Quentin Crowe, our Chief Learning Officer, is an award-winning marketer with more than 25 years' experience.

Developing the Association of Investment Marketers (AIM) suite of courses and events he brings his skills and experience as a coach, facilitator, mentor, trainer and consultant to develop the unique format and content that AIM has become known for. Quentin is a familiar face to all those who attend our courses and events, facilitating the Induction and Academy programmes, hosting the Future Leaders and coaching all Leadership attendees.


Lessons from History

Why now is the time to invest in upskilling……

These are strange times.  Everything feels odd and unfamiliar.  It is unlikely that much will be the same again and we must all ask ourselves:

  • How do we survive until Covid 19 subsides?
  • What will the new business landscape look like?
  • What skills we will need to thrive in the brave new world that emerges?

'The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history'

George Hegel

If the future is so uncertain, surely it is illogical to believe there are any lessons we can learn from history? I would suggest we can.

There are similar patterns to the '2008 crash' already emerging and I believe there are lessons to be learned for the more optimistic.

Corporates are currently freezing marketing and training budgets and naturally employees are concerned about their long-term futures. History might repeat itself, albeit on a much bigger scale.

Back in 2008 I was running a marketing training company. Whilst corporates were cutting marketing costs, to our surprise many charities were actually doing the opposite- they were increasing their marketing and training spend.

Unlike supposedly more commercial big businesses, many charities recognised the causal link between revenue and marketing spend. In a recession, charities would have to fight harder for every pound donated, so the more enlightened upskilled their marketing function.

Inevitably in a recession, marketers of all levels will be let go. In 2008 there was a lag of approximately nine months after the initial round of redundancies before seeing a significant upsurge in self-funded (rather than company-funded) training. Many individuals waited far too long before investing in themselves.

Lessons for Employers

Those organisations that did maintain and even increased their marketing and training budgets in a recession, gained competitive advantage.  This argument is supported by various studies, notably the Profit Impact of Marketing Strategy (PIMS) database which concluded that stronger brands outperform weaker ones in times of recession.

When the financial upturn started to emerge around 2010, those organisations that had continued to invest in their marketing function surged ahead.

Meanwhile, those organisations who had reduced marketing related costs were playing catch-up.  They also found themselves in a headlong (and expensive) rush to acquire talent.

Lessons for Employees

Back in 2008-9 far too many employees were passive.  They waited to receive redundancy payments before doing anything, let alone investing in themselves. They had no clear strategy to regain employment.  Eventually they invested in coaching, mentoring and training, but had fallen behind in the interim.

The more proactive persuaded their employers of both the vital importance of the marketing function as part of the survival strategy.  They also persuaded their employers to upskill the marketing team to ensure competitive advantage when the economy turned.

For those individual marketers that were made redundant, the successful ones invested in themselves early.  Those that waited and were reactive, struggled.


These are extraordinary times.  Those organisations and individuals who are brave enough to invest in their marketing skills will be in a much stronger position to take advantage of the extraordinary changes that we must all face.

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