David & Caroline Howlett set up whisper marketing in October 2016 to build their second careers helping other businesses make sense of the myriad options available in marketing, and set them on a path to success.
For David, this follows a successful and varied career working in sales, marketing and general management (Board level) across a wide range of sectors (FMCG, management consulting, chemicals & paint, packaging, sales promotion, market research, recycling, pharmaceutical, technology) and with many functional responsibilities including strategy, marketing, selling, factory management, new product development and market research. David's also been a regular guest lecturer at Oxford Brookes University Business School to both undergraduates and postgraduates.
Caroline, meanwhile, has had a career focused on market research in a b2b environment and brings a wealth of experience in a wide variety of research project styles. Specifically, Caroline offers project management, interviewing, questionnaire design, copy writing, editing, proof reading for ad hoc, syndicated, single and multi-client studies. In addition, Caroline is able to offer selling skills back to potential clients of your next syndicated study.
Over time, David and Caroline have assembled a team of dependable associates to offer a broader service covering graphic design (print & digital), coding, IT project management and coaching to help out when a larger project requires this. If you are looking for a particular skill set on something specific, do ask, and we will find you the right person.
How does a business grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells, And pretty maids all in a row.
Well, actually, no. The world has moved on. We understand ways to grow a business. Having a great product or service is only the start point. People need to find you first, and how can they find you when there are so many people in competition with you? Then they have to get to know you. Never has your marketing and sales strategy been more important.
Marketing is about creating new leads and nurturing those leads. Sales is about conversion. Both are equally important, but neither on its own is enough. And they must be bound together within a single strategy that always stays true to your brand.
Broadcasting a message and expecting any impact is naive these days. There are many techniques to create, then nurture relationships with future buyers and your loyal customer base. These include inbound marketing techniques where people find your marketing content when it suits them - so when searching for a key phrase on Google, for example. Success depends on your ability to share the right sort of content. Overt sales messaging is out (if it was ever in), and we all respond better to the seller who shares something that helps us. We build trust in the company, and are prepared to engage more as they demonstrate they can provide us with solutions. It's hard work initially for the seller, but it leads to sustainable growth, strong loyalty, and higher potential customer lifetime value.
We are still surprised by the number of people who see the business world only from their perspective, and expect their product superiority to shine through and achieve success. Marketing campaigns and sales material often still communicate an arrogance which customers find off-putting.
An anecdote to explain;
Imagine three butchers on a British High Street. The first claims to be the best in Britain. The second trumps the first with a garish banner promoting themselves as the best in Europe. The third modestly claims to be the best on the High Street. Which has the longest queue on the Saturday morning? The one you can believe in.
Outside of work, David & Caroline enjoy the local social scene based in their home village in the Chiltern Hills with their two teenage daughters. David loves photography including occasional work for his favourite rugby team Wasps, and is an active member of Princes Risborough Photographic Society. David's photo gallery can be viewed on whisper photography, and on Flickr or Instagram, and some photos can be purchased as prints and gifts on Redbubble. He's also a keen road cyclist (recording his rides on Strava) and tennis player with his village club, for which he is also the webmaster. Recently, he's been involved as the Communications guy in a campaign to ensure appropriate development at a disused factory site close to his home.
In addition to her market research consultancy, Caroline enjoys using her modern languages degree to work with A-Level students of French in a local secondary school. For relaxation, Caroline enjoys fitness classes at the local gym and taking our Golden Retriever out for walks around the Chiltern countryside.