About Simon McNidder

I help implement CRM. But how on earth did I get here?   

Where it all began

It all started in 1998.  I was running the events and mailings for the Accountants Price Waterhouse (Midlands) when they merged with Coopers & Lybrand to become PricewaterhouseCoopers.  I said to the new Midlands Marketing boss “all our events, mailings, and database are duplicated”, to which he replied “you’ve got that job”.  I didn’t even know a database career existed until then, but I soon knew this was for me.  After sorting them out, I joined the law firm Pinsent Curtis (now Pinsent Masons), in 2000 just after their merger, to set them up with a marketing database.

I reduced their 50 mailing lists into one and turned the ‘name and address information’ into powerful, segment-able information (adding email address, job titles & profiling information such as; responsibility areas, seniority level, and interests of the contacts). Having this new data gave us immediate benefits (the first mailing had an immediate work instruction and another event invite had about 350% uptake in response rates). Pinsents then merged three times in the next four years, so I went through the process of incorporating the data and users each time.  Eight years later I helped Pinsent Masons merge with McGrigors (Scotland’s largest Law firm) to become a 2,500 person firm.  After sorting out their data, processes and new CRM system, I left to setup Database First Aid Ltd.

On a personal note, I've spent five years volunteering on my kid's PTA committee. It gives my youngest a great big smile when he sees Daddy manning the sweet stall, organising the school Disco or, simply waving the leaflet at me when he gets picked up - informing the kids and parents about the Summer or Christmas fair - asking me 'is this the one you did Daddy?'. And if you ever go to one of your school events, don't forget the parents are running these thing for the good of your kids, for free, and that everything you give, does indeed go back into the school coffers!  So do give plenty if you can afford it at your next school event - your money pays for things like iPads, climbing frames, the 'coach' on the coach trips, event the 'Mrs xyz thinks I'm a star' stickers when the kids have done well.

I also help out on the odd event at my local Beavers / Cubs / Scouts club - to ensure that they have enough helpers so it doesn't close down and they can do the extra events. Did you know that the Birmimgham Sea Life centre does sleep overs?  Nor did I until my cub group needed another adult to even out the numbers.  One of the most tiring nights of my life that!  40 exciting kids trying to get to sleep with the fishes swimming overhead.  Brilliant experience though.

Back onto work... I'm also the West Midlands Regional Director of the PM Forum, a networking group helping marketing types in professional services network and learn new skills so they can climb up the career ladder.  Speakers and visitors always welcome and I, as well as the rest of the regional committee are always looking for feedback.


A summary of my CRM related achievements are:

  • 21+ year’s experience of making CRM & marketing databases work

  • Masters degree in Strategic Marketing (MSc)

  • 'Fellow' of the IDM – The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (my professional association)

  • Written numerous articles & presented seminars on CRM


CRM Awards (in 2004 whilst in-house CRM Database Manager)

  • WON: LEMA award (LEgal MArketing by InBrief magazine) “Best use of IT to support marketing”

  • WON: CRM ‘all industries’ award “Best CRM project for a small & medium sized organisation”

  • FINALIST: National Business Awards 2004 (First Direct won)


Examples of past CRM projects

  • Migrated marketing departments from letters to eMail

  • Merged 100’s of lists and duplicated contacts into one

  • Developed and implemented processes and protocols

  • Developed training materials: UserGuides, eLearning VideoClips, seminars & workshops 

  • Increased email response rates up to 300% ('responses' - not just clicks rates!)

  • Helped Event teams; target, increase delegate booking numbers and manage responses easily

  • Setup ‘inbox’ alerts to give fee earners an ‘easy way to review activity with their contacts’

  • Turned basic name and address data into ‘knowledge’ with verified details and interests


Testimonials & Feedback on CRM projects

Quotes from past colleagues & contacts 

  • “He sees beyond the technology to the human side”

  • “He possesses the patience and persuasive charm to encourage organisations to buy into change and take-up of new systems”

  • “He has a knack for keeping it simple for users but delivering real business insight and lucrative actions from the database”

  • “Simon is enthusiastic, resilient and makes things happen. His knowledge of CRM systems is second to none. A true expert”

  • “It is rare to find a self-confessed database geek with such a good sense of humour and such a good grasp on how IT can be used to really support the business”

  • “I've not used a system this easy for a long time, or with such good quality data”

  • “What Simon doesn't know about CRM in professional services and database systems management isn't worth knowing! Simon is constantly pushing the boundaries of CRM in professional services and does so with considerable patience and good humour”

  • “Having undertaken projects with many professional services firms, I can say hand-on-heart that Simon's input into [company name]’s CRM strategy makes for one of the most effective I have come across”


Past 'users' of the CRM Databases I've managed have said this...

  • "The [database] team helped us to boost bookings on our (pay per head) training courses significantly this year with targeted mailings…. and has resulted in direct revenue growth"

  • "..[the database] seems to me to have one distinguishing feature from all other marketing databases I have encountered. It works in practice for users"

  • "[the database] is a fabulous system and I am sure pretty unrivalled"

  • "At the risk of sounding like teacher's pet, I am prepared to come out as a late convert. I recently went to a lunch and did my homework beforehand... I later realised that much of the information was all available on [the database]. It does work if you use it - and it is easy to use, even for the over forties... I confirm that, regrettably, I am not being paid to say this"

  • "I use it before visiting a client / preparing for new pitches in case it throws up useful information about who else might know the contact in the firm"

  • "[the database] opens up significant cross-selling opportunities for lawyers from different departments to work together in obtaining further work from existing clients"

  • “...useful to read past meeting notes with the clients before you meet them”

  • "We used the information in it to shape agenda for panel kick-start meetings"


Readers of my CRM Hints & Tips say this about it...

  • "You're hints are bang on the money"

  • "I do read and enjoy your suggestions. About the only feed I do” 

  • "Easy to digest and put into practice - simple, intuitive and short"

  • "Priceless"

  • "Surprisingly insightful. Keep them coming"

  • "A refreshing insight into best practice"

  • "I would highly recommend anyone responsible for or working on a database to subscribe"


Simon McNidder contact details

email: simon@DatabaseFirstAid.com

tel: +44 (0) 7919 56 86 55

LinkedIn:  https://uk.linkedin.com/in/simonmcnidder



CRM in this website's case being; client relationship management / Customer relationship management / contact relationship management - depending on what your industry likes to call CRM...