Roger Edwards on Body Combat, writing a marketing book, and achieving a balanced life – MAF200

To celebrate the milestone 200th edition, I’ve invited a special guest onto the show to interview me.

It’s a warts and all look behind the scenes, and we chat about Body Combat, fighting complexity, writing a marketing book, and finding the right balance in life.

Welcome to episode 200 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Roger Edwards on Body Combat, writing a marketing book, and achieving a balanced life - MAF200

For 200 episodes I’ve been asking my guests what makes them tick. Now my special guest, Chris Marr, asks the same question of me.

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • How Roger became a Body Combat instructor alongside his day job as marketing director in big corporate
  • The development of a career long obsession with keeping things simple
  • Why marketing sometimes fails to engage with customers and what to do about it
  • The genesis of Roger’s soon to be published book and a world exclusive preview reading
  • Why family is so important in a business world driven by “hustle”

Who is special guest interviewer, Chris Marr?

Chris runs the Content Marketing Academy (CMA Community) and first appeared on the Marketing and Finance Podcast back in episode 80. Since then we’ve become good business buddies and close friends.

In 2017, I appeared on stage at Chris’s CMA Live event in Edinburgh and we’ve both been working to develop our speaking careers.

The World Class Communication initiative Chris runs alongside US speaker, Marcus Sheridan, has helped my craft my speaking style and get myself on stages across Europe.

Summary of our chat

Chris was keen to interview Roger with a view to getting behind the scenes. To find out more about his motivations and philosophies. Even though they are close friends, much of that friendship revolves around business. This was an opportunity for Chris to dig a little deeper. To find out more about the man behind the marketing persona.

Roger was working long hours in his corporate role.  Travelling extensively and eating a drinking far too much. His wife dragged him (literally) along to a fitness class called Body Combat. After enjoying the class Roger went onto take a fitness diploma and became a Body Combat instructor. He soon started teaching classes all over Edinburgh and followed by training in Body Balance.  And then a diploma in teaching Yoga. Teaching up to 9 sessions a week created a unique balance in Roger’s work life.

When he was still a young marketing assistant, Roger attended a corporate strategy away week. He discovered the joys of people overly complicating strategy and littering it with management speak and gobbledegook. This was the beginning of a career long obsession with keeping marketing simple. Roger became known as a customer champion in the companies he worked for. He tried to fight back against the complexity and to make the companies see the benefits of a true customer focus.

Chris was keen to explore why marketing often fails the customers. And why it can become too complicated. Roger feels that marketing doesn’t work in some companies because they do not focus enough on the customer. Profit might be the key driver and customer takes second place. The reality is that a true customer focus and an obsessive understanding of the customer, can mean happier customers and more profit in the long term. But some people don’t seem to get this. 

Also some marketers focus entirely on the communications aspects. They again miss out on the benefit of customer understanding and the other parts of the marketing mix. 

Roger’s book is going to weave stories collected over 25 years into his simple method for putting together a marketing strategy. He’s almost completed the narrative and now intends to add real life case studies to complete the book. Then the editing process will begin with publishing following after that. 

Soon after becoming a fitness instructor, Roger and his wife, Trisha, adopted a little boy. This was another turning point in his life and another moment that contributed to leaving corporate life to set up in business as an independent consultant. He explains how he achieved a balanced life as a result and how important family is.  

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Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Roger Edwards on Body Combat, writing a marketing book, and achieving a balanced life – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

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3 power words to drive business in 2019

Inspire. Entertain. Teach.

These are the 3 words I’ve chosen to guide my business in 2019.

Welcome to Marketing Made Simple. So what’s with the 3 words? It’s a little exercise I picked up back in 2010. I’m not sure who started it, but I associate it most with famous marketers, Mitch Joel and Chris Brogan.

Every year I come up with three words that will drive my business and what I do in the year ahead.

In this video, let’s talk about why I’ve chosen, inspire, entertain and teach and how this fits with my goals to speak on more stages, produce more videos and finish my book.

The words are also integral to my personal definition of content marketing.

“Creating stuff that inspires, entertains and teaches people to know like and trust you enough to do business with you.”

What are your three words for 2019?

Did you enjoy this video? Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel right here.

This is the 7th in a new series of videos under the “Marketing: Made Simple” banner. I’ve been doing marketing tips videos for a while but putting them out under the title, Marketing and Finance TV. Whilst this title works for my podcast, I rarely talk about finance subjects in my videos. So it makes sense to focus on keeping marketing simple. Fighting the BS and the complexity. Marketing: Made Simple!

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Andy Couchman on Protection Review and the launch of the I Mark – MAF197

On the show this week, I talk to Andy Couchman, co-founder of Protection Review.

We chat about how the Protection Review Conference, Dinner and Awards has grown to become one of the premiere financial services events of the year and the new “I Mark” which seeks to recognise true innovation.

Welcome to episode 197 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Andy Couchman on Protection Review and the launch of the I Mark - MAF197

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • How Andy started Protection Review with another financial services luminary, Peter Le Beau
  • The process Andy goes through to write product reviews and how he scores them
  • What innovation really means in financial services
  • The reasoning behind the launch of the I Mark
  • What companies will have to do to receive the I Mark.

Who is Andy Couchman?

Andy started his career in product marketing roles in various large UK financial services companies.

After leaving corporate life he made a success writing about financial services topics. Together with Peter Le Beau he started Protection Review back in 2003. What started as a paper publication and an annual dinner has turned into a prestigious annual Conference, Dinner and Awards event and a popular website.

Although he has retired from the day to day running of Protection Review, Andy still writes the reviews published each month.

Summary of our chat

In his reviews Andy always remembers that teams of people will have worked hard on launching the product or service he is reviewing. They’ll be looking for the highest score possible. But over the years he’s developed a method of setting a benchmark for the products and services he’s reviewing.

He rarely gives a 10 out of 10. In fact this may only have happened a couple of times.

Until now, Andy has always acknowledged innovation in his reviews. Thinking back to the launch of Critical Illness Cover in 1986 he acknowledges that it was real innovation back then. However the current practice of adding new illnesses and conditions, whilst a good thing because it improves the product, is more evolution than innovation.

That’s why he’s please Protection Review is launching the “I Mark”. It will recognise and promote true innovation in the protection segment of UK financial services.

He’ll still mark his reviews on a scale of 1 to 10, but from now on he’ll also award the I Mark to products and services that offer something different.

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Recommended business book

Andy likes Damon Hill’s Autobiography. The racing driver faced many mental health challenges over the years and Andy thinks this is sobering reading and reiterates how important it is for insurance companies to take care of people with similar issues rather than simply rejecting them for cover.

He also recommends Lucian Camp’s book about financial services marketing. Lucian was my first ever guest on the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Links and contact details

They have a limited number of $500 dollar vouchers available to listeners in America and Canada to spend with the company – either mention the Marketing and Finance Podcast in the chat facility or contact Natalie directly.

If you enjoyed – Andy Couchman on Protection Review and the launch of the I Mark – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

And if you know anyone who would enjoy the show – please share it with them. You can use the buttons below to share on social media.

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