Master's Final Blog – A Review of 2018

As my time as Master is now almost over, I thought it would be appropriate to post a final blog summing up how things have gone in 2018.

First of all, I am pleased to report that, after our last Court Meeting on November 30th, we find the Company in a sound financial position, properly organised, with a strong membership and ready to take on next year’s programme under the leadership of the new Master.

My last official duties for 2018 in December were my attendance at the Communications Industry Carol Service at St Bride’s, where I gave  the Bidding, and, on 17th December,  representing the Company at the Turners’ Livery Dinner. On January 5th, I was also pleased to accompany my grandson Max to the Lord Mayor’s Children’s Party at the Mansion House. He was officially received by the Lord Mayor, but I am afraid parents and grandparents were mere bystanders. However a good time was had by all.

After dealing with a few outstanding administrative matters and the usual events thanking Committee Chairs and Wardens for their support, I am looking forward to the Installation on 30th January where I will install Andrew Cross as Master for the ensuing year.

Looking back over the year, I would like to mention first the Great Events, the Livery Dinner at Charterhouse, my Master’s trip to Cyprus, my Cambridge weekend, our Inter Livery Golf Day and our more informal social events: the tour of St Pauls, the City Walks, Beating Retreat and an excellent Curry evening held jointly with our military affiliate, 151 Regiment Royal Logistics Corp, at the Hall of the Honourable Artillery Company. I hope all those who attended found them interesting and enjoyable, and I would like to thank everyone who helped to make them a success.

However, there ae two aspects of the year which I think are worthy of mention in more detail.

First, 2018 was a year of anniversaries. We celebrated the 100th year of the RAF with a tour and dinner at the RAF Museum in Hendon,  North London and many of our lady members (including Past Master Venetia Howes and Middle Warden Lesley Wilson) joined in City events celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first grant of votes to women.

We also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War. I attended the ceremonies at the Garden of Remembrance in St Paul’s, planting a cross for the Marketors, and also laid a wreath at St Bride’s on Remembrance Sunday, during a memorable service of reconciliation when the Rector, our Honorary Chaplain the Revd. Canon Alison Joyce exchanged pulpits with Pastor Barbara Neubert from St Paul’s Church, Lichtenfelde Berlin. Alison gave the sermon in Berlin and Barbara the sermon at St Bride’s.

However, for me the highlight of Remembrance week was The Beauty and the Sorrow, a programme of music, poetry and readings, put together and performed by our Liveryman Keith Rowland and some of his colleagues, to commemorate the end of the First World War. It was held at St Mary-Le-Bow on 8th November, as a joint event with the Church. Over 40 attendees were present at a very moving performance, including some twelve representatives from other Livery Companies and three members of 151 Regiment Royal Logistics Corp.

Second, I was particularly pleased  with the treatment of  my theme  for the year: “The 2020 CMO”.  This was delivered in five business lectures, the Cambridge Conference and the City Lecture, together with the keynote speeches at Great Events. The output of all these events has been captured in various articles, including my blogs, which have been uploaded to the Marketors’ Web Site and also printed in The Marketor.

The Cambridge Conference held at, and sponsored by, the Cambridge Judge Business school (founded by our Past Master Sir Paul Judge) with the assistance of Fujitsu Limited, devoted a day to various aspects of the theme. It was attended by over 80 delegates. The proceedings were videoed and are now available in the members’ area of our website which was opened to access for all our members last month. I would encourage all Marketors who have not already done so to register for the members area and obtain their log in details.

The City Lecture, held in Bakers Hall to an audience of around 100 including representatives  of thirty livery companies, took a further look at the theme from the viewpoint of a practising CMO. Judging by the letters I have received from other  Masters who attended,  I believe this event has gone a long way to increasing our name and fame in the City. The lecture was  live streamed over the internet for those who could not attend, and a video of the proceedings is now available to view on the public area of the Marketors’ website.

The use of recordings and streaming to capture the output of these events, and enable those who were not able to attend to view them through our website, is a first for the Marketors and I hope it will be repeated in future years by my successors, as and when the opportunity arises.

I would like to make three final points by way  of summing up the results of the study.

First, the basic principles of marketing are alive and well, and remain a constant despite the impact of the new technology. You can express these principles  in various ways. Speaking of marketing as the voice of the consumer  or the customer (which I prefer) is common, although given the new developments in ICT the customers can now speak for themselves and often do. Perhaps a more helpful definition is to understand customers’ needs and then quickly satisfy them at a profit.

Second, the new technology delivers many very powerful tools which, used properly, will greatly increase our ability to apply these principles in the businesses we serve as Marketors.

However, finally, if, as Marketors, we do not learn how to use the tools the technology offers us, other functions in the business will take them over and use them instead. If this happens, not only will be the marketing function become marginalised, but, still worse,  the use of these tools, without the intervention of human creativity to interpret the data they provide, will not deliver the desired outcome.

The challenge is clear and it is up to us as Marketors to rise to it.

In conclusion, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me throughout the year, not only Committee Chairs and Committee members but also individual contributors. In particular, I am grateful to my consort Tasoulla who has supported me in every way throughout the year, not least by the special music she has composed for our Great Events, including the new Marketors’ Anthem performed at the Rededication Service, a recording of which is now available on our web site. I am also indebted to our Learned Clerk, John Hammond and his Assistant Clerk, Liveryman Doreen Blythe, for all their advice and assistance, without which  I would have found it impossible to carry out my duties as your Master.

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The Worshipful Company of Marketors is a City Livery Company. Members of the Company are on the way to achieving, or have achieved, mastery and excellence within the Marketing profession.