my comments on the 5 points from Week 1 …

OK I read the 3 blogs of the other students that were recommended and I think they covered the key issues.

Brand Equity

This is something that can go beyond your logo and simple web presence. It is a combination of messages that says something about what you are doing and why you are doing it.  If your “mission statement” is actually something that people/customers can respond to, then your products and services really come alive!

Maturity of your Digitisation Strategy

I think Court Farm is nearly at the pinnacle (am biased). No seriously, we have been trialling a state of the art chatbot to bring our eshop into the daily shopping habits of our customers.

3 x 5 “Sir Loin, Your Virtual Butcher”  a chatbot we trialled on over summer…

We have had to change strategy and win new customers who are tech savvy and LIKE the medium of ecommerce ie. they will buy fresh meat online. This is going to change in terms of customers wanting to buy all things through the web, but at the moment, the majority seem to stay in their comfort zone of non-perishables like gadgets, clothing and cosmetics…

Logistics – if you are a small business in retail – are also a big factor in going online and turning some of your trade into a digital shopping platform. Social media also has to be nurtured in terms of content and interactivity…

SMART goals

Yes you need to look at the details of who you are selling to (specifics), how will you know if you are being effective (measurables), is it feasible to run a campaign like that (actionable), are you relating (being relevant) to the customers’ needs and desires and can you deliver on time ? Is your overall marketing message timely ?


Good old SWOT analyses, my experience is doing them as often as you can and involve as many staff as you can.  Lots of input from the people doing the marketing and selling combined with the customer feedback and actions (end results) helps you to discover what works at any particular time in your retail enterprise.

Social Internet of Things

I got that from the Harvard article, the cheat sheet one. I think the much hyped Internet of Things will come down to the key integration of social media and whether people are actually responding to the networked society or are trying to avoid it.  So if the customers actively want to use smart fridges and washing machines – letting them order food products and washing powder automatically online without you having to do anything – then yes, IoT will be a big success.

But in our humble online food retail experience, there is a long way to go getting the majority of people to use eshops to buy their daily bread and trusting smart devices to take over the most mundane parts of your consumer existence …

Court Farm has been digitising its comms since 2013…

And these are the 5 new things the team at the Butchery & Country Larder learnt from the MOOC on Digital Marketing this week:

  1. set SMART objectives after doing a SWOT analysis (we already do regular SWOTs to set goals for each Quarter and year…)
  2. SMART plans are best defined as

Specific – Can the detail in the information sufficient to pinpoint problems or opportunities? Is the objective sufficiently detailed to measure real-world problems and opportunities?

Measurable – Can a quantitative or qualitative attribute be applied to create a metric?

Actionable – Can the information be used to improve performance? If the objective doesn’t change behaviour in staff to help them improve performance, there is little point in it!

Relevant – Can the information be applied to the specific problem faced by the marketer?

Time-bound – Can objectives be set for different time periods as targets to review against?

(from )

3.  We also enjoyed the fantastic strategic marketing resources from Harvard University and the team will be subscribing to HBR for future staff training, upskilling for the digital economy and workshops for sales & marketing strategies .


Marketers who want to understand the future of these platforms need to understand seven P’s: people, participate, personalize, product, process, pay, and partner.

5. The annual strategy cycle

Last time I checked, competitors don’t wait for your annual strategy cycle to attack, customers don’t wait for your annual strategy cycle to shift their preferences, and new technology doesn’t wait for your annual strategy cycle to leapfrog yours.

Strategy can’t wait for bureaucratic, non-market timing. When you make your strategy choices, you need to specify what aspects of the competitive marketplace — consumer preferences, competitor behavior, your own capabilities — have to remain true for the strategy to be a good one. Then, you need to monitor those religiously.