Help to Grow: Management Course | Kingston University

3 Pillars of Content Marketing Strategy

We all heard of Nike’s “Just do it” or California Milk Processor board, “Got milk” and other popular marketing campaigns that changed the landscape of business world. Those would not have been successful without having marketing strategies in place that distinctively identified their customers, segmented, and targeted the most receptive of them, and positioned their business at the right place in their customers’ life. But would they still win if they were to use the same content marketing strategy as they used decades ago?

Probably not.

But being an SME in a hyper-competitive business world, it is even more critical to have a targeted content marketing strategy as small or medium sized ventures tend to run on shoestring resources. So how can businesses still cleverly utilise their resources and reach their customers at the same time?

Robert Rose, a bestselling author of ‘Managing Content Marketing’ has some frameworks for SMEs. In an interview on Marketing over coffee podcast, Robert highlighted his 3 strategic pillars of content marketing.

First, coordination How we coordinate the content we create in a business and how we create what a business wants to say is to be the single biggest challenge, he said, its function is to establish charters of teams and define what those teams do. It is also to plan out the operational models and set some clear goals for the teams.

Then, comes, managing platforms.

He said the marketing platforms are the experiences themselves. How we manage our website, our emails, newsletters, blog or event – determines how effective our communication strategy is.

The last pillar is a bridge that conjoins first two pillars. It is all about establishing workflow systems and essentially making sure that coordination is efficient, and management of these platforms is also going smooth.


Help to Grow: Management Completion Ceremony 2024

Help to Grow Management course is a 90% government-funded leadership growth programme for SME leaders, delivered by industry experts at Kingston University Business School.

On 27th March, as the sun sat on another year of business growth, it was time for us to gather and celebrate the remarkable achievements of our graduating cohorts of Year 3 Help to Grow: Management Course. This completion ceremony wasn’t just a symbolic gesture; it’s a testament to the commitment, hard work, and growth each SME leader has exhibited throughout their journey.


Following the musical welcome by Yao and Mihkel, Dr. Bahare Afrahi, Director Help to Grow Management at Kingston University and founder of Innovation Playground Kingston University Business Training, welcomed everyone. Dr. Afrahi gave a moving speech acknowledging the commitment of each SME leader and reiterated the importance of a strategic and innovative approach to growth. She also shared her views on innovative thinking and reminded of life as a pie to measure the quality of a life – if one section gets bigger, the others shrink.

Soon after the welcome speech, Help to Grow Speakers, Glenn Bowering and Juan L Soon joined Dr. Afrahi and handed out certificates to graduating SME leaders from a diverse background.

Among the graduating SME leaders, were Jennifer Walker, who is the Head of Growth at Bandstand and Tamsyn Jefferson-Harvey who runs a Business Accountancy Business joined by Jess Guard, Steve Bushill, Saša Gostić, Natalja Petkune, Conor Bath and many others. Graduating participants commented how the Alumni network, 1.2.1 business mentoring and networking opportunities make Help to Grow Management a unique knowledge exchange programme and bring invaluable support to SME leaders to last a lifetime.

Paula Middleton, Executive Consultant at Centre for Political & Diplomatic Studies Ltd, and Help to Grow Alumni, also attended and received a certificate on behalf of her colleague Marketta Brennan. Paula shared how this leadership management course has transformed her business growth. She highlighted how the applied learning of strategic innovation from Help to Grow has driven the success of CPDS.

Ahead of the networking event, Andrei Ceteras, our Help to Grow Alumni, founder and director of Medukcare spoke about the impact of Help to Grow Management on his domiciliary care business and shared a valuable insight on his business growth journey. He commended how the valuable knowledge of Kingston University speakers that helped transform his business post-covid and increased it revenue by 250% in 1 year.


To register for May cohort:


Kingston Business School, Kingston University | Small Business Charter

Winning New Markets

Winning new markets is all about innovative and strategic thinking. It’s obvious to look at what your competitors are doing, but do you also know what your business’ substitutes sectors are? You understand who you are selling to, but have you also explored across the chain of buyers?

Back in 2011, UK’ biggest book retailer was struggling to keep its head up, drowning in the sea of defeated sales and entering the blackhole of bankruptcy, until something happened.

James Daunt, an investment banking professional, owner of Daunt books then took charge of the book retailer chain and rewrote the story of Waterstones’ success.

What did he do to combat bankruptcy and how did he do it?

Along with several changes as small as the presentation of a bookshelf and as big and complex as rethinking the business model and cutting head office cost; Waterstones was competing with the then-emerging phenomena of eBooks readership. As the eBook sales were soaring, the physical books sales were dropping. It is then Daunt identified an untapped market which was looking across complimentary products and services.

This untapped market was comprised of cafegoers and coffee-drinkers.

So, Daunt focused on opening their own independent-looking cafés and kissed-goodbye to costa. This alone has attracted a big and consistent influx of people into their bookstores and saved Waterstones from the brink of bankruptcy. In the last decade, Waterstones has expanded to over 300 bookstores and hundreds of its own cafes. This has been an important yet un-highlighted strategic offerings of food and beverages of Waterstones.

There were questions which required innovative solutions.

How can we bring a potential buyer inside the bookshop who wouldn’t normally go? Rethinking ways to get to customers.

Who is our customer? Reimagining the potential target market.


How can we add value to existing visitors who are buying our books but due to an added value, they would be willing to spend more, buy more, connect more? Looking across the emotional appeal to buyers.

The famous high street book retailer has also opened several independent bookshops without using its branding to expand its target market from book-buyers to small and independent bookshop supportive buyers. It has expanded dramatically and has also gone international.

So now the questions for you being an SME leader,

Where is your business standing?

Have you explored creating a new market for your business?

Learn more about internationalisation and winning new markets in our Module 3.