Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Educating Loulou

Never too old to learn new tricks...

At the ripe old age of, ahem, 24 (well, what's a misplaced decade between friends) I have made the decision to learn some more about what I do for a living and go back to school.

For the past 12+ years I have been working in the world of marketing. First for a book publisher, then for many years in retail marketing and most recently I've spent the last 3 years working in subscriptions marketing for a magazine publisher.Now you may well ask what does a subscriptions marketeer do? I essentially work to increase the number of subscribers to our range of magazines. Whether that be through adverts in the magazines themselves, using loose inserts (you know the annoying bits of paper in every magazine that you shake out into a dustbin) or testing the gazillions of online marketing channels now available I am the person trying to get you to sign up to receive our magazines every month by offering you massive price discounts to do so.

So what has this got to do with going back to school?

Well as in all industries mine has several levels of qualifications that you can study. From undergraduate degree (although I studied Social Science but that's a whole other story) to fledgling marketing trainee through to professional training. Back in the early part of my career I studied with the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) and the Institute of Direct Marketing (IDM). I learnt all about the importance of the testing matrix, the best way to run a direct mail campaign or how you put together a marketing plan. All still valid and useful learnings but they were more doing than planning or strategising.

Now I'm at the stage of my career where I manage a team, report into a Group Finance Director and am responsible for driving strategy, budgets and formulating targets. I also spend time attempting to convince the non believers in my firm all about the value in mixing traditional with new marketing streams to drive both numbers and profit. And spend less time actually implementing the campaigns than I do about driving them I think it is about time I revisit the marketing gurus and teachings and brush up on my theory.

Handily the CIM 2 years ago upgraded their courses and qualifications to add in such a strategic qualification. With more emphasis on the strategy, decision making, planning and financial implications side of my role and with modules including Emerging Themes (otherwise known as crystal ball gazing) Marketing Leadership and Planning (hello yes please!) Analysis and Decision (how to make the data talk to you and then convince others) and Managing Corporate Reputation (defence planning) this is a crack course in turning mild mannered marketeers into finely tuned marketing machines! Fully armed with the toolkit of skills to strategically flatten all opposition!

The Marketing Terminator....

All sounds fab no? And so it was until the course changed from school nights at the local university business centre to become weekends! So it's so long to the social life and hello fitting studying part time around a full time job. On the plus side it now means I won't be tied to every Monday or Wednesday at school, not getting home until at least 10pm and I'll be able to study fresh instead of worrying about the project left unfinished when I dashed out the door at 5pm to make it to school in time.

So here is to re-entering the student life even if it is only at weekends.....but most excitingly here is to having to buy new stationery (legitimately this is outside of the shopping embargo obviously) and exercising the little grey cells a bit more into working that bit harder.

I know many of you are studying while working so any tips gratefully received on how you work the work/study/life balance and on how you organise your time...My first school date is scheduled to be on Saturday 17th September (which incidentally is the day after my birthday - no getting drunk that day that's for sure!) but maybe I'll get some shiny new pens/Filofax/school bags to play with...

The I NEED new stationery to help me work harder/better lust list:

The Vintage Rose Malden pencil case to match my Personal Malden Filofax

Super Lovely Pencil Case

The perfect work/school bag - the Bernstein from Fiorelli
Glamorous and Practical
This gorgeous Highway of Writing fountain pen in Blackberry

Elegant Note Taking care of the Paperie

And of course it's me, no stationery wish list would be complete without a Filofax lust list...currently I am drooling over the very expensive but absolutely divine:

The Personal Enigma in Brindle

The Personal Osterley in Plum

Although my Vintage Rose Malden is still absolutely lovely, so I'm not too worried about changing anytime soon! Hope you are all having a lovely week...


Thursday, 25 August 2011

Lackadaisical Loulou

So as you may have noticed I have appear to have abandoned my blog recently...I'm not entirely sure why I had lost my blogging mojo but for quite a while I've not had the ideas or the urge to write. I've been busy but no more than usual. Strange but it happens....but I'm back, brimming with ideas for posts and lots of questions, updates and discussions that I want and need your advice on.

So I'm very sorry for having been gone so long and if you are still out there keep your eyes peeled as there will be lots of posts coming along soon....But as a quick summary to what I've been up to over the past 6 weeks these are some of the things that have happened....

Mr P is all fixed and been given the (almost just waiting for official confirmation) all clear. BEST NEWS EVER. 

We've booked the infamous ski holiday to Canada for January (Eek) 

I've had my first skiing lesson on a dry slope and I didn't fall over!!!

It's only 6 weeks until our mini break to Paris (croissants, architecture and people watching - bliss)

It's only 3 weeks until my birthday!!! I get very over excited about birthdays especially mine....

I've signed up to start studying the Chartered Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and will therefore be saying goodbye to any social life from the 17th September until next August......while scared I am very excited (and while the shopping embargo still stands) perhaps an A5 Filofax Flex could help the study plans along??? So I'm rereading any blog posts on how to use your Filofax for study plans..any links/recommendations do let me know in the comments I'm going to need all the help I can get!

I've rejoined Slimming World and so far lost 5.5lbs....and feel much better already for it.

And finally the shopping embargo...I've not bought any magazines, clothes (apart from 1 long black maxi skirt that is in a smaller size - see the point above - so was a weight loss reward purchase). No handbags, Filofaxes, costume jewellery...I have bought books though - cookery and school books mainly but a couple of fiction books (one of which was from a charity shop though) Overall though I do think CP and the fabulously frugal crew would be pretty proud of me!

So that's a brief recap, upcoming I have posts planned to show you my new work A5 Filofax set up using day on one page business inserts, what the new set up in my Vintage Rose Malden looks like plus a post on why I'm going back to school.

So how are you all? I've missed you