Racing the Donkey
When you find the right marketing person you’ll do a lot to keep them right?
Well we have found a somewhat unusual and creative way of retaining and paying for the services of a marketing Guru, Chris Weatherhead.
Lets back up a little to set the scene. Gyles Denn (me) joined the Evidential team in September 2015 and to understand this blog you will need to know a little bit about me. Among other things I am an Alpinist which is a fancy way of saying I’m a mountaineer and I’ve climbed all over the world, with super alpine (winter alpinism) being my main passion.
I also know Chris original through Mountain Rescue (MR), I’ve been in a team or delivering training for various teams over 17 years now. Chris joined MR around five years ago and we have been good friends ever since. Which gave us at Evidential a head start in securing Chris’ expertise, but good business is not always about purchasing expertise in the traditional manner.
One of my recent roles prior to joining Evidential was supporting businesses to develop, and I’ve always advocated bartering for services. So of course thats the approach I took. Now Chris’ time is understandably expensive but so is my ‘Mountain time’. So Chris was only to happy to barter expertise for expertise.
Chris being an aspirant mountaineer himself was keen to learn the ropes (pun intended) with one of the first objectives being Mont Blanc, Chamonix, France. For a weeks worth of marketing expertise I provided a weeks guiding in the Alps and a lot of training in the UK.
In truth as friends, Chris would have supported us and I would have naturally passed on my experience and shared adventures in the mountains with him, but that would have spoiled the blog and of course this perceived bartering gave me a week in Alps without loosing a weeks leave (I’m sure my boss dosn’t read this…..).
After some fantastic days cragging in the UK and climbing many classic winter routes, we headed to the Alps first week in September 15. After some acclimatisation miles/climb under our feet it was time to tackle Mont Blanc.
Long story short, the weather system endearingly known as the Donkey arrived 24 hours early and never left causing us to retreat in full storm conditions but meaning Chris gained some real mountaineering skills, rather than simple sunny summit push.