Exporting is great

Here, Barry Aldridge MCIM and Head of Marketing for a UK based hydraulics and pneumatics manufacturer to an international client portfolio discusses the benefits of engaging with the Department for International Trade.

Digital Expo 2015

On the 5th November 2015, I was fortunate enough to attend the East Midlands Digital Expo held at Leicester Tigers stadium.

The event was incredibly busy and upon entering the venue I recognised some familiar faces. Engagement was made with industry colleagues prior to walking into the conference room and finding a seat. On-going initiatives with D2N2 have resulted in some of the 2015 expo event organisers becoming friends.

Geoff Ramm was particularly entertaining and discussed how to make a marketing campaign memorable even after thirty years since initial inception. Using the Milk Tray brand as an example, I was one of many within the room who raised their hand with regards to remembering the timeless advertisement.

Ian Lockwood entered the stage and delivered an impeccably experienced view regarding Google paid advertising as well as overall developments in SEO.

Liam Lally provided a topical overview regarding all things social media.

Regular readers of my content know it was this event that introduced me to Amy of Microsoft who enthusiastically demonstrated the future of internet connectivity to the audience. 

This particularly poignant presentation opened my mind to the subject matter of IoT which resulted in applying my learnings to commercial tender exercises requiring digital solutions.

After lunch, Ian Harrison of (then) UKTI gave a talk focusing upon e-exporting. I found Ian’s speech incredibly insightful as at the time I was launching a new product range to market, whereby the business owner was keen to explore exporting opportunities.

The overall conference was hugely beneficial and filled me with excitement regarding a rapidly changing digital landscape coupled with export potential. The Digital Expo acted as a platform for me to progress my career to the next level.

Further down the line

2016 saw me display an interest in the rail industry as well as nurture a desire to return to a British owned manufacturing environment. When planning to join Tidyco, I remembered Ian Harrison’s presentation and connected with him on LinkedIn.

Already developing a marketing strategy, I was confident that export would be a primary focus and it felt important to engage with the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Upon starting my role at Tidyco, there was evidence of previous DIT collaboration. I frequently discuss the benefits of stakeholder engagement and the support from this particular service provision has been exceptional.

Catherine Appleby was invited to Tidyco early on; not only to introduce myself but also to discuss marketing plans for the business.

Catherine had worked with the company previously and as such was fully aware of all products supplied to the rail industry.

Our first meeting was spent in the server room due to all other rooms being fully booked – sorry Cat!

It did seem appropriate though as I was discussing the recently launched e-commerce platform and resulting export activity.

Considering Tidyco’s involvement with online sales, Ian Harrison’s presentation feels even more relevant in my current job function. The Get Glocal publication demonstrates substantial benefits regarding online trading and the DIT has been instrumental in supporting digital initiatives.

I benefited from valuable advice when writing Thinking down the line as well as receiving guidance regarding where best to find international contract opportunities. Catherine always shows enthusiasm whenever discussing Tidyco marketing endeavours.

Importantly, substantial knowledge has been provided about funding opportunities. The DIT works incredibly hard to support all of its clients and I regard Catherine to be a member of the Tidyco team.

International trade plays an important part of the overall strategy and the DIT will be intrinsic to on-going export success.

The wider industry has been incredibly welcoming to me and it brings a smile to my face when considering that I have always had a passion for trains and now work in rail!

Coincidentally, Catherine and I are members of the Board of Directors for the Midlands Rail Forum which strengthens on-going collaboration.

Significantly, the DIT is always on-hand to support Tidyco with its on-going growth strategy. I consider the Department for International Trade to be a value added service provision, helping businesses of all sizes.


About the author

Barry Aldridge MCIM

Head of Marketing at Tidyco Limited and member of the Board of Directors for Midlands Rail Forum.