1 January

Thinking about ... Five

We’re five! Cinq! Fünf! Cinco! Five years old. It’s been quite a journey and, of course, it’s not entirely true either; I’ve been working in strategic marketing communications for longer than I care to mention.

At the turn of this century, I was working for Global Marine Systems Limited in Chelmsford, Essex.

They’re an amazing business, operating mostly in offshore telecoms, with a fleet of vessels and ROVs, and they install, maintain, fix and generally look after the cables that crisscross the ocean floors that make the internet work between continents.

To cut a long story short, in 2007, I grabbed an opportunity with both hands and followed a good friend (or three) up to Aberdeen to work for Aquatic Engineering & Construction, who are part of the Acteon Group. I swapped offshore telecoms for offshore Oil & Gas and led them to rebrand, create annual marketing strategies, understand their customers better and generally raise their profile within the Acteon Group and to all their customers. It was a great job but, as those of you who work in Oil & Gas will remember, in 2016 the market changed, and I found myself without a job and, like many others, wondering what the plan was next.

I took a couple of months off, and then, thinking about the effect a gap on my CV might have, I set up DXDMedia – a name inspired by my car number plate, and the logo based on an idea suggested by my daughter. I went to a few job interviews, met some fab people - shout out to the lovely Ali Cormack – and I felt it was only a matter of time before the right job turned up… except it didn’t. Either the opportunity was the wrong side of Aberdeen (remember this was pre-AWPR and the driving through Aberdeen was a ‘mare!) or the roles were junior, or – and this really happened – the person who was interviewing me asked me where I thought I would be in 5 years, and I said, ‘working for myself’. Not the wisest thing to say in an interview, but clearly my unconscious path was set. Kelly from Aggressive Growth Marketing, gave me my first break; I provided operational support for her and her clients, and when I landed my own clients who needed strategic marketing support, I turned to my long-standing strategic content writer for the copy I needed.

In 2018, Neil Gordon from Aberdeenphoto.com, invited me to a business networking meeting. It would, he said, give me a good sense of what marketing needs local businesses out there had. I joined BNI and the projects rolled in – thinking about that time, for my business, that’s when things really started!

It’s been quite a journey, and the challenges of the global pandemic have helped form me as much as the business coach I work with, Brenda Hector*, and the dream coach course I attended [Phil Berg & YP Lai]. DXDMedia is my team, specialists I call on for specific projects or retained clients and this has meant I am flexible to pivot (that favourite 2020-word) towards whatever a client needs in any given situation.

If your business needs a change of direction – I found this excellent article about four innovative business model pivots, and how they could be relevant for your business.

I have become more focused as I have grown. I am very firmly a B2B marketing strategy specialist, targeting businesses turning over at least £1M (or aspirations to get there) who either have a clear idea of the marketing needs they have but no time or resource to execute it themselves, or businesses who understand the benefits marketing bring but haven’t properly engaged with it.

I have some fantastic support and a group of clients who are outstanding in their fields and it’s an absolute privilege and pleasure to work with every one of them. I also am grateful to my array of specialist providers; from writers and designers to animators and photographers, SEO specialists and printers, and the rest, without whom it would just be me.

We’re five. Happy Birthday DXDMedia! And now, I’m planning for the next five years and all that the Twenty-twenties has to throw at us. We’re ready and we’re excited about everyone coming along with us – and those that are still to come!

HAVE I GOT YOU THINKING ABOUT following your dream or making your side hustle a thing?

I’m not a business coach but I’ll happily share my entrepreneurial journey with you over a coffee or on a Zoom call, I can tell you all the things nobody tells you, all the things I did right and of course all the things that cost me a small fortune.

Message me: info@dxdmedia.co.uk

*Brenda has a monthly business book club; it's not just an excuse to have a glass of wine on a school night, it's the opportunity to read a good book and share the knowledge gleaned. The book of the month for January 2022 is Shoe Dog by Phil Knight - the creator of Nike - I bet you could tell that by the famous swoosh on the cover! Anyway - first page in, I see this quote (about the people of Oregon) and was struck about how it absolutely says how I feel about me, and everyone else who stuck their head above the parapet and started their own business.

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