GDPR is 56 days away. What are you doing?

In 56 days the new European data privacy laws will come into effect. The exact date is May 25, 2018. But how prepared is your business and what steps do you need to be putting in place to protect your business?

In order to help you navigate the minefield that is GDPR, I thought I'd compile a list of useful sites which may you offer you some help and guidance. :

Wired magazine's What is GDPR? The need-to-know guide is a really nice primer on GDPR. Ideal for both those who've never heard of GDPR and those wanting a little more detail.

The Information Commissioner's Office has some very practical advice. Check out their 12 Steps To Take Now document.

The What is GDPR? section of the CIM website has practical tips and even has a selection of articles related to marketers (as it would!). You might find 7 GDPR tips marketers need to know a useful read.

Econsultancy have a long list of useful articles in their GDPR for marketers: best practice, tips and case studies. And you won't be surprised to find that, like the CIM, they also offer training on this!

Marketing Week takes a different approach and offers general marketing articles on the subject/tag GDPR, such as their take on Waterstones' decision to start from scratch with customer data. Did you know they deleted 700,00 customers emails!

This is an article written by Business Wales which also features links to workshops going on across the country How to Prepare your Business for the General Data Protection Regulation.

And this comprehensive article by Simply Business is also well worth a read: GDPR for small business

As many of you marketers may have guessed Dave Chaffey and his team at Smart Insights also have GDPR covered on their site. Take a look the article Implications of the GDPR for marketing in UK and Europe

Looking at SEO and PPC implications, you may find this discussion on Moz and this one on Search Engine Land of interest.

For you email folks out there Mailchimp has a couple of articles.

And Hubspot has a number of useful/insightful articles on their website, under the heading of GDPR Compliance

Congratulations to all our CIM and CAM Students

We are pleased to announce that yet again we have achieved a 100% pass rate across our CIM and CAM exams. And not just that but 80% got A's on our CIM courses and 65% and 35 got, respectively, A's and Bs on CAM. Well done to all our students. We know how much hard work you have put in and you thoroughly deserve these results. Well done guys!

Study the Professional Certificate in Marketing

We are pleased to announce that the Chartered Institute of Marketing has approved Marketing Tom Media to deliver the CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing from 2018. For us this qualification will replace the CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing which is being withdrawn in July 2018. Students have to complete 3 modules to earn the Certificate but each module is a bite-sized award in its own right.

The first course module - Marketing - will be rolled out in January, 2018 and will be followed by Integrated Communications in February and then Digital Marketing in March. As with all of our courses they will be run over 2 consecutive week days. However, unlike the CAM Diploma but similar to the Foundation Certificate, there will be one exam for the Marketing module and assignments for the other two modules.

Here's what CIM has to say about the qualification:

The aim of the CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing is to provide the practicing marketer with relevant, contemporary marketing content to equip them for the current global landscape. Learning is brought to life through meaningful and active assessment methods which embrace the modern marketing industry. Successful completion of the CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing will establish the knowledge, skills and understanding to be able to perform at an operational level and to carry out an essential and successful professional marketing role within the workplace.

So, what are the modules and what do they entail:

Marketing (mandatory) - The role and function of marketing in some depth, as well as what influences the behaviour of your customers. You will be able to apply and adapt a marketing mix to satisfy customer needs.

Integrated Communications (mandatory) - The many different ways of communicating with customers, both inside and outside the organisation.

And then you will do one elective (Marketing Tom is only offering the Digital elective):

Digital Marketing - How to apply practical knowledge, including the effective use of a digital marketing toolkit.

If you would like more information, please visit the Certificate in Professional Marketing page or give us a call on 02920 005778.

Social Media Spotlight on: Waterstones

On our Social Media courses we cover channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogging and we try to make sure that we keep content as up-to-date as possible. This means keeping an eye out, and making changes, to all sections of our presentation as and when required. So, when Facebook adds video capability to Facebook covers or when Twitter expands the character count to 280, we make sure that this is reflected in our course materials. On top of this, we also try to make sure that we present our students with as broad an array of social media examples as possible. We show them what Marks & Spencer, Foster and partners, Riverford, Imperial College, Maersk, the British Museum, General Electric, Square and many more are using social media channels.

One company that I have used over the years, and whose social media presence has caught my attention again recently, is Waterstones. This is a company that uses a number of different social media channels to reach out to it's target audience. We can see that they use it for customer acquisition, retention and conversion. With channels such as blogging, we can also see that they are also considering content marketing/search engine optimisation. As I have done with both Starbucks and Flavourly, I would now like to highlight how they are using the social media platforms. (more…)

Christmas Book Competition

Our Christmas Book Offer this year is Robert Cialdini's fabulous book Pre-Suasion - a must for all marketers. In order to enter this competition for 1 of 2 books, please complete the form below (only open to UK residents). The draw will take place on 21st December, 2017 at 12.00 pm.  Here are some of the reviews of this book:

"An essential tool for anyone serious about science based business strategies. Pre-Suasion is well worth the long wait, and is destined to be an instant classic. The book belongs on the shelf of anyone in business, from the CEO to the newest salesperson." (Forbes)

"A fascinating, fluent and original book from one of the giants of behavioural science." (Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist Strikes Back)

"Cialdini is no doubt the godfather of persuasion, and I wouldn't be surprised if Pre-Suasion causes another revolution in the influence arena … it is mind-blowing" (Management Today)

"An utterly fascinating read on how the most important drivers of persuasion aren't the words we choose in the moment, but how we set the stage beforehand. Robert Cialdini is the world's foremost expert on influence, and you will never look at it the same way again." (Adam Grant, author of Originals and Give and Take)

"Cialdini collates an impressive array of studies suitable for academic and general readers." (Books of the Year Times Higher Education)

Enter the book competition

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The draw will take place on 21st December, 2017 at 12.00 pm and we will announce the winners on this site and by email. Good luck!

30 Tips To Improve Your Twitter Account

So, you've to a Twitter account and, yes, you've got some Tweets but are you using Twitter to its full potential? Here are 30 relatively straightforward, and easy to implement, tips for giving your account a facelift, from header to bio and then tweets.

Twitter Header

Your Twitter header is the first thing that people see when they visit your Twitter account. Many organisations tend to use image which reflect the company's corporate image. Now, whilst this is fine you shouldn't feel that you have to adopt this approach. Just take a look at what Adidas, Fitbit, Tesco, Starbucks, Marks and Spencer, Foster and Partners, the Guggenheim, and Waterstones are doing today.

1. Change your Twitter header to reflect events, products, staff, new promotions. exhibitions, conferences or just for the season.

2. Use a free tool, with pre-set dimensions, like Canva to change it.

3. Why not use [Free] images from Unsplash or Pixabay?

4. Get some inspiration from Hubspot and Canva and Shutterstock

Twitter Bio

Your Twitter bio offers potential followers the ability to get an overview of you, the brand, campaign or company. It makes sense to clearly demonstrate to followers the reasons that they should follow you. Here are some ideas on what you could do:

5. Tell them who you are and what you do

6. Consider telling them what they may get out of following you - free tips, advice, offers, insights, knowledge, etc.

7. Consider using product/company features & benefits in your bio.

8. Make sure you add a link to your company profile.

9. BUT did you know you can add more links to your bio. Campaign links? Products links? Instagram?

10. Create Bitly links to your services/products.

11. Add your own custom shortened URLs (like

12. Emojis are flavour of the month - and visual - use them.

13. Use pipes “|” to separate information.

14. Use relevant hashtags for discovery.

15. Add links to related Twitter accounts. This is how Dell does it:


Tweets? Where do we start? Your Twitter updates have changed over the last month and Twitter now lets you write up to 280 characters. Surprisingly, it is quite enough especially if, like me, you have been tweeting for many years. So, what can you be doing to add some zing to your tweets. Here goes:

16. Use images where possible. Check out Riverford.

17. Use images which are local & relevant to your audience.

18. Consider using image collages (they are built in and all you need do is upload images). Look at this fabulous set of images from Visit Portugal.

19. You can add up to 4 images. Go ahead try them out.

20. You can tag up to 10 people in a tweet (make them count). Do you know any journalists or influencers who might like your tweets?

21. You have 280 characters to play with - be creative! Check out these great examples from Grammarly, this from Social Media Today and this from Mashable.

22. Use the white space. There's plenty of it, though many of us like to cram words in to long paragraphs/sentences.

23. Consider emojis. Starbucks love them!

24. Use custom shortened URLs - they can cost under £5.

25. Pin tweets to the top of your profile. Think about events, products, seasons, etc. Here's one from John Lewis.

26. Use hashtags for discovery. They are a great way for people to find you. And, with your 280 characters, and white space, you can even place them toward the end of your character count.

27. Think about broad hashtags and granular (or niche) hashtags. Notice the 2 types in this tweet: #impfringe is granular, whereas #engineering is broad - designed to pull a wider audience in.

28. Mention people (relevant & interested) in your tweets. You never know you may get retweets, likes or followers.

29. Start thinking about video. It's the future and it doesn't have to be complicated or costly.

30. Have you discovered animated GIF's? They can be aded to any tweet. Just click the tweet button in Twitter and then click "GIF". Just like Pizza Express did.

This is just a quick overview of some of the tweaks you can make. I know, and use, many more but please feel free to add your own ideas. That would be brilliant.

Related Articles

Tweet length increases from 140 to 280 characters
Social Media Spotlight On: Starbucks
Are You Making Digital Marketing Waves or Ripples?

Related Courses

Twitter Course
Social Media Marketing Course (London and Cardiff)

12 websites digital marketers should be reading

Photo by Ewan Robertson on UnsplashThe Internet is awash with blogs, news sites, and social media outlets but which websites can give you new insights and help to steal a lead over your competitors? We have compiled a list of 12 sites which we think will give you the competitive advantage. Bookmark them, follow them, Flip them or just visit them!


Wired has been around since the early 1990's and continues to offer cutting-edge articles on a range of subjects from business to culture. It is well-known for articles on the latest developments in technology. Gotta be one of my favourites!

Sample article: The Blockchain Explained

Harvard Business Review

An excellent read especially if you're looking for articles on strategy, working effectively and HR, to name but a few. Many of the articles are free though sometimes, for more in-depth articles, you will need to subscribe.

Sample article: Why a Gen-X CEO Hired a Millennial to Help Him Keep a Learning Mindset


There was a time when Fortune had a pure focus on "C-suite" business news. Like many other publications/websites it now seems to offering wider reading options, though many of its articles are aimed at chief executives, chief financial officers, etc.

Sample article: Here's Why Twitter Won't Suspend or Delete Donald Trump's Account

MIT Sloan Review

Fascinating articles on a range of subjects aimed at "academic researchers, business executives and other influential thought leaders about advances in management practice, particularly those shaped by technology, that are transforming how people lead and innovate." A very good read for those doing level 4 and level 6 CIM qualifications, along with marketing and business under/post graduates.

Sample article: Are You Taking the Wrong Approach to Digital Transformation?

Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Bloomberg produces titles on subject like markets, tech and business. Though quite a lot of the articles are US focused, often on US politics/business, there are still interesting reads to be found here.

Sample article: Facebook Is Still In Denial About Fake News


This magazine seems to have a focus on start-ups, franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs. You will find the usual "get rich" and investment articles but you'll also find interesting articles on digital marketing and interview tips, networking and tips on growing your business.

Sample article:  The Face of Intelligent Marketing? Your Customer


A quick look at the sections of this American website/magazine will give you an idea of the primary focus of its articles: Startup, Lead, Grow, Innovate and Technology. Articles are often varied, relatively easy and short to read.

Sample Article5 Productivity Tips to Get Your Work Done (Now That It's Dark at 4 P.M.)


Guess what? It's about advertising! Anything and everything to do with advertising. It also has a healthy mix of articles relating to digital marketing which is always of interest to our clients. Stats and case studies make it of interest to students.

Sample articleThese Digital Billboards From McDonald’s Change Depending on How Bad the Traffic Is

Fast Company

This is one of my favourite magazines (alongside Wired) and, as their site says, "Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, with a unique editorial focus on innovation in technology, leadership, world changing ideas, and design". So, there you have it!

Sample article: For Amazon, The Future Of Alexa Is About The End Of The Smartphone Era

Entrepreneurship - NY Times

Entrepreneurs, start-ups, innovation, funding and small business - these are the topics you will find on this website. Like its parent site, the Entrepreneur section offers meaty and interesting articles which are also well-written. Not as frequent as others but worth a read.

Sample articleA Paintbrush in One Hand, and a Drink in the Other


If Big data, Cloud, Deals, Dev, Enterprise, Entrepreneur, Gaming, Mobile, Security, Small Biz, and Social float your boat then Venture Beat may be the place for you to check out. Definitely worth a read.

Sample article: AI Weekly: Digital assistants are changing business, but they still need human help


TechCrunch covers the business side of technology. When news breaks about the latest digital innovations/disruptions TechCrunch is often the first to break it. Its Crunchbase offers great insights into people, investments and companies in the tech industry. Another "must-read" publication.

Sample articleTwitter fixes another important problem with support for 50-character usernames

Tweet length goes from 140 to 280 characters

Yesterday Twitter increased its character count from the famous 140 characters to 280 characters. It would appear they carried out a trial among a small group of users in September but have now rolled it out to the majority of users. According to Twitter:

Historically, 9% of Tweets in English hit the character limit. This reflects the challenge of fitting a thought into a Tweet, often resulting in lots of time spent editing and even at times abandoning Tweets before sending.

Twitter also found through this experiment that:

more space makes it easier for people to fit thoughts in a Tweet, so they could say what they want to say, and send Tweets faster than before.

You might think that doubling the character limit to 280 may result in people using up this limit but what was interesting was that Twitter found that only 5% went over the 140 character limit and 2% went over 190 characters. In terms of engagement the folks at Twitter also found that:

In addition to more Tweeting, people who had more room to Tweet received more engagement (Likes, Retweets, @mentions), got more followers, and spent more time on Twitter. People in the experiment told us that a higher character limit made them feel more satisfied with how they expressed themselves on Twitter, their ability to find good content, and Twitter overall.


Is the CIM Foundation Certificate for you?

Marketing Tom will soon be delivering to its 3rd cohort of Foundation Certificate in Marketing students. We are pleased to say that so far, students who have sat the course, have all passed - most with A's and B's.

So, is the course for you? The aim of the CIM Level 3 Foundation Certifcate in Marketing is to equip you with the skills, knowledge and understanding to perform professionally when you are new to marketing. The great thing about this, and many other CIM qualifications, is that they bring learning to life through meaningful assessments which refect the demands of the modern industry. As a result, you will develop a good understanding of the wider role of marketing and learn practical skills which can be applied to future career progression.

And, who is it aimed at? The CIM Level 3 Foundation Certifcate in Marketing is aimed at those either in a job that already involves marketing or those who wish to fnd out about marketing with the intention of starting out on a marketing career. It is ideal for people at all stages of their career, especially managers in a non-marketing function, entrepreneurs, apprentices and those starting out in their marketing careers.

What should you do next? Head over to our CIM Foundation Certificate in Marketing page where you can book on to the course, download a brochure or just enquire for more information.