One of our Associate Consultants discusses his role, Genoa Black and how he helps businesses grow – meet Nigel Jenkins.

Why should every business value marketing?

Understanding customers and their environment in a way that shows them how you can overcome their challenges is vital to securing bottom line growth in competitive markets. Marketing activity is fundamental in achieving this.

What is something you learned last week that all businesses could benefit from?

4 out of 5 strategies fail not because the content and objectives are poor, but because a rigorous review of progress and action is lacking. If you don’t review you won’t know what is working and what isn’t, and will find making progress hard!

Describe your role at Genoa Black and how you help businesses grow.

As an associate of GB, I work with GB clients across all aspects of strategy, marketing account management and sales. My starting point is to find out about the people in the business, why they are there and what they want to achieve. Then we collectively develop and construct a growth plan based on sound market and customer understanding.

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?

Meeting a wide variety of talented interesting people who have the energy and drive to be successful.

Our team has been hand picked from a range of backgrounds, give us a brief timeline of your career so far?

Big question! I’d like to go all the way back to school days when delivering papers and stocking shelves in Tesco taught me a lot about the world of work. I got myself 4 A levels in science/technology subjects but then went to work in a bank for a few years. It didn’t take me long to realise this wasn’t for me – despite the fun of earning money for motorbikes, beer and sport.

I left and studied Mechanical Engineering at Liverpool Polytechnic, now John Mores University- a great place for engineering studies linked to business. It was a sandwich course including a year in industry, marketing, finance and business. I left with a First Honours in Mech Eng. I then joined a telecoms component manufacturer, and worked through the business from Grad Trainee to European Sales & Marketing Director in 12 years.

Around 2000 I moved into AMEC, got involved with business creation and growth in the energy and environmental sectors. I then worked for a couple of other global outfits working in the USA and across Europe, starting businesses in China and CIS. By the time I was 45 I’d had enough of corporate life and my wife and myself set up our own consultancy business and I’ve been doing that for the last ten years. Lots of fun and challenges working for yourself and it isn’t for everyone. We focus on helping businesses grow and change as they need to for their markets and customers.

What is one of your favourite business success stories?

It is the story of the turnaround of a failing business in the 90s due to the implementation of a clear and detailed strategy. The business’ major customer had 17 suppliers and the business was bottom of the league on quality, price and delivery performance. The customer had developed a procurement strategy to go from 17 to ONE supplier in five years. The race was on!

I was a new appointee into the business responsible for all customer facing activities, commercial management and technology/product development reporting to the new MD. The management team created a 5 Year vision and strategy to become the number one supplier. This covered all aspects of the business and required a significant people focussed change programme. The culture, brand, performance and reputation were all changed and after 5 years the business was selected as the ONE supplier. From bottom of the league to top of the league in five years – the benefits of having a clear strategy. I learnt so much from this experience and I still see the same problems and apply these learnings today.

Connect with Nigel Jenkins on LinkedIn.

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