Timeline

  • 2017
    • Free yourself from Excel

      People talk about ‘Death by PowerPoint’, but the biggest killer in marketing is not PowerPoint, but its Microsoft stablemate: the Excel spreadsheet. Among the numerous big brands and retailers we consult with about helping them make their marketing operations more efficient, the most commonly occurring statement I hear is, “can you do anything about all…

  • 2016
    • Enabling Truly Agile Marketing

      We’ve known for a while that agile marketing – continuously developing and refining your marketing activity to improve your response to unfolding events and customer activity – can increase speed to market and foster more effective customer engagement than relying on those rigid old long-term marketing plans. But to be truly agile, you need adequate…

    • Focusing on Recruitment

      This week, I’ve welcomed aboard a recruitment manager at ITG – our first person wholly dedicated to this task. In the past, recruitment has been handled by individual department heads in consultation with HR. There was nothing wrong with this system, but we’ve experienced such strong growth in the recent past that I felt we…

    • It’s good to talk

      The most successful businesses are those with the most open employee communications. Simon Ward explains how you can strengthen staff engagement and morale as your business grows through a comprehensive internal comms strategy. It’s good to talk A flat hierarchy with good communication across the organisation is easy to manage when you’re a small company.…

    • Is Sir John Hegarty right?

      Marketing Week recently quoted advertising guru Sir John Hegarty as saying, “Brands are populated by people who don’t understand the basics of marketing.” Is he right? And if so, is this the whole story? Simon Ward discusses. Is Sir John Hegarty right? Marketing Week quoted advertising guru Sir John Hegarty as saying that brands are…

    • When Marketers are not Marketers

      Keep creativity alive in a world of distraction “Yes, I’m a marketing manager, but really I’m a project manager… I just don’t have the resource to be creative.” I heard this comment from an audience member at a recent round table event hosted by The Drum, where I was invited to sit on the panel.…

    • Making Local Marketing Work

      Simon Ward explains how, by using Media Centre and SP, Inspired Thinking Group has solved the conundrum of local marketing. As your company grows, and operations silo, having a complete view of your marketing activity becomes increasingly difficult. You may find ways of running a slick national marketing operation, but what about your local outlets?…

    • A day is a long time in technology

      Simon Ward explains how a day can make a big difference to marketers – especially when it’s dedicated to innovation. I’ve always been immersed in technology. As CEO of SP Group’s digital arm, I was at the cutting edge of what was on the face of it a very traditional industry – printing. At ITG,…

  • 2015
    • Marketing Resource Management and ROI

      Simon Ward discusses marketing resource management and return on investment. Last year, Harry in sales brought 20x his salary and costs into your business. When things get tough, you’re not going to get rid of Harry. I’d happily employ Harry myself at Inspired Thinking Group. But when the budget axe swings, whose head is going…

    • Simon Ward: Operating a 24-hour artwork studio

      A little over twelve months ago, we were pleased to welcome Heineken as a client. One of the most celebrated brands in the world, the prestigious Dutch brewer runs marketing campaigns across the globe, and Inspired Thinking Group (ITG) was tasked with adapting its below-the-line assets for 178 nations. Our specialism in local marketing – tailoring…

    • Why do companies rebrand?

      Simon Ward discusses the many reasons a company might rebrand, some admirable, some less so. The dreaded rebrand For instance, a company’s reputation may have become tarnished through their own activity, and they look to rebranding as a way of projecting a fresher face to their customers and investors. Sometimes companies go through a rebrand without…

    • Ensuring your agencies deliver quality

      Outsourcing your creative or artworking needs to external agencies is a given in marketing. After all, that’s where the expertise lies, and where the resource can be scaled to your requirements. When we formed Inspired Thinking Group (ITG), we determined that the agency side of our business – our Studio, with its banks of artworkers,…

    • Only one of the letters in ‘enterprise’ is an ‘i’

      In every company there are disagreements. It wouldn’t be healthy to employ people who agree with you on everything. You need people who not only come up with their own ideas, but who question yours. It’s good to draw your talent from different pools: people who have different experiences and approaches to issues. Sometimes they…

    • Inspired Thinking Group (ITG) partner with marketing agency Vitamin

      Simon Ward discusses partnership with boutique retail agency, Vitamin. Giving retailers a boost Some of our biggest retailers are facing major challenges: the prevalence of no-frills, lowest-price-focused competitors; the increase in online purchases from retailers with lower overheads, and often more favourable tax regimes; and from innovations in marketing technology, whether it’s more interactive digital…

    • ITG gears up for growth with new MDs

      Let your staff grow Delegation is hard. As a CEO, you love your business – you care about every department, every person and every client. You probably even concern yourself with whether the paper’s GSM should be re-evaluated, or whether that picture in reception should be moved slightly to the left. Delegation is hard, but…

    • Inspired Thinking Group to manage intu’s print and procurement

      Engineering your supply chain I’m extremely pleased to announce that Inspired Thinking Group has been appointed to manage the print procurement of shopping centre manager and owner, intu. We manage all the print for a lot of big companies now, and if it’s not too immodest to say so, we do it rather well. There’s…

    • Welcome to SimonWardUK.com

      What makes a successful modern marketer? If you’re in marketing and feeling the pressure of jobs that aren’t even related to your core role as a marketing strategist, believe me – you’re far from on your own. These are challenging, but exciting times for the modern marketer. Marketing departments have never been so important, CMOs…