Something special exists in everyone – it just needs uncovering.
Thirteen was founded on a straightforward & single-minded proposition. That 90% of one firm is exactly the same as any other.
So I use Thirteen to give B2B & professional firms the tools to differentiate themselves – by articulating communicating & demonstrating what makes them distinctive.
Articulating what makes you distinctive is your most important task. When you’ve done that you can build a brand with a clear positioning that lifts you above the generic mass of the competition. Without doing it you’ll be forever seen as a replaceable commodity. And who wants that?
We do this by:
Communicating what makes you distinctive is about creating the distinctive brand assets that identify you to the world & reinforce your positioning. Do this well & people will think of you with the right associations & feelings. Do this badly & people will think of someone else.
We do this by:
Demonstrating what makes you distinctive is about the four elements of client experience: voice of the client; people; measurement; governance. Through this you can build a truly client-centric environment where everyone in the business knows what to do & how to do it.
We do this by:
I share as much as I can in the hope it will give marketers ideas, insight, inspiration & support.
Big Ideas are typically research or explorations of meaty marketing topics. Quick Thinking pieces are shorter articles about something that’s caught my attention recently. Checklists are, erm, checklists & how-to guides.
Here’s a list of everything I write, with links to the individual items.
Hopefully you’ll find something useful amongst all that.
Why did I jump ship from in-house marketing director to independent consultant & agency founder? This could take some time.
I wasn’t very good at – or interested in – playing the politics of the workplace. I spent too much time doing things I didn’t enjoy & too little time doing the things I did. I wanted to set my own rules rather than follow someone else’s. I’m not good at managing people. I’m bored by routine. I was frustrated by what I perceived as a reluctance to challenge convention & a willingness to accept mediocrity.
I wanted to change the way people market B2B & professional firms. I enjoy meeting new people & learning about them. I like having time to think. I never really fitted in anywhere so exploring different organisations feels bizarrely comfortable. I get a kick from sharing ideas with people. I can do work that will really make a difference & have an impact on a business. I can do my Christmas shopping at 11:30am on a Tuesday when the shops are quiet.
If you want to know the details of my work history the best thing to do is look at LinkedIn. But to give you a flavour, it includes mergers, branding, key client programmes, strategy, positioning, client experience, pitching, client feedback & messaging.
Before moving to Leeds I was the London region director for PM Forum, the group providing insight & inspiration to marketers in professional services. I’m a judge at the Managing Partners’ Forum Awards and organise the annual PM Forum conference. I’m also part of the Planner Therapy group in Leeds, supporting planners in Yorkshire.
I have the skills & experience to do a lot of work on my own. But when projects become bigger or different talents are needed, then the Thirteen family pull together.
These are some of my favourite people to work with.
For design work, the creative force of nature that’s Ricky Oh. He’s the founder of The Hackney Creative Collective, which brings together experts in everything from design & video to music production & photography. Apparently the methodology is based on Louis Sullivan’s premodernist philosophy of form following function. Obviously.
Lots of people say they’re customer experience experts. Jerry Angrave actually is a customer experience expert. A Certified Customer Experience Practitioner, he’s one of only six people on the planet authorised to train others for the accreditation. He works with B2B & professional services firms through Thirteen & specialises in working with B2C businesses like airlines, airports & utilities providers with Empathyce.
I don’t know anyone who imbues words with as much personality as Eileen MacCallum. Her background in corporate marketing, performing arts & languages means she knows how words work on the page, the screen or spoken out loud. Nice. You can check out some of her work on the website for her copywriting business, A Wee Birdie.
As web developers go, Gareth Evans is up there with the best. Not just as a techy, but also because he understands a marketing strategy & can grasp the nuances of a creative brief. He’s the director of webfire, who build websites & apps for businesses large & small. His team are lovely as well.
Sometimes you don’t know what it’s really like to work with someone until it’s too late. So to avoid any nasty surprises, here’s what you can expect if you take the plunge with me & the Thirteen family. You can’t say you weren’t warned:
Like what you’ve seen so far? Then I’d love to hear from you.
You can call me on 07867 491 946 or email me – firstname.lastname@example.org