illustrates the practical implications of applying BE principles to achieving behaviour change. It “chunks” BE into three sections:
- Fast Thinking
- Small changes=Big Differences
It explains the thinking of key academics as well as drawing out the implications for how we need to think differently about effectiveness. In preparing this course i have drawn on the latest literature as well as my experience working on Government behaviour change for the Central Office of information
Brand Building in the Digital Age. I developed this one day seminar when I was working with brand owners at Google. In 2017 I “went live” with it for ISBA in UK and Pakistan Advertisers Society.
This seminar argues a strong point of view which is that brand building today is not about chasing people across The Internet with unwanted advertising messages. (Although some adtech, like programmatic buying, is reducing the irritation factor and increasing the relevance of digital advertising)
But rather we should think about customers as “empowered people” who want their favourite brands-the brands to which they become more loyal- to be easy to find & use, useful, relevant, engaging and inspiring.
In this session we develop a manifesto for digital transformation.
It covers these topics
Design thinking: Asking the human centred questions as the starting point for development. What do people need and when and where are they open to communication and a better experience ? Design thinking starts with people not technology – as Larry Page (co-founder of Google) puts it: “start with the user”
The ladder of increased customer value 1) How can we make things easier for customers? 2)How can create an enhanced customer experience ? 3) How can we create something that the customer wants to engage in?
Make a positive impact on society What do your customers care about in their lives ?What credible role can your brand or company play ? (How CSR now is brand strategy and not an adjunct to it)
Training courses for marketing agencies (MAA)
Fast Strategy. This is a one day course specifically designed for busy account handlers who do not have the luxury of a large planning department and therefore have to do most of the brief writing and thinking themselves. I have run this for five years through MAA and adapted and evolved it over that time. In a sense this course “the best of Ogilvy”, where i was lucky to have trained as planner, and “the best of Google”, where in have immersed myself in digital marketing
It is built around four key questions that a brief has to address
1) What is the communications problem? (Clear definition is a key and involves understanding both the potential of the brand and the context in which the brand operates)
2) Who is this for? (Uncovering Insight into audiences using analytical, qualitative and data led techniques)
3) How is it going to work? (Interruption, Engagement and Integration. Effectiveness learning from IPA and behavioural psychology. Newer models of thinking with a focus on branded content)
4) What are we going to say? (Promises propositions and why simplicity matters more than ever)
MAA Diploma. I co-designed this eight part qualification in partnership with MAA- it sells out its 20 places every time it is run.
It is for people who have been working in agencies 1 or 2 years and gives a thorough grounding in the knowledge and strategic needed for someone starting out in agencies today. I teach three of the eight modules
The power of brands
- Why brands matter to our clients: economic value of brands
- Brand evolution and brands in the interactive age
- How to understand a brand.
- Brands as the source of creativity and ideas
- Roles of brand advertising and branded content
Consumer psychology, effectiveness and using media
- How do consumers choose and buy?
- How this is the starting point for designing the use of different media and disciplines.
- Latest insights from consumer psychology into how humans process information.
- Building a picture of influence in a particular category.
- Matching media and methods to your effectiveness model.
How to be a strategic partner
- What it means earn the status of partner rather than supplier
- Understanding the client business and the brief
- How to interrogate a client brief: preparation and research.
- The key elements of the agency brief- problem definition/audiences/propositions.
- Examples of agency briefs.
- How the key elements of the brief fit together.
MAA Future Leaders Academy.
This eight part course is designed for agency people who have at least 10 years experience and are looking to step up to a management role. Like The Diploma it sells out every year and has just 20 places.
In 2016 I partnered with Creative Director David Harris to design the module on the importance of creativity to agencies.
Insight, agency magic dust
What do we mean by insight and how do you go about finding it? This two hour seminar covers shows that insight is as much a creative process as an analytical one. It delivers a set of insights tools and techniques that can be applied to campaign planning (2 hour seminar)
How to win new business pitches
Insights from experienced new business directors (who were surveyed in the preparation for this course) about how to build client trust through the process leading up to the pitch as well as how to ensure a great performance on the day- (2 hour seminar)
Training courses for agency strategists (APG)
How to run a really useful workshop. Workshops can be some of the most useful and productive time you spend at work. They can also end up unstructured, messy, and a waste of everyone’s time.
Nevertheless they remain a hugely popular way of trying to come up with new ideas, define a direction, or pull a team behind a strategy. And if you are a Planner or Strategist it’s likely to be you in the hot seat, organising and leading it.
A Really Useful Workshop is not rocket science but it does need a lot of thought, careful planning and an understanding of how to run it and how to get the best out of people
- How to plan and set up your session
- How to be confident running it and how to overcome problems and obstacles you may encounter
- How to plan different kinds of workshop: Workshops to give direction, and workshops that are about coming up with ideas
- A series of model workshop designs for you to adapt your own purposes.
How brands grow. Understanding the theory and how to apply the best of the new thinking from Behavioural Economics, Byron Sharp and the IPA to your work
Over the last few years there has been an explosion of highly rigorous and tested new thinking on marketing and brands. You may have read some of the articles and books by Byron Sharp, Les Binet, Peter Field, Phil Barden and others. But how to pull it all together and understand the implications for your clients and your day job?
I bring together the science of Behavioural Economics and the science of consumer marketing and draw out the implications and dilemmas that practitioners face.
- The key principles that you need to understand
- How do people choose and buy?
- What really influences us to behave as we do ?
- And what is the role of brands in this?
The theory is delivered in bite sized chunks with breakouts to debate implications for your work on your brands now.