s Marketing Focus: Here's looking at you, kid! | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 29/07/2011         Volume. 3 No. 7   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the August 2011 edition of i2P- Information to Pharmacists.
Direct distribution by pharmaceutical manufacturers is back in the news once more.
This disruptive attack on an efficient community pharmacy business model must be checked before it gets too far out of hand.
Neil Retallick discusses some of the issues as does Mark Coleman in the Pharmedia section of i2P.
Read and see what you can do to help.

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for August 2011

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P.
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated.

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Pipeline

Pipeline for August 2011

Pipeline Extras

A range of global and local news snippets and links that may be of interest to readers.
Pipeline Extra simply broadens the range of topics that can be concentrated in one delivery of i2P to your desktop.

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Feature Contribution

Pfizer Direct - the Implications as other Manufacturers look at this channel

Neil Retallick

Pfizer is working hard to improve its direct supply model, but no matter how efficient it becomes, it will still wreak havoc in community pharmacies.
It is almost a case of the more effective Pfizer’s logistics become, the more damage their direct supply model will inflict on community pharmacies.
The issue here has never been whether or not Pfizer can supply the right drugs at the right time to the right place.
If they lack the will to make this happen, there is a multitude of logistics experts that can help them achieve efficient supply.
Recent relaxation of order cut-off times is an indicator that Pfizer wants their model to be accepted by pharmacists and is willing to make concessions to meet their needs.

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Pharmacists - where are you when we need you?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

New parents are congregating  at alternative practitioner clinics for after-hours 'information' seminars, eager to learn anything they can do to improve their families health and wellbeing.  Seniors and major illness patients are attending meetings to learn how to better manage their illnesses.   But what advice are they being given and why is their local pharmacist not there to support them?
People want to feel they are in control of their health.  When they are told about a lecture on lifestyle and health education, they will turn up in droves to listen to what their friendly neighbourhood natural therapist has to say.

Comments: 2

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A conflict between selling complementary medicines and providing evidence based clinical medical reviews?

Dr Linda Bryant (PGDipPharm, MPharm, DPharm(Auck), FACPP, FNZCP, FPSNZ, MCAPA)

First came the randomised controlled trial1,which linked calcium supplementation with vascular events, then there was a meta-analysis linking calcium with cardiovascular events2 and then a further confirmatory meta-analysis of calcium plus Vitamin D and using individual patient data.3
The conclusions were reasonably secure that calcium supplements are likely to increase the risk of a cardiovascular event. It is now advised that people obtain their calcium intake by dietary means – which is feasible even for those who do not consume a lot of dairy products. General practitioners have now stopped prescribing calcium, leaving me confused as to what arguments are being used by the community pharmacists who continue to sell the calcium supplements.

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Post- discharge Home Medicines Reviews

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

Through the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement hospital initiated HMRs will now be available for high-risk patients recently discharged from hospital. This is an important step in addressing the fact that patients recently discharged from hospital are at risk of medication misadventure. The question I would like to raise is who is best placed to undertake these HMRs. The traditional model of HMR referral has been through a General Practitioner (GP) to the consumer’s community pharmacy. Under this model the HMR may be undertaken by an accredited pharmacist directly involved with or employed by the community pharmacy or be outsourced to an independent accredited pharmacist. Under the 5th Community Pharmacy Agreement this model has now been modified to enable direct referral from a GP to an accredited pharmacist and also direct referral from a hospital based medical practitioner for a newly discharged patient. The traditional model will continue in tandem with this new model.

Comments: 2

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Make sure your perspective is perceptive

Harvey Mackay

We've reached a point in our country's history where authority and power seem to be manifested by the need to shout down the other person.  Discussion and compromise are words freely bandied about, but they've largely lost their meaning. 
What is really lost is perspective.
Just as there are two (or more) sides to every story, there are plenty of different ideas on how to get things done.  No one person has a corner on that market.

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Fingers crossed as FDA considers drug bar code packaging rule

Mark Neuenschwander

I’ve been thinking about baseball, movies, ambiguous bar codes, and the FDA.
On June 26, 1974, New York Yankee All-Star Derek Jeter was born, two-time Academy Award winner Elizabeth Taylor divorced (for the fifth time), and Sharon Buchanan, a young grocery clerk in Troy, Ohio, was the first ever to ring up a retail purchase by scanning a bar code. On the same day in 2011, I drove from Arlington, Virginia, to Silver Spring, Maryland, to meet with people at the FDA to talk about the future of bar-code labeling on drug packaging.

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More Shocks and Economic Pain

Barry Urquhart

There are more shocks and economic pain on the near-term horizon for taxpayers, small business owners and corporations.
This is a key finding of an extensive and intensive strategic analysis undertaken by Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus, who will deliver a keynote address on the analysis at the forthcoming annual national conference for the Australian Mining and Exploration Companies Association.
Among the significant points which have been identified are: -

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Marketing Focus: Here's looking at you, kid!

Barry Urquhart

AUSTRALIA'S OWN SILICON VALLEY

"Wealth....Innovation. Creativity. Originality. Dynamism. Growth. Capital. Technology."

Silicon Valley is both a name and locality known throughout the world and is synonymous with each of the above listed attributes. It means and is perceived to be many things to many people.
Since the 1960's Silicon Valley has been the birthplace of many scenario changes, iconic products, services, concepts and business entities. In itself it is a magnet which attracts some of the world's brightest, most enterprising, free thinking and driven entrepreneurs.
The Federal and State governments, in Washington DC and California, have welcomed, encouraged and supported investment in countless large and small, established and start-up businesses to enable them to blossom and to create wealth, employment, education and opportunities.
Financial injections and tax relief/incentives have been provided in abundance.
Everyone, it seems, is a winner.

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No success without access

Harvey Mackay

Over the years I've asked a lot of people what makes a great salesperson, and the answers are fairly predictable:  passion; persistence; personality/likeability; planning; trustworthiness; strong work ethic; drive/initiative; quick learner; goal-oriented; good communications skills; sense of humor; humility; good timing; strong at building relationships; and follow-up (or as I say, the sale begins when the customer says yes).
My own answer is always the same:  hungry fighter.  In many ways, that is the embodiment of all of the above traits.

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E-Health - High cost for very little return

Peter Sayers

Politicians in the UK are starting to wake up to the fact that their Department of Health is unable to deliver its electronic care records system, after investing 2.7 billion pounds sterling in the project without being able to demonstrate a single benefit of the system.
The project has suffered from the same problems that have beset a similar Australian project being developed by the National e-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA).
It is now recognised that the pitfalls and waste might have been avoided in the UK had they consulted a range of health professionals before starting the project.

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Question homeopathy’s remedies but not its approach

Staff Writer

It seems the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is likely to follow the lead of the UK and denounce homeopathy as an ineffective and unethical therapy that shouldn’t attract scarce government research funds.
This is within the remit of the NHMRC’s role to provide health advice to clinicians and the Australian public. But the NHMRC also funds the majority of health and medical research in Australia.
And this dual role means the NHMRC – or those looking to it for guidance – may look unfavourably at funding any research involving homoeopathy.
Homeophathy has its shortcomings but researchers still have a lot to learn from studying this practice. 

Written By Jon Wardle:NHMRC Research Scholar, School of Population Health at University of Queensland

Comments: 2

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Saving Lives at Birth

Staff Writer

United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has acknowledged Monash University researchers for a life-saving new drug concept at the Saving Lives at Birth global challenge forum held yesterday in Washington DC.
Following the forum, at which Monash University researcher Dr Michelle McIntosh spoke, the research team received funding to engineer a drug that could save the lives of mothers of newborn children in developing countries.

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UQ Law helps professionals deal with carbon tax challenge

Staff Writer

The University of Queensland is preparing for an increased uptake in post-graduate legal courses as lawyers, consultants and accountants prepare to implement the Government's carbon tax scheme, due to take effect in July 2012.
Head of the TC Beirne School of Law Professor Ross Grantham said he expected a significant demand for specialist skills in areas such as consumer law, contracts, taxation, climate change and policy, and mining and offshore resources law.

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Cholesterol drug may help diabetes sugar levels

Staff Writer

A medicine designed to improve levels of 'good' cholesterol may also help control blood sugar in people with diabetes who are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs, according to a recently published study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
The study, led by the University of Sydney's Professor Philip Barter, made the finding while analysing data from a clinical trial on the drug torcetrapib. Torcetrapib is a cholesterol ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor, a type of drug that increases levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs, or 'good' cholesterol).

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Microsoft grant boosts stroke, cardio disease detection devices

Staff Writer

A $100,000 Microsoft fellowship awarded to a lecturer leading the University of Sydney in the emerging field of bioelectronics will accelerate the development of electrical devices used to diagnose and monitor stroke and cardiovascular disease.

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Indigenous Science Education Program wins national award

Staff Writer

Macquarie University's innovative Indigenous Science Education Program has been recognised with an Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Award for Programs that Enhance Learning.
The Indigenous Science Education Program (ISEP) works with Casino, Lismore and Maclean High Schools in northern NSW and Chifley College in Western Sydney and has its origins in requests for help from Aboriginal Elders in addressing the poor completion rate of secondary education by their Indigenous youth.

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Karratha GP Super Clinic to Provide Better Health Services

Staff Writer

Residents of the West Pilbara will soon have better access to GPs and allied health professionals following the signing of a $7 million agreement with the Pilbara Health Network for a GP Super Clinic to operate in Karratha.
Acting Minister for Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, today welcomed the signing of the $7 million agreement as a welcome boost to health care in West Pilbara.
“This GP Super Clinic will deliver better access to health services for locals in a single, convenient location,” Mr Butler said.

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Stopping snoring cuts heart attack risk, researchers find

Staff Writer

Sleep apnoea patients who are successfully treated have lower blood fat levels and a reduced risk of heart attack than people who are left untreated, University of Sydney researchers have found.
Sleep apnoea, a condition in which people stop breathing momentarily while sleeping, affects up to 20 percent of the population. The researchers found treatment with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device reduced post-meal blood fat (triglyceride) levels.

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New Advisory Council to Boost Disease Prevention Efforts

Staff Writer

Moves to prevent the lifestyle risks of chronic disease in Australia have been boosted with the creation of an expert Advisory Council for the Australian National Preventive Health Agency.
Acting Minister for Health and Ageing Mark Butler today welcomed the appointment of 10 expert members to a new advisory council for the Agency in another significant step forward for national health reform.

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Researchers unveil body clock battle for Blind New Zealanders

Staff Writer

Nearly 3000 blind and partially-sighted New Zealanders could be suffering from undiagnosed sleep timing disorders according to a recent study from The University of Auckland.
The study, which was undertaken in conjunction with the Royal New Zealand Foundation of the Blind (RNZFB), was recently published in the journal PLosOne. It looked at self-reported sleep habits, sleep disruptions and medication use in people completely blind in one or both eyes; partially-sighted and fully-sighted.

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Stone Age Diet May Stop Ageing

Staff Writer

While some people may feel anxious about their body's condition as they age, US academician Professor Michael Rose has no qualms about it; claiming once individuals reach their 90s their bodies stop ageing.
According to Professor Rose, who is an expert in evolutionary biology, “if you are lucky enough to live that long, you stop ageing”.
To reach this point, he suggests adopting a 'stone age' diet when you hit 30 years of age.

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Forum told of seaweed’s bioproduct potential

Staff Writer

Commercial viability of high-value macroalgal (seaweed) bioproducts for human health is a step closer with a research collaboration between Flinders University biotechnologists and Australian Kelp Products.
Under the agreement, Flinders researchers will trial new processes developed at the University to create products for the food, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical industries.
These include marine sugars refined from seaweed that can have applications in anti-viral pharmaceuticals, functional cosmetics, and environmentally friendly agricultural pesticides and fertiliser.

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Flood Relief Funds Distributed – Pharmacists Supporting Pharmacists

Staff Writer

On behalf of the pharmacy profession of Australia, the Pharmacists’ Support Service (PSS) is pleased to announce that financial support for pharmacists affected by the floods, via the funds raised by the joint Pharmacists’ Support Service Inc and Pharmaceutical Society of Australia flood appeal, has now been distributed.  A total of 18 pharmacists were provided with financial assistance which was generously donated by their pharmacy colleagues from around Australia.

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Direct Distribution - the story continues to unfold

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: It was expected that other manufacturers would consider a direct distribution model after Pfizer had initiated a system that when developed, would appear to have most of the “bugs” knocked out of it.
The “who” and the “when” would then be the only unanswered questions.
i2P has covered a lot of the earlier discussion regarding this industry-changing decision, and in light of recent commentary, i2P has asked Mark Coleman to give us an update.
His comments appear below the media item in brown text published recently in Pharmacy News.

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Marketing Focus: Here's looking at you, kid!

Barry Urquhart

articles by this author...

Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus, Perth. Barry is an internationally recognised conference keynote speaker, facilitator of strategic planning workshops and marketing business coach.
Contact Barry: TEL:61 8 9257 1777 - EMAIL: urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au -
WEB: www.marketingfocus.net.au

AUSTRALIA'S OWN SILICON VALLEY

"Wealth....Innovation. Creativity. Originality. Dynamism. Growth. Capital. Technology."

Silicon Valley is both a name and locality known throughout the world and is synonymous with each of the above listed attributes. It means and is perceived to be many things to many people.
Since the 1960's Silicon Valley has been the birthplace of many scenario changes, iconic products, services, concepts and business entities. In itself it is a magnet which attracts some of the world's brightest, most enterprising, free thinking and driven entrepreneurs.
The Federal and State governments, in Washington DC and California, have welcomed, encouraged and supported investment in countless large and small, established and start-up businesses to enable them to blossom and to create wealth, employment, education and opportunities.
Financial injections and tax relief/incentives have been provided in abundance.
Everyone, it seems, is a winner.

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In Australia, we have our own Silicon Valley equivalent. It is a 1.6 square kilometre region in West Perth, Western Australia. This is the home of countless "greenfield" and start-up companies whose collective market capitalisations have been estimated to have grown from some $1 billion to exceeding $5 billion in the past three years, notwithstanding the Global Financial Crisis and its widespread cascading adverse financial consequences.

The West Perth postcode, 6005, is the address for small-cap mining companies and related service providers. Each is encountering impediments in their respective pursuits for growth and wealth creation. 

The Australian Labor Federal government has been active in endeavouring to introduce the suppressing Mining Rent Resource Tax, Carbon Tax, and to reintroduce of union-oriented workforce relations, legislation and regulations. Wayne Swan, arguably Australia's first-ever financially illiterate treasurer (some will contend the holder of that mantle is John Kerin, the short-term failed treasurer for the Whitlam Labor Federal government, 1972-75) has introduced to the business mindset the notion that super profits are those that exceed 6 or 7% per annum.

Sadly, the Australian Silicon Valley equivalent is destined to remain a micro-chip unless and until there is a significant universal change of attitudes in the corridors of power in Canberra and in all State government chambers.

Let me declare my confidence for the future of individual mining and exploration companies. We have been fortunate to facilitate and contribute to a number of strategic development and strategic planning workshops within the sector. Without exception, opportunities have been identified and are being realised. The regrettable thing is that such strategies, tactics and achievements have had to be accomplished within a considerable set of government imposed constraints, filters and market limitations. 

Barry Urquhart

Marketing Focus

"SERVICE SUCKS"

Very confronting!

The phrase "service sucks" will be offensive to some and endorsed by many Australian, New Zealand and British consumers and corporate clients.

Recent statistics released by the regulatory authority which oversees the Australian telecommunications industry reveal that formal complaints against telecommunications companies are at record high levels. However, the numbers do not reflect or provide an accurate insight on the reality. Less than 5% of Australian consumers ever lodge formal (written or verbal) complaints. 

Little wonder then that Perth-based entrepreneur Hamish McSporran has established the Facebook and Twitter pages "Perth Service Sucks". Friends of both pages share their poor service experiences.

Sadly, but reflecting reality, the number of friends to both stations exceed those of the Facebook page established by Marketing Focus: "Customer Service Bouquets". Our intent was to provide a channel for people to share good and great service experiences. To some the low numbers will suggest failure. We believe they reflect the facts and the site is therefore successful.

The prevailing global, national and local marketplaces are hosts of rampant price discounting, commoditised product and value offerings, reduced in-store inventories and lower staff members.

Customer service, for those leaders who truly are customer-driven, perceptive, sensitive and responsive, is the cornerstone for creating, maintaining and developing non-price competitive advantage, enhanced sales performance and customer/client loyalty.

In the stark transparency of a price-sensitive, intensively competitive marketplace it is becoming more and more apparent that an overwhelming percentage of the current training in customer service, though well-,intentioned, is totally inadequate. 

Too many trainers and Human Resource Managers rely on books, processes, procedure manuals and conditioned rote-learned methods to impart the mechanisms of interpersonal relations and thus a delivery of standard, bland styles of customer service.

Neither they nor the trainees address and learn why service is all-important, why consumers act the way they do or expect what is not being delivered.

The most exciting aspect of the reactions to the conference keynote address and the customised interactive workshop, titled, "Service That Sells, Transforming the Customer Experience" is participants' awakening about the scope for individualising service standards and optimising personal, group and entity-wide performance standards.

Perhaps Hamish is right. Perth service sucks. But that need not be the case for yours.

 ARTICLE TEXT: "HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU, KID"

"Here's looking at you, kid"

Opportunity is staring you in the face.  Are you looking?  More importantly, are you comprehending and identifying the boundless scope for development right now?  Look no further than your main competitor.  It is he, she or they who provide insights on how best to formulate and implement new initiatives into uncontested and attractive areas.

It is not too harsh to declare that many competitive entities are burdened by inertia, price discounting, cost cutting moves - including inventory and staff reductions, offers of give-a-ways and the repetition of boring, predictable campaigns.  The widespread distressed state of business is often caused or exacerbated by the actions of business owners and executives.  Sadly, staff-members are quick to identify and copy inappropriate behavioural and strategy traits.

Since 1988, Australia's Woolworths supermarket network has progressively developed from being in supermarkets, to retailing, to supply chain management and now they are leading the charge to relationship marketing.

The current philosophy will enable the group of companies to capitalise on the customer relationships which have been established and to cross-promote and sell-in to the other non-competitive service and product providers.

Coles is currently winning the supermarket battle. Sadly, it still lags in its evolutionary development and will continue to be profit constrained.

Many book retailers can and should reject the proposition that book shops will soon be replaced by on-line book sellers.

For those astute book retailers who have looked the competitive forces in the face, it is evident that the real threat is from those bookshops which have an appealing, informative and functional on-line presence with an easy-to-navigate website. 

The attributes of "local" presence and "personal" customer service are strong and sustainable competitive advantages.

KNOW THY COMPETITOR

Now is the time to embrace the philosophy of being a contrarian.  That is, doing what the others aren't.  It involves risks, which cannot be eliminated but can be managed.  It will require confidence in one's own ability and capacity and the need to invest in those qualities.

In short, it's time to "dare to be different". 

Conformity within a product range or industry sector leads to non-differentiated commoditisation and overall mediocrity.  It can be safe and non-threatening, but hardly inspiring or profitable. 

Entrepreneurs, game changing business leaders and elite sportspeople live on the edge.  It is exhilarating, adrenalin pumping and, yes, often exhausting.  The rewards are immense and the demands for optimal performance-exacting.  In each instance, consistently high performers study closely and know intimately the practices, policies, styles and preparation regimes of those whom they want and need to beat if they are to fulfil their own dreams, ideals and goals.

They then diligently formulate, document and implement their own, differentiated strategies. 

DISPEL THE 1% BELIEF

Sporting coaches of old and business coaches or mentors have long espoused their beliefs in the "one percents".  That is, the little things that "champions", cum winners, do constantly to gain and maintain an advantage. 

The contemporary global community in which we all live and operate from seldom recognises and rewards 1% variance.  For example, mining company chairpersons and chief executives tend to be well versed and qualified in finance and geology.  With the current price levels for iron ore, uranium and energy (in its various forms) those skill sets have contributed marginally to the record profits being enjoyed by the many operating mines and the operators of those raw commodities holdings.

Interesting to most and disturbing to some, the Chinese who represent the largest market for Australian ores and energy, are seeking more and more investments in Australia resource entities.  The buying criteria are not solely gross profit sums and Price: Equity ratios. The Chinese government and investors are seeking continuity of supply and security of supply.

Therefore, astute mining industry leaders and aspiring leaders will, should and indeed, must look their competitors and peers in the face and then determine largely unrecognised avenues for advantage and exploitation.

For example, how would Lindsay Fox of Linfox Logistics and Paul Little from Toll Holdings - two of Australia's and the world's leading authorities on supply chain management - operate and develop Australian mining companies?

Neither would, I am sure, be constrained by any suggestion of a series of "one percenters". In looking competitors in the face, one should also determine what business are they or should they be in. The appropriate answer may not be obvious.

Perhaps, we all need to dispel the seemingly underlying beliefs in and adherence to the "traditional", the "established" and the proven ways of doing business and being in business, if one wishes to stay in business. 

A good start to identifying which is the best avenue for enhancement is to look in the mirror and to recite the words: - 

"Here's looking at you, kid."

THE AUTHOR

Barry Urquhart, Managing Director of Marketing Focus, Perth is a former lecturer in Management and Marketing at the Curtin University of Technology. 

He is an internationally recognised facilitator of interactive strategic planning workshops and conference keynote speaking.

Tel:               041 983 5555

Email:           Urquhart@marketingfocus.net.au

Website:       www.marketingfocus.net.au

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