Strategy Sessions Podcast with Antonia Cross

Antonia Cross. Head of Marketing and Communications at Caring in Bristol. Antonia manages the external communications, brand, press, and marketing for Caring in Bristol.  

Episode 7 Season 2

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The homelessness charity has experienced rapid growth in the past four years in part by adopting a bold, creative marketing style and adhering to strict communications values: No messaging, imagery, or press that furthers stereotype or stigma.  

She works tirelessly to challenge perceptions of homelessness, and non-profit marketing tactics which come at the expense of systemic change. In 2020 she was recognised by Rife Magazine as one of their 30 under 30 for her work. With over a decade of experience in charity marketing, she has adapted to work efficiently and innovatively on a (tiny) budget to achieve a BIG impact. 

In this episode we discuss: 

  1. How Caring in Bristol managed to keep working during the Covid lockdowns 
  1. How their marketing activity went to work to help out 
  1. The importance of strategy first – even in a crisis
  1. The importance of people skills in marketing 
  1. Why no one cares about marketing and how to create buy in anyway 
  1. Why working in a charity isn’t just a job  

Antonia Cross

Antonia manages the external communications, brand, press, and marketing for Caring in Bristol.  

The homelessness charity has experienced rapid growth in the past four years in part by adopting a bold, creative marketing style and adhering to strict communications values: No messaging, imagery, or press that furthers stereotype or stigma.  

She works tirelessly to challenge perceptions of homelessness, and non-profit marketing tactics which come at the expense of systemic change. In 2020 she was recognised by Rife Magazine as one of their 30 under 30 for her work. With over a decade of experience in charity marketing, she has adapted to work efficiently and innovatively on a (tiny) budget to achieve a BIG impact. 

Antonia on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/antoniacrossuk/ 

Twitter - https://twitter.com/antoniamaycross 

Book Recommendations

New Power: How Anyone Can Persuade, Mobilize, and Succeed in Our Chaotic, Connected Age – Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans 

The Second Curve: Thoughts on Reinventing Society– Charles Handy 

Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite – Paul Arden 

Charity Marketing (Delivering income, services and campaigns) – Ian Bruce 

The Good Guide to Campaigning and Influencing – Brian Lamb 

Relationship Fundraising: A Donor–Based Approach to the Business of Raising Money– Ken Burnett 

Other Things We Talk About

Anna Higgie – The artwork behind Antonia on the YouTube video https://www.instagram.com/annahiggie/  

Caring in Bristol’s biggest ad campaign ever which ran during the first lockdown. Coverage in Bristol 24/7 and the Bristol Post.

Digital Marketing Strategy Course 

My Digital Marketing Strategy Course in partnership with the University of Vaasa in Finland is available now via Teachable for just €249.  

It’s perfect for small business owners, entrepreneurs and those who want to get a better understanding of what marketing strategy is and how to embed that strategy across an organisation.  

Sign up for the programme here: https://univaasa.teachable.com/p/digital-marketing-strategy  

Andi Jarvis 

If you have any questions or want to talk about anything that was discussed in the show, the best place to get me is on Twitter or LinkedIn

If you don’t get the podcast emailed to you (and a monthly newsletter) you can sign up for it on the Eximo Marketing website. 

Make sure you subscribe to get the podcast every fortnight and if you enjoyed the show, please give it a 5* rating. 

Andi Jarvis, Eximo Marketing. 

Interview Transcription

This transcript has been done automagically using Happy Scribe and hasn’t been checked by a real person, so there may be some hilarious mistakes where the AI can’t work out our accents – I’m sure they’re trained on just the American accent. 

Antonia, welcome to the Strategy Sessions. Thank you for joining me. Do you want to explain who you are and what you’re doing on the podcast? 

Well, I’m trusting you on the podcast. So who am I? I’m Antonio and am the head of marketing communications for a regional homelessness charity called Caring in Bristol. I’m currently in Bristol. I’m in my living room in Eastern. If anyone knows Bristol. And yeah, I feel tough to be invited on Andy. 

Well, listen, as Lockdown backdrop score, yours is definitely in the top two or three that I’ve seen with some amazing artwork. If you’re not watching the YouTube video, go and have a look at it now, some amazing artwork behind you, which kind of puts my plants, which I can make look like sideshow. Bob puts it to shame. So who’s the artist or what’s the stuff behind you? 

My housemate is a talented artist. Her name is Anna. Higgie. You can actually look her up on Instagram. She does all the illustrations of the Vogue and stuff, and during Lockdown, she painted all of our friends and like us. So that’s one of our friends. I’m surrounded by lots of art, but that is anyone who knows Bristol knows. Easton is the artist, so I’ve completely gone in with the stereotype. 

Excellent. We’ll put a link to her Instagram in the show notes so that we don’t miss that and anyone can click on the link. So Bristol is where we met. I’m just going to very briefly tell a story of digital gaggle, which is a marketing event run by noisy little monkey John and the team down there. I went over to look at the event. There were some great speakers on. Antonio was one of the ones I hadn’t heard of before, which was fine. And to be honest, I looked and I was like, charity marketing, not really my thing, but she’s on a digital gag, much as always. 

In these things, it’s those bits where you’re like, should I go and make a few phone calls during this one where you are utterly, completely and totally blown away by somebody who just seems to be reaching into your soul or into your mind and ripping out all of its contents. The only thing I didn’t really like Antonio, it seems, thinks about strategy, and it almost exactly the same way I do. The only thing I didn’t like is that she sort of rolled out all my secrets that I charge clients for for free to the audience. 

What are you playing at? So what are you doing? Trying to ruin my business, Antonio? 

Well, great. I didn’t mean to ruin business, but I kind of went into my talk being like, the way that I go to strategy. I literally wrote a list of talks I’d seen before that I thought were a bit nasty and was like, I’m going to do the opposite to them. And I just thought I’m going to be the talk that I wish I could go and see, because I have sat through many marketing talk, and I always come out being like, it was great. Some of them are terrible. 

Some of them are rotten. I was like, I wanted to be the talk that I wish I could see. And I was really keen. I know a lot of people in marketing have impostor syndrome, or you find a lot of people who self tour. And I guess you might talk a bit more about this, but I really wanted to explain it so that anyone who watched that talk would go and then sit in their room, sit in the office, sit in the next meeting, they’re in and regurgitate something that I said in that talk and hold their head up high, be like, no, I’m talking about because I’m saying, I heard this girl use the right terminology or the model for, like, what I know I’m kind of doing or not, that’s who I had in mind, who was like, sort of my audience. 

And there are people with imposter syndrome, and maybe people who haven’t when they go into ring or when they go into meeting with someone might use a bit intimidated. Maybe I was thinking a lot more women. I just know a lot of men in marketing, and then people know what they’re saying. And sometimes we have meetings and you feel like maybe I don’t know. I’m talking about what I’m doing. And I just thought that person in my head and I thought, I want to give them a talk that they can go away from feeling like a puffed up chest. 

So that’s exactly why. 

It’S brilliant. So I think this conversation is probably going to be full of lots of top tips, because I think I’m going to get the theme tune out already quite early on in the episode. So it’s A-P-T-I-P-O-P-T-I-P. I’m going to drop this top tip in for you, but it’s such a blindingly simple one, which is think of your audience. See too many presentations at marketing conference, like not thinking of the audience. What would I like to talk about instead of what do people want to hear? It’s such a simple start to a great presentation, but it achieved those objectives, I think, and I really enjoyed it. 

So when I looked at the branding house, which we’ll talk about in a moment of how I put eczema together, education is one of the pillars. And the underpinning concept that I have is keep it simple. There’s a lot of people in strategy, try and complicate it, because then they can charge more for it. Let’s look at if that’s what works for you, that’s fine. But my whole ethos is to try and simplify it so people can understand it. And I think that’s what I saw with your presentation was you like, look here’s how I did it. 

Here’s how I broke it down. And here’s what you do if you’re going to take it on to the next level, which I thought was wonderful. Do you want to talk about a bit more about how the presentation came to life? 

Yes. So I had my idea, my audience, my imposter syndrome person, and it came to like, I’ve never done any talks on marketing before. So Claire Dibin, who’s amazing, who’s one of the noisiest monkey crew who puts together the whole event a digital gag where she curates the talks and sources of speakers. Me and her I had a couple of meetings together, and she’s been asking me for a while because she’s always said that she found me. I think she found me funny. And for a while she was saying, Can you come and talk at Digital Gabriel, if you don’t want to hear me speak? 

I don’t know what I would speak about. And eventually she managed to find a time when I was three, and she just gotten us through COVID and carrying a Bristol was quite successful in its fundraising throughout COVID, and I was very proud of the year that I had had, which sounds a bit craft compared to what was going on in the way to the world. And I think not too proud. So she asked me to speak on that. And she also kind of gave it a twist where it’s how to do marketing on a budget. 

And I thought, Well, I can speak about that because I’ve only ever done charity marketing. I have had to be the most resourceful person ever, which has left me, meaning that I have to keep it very simple. I haven’t got time to write a 2000 page strategy, no less would anyone ever read it. So it would be. And I just thought I could talk about how to manage yourself through a crisis because I also trained in crisis communications. So there was like a perfect axis if I can talk about how to adjust your marketing strategy throughout a crisis on a budget. 

And the talk effectively was like a countdown clock of what I did week by week to get us through the crisis. And I think it could be pretty easily cookie cut and weightlifted for any crisis. And yes, I wanted to show people step by step. Here’s what I did one by one. And I counted it down. But week by week. And I touched on everything from how to put together a strategy to how to do your stakeholder management to a bit of crisis management to then how to do brand infrastructure on a budget. 

And I thought, Are people just going to get so bored? I’m doing quite a lot. But even that people are just going to think I’m nuts. I have no idea how I managed to get it down to half an hour. I actually truthfully told, didn’t really practise my talk. I didn’t let the noise little monkey know that I’m so terrified about laying them down because I’m not very good at practising those things. But I just said, I know I want to speak about. And I ended it on a bit of a closing story where I made the audience cry. 

So clearly I did something right or very wrong. 

Even a cold, dead heart like mine was touched by the story. I want you to retell the story if you don’t mind, but what we probably need you to do first is we need to go all the way back to carrying it in Bristol is a homeless charity working in Bristol, but you just want to explain, sort of set the scene for what source of homeless charity you are, what services you offer and what happened when Corbin hits, because that will then sort of set everything else in context for what comes next. 

Yes. So we are regional home security. We provide emergency support for crisis support. So we had a shelter which usually has 18 minutes in it every night. And then we also do emergency accommodation for those under 25. We also do wrap around support for those people. And we won the Southwest largest Christmas services project. So that is like a day centre for those experiencing rough sleeping and sometimes a night shelter. But we also do prevention work as well. So that’s community liaison, making sure people have knowledge of their housing rights. 

And we always say that we bridge the gap between prevention and emergency support because we want to actually solve homelessness, not just kind of like help tackle a symptom. And we also do a lot of campaigning work and work with our local councillors and MPs and mayoral team to make sure that there’s effective budget for that kind of thing. So we had a couple of unique challenges drink over. And that was that our clients are incredibly vulnerable. They are more like sucker with chronic health conditions, not to mention how do you isolate when you don’t have a home? 

And so the extremely rolled Cobid and couldn’t do any of the mitigating risks anything to help mitigate COVID, which was everyone else was locking down. Another thing that people didn’t realise was that a lot of services for those who are rustleeping are voluntary. So churches going out community groups, those kinds of things that get people from day to day will run by volunteers who are isolated. So we lost a big safety net. And another challenge is organizationally. We run using unrestricted income, that voluntary income. We don’t have statutory income, so we don’t take big large grants from the Council or from the government. 

We rely on people’s Amazon £1 to £100 because we believe that financial strategy allows us to be the most agile to the needs of our community. 

And I just jump in for a second there and say that if you want to donate to caring in Bristol. This will be the first of several attempts to get you to do this. There’s a link in the show notes. Click on it. The website is brilliant. While Antonio was talking, I donated some money. It took me about 30 seconds to go from beginning to end. So please do while you’re listening, click on the link. It will make a massive difference to the work at Caring Bristol. 

Sorry, you can carry on. 

Thanks, Andy. Yeah, and it definitely will. So we had those terms and people we were worried about the drop in people donating as a lot of organisations were and companies. It was like it was like staring into the abyss, like what’s going to happen to people’s finances. We knew that people were going into it at this point. We didn’t even know about fellow. I think it was just before then. So we had these challenges in front of us, and I worked out pretty quickly that we needed to have a bit of a stronger sale on our ship. 

In a very Bristol terminology. 

Yeah. What does that even mean? As I was saying, I was like, I was not even afraid I liked it. 

Let’s go with it. Let’s go with it. 

I worked out pretty quickly and not to mention anyone who was in communications and marketing. At the first week of March 2, week of March of March, it started becoming very pertinent. Who are we talking to? What are we getting out there? What are we doing? You became quite a lynchpin in your organisation for how you were, like talking to your audiences or how you were navigating yourself externally. So I knew with a bit of insight or I wouldn’t come to where a lot of charities, no less the bigger charities that have millions to spend decide to do emergency appeals, trying to get attention for rightly. 

So for their vulnerable clients, for the people they were advocating for or for their services that were at risk, but also now under complete pressure. So it became really apparent that I could not just send out an email saying emergency support needed. So probably from March 1 to March the 20th, we also created new service those who are sleeping rough or in shelters which were no longer available to be open because they didn’t have to isolate and had no sanitary provisions for people to use independently. 

So we’re completely uncovered safe. They were shut. So we put in Bristols about 400 people or 200 people within two weeks and up to 400 people in hotels. This happened all over the country as part of an everyone in scheme. So we set up. But those hotels have no provision to feed people. So we set up something called Cheers Drive, which is a Brisal phrase within ten days, which got food from restaurants and served those three meals a day to those who stay in hotels. So we also then had another way of financial need. 

So I had to do something pretty bold. My strategy, I don’t know. Where do you want me to start? I always want to read somewhat. 

Yeah, I think what’s amazing there is. I think back to that time myself and I didn’t do anything right. First of all, I thought it might be over in about six weeks. I was like, don’t worry, I don’t need to do much. But Secondly, looking back, it whacked me really hard. I got stuck in England instead of being able to get back to Ireland. And it took me over a week to be able to get home because all the flights were cancelled and lots of other things happened in and around that time. 

And I was kept away from my daughter for a couple of weeks and there’s a fear around it and everything started to sort of fall apart. I remember now looking back, I didn’t help anybody. I just tried my best to help myself get through it, which was a situation I think a lot of people were in. So when I heard your story of how this crisis started coming and you went to war, I went into hiding. You went to war. This is amazing. It’s great results, not just you. 

I mean, the whole organisation as well was an amazing story. So you got into a place where you’re firefighting. There’s lots of things changing every day. The news brought something new and different. Right. But you’re at the same time going well. All our money comes from donations. How do we keep the lights on? Because everything else is starting to come up a little bit in the system. So what was your approach to that initially. 

So I went back to I’ve always had a pretty kind of clear strategy. Strategic aims. And I said this to anyone who was going to read them out. I said these aims to every three main aims. I’m going to have to start that again. So I started off with going back to our strategy. I’m very aware that strategy is quite daunting for people. So I’ve made our strategy really regurgitatable so that everyone in our organisation knows what it is. And I have three clear aims for our marketing and communication function. 

And one is that I didn’t read it out because I have them stuck everywhere. 

Amen are keeping it simple, right. I love this. 

Yeah. So there’s three main aims. And I think if you don’t have any three main names, I want people to just borrow these because I think they’re pretty good. So the first one is the right people know, remember and connect with caring in Bristol and then take meaningful action on his behalf. Number two is that caring and Bristol’s voice is clear, compelling, credible and consistent at all points of contact. And the third one is that carrying and Bristol’s communications are sustainable. So I thought I need to just make sure those things remain going obviously, an outcome of those three outputs is income generation. 

So they’re really passionate that we kept those things up. But it was like, how do I manage? How do I just do those aims? It’s like when everything that I usually do to kind of keep to those three aims has been kind of wiped away. I had some initial kind of outputs that I was doing for, like press, digital brand marketing that we’re going to feed into. All of those three aims of the year and loads of them just got wiped off the face of the Earth. 

So instead, what I did was we have an emergent strategy, and I’d like to maybe just explain that for a bit. So I’m being really reductionist, and I know that there’s going to be purists out there who are going to tell me that I’m completely being too reductive. But when push comes to shove, it’s good to just be really simple. So in my eyes, there are kind of two main streams of strategy, a deliberate one and an emergent one and a deliberate one being that you have considered outputs that are kind of described as if you run a green groceries, a deliberate strategy and you want more money, you run a green groceries and you want your green groceries to make more money. 

A deliberate strategy is that you want people to come in and buy more than they necessarily need or wanted to, and you will make more money. You are then going to put fruit in bundles so people don’t just buy one banana, they have to buy banana, Apple and Orange, or people don’t just sell bananas in bunches rather than single, so that will make you more money in emergency as I run a green groceries, and I want the green groceries to make more money. But I’m going to do that by being the most inviting, accessible ring groceries on the street. 

And then people love me so much that they will come to my shop more and spend more money. And I make more money. But really, I don’t think that there’s a better one than the other one. I really wanted to make that clear when I was talking to people. Different costs, different horses, different organisations need different things. Pros and cons of both may be within your organisation. You might have some things that are deliberate and some things that are emergent that’s completely fine. But we have an emergency marketing communication strategy for our organisation. 

I believe that made us quite agile and flexible, and I do believe that is one of the reasons why we were able to kind of like there were some aspects in our communications thrive for the past year, and it’s because nothing could knock it off course because we knew that we had our three main aims. And then I came up with what I call this pillars of response. So I had my strategy and that week I said I did a bit of research, and I effectively asked our volunteer, we have a very good mailing list of about 6000 volunteers and very engaged individuals. 

I just went out to them and I said, how would you like a local charity to act? And I also asked people on Instagram and Twitter, and they just asked within our organisation, I said, what do you think would do? And I got back some similar themes and effectively, the Aspirational themes were to be active, responsive, bold and relevant. And there was a slight competitive strategy to that. And maybe this is slightly callous. I knew that some people were going to not be able to be as active and bold and responsive and relevant. 

And that was just the nature of the beast. And that is no discredited the amazing work that they do. But I knew that if we were having to make, we were going to have to fundraise in a competitive environment, it might look advantageous for us to kind of stick to those pillars. So I’ve done my kind of bit of qualitative research. I’d kind of syphoned it down to talk to our staff about it. So I then had my three aims with my pillars of response. And I thought, I just need to make sure that anything I do is actually responsible and relevant. 

And everything I do need to. 

What you’ve probably got at the minute is people who maybe signed up to the podcast with JP. Kathleen was on a couple of weeks ago, and JP works in strategy with huge companies. And you mentioned one thing I think where you sort of added on tens of millions of dollars of shareholder value to buy some work, some work that they’ve done, which is fantastic. And people who kind of operate in that world are probably screaming into their handset or their computer at the minute going, sending out an email to 6000 people and questions on Instagram is not research. 

But the reality is when you’re working with low budgets, you don’t have the option of running. And when you’re working in a crisis on a quick turnaround, you don’t have the option of commissioning some research, working three months for it to be done. You’ve got to work with the tools that you have done. That’s one of the key things of what you’re saying. But I think the key thing was you were aware of the limitations. You knew you were asking a very biassed group in some way because it was a group of fans and supporters, staff and your social followers. 

But as long as you’re aware of that and you don’t over extrapolate the results, that’s fine. You need a quick temperature test. You got a quick temperature test, that’s what you needed. 

It might stand up to marketing research rigour, but what it does stand up to is a tiny bit of direction. And if you need to put in a storm a lot of the people that I work with are dealing with budgets of ten grand and a lot of people that I work with don’t have professional marketing experience. And I’m not sure that’s what was needed in that instance. And I think there is I would love to go away and have done focus groups and lots of positive data and quantity analysis of what I already have from our kind of database. 

And that’s fine. But I think that there’s times and place, and if you need something within a week that’s going to help shape the way that you communicate with that fan base. So I wasn’t looking too much acquisition I was just looking for how do I keep the people? How do I retain the people that already love us if I may be going out for mass acquisition, maybe I’ve had to do a bit more, but effectively we need to communicate to about 6000 donors, supporters, volunteers. 

And we wanted to make sure that they knew that we were there for them and our clients. And yeah, best to just ask them. And I think it’s really important that people know that even those tiny little touches of insight are better than me just sitting on my hands. 

Definitely. And tell us because there’s some really interesting stuff in the presentation about how the I think it was the relevant pillar that you use and how you turn around to be relevant to your audience. And I think there’s a little bit of that coming to your introduction at the beginning of the podcast as well. 

We both relevant because this is actually before COVID hit. We’re very keen on researching brand drivers. So I think when people, particularly when you’re on a budget, brand can be quite daunting work because you think brand identity and brand awareness and you think one, how am I going to have a cool identity when I can’t even pay to get a logo or is a brand just a logo and two brand awareness? How am I going to be so and so Pepsi when they’ve got millions in the area. 

So I find those two big assumptions and things that people are scared about when you’re a one man band in an organisation that turns over around 22 or 500 grand. So you’ve got I’m talking to those people and brand drivers are effectively rather than brand awareness, you would obviously kind of question your focus groups about whether or not they can conflate you or misinterpret you as another brand. Or would I be able to recognise that brand without any information about them? They’re the kind of things that you would maybe look for in a very reductive way. 

Brand drivers is more like, why would you pick us? And they’re quite important. So working in homelessness when you kind of do a bit of brand awareness research about what a homelessness charity does, it’s very easy to complain about other organisations. We’re doing the same thing. We’re trying to help the same group of people in certain similar ways. And to be completely honest, we don’t want to be doing anything too much different. We know what helps our clients. And I hope there’s a lot of consistency going on across the board, and there has to be sale homelessness. 

So we found that when we just tried to do a brand awareness strategy that could be quite competitive, it sometimes was drifting us away from. Actually, this is what we do. So brand drivers when I ask people like, Why would you pick us? Those people came back, especially when we’re in a regional market. We have several other homelessness action groups, both small, both large. We’ve got some nationals in there that are all fundraising and talking to the same group of quite small donors. Really, people said that they would pick us because of how relevant we are. 

So we get crisis and shelter who have amazing respect. I think they’re brilliant, but they don’t have stuff in Bristol. The crisis doesn’t work in Bristol. They spend millions of pounds on raising Bristol. And so I was constantly thinking, how the hell does my ten and a half Grand Christmas appeal budget match their 100 grand regional budget when they’re saying when they’re doing a similar thing to us. So we just had to make ourselves the most relevant. And my pitch to the team was my pitch to the digital gaggle audience was when you know what works for you, when you know what your brand driver is, don’t be shy. 

That audience has given you the gift of how you can look better than anyone else. And so I just make everything the most relevant. And really, someone went through. So our Christmas appeal video just name dropped a lot of stuff in Bristol. It’s constant signifies if you’re a Bristol person, thank God. This is really Brazil. And someone said that our Christmas appeal video reminded them of when you find your name in, like, a tourist thing, when you get, like, pension, pencils or, like, magnets and stamps. 

And they’ve got, like, your name on and you just feel so chuffed to see your name. Your name spells like, different than the norm. And my name is completely not the norm. So I never got my name. But someone said that that’s what our appeal video like made them feel like, see that’s relevant. 

So you played the video and the video is in the show notes. There will be a link in the show notes. I’m just writing it down. I’m ignoring your promise. And the one thing that I took away from it was it didn’t mean a huge amount to me, but that was perfect because that was my first time in Bristol. I didn’t know the places you mentioned. I didn’t recognise the landmarks. I’d literally got off a flight, got the bus in and walked into the event. So it meant nothing to me. 

But that was perfect because you’re not trying to be for everyone. You’re not trying to fundraise in Belfast or in Liverpool. You’re trying to fundraise to people from Bristol about being good for Bristol, right. So it was perfect. You were relevant to the audience. And that’s what I was really struck by was how you’d taken the strategy, come up with the brand drivers from that and then implemented it in a really unique way. But in a way that you could have explained to a seven year old, this is what I’ve done. 

This is why that and that’s why it looks like that. And everybody just went, of course, which I’ve learned over the years when people go, of course, that means you’ve nailed it with the strategy. I used to think that when people said, oh, that’s really obvious. I used to say that as an insult. I was like, Excuse me. I brought my magnificent brain in here. How dare you say that’s obvious? And I’m like, no, this is it, isn’t it? When people go, yes, I get it. 

That’s when you’ve ticked the box and, you know, you’ve nailed it. 

Again. My other thing is when you’re on a budget, you’ve got resource. It’s been really easy to think of the big, wide world that haven’t heard about you and try and sing and dance for that big, wide world. And you neglect the people who do know about you. And I’ve learned I’ve made that mistake in the past. I used to be really acquisition focused. And when you don’t want this money, and I appreciate that, that is better for other people, different companies. And being a profession minded is you have to give and take. 

And it has to be a part of that. But I worked out that retention was the best strategy for us always and had the best value for money. And at the end of the day, we’re taking donations off people to market ourselves. I can’t be just throwing money away because I really want people to notice me, that I’m never going to care. And I’ve taken that a bit of political science as well, because do you remember the Corbyn years? Yeah, I got really wrapped up into it, of course, on Bristol, this is a podcast. 

But I remembered, like, hearing a physical podcast. It was about rallies. And, you know, when you go to a rally and you go to, like, a Jeremy Corbyn rally and Rick Glass and bring him on. And he said, God, this guy is going to win. 

He’s not going to win. He’s going to win by a fucking landslide. It’s going to be like, the biggest election win in history. 

Yeah, but it’s just preaching to the right room. Everyone outside of the room doesn’t give a shit about the bloke. Never out of them don’t like it when they do hear about it. Right. So I think you want to find your rally. And our rally is people who are in Bristol. If Tearing in Bristol held a rally in Bristol, everyone would be singing and carrying in Bristol, it would be very good outside of Bristol. No one cares certain parts of Bristol, no one cares. And I have done my time where I’ve tried to market those people to get them to care about us. 

And I still do. And there’s that. But there’s a different route. I feel like if you learn resources, find your rally crowd, find your o Jeremy Corbyns like they will love you. 

Can you give us the Caring and Bristol song again, please? 

Caring in Bristol? 

There we go. If you’re not singing along to this, you’re heartless already. 

I think I did that for a while. It would be really easy to try. And. 

I think in an organisation, yeah, you do. And I think when you look at the figures in your organisation, I’m not going to ask you to share them, but you start to become aware of your different times, aren’t you in the organisational life cycle sometimes maybe you can take longer bets and think right. We can maybe try and recruit some new customers. Other times you just know you need to hit a revenue number because if you don’t, the lights go off and the doors shut. And at that point, you just have to go deep with the people, you know. 

So it’s all about that’s part of the strategy where you’re looking around to see what the landscape looks like before you decide where you’re going to go and what you’ve seen is we need to go narrow and deep with the people who we know and who knows. 

I mean, saying that, though I’m about to say what I then did during Kobe. No, I make myself to try and throw the whole fact that I knew there was going to be massive competition for people’s donations. And I think everyone was aware if you’re kind of in a certain amount or you’re in a certain target audience and sure you saw all of them. I’m sure you got peppered with lots of emergency appeals and charities because they need your sport. So I did a publisher within three weeks using my pillars of responsive, bold, active, relevant, using my communications, aims, marketing aims and knowing what my goals were and that was more of restricted a income and letting our clients know that we’re still available and there. 

And because lots of charities were closing, we were getting lots of emails from supporters going, Are you close? You close. So I needed to tell people we were still active, make sure our clients knew we were still active and there was support for them and raised money. So put on a publicity stunt where I took over about, I think, 2000 billboards, something. I took over all the billboards for one company in Bristol company that we’ve got a long standing relationship with and this is a bit of brand infrastructure because this company’s got out of hand and they’re brilliant. 

And I’m happy to speak about them because they’re fantastic. They do art, like arts appeals, kind of like arts and community billboards all over Bristol. They rang me up like second week of March, and we’ve lost all of our trade because they do a lot of stuff at festivals. Tell me what. And I knew I had to do something bold, the light bulb in my head. Like I said to them, I was like, Tell me what we can pay you to keep you afloat for the next two months. 

The next three months, you and one staff member, he said, £5000. I said, I’ll pay £5000. All your billboards for two months. It was ideal. So we spent £5775 on an appeal. It became a publicity stunt that made 65 grand in two to three weeks. So we took over all of the posters. And the best thing about them was clickbait. So everyone who I tried talking to was like, Why are you doing outdoor marketing? Why are you doing outdoor? Why are you doing outdoor marketing when everyone is indoors? 

No one’s indoors. And I kept thinking what our clients are. And any time I heard that from someone, it kind of gave me more like spirit, like I was doing the right thing. I was like, our clients are still out there. So the campaign said, Just because you’re safe and doors doesn’t mean everyone is, our posters are still on the streets because as long as our clients are so it had, like, a couple of angles. And then because people were walking to Testos on their one daily walk and their one daily exercise, taking just focus of these billboards, saying it was really strong. 

But loads of people told me that was a terrible idea. 

Have you got a page we can link to show people this campaign? 

I can. Yes, I will send that to you. 

But I think there is this element sometimes where you’ve just got to back yourself. And there is maybe something about you’ve got to take in other people’s views and opinions. But sometimes if something feels like there’s a bloody mindedness you need, isn’t there just being like, do you know what? I’ve just got to go for this. And the execution sounds fantastic. And the way it brought to life and the way it communicated that position, also the number of digital marketers who keep telling me outdoors dead and doesn’t work. 

People. Still, it has the largest legacy of one of our repairs. We still get people email us now being like, love those posters. And that was when everyone was starting to honestly, I had a quite patronising man told me it was a terrible idea. 

Do you drop a weaker text message with an emoji of a duck and an off afterwards or something like that? 

Sent me an email saying, very well done. 

There’s two interesting things that you’ve mentioned that you skip over in the presentation and you’re likely to skip over now unless I bring you to account on them. Well, they’re kind of two elements of the same thing, the value of building the arc before it starts raining. Right. And what I mean by that is you mentioned about your 6000 active email subscribers. You didn’t start building that list when covered here. That’s a long term plan to build that sort of list and not only to have it, but to keep them engaged and to get the right messages to them and to talk to them. 

The Billboard infrastructure company probably put that phone call out to a number of people, but only the ones who they knew well enough to ring and go, we’re folks and can we work together to help? Now, that’s because over time you’ve built a relationship with them where they felt comfortable to be able to do that. That’s an underrated skill, isn’t it? But it’s not making the right calls once, and I don’t want to kind of overplay strategy and how difficult it could be, but that’s about making the right calls over and over again over a period of time that you’ve done to get you into that position where all of those things are ready. 

All the doctors are in a row because the moment you need them, you’ve done all the speed work in the last two, three, four years. I think that’s people, but it was lucky that that happened. There was no luck in that, right? This is years of hard work got you to this position. 

Well, I’m a big sucker for sending thank you cards to people. I give that as my title and thank you cards to absolutely everyone who does anything for you. I send thank you cards like the Clappers. And I also always turn up to meetings with a box of chocolates. Things have fallen in my favour. 

Whose name do you remember? She’s just a chocolate girl, but yes, her ring, her ring. 

That girl really big at making contact really important, especially in a regional environment, especially if you’re on a budget and I’m not staying on a budget so you can ask people for three favours. There’s another thing that I’ve never done. I always try to take care any Bristol as a charity, from being needy to be needed. That’s like a long term structure. I have. So we always pay creatives and a fair rate that they ask. So a lot of what I’ve been if you see me do like a creative marketing appeal, you best believe I have paid that videographer, that illustrator, that everyone they have been sent a bank card. 

They have been honoured as a freelancer and it has paid dividends because then those people usually go away and spread the good word about us. But we’ve been always had favourites income naturally out of it in a more kind of like a different way, but really one of the things I kind of mentioned in the initial district, a gaggle talk is people think brands is just identity. It can be very easy to be fooled when you’re on a budget and you feel overwhelmed. The brand is just identity. 

And I talked about brand infrastructure, which actually has been there’s an academic called Chris Chaplio. I’ve never heard anyone else say his name out. So it’s either Chaplio or Chaplio, and I feel like someone listen to the podcast is going to correct me, and I hope that they do it’s. C-H-A-P-L-E-O. And this person does amazing stuff, really brilliant marketing, academic. And he came up with a way to monitor your brand infrastructure. And I adapted it for Caring and Bristol, and it’s stuff like, do you have appropriate budgets? 

Do your senior leadership team know how to describe brand? It’s a risk. If your director thinks brand is your logo, then that is a risk that you need to work on your branding strategy. Do you have team of buyers? Do you have integrated marketing infrastructure? Do you have evaluation methods? Do you have a professional experience in marketing or qualifications? That’s not to say that you don’t need them to start off initially, but maybe that’s your strategy that you get some or even if it’s just a short course in something like you need to be building that knowledge. 

So I kind of have this grid of things that I rate us on, and they’ve gone into my brand strategy. And it’s all about this infrastructure. Those of those things are free. Teaching your senior leadership team. The brand is just logo. And in fact, it’s like the aggregate weight of everything that you’re extending, putting out in the browse of how people understand you and it’s beyond identity. It’s beyond just regurgitating values. I think brand infrastructure is processes in place at every step of the way that you are monitoring and evaluating to lead you to a certain direction. 

And I was really tough to be able to say that that’s actually one of the things that people after the talk mainly came up to me about that. I had changed their opinion on brand. I was like, That’s cool, because I just got someone else’s idea. 

Listen, great artists and all that. So yeah, I think what you did with that, and we’ll get a link to that in the show notes as well. But we probably don’t have the time to dissect it properly, but it was a really interesting way of just flagging up where your potential concerns might be and giving you a direction to go and solve those problems before they become bigger problems. So yeah, I thought that was really useful. And like I said, when you’re on massive budgets, you bring a consultancy to sold out. 

Sometimes you’ve just got to play. You’ve got to play every instrument in the Orchestra. And this was a really nice, easy way, but also robust as well as being able to pull all that together. So let’s fast forward a little bit towards the you hit the campaign. That got you 65 grand for a five grand investment. Looking back, what was the overall kind of covered pandemic like from a fundraising perspective, not from a personal perspective and how it impacted the clients, but from a fundraising marketing perspective. 

What was the overall picture fundraising perspective? 

It was really tricky. It was a really volatile external environment with little means to be able to plan. So usually if you’re being quite strategic with your fundraising, you can target people based on the so, not their income but their expenditure. And how do you monitor that? We had some people who were sat at home and had more money to give certain audiences that you shouldn’t execute. Like maybe people in their 20s were donating more than they ever have done. But then it was also at the same time you had another cohort. 

People in their 22 were completely stripped of any job autonomy, freedom. And it was because it was so desperate and how people experienced it was hard to target the usual audiences that had been traditionally considered maybe fundraising bread and butter that and there may be ethical questions about who you might want to consider targeting. Maybe you’ll be completely inclusive or exclusive. And I think it became a pretty exclusive environment. There are lots of people who just really didn’t have that mean. So I know a lot of charities really struggled statistree income. 

They say that you usually go with grants or trust I’m raising from the government. Like, where is that going to go? Is that going to be sizing somewhere else? Grants and trusted quite well. We had quite a good environment in the UK of big grant funders who were private grants being more loose with funds funds than they had been previously. So kind of fast tracking donations. That was quite good. But it was a really tricky environment and I had to kind of look inside myself a lot the entire way. 

It really threw up in the air. A lot of the usual stuff I’ve done, and I think maybe that’s a good thing because how dare I get complacent about who’s going to donate to us? It’s an insult. So I think what’s happened is the past year. I’ve certainly scratched that. And I think that maybe is a good thing. 

Which seems like a perfect jumping off point to remind everyone that there is a link in the show notes to donate to Caring in Bristol. Any amount from a quid, a ten or 20, whatever you can afford, please do try and donate. And if you’ve got a local charity as well, I’m sure you won’t mind me saying if you’ve got local charities helping homeless people find them Chuck some money their way. If you can. It does make a big, big difference. Back to the interview, you had some really simple tips for making strategy stick across an organisation. 

So first of all, simplify, right. We often try and make this on grand and people hear the word strategy and think either complicated or expensive. And there are people in my job who do this and want to make it sound complicated and expensive so they can charge more. So that’s what you simplify it. But what was your top tip about making it stick in terms of in your organisation? What was your top three times in one episode? Are you going to sing it with me this time? 

I’m not quite getting the cadence right. And I realised I’m ruining it. But I’m showing people on YouTube. I have it on one page and I’m very clearly related to our vision, mission and values. That’s a key thing really created for the overall vision and strategic objectives. And I stick it everywhere. I made it look pretty, but I have these all over the walls of our offices. I have the one page where it’s really easily broken down and then the back page, which is kind of just a written thing, which has some clear output to the year on it. 

But this has been pretty good. 

God bless you. Honestly, I love it. For years, I’ve been saying at conferences in various places, the difference between the companies I see doing marketing well, and the companies that I see doing badly is the ones that do it well, have a calendar printed out and stuck on the wall. Often they’re a photocopier saying this is what we’re doing, and it just creates accountability and it jibs questions and people go, oh, that thing. Can we generate sparks of conversations and off you go. So when he said that I was like, she is reading my mind, what is going on here? 

Where did you pick that up from? Is it just one of those bloody common sense? 

I have no idea. I just did that on that instinct. So I’m trying to work out. Usually I see it, but I’m a bit of a Magpie of ideas as all good people. 

Absolutely. 

And I never saw that. I made that because all the strategies I’ve seen were just long booklets. And I remember I had never written a marketing strategy before a couple of years before, like five years ago or something. And I remember when I was first getting into the world of marketing work, kind of inputting into someone else doing marketing strategy as you start your career. You’re the person who feeds into it. And I remember thinking it was all a bit nasty and I remember seeing a strategy for a charity that worked with years ago and sitting through it like I could read it on the loop or something and just think, God, this is so long and it actually made me overwhelmed this is why I talk about people in Boston syndrome. 

I’m looking at that thinking, God, I’ll never be able to put something that long together. I’ve not got the attention span. 

Nobody has that’s the thing, isn’t it? Once you work out. 

It’S like, okay, what I had to do is I had to be really clear at carrying bristles. Sometimes in charities, there’s a real partisan divide between those who work frontline and those who work in the back office. And I just was like, I just can’t have it if I do a marketing strategy for this organisation, that it’s only the one person marketing me sees it. And none of the staff that are asking me brilliant questions and are holding me to account don’t have a clue what I’m doing. 

So I’m going to write a multi strategy that absolutely everyone in our office cleaner to frontline worker to support worker who are much smarter than me. And brilliant. I can assure you of that. I’ve seen the work that they do with our clients, that I would never be able to do to our director. I was like, I want it so that everyone can go that’s our current. So I made it pretty close. But actually, it’s very clear. And another thing I had to do is it was very clear in a charity. 

Sometimes it can feel really easy to think that marketing communications is added on extra, maybe a bit like HR in other organisations on the edge. Yeah. And I was like, I can’t do that. I need to show that everything is integrated. We’re all going towards the same vision. We can’t create our vision as a city empowered to solve homelessness, we can’t create a city empowered solve homelessness without all of those pieces. So I really wanted to show in a pyramid that marketing communications isn’t just to make us look pretty and isn’t just to make us funding and actually, all the other stuff we’re solving homelessness is all the good stuff I want to show we can’t solve homes without that. 

So I had to really make it clear so that we had questions from people in our amazing youth team who would say, Facebook can almost seem a bit like, Why are we doing that? We’ve got clients to help out. I thought, Well, it really is part of the puzzle. We can’t create this premises about it. So that’s where that came from. 

Such a simple tip and genuinely go and take it away back to your organisation. Right. Take your marketing strategy. And if it doesn’t fit onto one page, you need to rewrite it. Right. And I have a cost for that. If you want to buy it only €249. But seriously, there are lots of ways of creating a one page strategy or a shortened version of your strategy. Get that, stick it up on the walls and get people to buy into it. If you’re worried what people are going to say about it, then you’ve done that process wrong as well. 

It’s a kind of core creation. It’s not just marketing, writing in and saving any organisation. Look at what we’ve created. Isn’t this wonderful? Not like that. And if it is like that, you’re doing it wrong. 

It would be my another thing. I see. It’d be interesting to see if you see this. I’m about to say something now, and you might be like, I’ve never seen that. And I just manifested it. Is people getting strategy and plans mixed up? 

Yes, all the time, all the time. 

Okay. Thank God. I was like, maybe I’m not proven you’re talking to. And I see this a lot with smaller organisations who are new to put together a marketing strategy. I think you put a plan there. I was like, you do not need a yearly calendar where you were writing down every month. What you’re doing that comes after you’ve worked out your strategy. So you know what your aims on, you know what your pillars are. And then maybe you need to do, like what we’re doing every year. 

I spend a lot of time just explaining terminology as I see it to clients when I start working. And the difference between strategy tactics and planning. In fact, there’s even slides in presentations that have done a Brighton SEO where just at the beginning of the presentation, because sometimes when you talk strategies to some people, that means, like, mission and vision is marketing strategy. Some people think it’s a marketing plan. Some people genuinely have no idea what you’re talking about, but it sounds important, and they’ve got a senior job title, so they were told to turn up. 

So I talk about the difference between strategy being where you’re going, tactics being how you’re going to get there and the plan being kind of the strategy, the tactics and the calendar put together to show you what you’re going to do. But you’re right. That the calendar. I used a thing called tippable because I couldn’t find a better acronym for it. But basically, it’s not necessarily saying in January we’ll do this February. We’ll do this because things change emergent strategy, right? Things move around. 

I really struggle with that. I’m always asked by people what we’re doing in this time. I’m like, Well, it’s not quite how we do it here because we tend to give us themes, and I know what we need to do at different parts of the year because that’s our audience. 

Which is why you are reaching into my head and reaching into my soul. 

Have a quote for you. So I’m glad I bring this up. So I keep sketchbooks people who know me. I find it really struggled to work on lined paper, and as soon as I worked it out, my world opened up for years. I tried to Crown myself into this person who wore shirts and worked on my paper, and it just turned out. I don’t. And I felt like I was a bad person for years. And then all of a sudden I started using sketchbooks and wearing earrings I liked. 

And I was like, Why am I now better at things? I found an old sketchbook and I write in here like stuff that gives me inspiration for work, and I work. It’s just a quote that says, strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. And tactics without strategy is the noise before the defeat. And I just written that ominously in a sketch. 

When did you write that down? So that’s a quote from Sunzu. I think I think it is Sun Zoo. 

Yeah. Because I’ve always say Sunzu, I take people in the direction and not expecting it. 

I have an irritation strategist position themselves, and it comes back to what you’re talking about, deliberate strategy, and that has a history that comes out of the US military into General Motors. And people like that around the post First World War and strategists, the etymology of the world is like the word sorry is the leader of the army from Greek. So it’s all about leadership. Some modern marketing strategists and business strategists are like, we’re the smart people in here. We charge you the big fees, we tell you what to do, and then new minions go up and do it. 

But if it’s not ever brought to life by the tactics and by people delivering on the strategy, all you’ve done is got a really expensive piece of paper that means nothing means fuck all. So both things have to work together. 

If there’s a crisis and there’s people running around heavy shoes, I hope that doesn’t happen to people’s organisations. I hope everyone but it does. You should be able to stand on your own conviction in a meeting when you’re advocating for your marketing Department and know what you’re actually doing. So I think if you’re going to talk to you about that now, I need to go and remind myself of the strategy. You should be able to have courage in your conviction in every room that you’re a representative in, that you know what you’re talking about or at least pretend to be. 

And I feel like I always found that when I had a big tone, like strategy and other people, that I couldn’t accurately do that for people. And I think that’s not what people need, not of me in the role that I pay in my organisation. Anyway, maybe there’s other organisations where that really serves a purpose. 

And I God bless those people in four and a half years of running this company and probably three or four years previously. And we did deliver some weighty strategies, because when we first started, we thought that was a good way to justify the fee. All I know about those 70 plus page strategies. Nobody ever read them and nobody ever implemented them. And now the strategies are shorter. Punchier more direct are implemented, have results. And oh, this is great. So there may be a place for a huge long marketing strategy, but I would doubt it. 

Maybe business strategy. I don’t do that so much so I don’t know, but certainly a marketing strategy. If anyone starts telling me it’s more than ten pages, I’m like, why? And I know pages is a really bad metric, but it’s just what we’re talking about. 

I helped kind of write our organisation as well, and I changed its name from Blueprint because our brand is Blue. I remember feeling really smart and it’s really cool and interactive because we also had a name in our organisation, but we didn’t want a charity or organisational strategy that none of our staff picked up. So yeah, we made it really inviting. And it’s called the Blueprint. I remember thinking blueprint, like our brand is blue. It’s about buildings and blueprint. It just means to be followed. And I remember feeling like, really clever for about two weeks. 

I’m really glad I bought this one. 

Do you know what I’d be feeling clever forever. I’d have built a whole conference presentation around. That why you should call your strategy a blueprint. By Andy Jarmers of XML Marketing and listen, I’d have rinsed up for two years. Never mind, two weeks, go for it or go on. 

It’s a very average me being in a meeting. It’s quite a visual person. 

It’s different learning styles. And we could run forever about the failures of the education system. There’s a lot right with education system, but there is a one size fits all. Like you said, lined paper and order is the way to go. It’s not for everybody, right. And you’ve shown that. But while you are gloating and changing your organization’s business strategy to a blueprint, let’s just bring it back down with a crash landing into talk to us about when something’s gone wrong. You talked about. Maybe you focused on the wrong audiences and we’re doing this lovingly, obviously. 

So we don’t want to know what you got wrong is almost irrelevant. It’s what you learnt from that and what you jumped on. So tell us about some monumental cockup that you’ve made at some point. 

Well, first of all, I made all the cockups. I make a mistake once, but I don’t make it twice if I do make it twice as I actually. Good question, because I have a big hockey and it was kind of talking about in our charity. Being quite disparate with front line workers is what people call them. People working with our people who are working directly with our clients, in our back office staff and marketing communications. And there is a real kind of like disparate need. And a big cockup that I made was making an assumption why that was without fucking talking to anyone. 

The assumption I made for a while was they just don’t understand what I’m doing, which was probably a bit ego filled or like, I don’t know who I thought I was, but it was like, they just don’t understand what marketing is in the concept of the charity. How dare they question my need to be my massive brain bringing this here? So that was a big cock up. I did what I did was I tried to. Then I made several routes to try and bridge that gap based on that assumption. 

So then all the routes were wrong. So what I did was I tried doing talks with people about marketing. People just sat there going, this fucking girl telling us why she’s sweet and stuff. And actually, when I talk to people, it wasn’t. That what it turned out was that because I was so in and out. What I was doing is I was parachuting in and out of teams. They’re just pissing people off. So people weren’t ever, like, getting to know me or getting to know what I was doing. 

And that’s when I kind of recreated our organisational internal communications to be like, integrated marketing. So instead of just having a marketing function where people kind of funnel information to me and I’m kind of sat on the outside, what we did is I hired a member of staff who then stacked individually with each of those team members, each of those different projects. So they felt like they had a marketing person in their project. And then each project got its own marketing plan, which they cocreated with me. 

And they told me what their audiences were. We did their audience management. So it wasn’t me going is what you need to do. It was that team. So then we had a shared language about what their marketing needs were. And that’s kind of how I created integrated marketing within an organisation that was a big hockey. I’ve done other things as well. Do you know about orientation theory? It’s the thing that’s mainly in charity marketing. And maybe when it comes to direct marketing and fundraising conflating a bit, it sounds great. 

Yeah. So when you have an audience, it’s in a certain orientation. So this happens kind of I’m sure this does happen in corporate, but I couldn’t think of a direct link. Someone would have to tell the forecast. So you get people who are interested in charity for different reasons. Maybe you get, like, someone who just wants it. And then you get someone who just wants to sign all of the petitions ring down the houses door, the door knocking. So they’re in a campaign orientation. We’ve got volunteering orientation. 

We’ve got fundraising orientation. That is someone who is just really happy and just to give their five pound a month, that’s their brilliance taking world. All of those brilliant stuff. All of that stuff is doing great when you get them crossed. I guess this is just about better audience management, but, like creating a fundraising campaign that goes out to the people who are just there to sign petitions. It goes down like a fucking bed balloon. There can be something about what I’ve done before. We had an appeal that didn’t do so well, because what it did is it was like a really campaigning appeal. 

It was all about how it was all about. They were going to stop the ban on Evictions and sent it out to our fundraising list. And it fucking was like a dance squid. And those are people were just like why we told you that we don’t like this. So I guess it’s not. Orientation theory is the fancy name for just don’t get your audiences wrong. And I’ve done stuff like that before, because again, you can make the mistake of not being audience minded, not being personcentered. 

And instead, just because something is right for you and you think it looks cool. I thought it looked so cool as well. We did it in such a cool way. And I was really proud of how creative that was. Only last year. It’s really hard to, which is why it’s good to have marketing research and insight, why you always need to do your analysis and evaluations. But tell you what, doing an evaluation, a critical evaluation of something that’s gone wrong is such a good dose of medicine. 

And I went away after that, and I did a critical evaluation of it. I literally wrote up a report. Oh, my God, I’ve read it more than I’ve read anything else I’ve done. And I sent it round to the other members of the team. I just thought it’s good. 

It’s interesting. So I think I should say and the nose a little bit stronger in software development. They have pre modems rather than post mortems where before they go through, like, what’s? Everything that could go wrong on this project. I think when you’re doing big software installations that have kind of beginning, middles and ends, it’s maybe easier to drop one of them. I mean, trying to do a pre model on every campaign you did might be a bit of a disaster, but I said there’s a lot to be learned, whether you do pre or posting work in sitting down and looking at your mistakes and learning, which is why we have this whole section on the podcast. 

So there’s another top tip there. I’m not having you sick of the theme too by now, but I’ll give you one more time, just critically evaluate a really useful things to do. Now we are approaching the last slot of the podcast. I need to find two questions at you that everybody gets. In fact, no, three questions, two, possibly three. We’ll see how you answer the second one. So Firstly, is books, podcast, newsletters. Any resources that you recommend people dive into. We’ve got the one about monitoring brand infrastructure and stuff. 

But what else would you recommend? 

Oh, I don’t listen to any marketing podcasts. Apart from this one. I actually have got some books that I can recommend. I’ve got them here. So I write them up. So I’ve got the good guy to campaigning and influencing by the Ntvo, that’s by Brianna and this Brian Am. I met him and I did a course of him and he teaches you all about theory of change campaigning and anyone who’s into campaigning and creating campaign strategies. But it really ties in quite well with how you could also plan or influence marketing strategies effectively. 

Behaviour, influence strategy. Amazing. And I’ve referred this a lot. My second one is really like people who are really into charity marketing, charity marketing, delivering income services and companies like Ian Bruce. This Ian Bruce is the godfather of charity marketing. 

It also looks like it’s got lots of little Postits in it and thumb marks and BOOKMARKS. Brilliant. 

Love it. Bruce is the man and he wears really cool glasses. Excellent. I really like whatever you think. Think the opposite. Michael Aden. It’s a Sarchie Gallery book and it has a story in there about the difference between being a reckless Erica and steady Eddie. So steady Eddie is like somebody just post it goes up and yes, they leave uni and then they get a good job and they stay in the job and they stay in it. And they always just get way up. At the end of their life. 

They’ve not done anything too momentum. That’s cool. But reckless Erica goes up, they go down, they go up, they go down at the end of their life. They look, they’ve had some real peaks anytime. I have like, a bit of a trough. I’m like, I’m just a reckless Erica. I’ll peak again. So I really like that. But it’s quite good for strategy. I guess I know that’s slightly off peace, but I really like that. 

No. Listen, somebody took in an off the lengthy cookbook in one of these at one point. So that is not even slightly. 

So when is Charles handy the second curve. Has anyone ever brought this to you before? No, never even heard of it on reinventing society. If you are a strategist, I cannot tell you enough. I think he’s an original. He’s a philosopher and a strategist, and he has a story in there about the second curve is basically the concept, which is actually a strategic concept of how you should always restrate before you hit the peak, because then you’ll hit another peak. But if you hit the peak and carry on going, you’ll just go down. 

So the second curve is the concept of you will create another curve. 

Is it called the Sigmons curve? 

A sigmoid curve is actually the name of the posh mathematical. 

That’s the mathematical term for the curve. 

Is one where it always goes down. I don’t know. He’s called it the second curve, and I really recommend. Yes, it’s about reinventing society, but strategists, I think that that’s really important to remember to do if it’s going well, you still need to be strategize at some point. 

There’s a couple of people on the podcast who have had reading lists that have been a lot of the time. It’s very similar books, and many of them are on the shelf over there. And there’s a couple of guests to come up with, like, banging reading lists. And you’re right in the mix with the top two or three people. That the best reading list ever. So is there any others? This is great. 

I’ve got two more New Power by Henry Tims and Jeremy Hyman. Now I was recommended this. There’s a lot in here about Ad. Com model to change. So there’s a lot in here about campaign again, really recommend this to marketers. One of the reasons why I recommend this to market is because there’s a brilliant story in there about how he said, there’s two different types of worlds. There’s Minecraft and there’s Tetris. He says, people who do Tetris, they come in and they slot themselves on top of people or they slot. 

They’re trying to slot their strategy on top of people or their idea on top of people just to kind of like, and then they kind of overcrowd them like a Tetris plot. He said, you don’t want to be that. He said, you want to be like Minecraft. You want to go into the world and create things with people because I’ve actually never played Minecraft. But apparently you help create the world of Minecraft, so you don’t just play it. You kind of like, go in and create your own scenes in it. 

And I thought that I just feel like that’s actually quite a good marketing. 

I’ve never used the analogy before. But again, get out of my head, please, because it’s bang on. 

And then I have one more recommend if anyone is ever doing fundraising. And maybe I actually really recommend this to people to marketers because I think fundraisers can be seen as these kind of like, tweet, kind of like bucket waivers. And actually, they are really brilliant marketing, communications and PR justice, and they adjust their ability to get in our eyes on nothing is actually so impressive. And here Ken Burnett. Relationship Fundraising by Ken Burnett. I think some people pronounce it Ken Burnett. I don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong, and I’m probably wrong. 

But this book changed my life. 

I’m from your transonia. It’s Ken Burnett. And I said, That’s the last word. 

I said, Ken Burnett in a meeting. Someone was like, Ken Burnett, and I was like, oh, my God. Oh, my God. I’ve always. 

Said it changed your life. 

It changed my life. Yeah. Because I used to taught the word fundraiser for a bit. I used to kind of shot away from it because I’m raising up, raising the market and this kind of made me reclaim that power of it. And I really recommend people who aren’t into fundraising actually, fundraisers are quite a good source of knowledge. If you want to turn £10,000 into £2 million, you’re looking at fundraisers. They’re very good. That’s Alchemy, and they’re not selling anything but hope and dreams. 

Many marketers can take 2 million, couldn’t make it into $10,000, which is itself. 

And my final thing is I really recommend anyone who does creative marketing. So I’ve always had a subscription to Vogue, and I am just saying, be a Magpie of knowledge. I literally carry around sketchbooks. I see advertisements. If you want to look at advertising, you don’t need to sign up for the drum. I still don’t have a drum subscription. I wish I did. I don’t have enough money, but I do have a scripture to Vogue. I should probably get the drum, but all the best advertising is in there. 

If you want to see adverts, look at your local magazine and they’re so creative and they know their audience. 

I’m going to start calling you Grandma and Sony because you’ve recommended magazines and billboards as part of this. And there will be people in the 20s going, what is this pension they’re talking about? I don’t know how to spell magazines. I was at a go on. Sorry. 

My kind of thing with magazines is like you are given free creative energy all around one of three, a couple of quids. And I just honestly, really can’t recommend I’m going to be really old now. Scrapbooking. I’m always tearing stuff out pages. I’ve still got inspiration people when I do my best creative work, it’s because I still kind of source those ideas like a scrapbook. 

I again get out of my head. I have a folder of now I keep mine digitally. But if I read all sales resources, for example, there’s different folders in there. There’s marketing, sales, graphics. And if I see a great campaign, I’ll take a link, put it on a word document, save it in there so I can go back for inspiration. There’s probably a better way of doing it, but this works for me. But I got some sales advice from a guy from I want to say something like 1913. 

He was an American guy called Emo Wheeler. I think his name is and he’s just like this classic American fellow. I’ll put the link in the show notes to the video of it. So you’ve heard the phrase don’t sell the sizzle seller sausage, which was popularised. I thought it was like a quote from the 50s or 60s advertising this guy back in 1910 or 1913 or something. And he said, don’t sell the SIS or sell the steak. But he’s also got four or five different tips for salespeople, which is from a TV show in America. 

Back then I watched it once and I was like, Every one of these is absolutely perfectly relevant today, and it’s like they always give the prospect the chance, the option between something and something else, and make them something else more expensive so they might trade up, never just give them the option of one thing, because then their option is buy that or leave. Oh, yeah, of course. 

The oldies are the besties. All the books on charity marketing that I’ve read and I’ve really valued. This is why in my digital gaggle, I relayed it back to original models or academics. If you found a cool Instagram, that’s cool. But if it’s worked for 100 years and it’s still working, no need to reinvent the wheel here. 

Absolutely. My possibly last question, possibly penultimate question is what one question we are expecting me to ask that I haven’t. 

That’s an interesting one. I’ve kind of touched on this. Actually, someone asked me digital gaggle. And usually if I do a talk on homelessness, usually someone asked me about, Should I give money to people I see on the streets? Yes. And I have an answer to that. And that is you do whatever you want to do in that moment. 

Excellent. I love that now. That would have been a perfect place to end the interview, but I realised that there’s an even more perfect place to end this interview. So what we’re going to do is a very different end. And I usually waffle and talk shit at the end and kind of make a real bad wrap up. But instead I’m going to hand over the range to you and let you finish this episode. What I want you to do, because you mentioned it right at the beginning or early. 

You had a story that you told and it was a lovely story. So I’m going to shut up. I’m going to put my microphone on mute in case I start blubbing like I did last time. And when you finish talking, just say goodbye and wave and I’ll stop the recording there. Okay, Antonia, the floor is yours. 

It was all about. Do you know what you can stress? You can have all the best marketing tips in the world. You can have all your stress. You can have your age, you can have everything. You can feel like you’re glossing through things. And I really hope that for you. But when push comes to shove, you’re having a terrible day at work and your back is against the wall and you’re exhausted. You need a reason to keep on going. This happens a lot when you’re on a budget or in the middle of a crisis. 

And I just want to share with the podcast what my reason is. So carrying a Bristol run, the Southwest largest rough sleepers Christmas project, we have a day centre where people come and it’s a bit bittersweet because the bitterness is that people have nowhere else to go, so they’re kind of like spending their Christmas with you and stay. But the sweetness is there’s. Walkers laughter People have full bellies, and also you get to see people year on year, which is actually sometimes quite sad, but actually, at the same time that you get to cheque in on people know they’re okay. 

And in 2017 and 18, I had my Christmas lunch next to a guy called Mike, who was ruacously funny and really good at Cryptic Crosswords. And we just laughed about food and took them about Christmas together. And when 2019 came, he just wasn’t there. And I looked around the shelter for ages, and I’d actually got my hopes up to see him, and he just wasn’t there. My heart just dropped. And I thought, oh, God. Usually when our client doesn’t turn up, it’s because some harmonies come to them or they’re poorly, whatever. 

So Mike spends as a bit of context. He was a rough sleeper who lived in Lee Woods. It’s a Woods just in Bristol, and he had an encampment there. And it’s really common for people who are sleeping rough to actually come to a Christmas or a winter project to see sanctuary from the cold. So when someone doesn’t come in for that sanctuary, you think, what the fuck happened to them? And I was gutted. And then in 2020, again, we did a reduced surface and I was asking around for him. 

Sometimes people know each other. I asked the referral partners. Has anyone seen him and no one had seen him? It’s just really Gussing. I just really felt like something had happened to him. Then four weeks ago, I was walking through Broadmade, which is Crystal’s High Street, and I saw someone who looked like Mike was clean shaven and was wearing flash poses and was holding hands with a woman. And he looked really happy. And my God, it was fucking Mike. And we just, like, walked past each other. 

This actually happened outside of Boots, and we come look at each other, and I knew it was Mike, and he recognised him. He just tipped his hat and walked on. And I just said, my reason for being for doing my job is when our ex clients ignore me in the street because they are so over their experience. And I think about that any time when push comes to shove at work, I think about more clients ignoring me. And I just think, thank God that’s going to happen. 

Brilliant. Antonio, thank you very much for that. It’s been wonderful. And yet donate it’s in the show notes. Just click the link. Give some money if you can. Thank you very much for your time. Bye. 

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