Digital Marketing Manager

Peter Dickinson Business Coach

Peter Dickinson – Outsourced Digital Marketing 

In a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world every business needs to have a working digital marketing strategy and implementation plan in place with sufficient resource either internally or externally to ensure that the plans get executed in a timely manner if the business is to grow and prosper.

The challenge for most businesses is that digital marketing has become fragmented, complex and sophisticated in the approaches that are needed to achieve any results. Traditional methods are less effective and so there is a relentless migration to everything digital. The challenge going forward is that the rules of the game keep changing and what was right one day might actually get you penalised the next. (Just think of the changes to the Google search engine such as the Penguin and Panda updates.)

Here are some questions to think about:

  • What is your digital marketing strategy?
  • What budget have you agreed for the plan?
  • What resources have you got to implement the plan in a timely manner?
  • What training and development does the implementation team get to ensure their success?
  • How do you measure what’s working and what needs improvement?
  • How does the current performance match with the needs of the business?

The market is fragmented and unless you go to a large agency no one supplier can support you with the implementation of  a credible digital marketing plan.

You may want to consider and outsourced digital marketing manager. This where the manager sits down with you to develop your digital marketing strategy and implementation plans. Then on a regular basis they will then work with you to manage their implementation. If you have an internal resource we can help you agree KPIs with them to ensure their personal objectives are in line with those needed by the business

When looking for an out-sourced digital marketing manager you may want to consider help with:

  • Digital marketing strategy development
  • Digital marketing implementation plan development
  • Regular meetings to review performance, budgets and agree next objectives and actions
  • Coaching / Training on how to embed digital marketing into your business.
  • Supplier or project management.

For an informal chat about how about Peter Dickinson can help you with your digital marketing, go to: Digital Marketing Manager

Posted in Business Coaching, Business planning, Digital Marketing, Digital Marketing Strategies, Digital Media Strategy, Generate Leads, Goal Setting, High Growth Business Coach, Uncategorized

Executive Peer Groups – Your Virtual Board

Executive Peer Groups

Like a top athlete, every business owner, CEO or Managing Director needs a place where they can go to get unbiased, independent advice from peers, coaches, advisors that they can trust.

The executive peer group is just such a place.

Have you considered the following questions?

For more information, please contact Peter Dickinson at 0845 053 7417 (UK) or email
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The Importance of Values When Resolving Burning Strategic Issues in a Peer Group Advisory Board

Peer Group Advisory Boards - Values

Peer Group Advisory Boards – Values

The challenging nature of business means that the ability to deal with burning strategic issues quickly is becoming more important and needs to be key process for companies today.

Peer group advisory boards or CEO Peer groups where managing directors of non-competing companies get together monthly to work on burning strategic issues are based on inter-personal relations which means that they need to have agreed shared values for communications to be effective.

Vistage International has identified 4 core values that are essential to a successful Peer group Advisory Board. They are Care, Trust, Challenge and Growth.


In order to help somebody you need to care about what happens to them. This means being prepared to listen to their challenges and asking searching questions to find out more and find out the underlying issue behind the reported symptom. This allows that conversations are authentic, unbiased and non-judgemental.


Confidentiality is a key feature of a coaching session and this is true of a peer group advisory board. What is discussed within the group stays within the group. Trust therefore is developed between members which means confidential and sensitive issues can be discussed openly amongst members.


Even when a high degree of trust has developed amongst members, when a member is talking about a burning strategic issue then it may mean that the other members have to ask probing and challenging questions in order to surface the real issues behind the problem. So that ability to challenge each other in a caring way is the third value that is core to the process. This requires honesty, vulnerability and accountability. Typically, members join a Peer Group Advisory Board in order to be challenged as usually there is no one else to do that for them as they normally have to keep up appearances for customers, employees and suppliers.


When members are challenged on key strategic burning issues and the members take action based on the outcome of those discussions then barriers to growth are taken down.  The process will have identified more choices and so a member can make better decisions which of course lead on to better results. Vistage member companies grow by more than 3 times after they have joined.

Taster Peer Group Advisory Board

I’m putting together a forum for local business leaders next month and if you are a Managing Director of a £3m or more business based in the North West, UK then you might find value in joining us. The forum will focus on the issues leaders face in today’s increasingly complex business environment and strategies for overcoming those issues. I’ve invited some of the most successful executives in the North West to participate.

If you are a Managing Director and believe in the core values expressed above and are looking to grow your company then you would be a great addition to the group discussion and I would really appreciate your input.

If you are interested in joining a group, take a look at: or call 0845 053 7417 for an informal chat.

I hope you can join us.

Peter Dickinson

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Posted in Advisory Boards, Business Coaching, CEO Peer Group, Peer Group Advisory Board, Strategic Issue Processing

Vistage – The Route to Becoming a Better Leader

This article is about how a Vistage CEO Peer group can help you become a better leader.

Peter Dickinson is a High Growth Business Coach and has worked with over 300 companies in all stages of growth and across a wide range of sectors. Peter has worked with many business owners and entrepreneurs and the one key thing that he has learned about success is that you need good leadership skills.

Better leadership only comes through continued learning and a desire to develop yourself and those you work with.

Vistage International has invited Peter to select members for a CEO peer group advisory board based in the North West of England.

So who are Vistage?

Vistage International is the world’s leading chief executive organisation with over 15,000 members in 16 countries and who are focused on making CEOs & MDs better leaders, who make better decisions and get better results.

Vistage members on average triple their company rate of growth after joining.

Okay so what is a peer group advisory board?

A Vistage CEO peer group advisory board is a group of like-minded CEO/MDs from non-competing industries who meet for one full day per month to collectively work on the most pressing issues in their businesses. Eight times per year, Vistage provides a morning workshop with a world class speaker. In addition, there is a one-to-one 2 hour coaching session each month to clarify and work on outstanding individual issues.

So why join?

The only constant in the world is change and the subsequent challenges that change brings means that many CEO/MDs often struggle with both professional and personal issues, to the detriment of company performance and their family life. A Vistage CEO peer group provides a structured proven mechanism to work through the issues with other like-minded CEO/MDs in a mutual spirit of support, confidentiality and accountability. The meeting format means that you work ON your business and so reduce the hours you spend IN the business and so achieve tangible ideas and actions to take forward and a better work/life balance for you and your family.

So what are the benefits of joining a Vistage CEO peer group?

  • The group will hold you accountable for the actions you agree on.
  • The group will provide truly independent advice as they are not reliant on you for their income.
  • You get up to 15 experienced CEO/MDs working on your problem.
  • Members are from non-competing industries and so you get up to 15 different perspectives that have worked in other sectors which means you can sometimes get an edge over your competition with an approach from a different industry.
  • You can discuss highly confidential and sensitive issues that would be difficult with your own board especially if you run a family owned business.
  • There are over 15,000 members spread across the globe. So if you are looking to get into another country then there is likely to be somebody in the network in that country who will be more than happy to help you.
  • The cost is less than it would cost to employ one non-executive director.

How do I find out more?

If you are a CEO or Managing Director of a company with £10 million or more turnover and are open to new ideas, keen to develop your leadership skills, willing to help others and take action yourself then you would benefit from being a member a group.

If you are interested in finding out more, call Peter Dickinson on 0845 053 7417 and he can call in for 20 minutes to exchange information of what you can expect from being a member of a Vistage CEO peer group.

There is no sales pitch the group has to be right you and you right for the group.

For more information go to:

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Posted in Advisory Boards, Business Coaching, CEO Peer Group, Dynamic Leadership, High Growth Business Coach, Leadership and Management Development, Peer Group Advisory Board, Vistage

Non Executive Director- Is there a more effective alternative?

Corporate Governance Pressures - CEO Peer Group Support

Corporate Governance Pressures – CEO Peer Group Support

The role of managing director or chief executive officer (CEO) can be a lonely place. There are times for some CEOs when they have nobody to confide in despite having a board of directors. A non executive director may be recruited in order to provide that support, advice and accountability to help them drive a company forward. However, a non executive director has a fiduciary duty to the company and its shareholders which comes before the needs of the CEO. Therefore, the non executive director can never be a true confidant to the CEO.

So is there are an alternative?

This article looks at how a CEO peer group might replace the traditional role of non executive director.

A CEO peer group is a group of Managing Directors and CEOs that meet once a month to process and work through challenging issues so that they can drive their businesses forward. A CEO peer group acts in many ways like a non executive director. However, they have a number of advantages over a non executive director.

  • They are not accountable to the shareholders but to the CEO.
  • Their advice is truly independent as they don’t receive any financial compensation from the company or the CEO.
  • You get up to 15 experienced business professionals working on your problem.
  • You get a wide range of perspectives applied to your challenge from different business sectors.
  • You can discuss highly confidential and sensitive issues that would be difficult even with a non executive director such as a developing an exit strategy if you are an owner/manager.
  • A non executive director will bring with them their network. A CEO group facilitated by a third party will bring with it the networks of up to 15 other people and also the network of the facilitator’s organisation which can be considerable if they are a global organisation.

So in summary, a non executive director can be a great asset to a CEO, however, a CEO peer group amplifies those benefits and does not have the fiduciary downside. Moreover, a CEO peer group is likely to be cheaper than a non executive director.

For more information about a CEO peer group in your area, please go to or call 0845 053 7417

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Peer Group Advisory Board – Structured Leadership Development

Peer Group Advisory Board - Structured Learning Environment

Peer Group Advisory Board – Structured Learning Environment

A peer group advisory board comprises of a group of managing directors and chief executives of non-associated companies and from different sectors who come together each month to develop their leadership skills and work through challenging and difficult issues.

One of the challenges a busy executive faces is how to keep their learning up to date. How do you find time to do the necessary development in order to stay on top of the job and abreast of changes in the world?

A peer group advisory board is an effective way of getting enough people together to make getting a world class speaker cost effective whilst ensuring that the material delivered is appropriate to the individuals in the group.

In a confidential environment that is part of a peer group advisory board, issues following the workshop can then be processed and discussed in depth in the knowledge that the information shared won’t be discussed with others outside of the room. This means that the group can take a topic and working with a skilled facilitator can work through an issue that is currently challenging one or more of the members. The processing of the issue provides a practical learning tool for those concerned as they learn to find new ways to work through problems as well as benefit from the resultant findings or actions going forward.

The companies represented by the chief executives are non-competing and are ideally from different sectors and so quite often the experience of one industry can be reutilised in another with suitable adaptations.

A peer group advisory board is usually facilitated by an experienced business leader or business coach. This means that in addition to the one day’s workshop and problem solving forum, for 2 hours each month the coach and peer group member can spend time in a one to one coaching session to discuss actions agreed at the advisory board meeting and to discuss any new or challenging business issues. The one to one may also be an opportunity to link back to the development material from the previous workshop.

It can be seen that the combination of work related development workshops, peer group application of the theory followed up by personal one to one business coaching can make for very effective leadership development.

If you would like more information on a peer group advisory board near you, go to or call Peter Dickinson on 0845 053 7417.

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Use a peer group advisory board to cut the cost of corporate governance

Peer Group Advisory Board - Corporate Governance Pressures

Peer Group Advisory Board – Corporate Governance Pressures

The role of managing director is becoming more complex as competition gets tougher, legislation more complex, more channels to market, more sophisticated buying and social values requiring better leadership skills.

Corporate governance becomes more challenging. Do you employ more directors who come with their own agendas or non-executives who could end up telling you how to run your business? You could employ advisors for help with a wide variety of issues. But are they are truly independent? Can you really trust them with your deepest concerns? What happens if they become the issue, who do you talk to then?

None of the above solutions comes cheap. A suitable portion of your hard earned profits could be spent on getting essential support and advice.

As Managing Director or Chief Executive you need to keep learning as constant change erodes your hard won knowledge. How do you keep on top of your learning?

There is an answer to these issues.

The solution is a peer group advisory board which if facilitated by an outside party can allow you to concentrate on your business and then one day per month you get to get together with 15 other managing directors to spend time in a workshop with a world class speaker on a subject selected by the group in the morning and then in the afternoon process issues in the afternoon.

In a peer group advisory board you have control over your learning as it is the group that decides the direction the learning takes.

The afternoon of a peer group advisory board then effectively becomes the sounding board that you would normally use a board of directors for. Except, with a peer group advisory board your associates have no hidden agenda, they are not paid by you, they will give you honest no holds barred advice and support as they process the issues of the members.

What is more your peers will hold you accountable for the actions you agree and so you will have the support you need to make the changes in your business that will allow you to work on your business and to improve your work life balance.

Membership of a peer group advisory board costs less than the salary of a non-executive director and also includes a 2 hour one to one session with a highly skilled business coach. This is designed to help work through issues before bringing them to the board.

For more information on a peer group advisory board in your area go to or call Peter Dickinson on 0845 053 7417 

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Posted in Advisory Boards, Business Coaching, Corporate Governance, High Growth Business Coach, Non-Executive Directors, Peer Group Advisory Board, Profit Improvement