Exhibitors // Nesma

Posted on March 27, 2018

Exhibitor Q&A: nesma

The North East Sales and Marketing Academy - or nesma - is situated on Lansdowne Terrace, just along from Gosforth High Street. The organisation runs marketing and communications courses in the North East, Scotland and Cumbria.

They’re the only study centre in the region to be accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI).

Ahead of nesma's appearance as Exhibitors (and her role as a guest speaker) at People Power 2018, we asked Managing Director Veronica Swindale a few questions:


Q: As an exhibitor, what attracted you to People Power 2018?

My passion is learning, and I love sharing my learning with others.  People are what makes the world go round so to attend an event which is all about people made this conference an obvious choice.

Adam Bryant interviewed over 700 leading executives in America for his book Corner Office asking them, “What qualities do you see most often in those who succeed?” Overwhelmingly, they responded: passionate curiosity. And this is something we try to inspire in all our delegates.

Everything we do at nesma is aimed at building knowledge and skills and empowering individuals by having a choice. We aim to help them to take control of their career by increasing their understanding of marketing as an important business function. I am also a member and vice chair of the CIM North East Regional Board which seeks to connect, upskill and build relationships between marketers within the region.


Q:  What’s the origin of nesma?  How did it all come into being?

Helping individuals and organisations succeed with new skills is core to why I set up nesma over 8 years ago. I wanted to create outstanding opportunities for individuals to learn, develop, and realise their full potential.

Working for other employers I had always felt that I wanted to run things differently so having the opportunity to set up nesma was the chance I needed to make something work really well.


Q: Is there anything that nesma has achieved that you take particular pride in?

The value of additional training and education is filled with many opportunities and rewards. The opportunities for me have been that I have met some interesting and courageous people and the constant reward is seeing careers develop with the new skills nesma students have acquired. I’ll admit if I see I a career progression post on Linkedin by former and existing students, I take pride in the fact that nesma might just have played a small part in that!

In February our students achieved an incredible 97% pass rate in their assignments and exams they submitted to the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). The submissions ranged from Level Four (Foundation degree) to Level Seven (Postgraduate degree). And if you look at the exams alone, nesma students achieved above the global average in 90% of the papers sat! This achievement was followed up with five more commendations from CIM.

Having started from scratch, I am very proud that nesma is now recognised by CIM as one of the Top Seven CIM study centres in the UK.

Q: What’s the greatest strength of your company?

We always think customer first. Then devise ways of making sure we can deliver to the customer’s’ needs.  We achieve this by making sure we have the best people for the job in terms of training and consultancy.   We are also flexible and friendly so people know that if they come to us we will do our utmost to make programmes work for them, whether that means working around a football or rugby training schedule, childcare or even bringing your dog to class!

Our evolving programme of courses and qualifications means we move with the needs and wants of the market:  so we recently added video marketing, Working with Bloggers, a GDPR Fundamentals standard programme and a suite of Microsoft Office workshops to our portfolio of short courses. And we are one of only 7 CIM study centres in the world accredited to deliver the CIM Marketing Leadership Programme.

Q: Which subject is closest to your heart: PR, Marketing, or “other”?

I’m most definitely a marketing strategist at heart, and I have to admit teaching the Marketing Leadership Programme has really fired me up.

At every level or discipline, marketers are in a difficult position, their job is to get stuff done, and this involves a significant amount of influencing skills at every level to be successful and the Marketing Leadership Programme really starts to address this.

There is every kind of management - team management, people management, strategic management, communications management. Do you lead from the front or behind? Our delegates working on the current CIM Marketing Leadership Programme are finding it invaluable in encouraging them to stop, think, reflect and then plan rather than charging headlong into the day-to-day reactive marketing that most of us are guilty.

If we have to talk about the ‘other’ my recently acquired passion for rugby union, which has coincided with starting to work with the Rugby Players’ Association’s player development programme.  It is through these connections that we are proud to be supporting Tamara Taylor, former captain of England’s women’s rugby who is also speaking at People Power.

Q:  As well as exhibiting at People Power with nesma, you’re also one of the guest speakers at the event.  What will the subject be?

 I’ll be talking about “Who is managing your marketing and are they up to the job”?

We meet too many people who are expected to ‘do the marketing’ of the business without any previous experience.  Clearly we can work with these blank canvases.

Your team needs to be as highly competent, action-oriented, customer-centric and revenue accountable as you are - so having a strategy and clear objectives is critical. These need to be based on a firm foundation of market research, customer insights and a defined value proposition which provides value to your customers and value to your business.

Often marketing is still perceived to be more concerned with creativity than business results and I will continue to campaign for it to be valued as a “critical” business function.


For the latest news on courses and business events, follow nesma on Twitter.

People Power 2018 takes place on June 6 - from 09:00 to 16:00 - in the Platinum suite at St James’ Park.

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