I have been in marketing, as a client, agency director or consultant, for over 20 years. I also have an MBA and have been exposed to all of the influential marketing and business theories of the last three decades. Blue Ocean Strategy, Core Competencies, McKinsey 7S, the BCG Matrix, Value Disciplines, Porter’s Five Forces, Kanban, Lean and Agile. Read them, thought about them, even used some of them.

I have also been that client…….

…who paid a well-known consultancy a five-figure sum for advice on a strategic issue. We received a 90-minute presentation and a report print out which left us thinking two things:

  • We could probably have stitched this together from press cuttings.
  • We’re still none the wiser about what we should actually do, today, to deal with the issue.

How it began:

About five years ago, I met Valuable Content founder Sonja Jefferson at a Bristol Media event. Towards the end of our chat, she said ‘You should meet Bryony Thomas’.

A recommendation from Sonja clearly carries some weight with Bryony as she did agree to meet me. Unfortunately, a childcare emergency meant the meeting was postponed but I did buy her book, Watertight Marketing, when it came out. I didn’t actually read it. Well, I read the first three chapters, thought I should definitely read the rest, got horrendously busy and didn’t.

I followed Bryony on Twitter and her tweets were a regular reminder to finish the book, which I eventually did.

So why is Watertight Marketing Different?

Three principle things struck me reading the book:

  1. It is almost completely jargon free and talks about profit as goal of any activity, making it as readable to a CEO, MD or Financial Director as a marketing specialist. Clarity of language equals clarity of thought.
  2. It gives organisations clear direction on what they can do today, tomorrow, this week, this month to improve their profits. No-one reading it will be left thinking ‘what do I do now?’
  3. The idea of turning marketing on its head to fix issues with current and ex-customers before attempting to find new ones is so powerful.

I had a sense of this before reading the book but so often client briefs are about demand generation and driving traffic. They don’t necessarily want to hear that they’ll just be wasting swathes of their budget if they don’t fix problems with their process, or leaks as Bryony calls them.

And that convinced me to take the next step….

I realised how helpful this methodology could be to businesses small and large and signed up to apply Masterplan to my own business. Masterplan is an intensive deep dive into what makes Watertight Marketing so powerful and applicable.

The organisation assigns all Masterplanners an experienced partner to guide participants through the process. Mine was Cheryl Crichton who was in turn inspiring, cajoling and insightful.

I always intended to become Certified so I could make the most of the Watertight value with my clients. Last September’s inaugural Watertight Marketing conference was looming as I accelerated through the final modules in time to complete my assessment.

It was challenging, unquestionably, but I achieved Certification a few days before the conference began. Believe me, if you work with any Certified or Master Practitioner you will be working with someone who has been thoroughly tried, tested and trained!

What does this mean for you?

Understanding the Watertight Marketing methodology will give you confidence and clarity making marketing decisions. It is understandable and applicable for people across the marketing experience spectrum, from seasoned people like me to startup business owners with no real marketing track record.

If you want to develop an understanding of the methodology yourself, go to and scroll down to find useful resources. There are webinars you can sign up to, guides, short courses and downloads.  

Or maybe download a free digital chapter of the book here.

If you have a current marketing issue and you’d like some expert help, go to the Watertight Consultant Directory to choose someone to help or email Bryony herself, Everyone I have met in this community has been open, friendly and talented, consultants and clients alike!

It’s a slightly odd feeling to have been a marketer for so long and come across something so fresh and valuable but that has genuinely been my Watertight Marketing experience. This journey still has a long way to run!

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