tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/culture Latest Culture content from Econsultancy 2017-11-02T15:00:00+00:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69467 2017-11-02T15:00:00+00:00 2017-11-02T15:00:00+00:00 What marketing leaders can learn about professional development from the military Seán Donnelly <p>Iain Herron, retired Warrant Officer Class One in the Adjutant General’s Corps and now Operations Director of consulting and recruitment firm J1, had some interesting insights about the strategic importance of providing access to structured learning and development opportunities to personnel. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9313/Iain_Herron_J1.png" alt=""></p> <h3>On structured careers in the armed forces </h3> <h4>Common Military Syllabus </h4> <p>Iain explained that everyone who joins the British Army completes a 14-week training course known as the Common Military Syllabus (CMS). This means that everybody has the same foundation training and that no matter what role somebody eventually finds themselves in, every person in the military is a trained soldier. This makes sense. According to Iain, “the organisation is set up in such a way that everyone is on the same playing field”.  </p> <h4>Command, Leadership and Management Programme</h4> <p>Recruits don’t just complete the same foundation training. To progress in the military, members need to complete standardised courses. For example, Iain explained that those selected for promotion to the rank of Non-Commissioned Officer must complete a Command, Leadership and Management (CLM) programme. The CLM programmes develop leadership and management competencies as soldier’s progress through the ranks.</p> <p>Successful completion of different parts of these programmes are a key element of qualifying the individual for immediate or subsequent promotion by giving them the skills and knowledge they will require in order to operate effectively in leadership positions. Each course builds on the previous one, while introducing new material as appropriate.</p> <p>What’s interesting about these programmes is that as well as developing military knowledge, these courses cover leadership, management, communication, professional and personal development.</p> <p>Iain went on to explain that the structured training programmes and pathways offered by the military equip members with a shared understanding of the organisation, solidify culture, encourage teamwork and provide a sense of camaraderie.</p> <h4>Further education and career development in the military </h4> <p>In his 23-year military career, Iain estimates that he received as much as four years of leadership training. This consisted of formal training including the CLM programme as well as structured on-the-job training. “Every day you are being taught something,” he said.</p> <p>In fact, Iain explained that not only are members of the defence forces encouraged to change roles every few years, but that they <em>have to</em> change roles every two to three years.</p> <p>In order to be successful in those roles, members are equipped with the skills to do the new job via structured training courses and are given six weeks to learn the new job. They will be expected to become a subject leader within six months of starting the new position.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0159/british_army.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="434"></p> <h4>Q. What is the rationale behind ordering people to change job every two to three years?  </h4> <p>Iain: “The idea behind changing job every 2-3 years is basically to keep people and the organisation fresh. People can bring fresh perspective into roles. Also, the structured training and handover phase ensures a smooth handover, removes unnecessary stress and prevents people who aren’t equipped with the knowledge and skills finding themselves operating in a position where they are out of their depth.</p> <p>"If you think of civil servants who may find themselves in the same role for a long time, they may unwittingly become jaded and find themselves following old procedures purely because they were ‘always done that way’.”</p> <h4>Q. This suggests that there is room for bottom-up ideas as opposed to following rigid procedures. How can new thinking be introduced?<em> </em> </h4> <p>Iain: "We used terminology called ‘Mission Command’ which basically means that once the goal of a mission is made clear, it is up to you to come up with the plan. The point is that the achievement of the task is the priority, not necessarily how that task gets completed. This means that the military is a lot more collaborative than you would think.</p> <p>“For example, usually when a young officer has learned how to lead, they will be assigned with a mission. They will then surround themselves with their best soldiers to gather feedback on the best ways to complete that mission. There is a clear recognition that subordinates may well have good ideas based on their own operational experiences. These subordinates are encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas to the officer. Ultimately, it is the officer who takes responsibility for the mission.”</p> <p>With so much being written about the need for organisational agility, it is clear that this concept already exists in the military, whether it is called agility or not. Everyone, regardless of their rank, has been equipped with the same foundational knowledge (Common Military Syllabus). Those same people have been supported via structured and relevant training.</p> <p>This means that everyone in the organisation understands the context and complexities involved in introducing a new idea or procedure, and can use their own learning and experience to make recommendations as to how their mission can be achieved.</p> <p>As well as ensuring that the organisation doesn’t become stifled by top down rigidity, such an approach supports autonomy, empowerment and initiative, all basic tenets of a culture that supports employee engagement.</p> <p>Iain also advises: “The military has a process for capturing good ideas called GEMS. GEMS is a Ministry of Defence Scheme which encourages ideas with the aim of improving the organisation. The scheme allows members of the defence forces to submit innovative ideas to save money and improve procedures.”</p> <p>The GEMS Scheme was introduced in 1996 as the single defence-wide suggestion scheme and in that time dozens of suggestions from all over defence have saved the department millions as well as improved the working lives of thousands. According to figures published by gov.co.uk, the scheme generates savings of an average of £13m per year. <a title="" name="_ftnref1"></a>It is considered the third most successful of its type anywhere in the world and more than 2,000 ideas were put forward to the GEMS team in the last year.</p> <h3>Managing job rotation every two to three years</h3> <p>According to Iain, the military has a very robust approach to resource management in order to allow people time away to train and also to support them to move into new positions every few years. In fact, the British Army has an entire team of Resource Managers whose job it is to manage this very issue.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/0161/british_military_2.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="432"></p> <p>A key challenge that many commercial organisations have around sending people for training and even encouraging employees to change positions within the organisation is that of maintaining service levels and ensuring that work continues to get done.</p> <p>Because they may not have the right structures in place to manage these challenges, organisations may stifle staff opportunities both to upskill and to add value to the organisation by not allowing them access to training or secondment. On a macro level this may impact organisational culture including morale, turnover levels, organisational agility and ultimately profitability, although this is difficult to measure.</p> <p>Iain discussed how he worked with an international audit and consulting firm that seconded consultants to client offices for the duration of those engagements. He described that clients would regularly request that the same consultant return for each engagement.</p> <p>While this gave the client confidence in terms of ensuring projects were delivered on time, it also meant consultants’ own careers were being stifled by enabling this approach. The consultant returning to the client was prevented from working with new clients and expanding their knowledge and skills. Also, other consultants that would benefit from such an engagement were being precluded because their pathway was being blocked by the existing client/consultant relationship.</p> <p>Iain worked with this firm to centralise all resource management into a single location so as to get a clearer picture of the synergies available by deploying consultants more strategically. This meant politely but assertively communicating with clients that they couldn’t always demand that the same consultant return for each engagement. When this was communicated appropriately, clients were happy to accept this arrangement.</p> <h3>What can commercial organisations and marketers learn from the military approach to L&amp;D? </h3> <h4>The strategic importance of investing in staff </h4> <p>Military organisations need to invest in staff for obvious reasons, but on a more macro level, providing learning opportunities for staff keeps them engaged and stops them from stagnating in their position, losing motivation and becoming unwilling to accept change.<br>  <br> On this level, providing learning opportunities also lets organisations be dynamic and able to deal with the exponential change that characterises today’s economy.  </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/0004/staff_dilemma-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="218"></p> <h4>Competence</h4> <p>In his book, <em>An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth</em>, Commander Chris Hadfield discusses the importance of competence. In any task, the absolute minimum that staff should be is competent. The challenge that marketers face is that as consumer behaviour changes and technology plays a bigger role in their job, what represents competence today may not represent competence next year. This means that marketers require access to learning and development opportunities.</p><p>One of the things that makes the military so good is understanding capabilities and providing structured opportunities to develop those capabilities via training. According to Iain: “Hard-won competence via training and practice provides military personnel the knowledge and skills that they need to not only remain calm in high stress situations but also the ability to focus on only the outcomes that will lead to success.”</p><p>If marketers and their organisations can learn one thing from the military, it is the importance of providing access to and actively encouraging and rewarding training. By doing this, marketers and their organisations can remain competent and be better able to respond to challenges presented by new business models, changing technology and consumer behaviour.</p> <h4>Trust</h4> <p>Competence is not only about being able to do one’s job well. Trust is also a key element of high functioning teams and organisations. In the military, trust in your peers is a matter of life and death.</p> <p>The establishment of trust and underlying competence in commercial organisations means that business leaders can be confident that their staff have the skills they need to do the job and to make decisions relative to their role.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0009/0011/trust_issues-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="353"></p> <p>US General Stanley McChrystal, in a Harvard Business Review article titled ‘What Companies Can Learn From Military Teams’<a title="" name="_ftnref1"></a>, said: “I try to exhibit trust in small ways. In a briefing, if somebody asks me for a decision, I might turn to a subordinate and ask them to handle it. I don’t ask for specifics, and I’m very overt – almost theatrical – about it. Everybody else sees it. The message is: ‘I trust you guys to handle this stuff,’ and that can grow virally throughout an organisation. Trust is essential in any high performing learning organisation.”  </p> <h4>Engagement</h4> <p>The value of learning and development opportunities familiarises people with new concepts, equips them with new skills and opens up their minds to new possibilities. What it is really doing is building up individual and organisation flexibility to adapt and avoiding the trap of people becoming jaded in their roles.  </p> <h3>Control points</h3> <p>Finally, Iain Herron discussed what he called ‘control points’ in people’s military career. These are points in an individual career where if a person hasn’t met certain criteria or displayed a willingness to develop themselves then they will be asked to leave the organisation. ‘Manning control’ is a policy in the British Army which allows the army to terminate the service of soldiers at the end of three, six, nine, 12 or 15 years’ service.</p> <p>‘Manning control’ was created to allow the army to maintain a balance of experience and to ensure that there were opportunities for talented soldiers to progress through the ranks.  This is reminiscent of one of the key insights derived from the research of Jim Collins. In his book <em>Good to Great</em><a title="" name="_ftnref1"></a>, Collins writes about how the right people in the right place are the foundation of greatness. He also writes about removing people who don’t add value. </p> <p>Readers might be familiar with a famous quote from the book: “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.”</p> <h3>How Marketers Learn</h3> <p>Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/how-marketers-learn-research-findings/" target="_blank">How Marketers Learn report</a> will benefit leaders and managers in organisations of any size or sector by providing insights into the importance of having a learning and development strategy.</p> <p>It provides an overview of how marketers are currently managing their learning requirements. The research in this report will also help marketing leaders by highlighting the value of L&amp;D in marketing and demonstrating its business case. </p> <p><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/subscribe/">Subscribe to Econsultancy</a> to gain access to a wealth of Digital Best Practice content, or learn new skills by booking yourself onto one of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/">our training courses</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4622 2017-10-23T12:00:00+01:00 2017-10-23T12:00:00+01:00 B2B Digital Transformation <p>The<strong> </strong><strong>B2B Digital Transformation: Leading brands share their insights </strong>report aims to explore the challenges B2B companies are facing as they drive forward digital transformation in their own organisations and highlights a number of different approaches these companies are taking.</p> <h2>Methodology</h2> <p>We carried out a series of in-depth interviews with senior executives from B2B companies and agencies to understand how companies in this sector are responding to different opportunities and challenges.</p> <p>Companies interviewed include: Arkadin Cloud Communications, Work with Agility, Atos, British Gas, Fuji Xeorx, IBM, Ogilvy APAC, OppenheimerFunds, Oracle Marketing Cloud, Salesforce, Slater and Gordon Lawyers and Velocity Partners.</p> <p>We also looked at sector-specific data from our <a title="Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2017 Digital Trends in B2B" href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2017-digital-trends-in-b2b">2017 Digital Trends in B2B report</a>.</p> <h2>What you'll learn </h2> <p>Digital transformation is not only redefining how businesses connect with customers, it's redefining business models, the way they deliver value and how they make money. With more and more services being mediated through technology, and an increasing share of revenue being made online, there is little doubt that B2B organisations need to embrace digital transformation and give it strategic importance.</p> <p>You will learn:</p> <ul> <li>How the focus on digital is changing within B2B companies. </li> <li>Making the customer experience matter is a major focus for B2B companies. </li> <li>Driving insights is a priority, with the future of marketing considered to be around data.</li> <li>Driving a cultural change that supports digital transformation is essential.</li> </ul> <h2>You'll discover: </h2> <ul> <li>How digital priorities are rising higher on the agenda as companies encourage a move towards thinking digital first and creating journey-based experiences. </li> <li>How companies are focusing on putting the customer at the heart of everything and identifying how to enhance the experience and develop a deeper understanding of the customer decision journey. </li> <li>The ways in which B2B companies are moving towards a more data-driven approach, focusing on insights to support the buyer journey.</li> <li>The ways in which companies are driving a cultural change that supports digital transformation and a continuous change type of culture.</li> <li>How companies are adopting new ways of working and working towards digital first. </li> <li>A greater push for alignment and collaboration between marketing and sales.</li> <li>Key ingredients to drive success highlighted by those interviewed.</li> </ul> <p>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</p> <p>A <strong>free sample</strong> is available for those who want more detail about the report and its content.</p> <h2>How we can help you</h2> <h2 style="font-weight: normal; color: #3c3c3c;"><a style="color: #2976b2; text-decoration: none;" href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation" target="_self"><img style="font-style: italic; height: auto; float: right;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/8296/rgb_dt_logo-blog-third.png" alt="Digital Transformation" width="200" height="66"></a></h2> <p><a title="Digital transformation - Econsultancy" href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital transformation</a> is a journey that's different for every organisation. To enable delivery of your digital vision (or help you shape that vision) we’ve designed a comprehensive approach to tackle your transformation.</p> <p>Covering everything from strategic operational issues to specific marketing functions, we will work with you to achieve digital excellence.</p> <p>Talk to us about an initial, no-cost consultation.</p> <p>Contact our Digital Transformation Team on <a href="mailto:transformation@econsultancy.com">transformation@econsultancy.com</a> or call</p> <ul> <li>EMEA: +44 (0)20 7269 1450</li> <li>APAC: +65 6653 1911</li> <li>Americas: +1 212 971-0630</li> </ul> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2q_lWLm5qtg?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69402 2017-09-13T12:29:00+01:00 2017-09-13T12:29:00+01:00 Save the recruitment fees: Focus on process & culture, not more resources James Hammersley <p>Yet one of the observations we would have of many organisations is that they are not short of resources. You might think then that the issue is a shortage of the ‘right’ people, but that’s not necessarily true either.</p> <p>I have begun to wonder whether part of the problem is that as ecommerce develops we are less and less sure about what it is we need. Under these circumstances, particularly if we are being pushed for performance improvements, instincts encourage us to look for more heads and I think that counting heads is the wrong place to start.</p> <p>Our experience suggests that heads are the last things to worry about. Where you need to start is with how you want to work. This can be split into three things:</p> <h4><strong>1. Culture</strong></h4> <p>Organisations can behave badly, or at least the people in them can. In ecommerce we need everyone to work together, quite often including support functions such as legal and compliance as well as the more obvious IT and marketing.</p> <p>Function-first cultures abound in many places and these can at best slow down efforts to improve performance and at worst militate against them.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8923/badly.png" alt="" width="508" height="254"></p> <p><em>For more on this point, download Econsultancy's guide to <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/building-a-digital-culture">Building A Digital Culture</a>.</em></p> <p><strong>2. Processes</strong></p> <p>Part of the reason why key functions can impact adversely on ecommerce teams is that there is no shared process to underpin roles and expectations. This gives permission for ‘localism’ and enables turf wars and the metaphorical stamping of feet.</p> <p><strong>3. Expert-led thinking</strong></p> <p>Experts in our world are often the cause of failure rather than the answer to a problem. I don’t mean specialists – these are generally very useful to have as they bring expertise and specific skills to help resolve problems.  </p> <p>I’m referring to the self-described ‘expert’ that does seem to exist in many ecommerce teams. You know the types, they start their contributions with phrases like: ‘as a UX expert’ and throw all the jargon in that allow the rest of us to play digital bingo as they talk.</p> <h3>The solution</h3> <p>Generally speaking, if you want to build a high-performing ecommerce team then you will need to be active in your management of culture, processes and egos. In immature functions this is a real challenge but if you get this right, it opens up significant opportunities to be quite radical in resourcing.</p> <p><strong>Cultures need to be customer-centric.</strong> They need to value, recognise and reward constant curiosity about the customer in the market as well as the current customer. They need to be driven by a desire to understand why people do and do not buy or become a lead or self-serve. Cultures that work best in ecommerce are curious, open, learning and rigourous about data and insight.</p> <p><strong>Processes need to be cross-functional.</strong> They should be disciplined and driven from the customer agenda not from a particular functional one. At every stage decision-making needs to be well defined including the data/insight required to make effective decisions. They have to include a test and learn discipline that iterates and links back into developing the understanding of the customer agenda.</p> <p>People need to be low-ego, high standards and low maintenance. They have to be able to collaborate internally and externally and they have to be able to follow a structured disciplined process. Technical specialists are important, but even more important is to ensure you identify the right capabilities that drive performance.  </p> <p>In our view these aren’t defined by activities such as UX/CX or web analytics but by skills sets that can make a competitive difference regardless of where they are deployed:  </p> <ul> <li>Data comprehension and manipulation</li> <li>Customer insight generation process</li> <li>Commercial understanding</li> </ul> <p>Thinking this way about capabilities changes the ‘talent’ pool from a rather limited one into one that embraces a very wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. After all, ecommerce isn’t rocket science is it? What differentiates the outstanding performers are those who understand their customers and the customers in their market and know how to use that to develop optimised executions through a process of test and learn.  </p> <p>That’s true whether you are marketing, selling or building customer relationships.</p> <p>Resourcing against the values that build the right cultures, the attitude that accepts the need to work collaboratively and within strong common processes and a genuine interest in customers rather than themselves is likely to deliver far better outcomes. It will also make your ecommerce team a great one to work for.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68840-culture-and-digital-transformation-how-to-build-a-living-business/"><em>Culture and digital transformation: How to build a 'living business'</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69324-10-companies-with-a-digital-culture"><em>10 companies with a digital culture</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69324 2017-08-14T15:05:00+01:00 2017-08-14T15:05:00+01:00 10 companies with a digital culture Ben Davis <p>But what is a 'digital culture'? Friedlein <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67397-ashley-friedlein-s-10-digital-marketing-ecommerce-trends-for-2016/">suggests</a> there are seven defining characteristics of a digital culture:</p> <ol> <li>Customer-centric</li> <li>Data-driven</li> <li>Makers and doers</li> <li>Transparent</li> <li>Collaborative</li> <li>Learning</li> <li>Agile</li> </ol> <p>I thought it might be useful to highlight companies (10 in total) that each embody one of these characteristics. Here goes...</p> <h3>1. Customer-centric - Amazon</h3> <p>It may seem a hackneyed case study now, but that's because Amazon really does walk-the-walk when it comes to championing the customer.</p> <p>Infamous examples of customer-centricity at Amazon include managers undertaking two days of call centre training each year, so they truly understand the customer perspective, and Jeff Bezos taking an empty chair to meetings, claiming it represents the customer's seat in the room.</p> <p>This customer obsession has paid off in the long run. As Bezos puts it, "If you're competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering."</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8257/chair.jpeg" alt="chair" width="233" height="216"></p> <p><em>The customer's seat in the room</em></p> <h3>2. Data-driven - Google</h3> <p>Okay, I'm getting all the easy answers out of the way early on. But let's use focus on one illuminating application of Google's data science acumen - HR.</p> <p>Laszlo Bock, former SVP of People Operations at Google, has written about the HR department's ‘three thirds’ hiring model - recruiting some from traditional HR backgrounds, others from a consultancy background and, crucially, still more from academic fields such as science and mathematics.</p> <p>Google uses ‘people analytics’ to look for patterns in recruitment and retention, employee wellbeing, performance and tenure, and ultimately to define job roles with more than just words.</p> <p>Bock told The Wharton School in <a href="http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/open-sourcing-googles-hr-secrets/">an interview</a> that the only way to truly measure the effect of a manager’s performance on his or her team be to make people switch teams. It’s a case of taking “two..groups — it doesn’t matter if they’re five-person groups or 500-person groups … and say, ‘We’re going to treat them differently, and let’s see what happens.’”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8254/g.png" alt="GOOGLE" width="470" height="157"></p> <h3>3. Makers and doers - BuzzFeed &amp; Hive</h3> <p>The makers invent and innovate, the doers are able to envision the big picture and point the company in that direction.</p> <p>I always think of BuzzFeed as a company full of makers and doers. It started with a new approach to social publishing, including hugely successful visual content, has pioneered new forms of native advertising, but has also explored seemingly tangential product ideas (for a publisher), <a href="https://shop.buzzfeed.com/">such as online retail</a>, as the company spies ways to improve its proposition.</p> <p>Another great example of this approach is the <a href="https://tastyonetop.com/">Tasty One Top</a>. This is a hotplate designed to work alongside BuzzFeed's new Tasty app, a home for all its Tasty video recipes. The hotplate syncs with your phone, setting the right temperature for you and chiming to let you know when to move on to the next step. There are clearly makers and doers at work here.</p> <p>Granted, the term 'makers and doers' can apply to more obvious companies, such as British Gas and its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67099-hive-a-startup-culture-in-a-corporate-behemoth/">development of the Hive connected thermostat</a>, but I wanted to tip my hat to BuzzFeed.<br></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8255/TASTY.jpeg" alt="ONE TOP" width="275" height="183"></p> <p><em>The One Top</em></p> <h3>4. Transparent - Buffer &amp; Monzo</h3> <p>We have previously highlighted brands with a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67107-five-digital-organisations-with-a-transparent-company-culture/">transparent company culture</a>. My favourite is social media management platform Buffer which espouses a 'default to transparency' maxim.</p> <p>This includes the publication of all emails sent internally within the company - a list is cc'ed which is accessible to others in that department, and ultimately to the whole organisation. The Buffer blog explains that this policy of transparent email gives workers the ability to work 'surprise free'.</p> <p>Here is Buffer's 'default to transparency' policy in full:</p> <ul> <li>You take pride in opportunities to share our beliefs, failures, strengths and decisions.</li> <li>You use transparency as a tool to help others.</li> <li>You always state your thoughts immediately and with honesty.</li> <li>You share early in the decision process, to avoid 'big revelations'.</li> </ul> <p>Transparency, of course, is external as well as internal. There are many other companies, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68866-monzo-outage-is-it-possible-to-fail-in-a-good-way/">notably Monzo</a>, which are showing their inner workings to their customers and using honesty to enable them to fail gracefully.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/4398/another_card.jpg" alt="monzo comms" width="300"></p> <p><em>An example of speedy Monzo comms</em></p> <h3>5. Collaborative - Basecamp</h3> <p>At face value, Basecamp not seem a good model for a collaborative company. For a start, each employee is free to live and work where they please, most doing so from home and from all over the world.</p> <p>The Chicago office is known to be very quiet, with <a href="https://blog.jabra.com/the-most-productive-and-collaborative/">reports</a> of 'no-talk Thursdays', as well as four day weeks in the summer months.</p> <p>But this is all part of co-founder Jason Fried's philosophy -  encapsulated in a TED talk titled “Why work doesn’t happen at work“). Fried <a href="https://qz.com/954675/this-company-trusts-its-employees-so-much-it-has-a-no-limits-expense-policy/">believes</a> technology has led to to much communication and co-dependency in the workplace - he experiments with self organization, where workers report to each other, rather than managers.</p> <p>At the heart of this belief is the idea that hiring the right people is the most important part of collaboration, and those people should be treated in the right way (see Basecamps <a href="https://m.signalvnoise.com/employee-benefits-at-basecamp-d2d46fd06c58">list of benefits</a>). This includes week-long get-togethers a couple of times a year where they focus on relationships, rather than business as usual. </p> <p>Technology does help with collaboration, too, with workers using online chat platforms to solve problems amongst themselves. On the whole, Basecamp's committment to easy-to-use products and speedy customer service dictates an atmosphere where collaboration is just as efficient.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8256/basecamp.png" alt="basecamp" width="615"></p> <h3>6. Learning - Co-Op &amp; Fjord</h3> <p>There's a fair amount of theory behind '<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organizational_learning#Development_of_learning_organizations">learning organisations</a>'. Harvard Business Review lists a number of prerequisites to build such an orgainsation - a supportive learning environment, concrete learning processes and practices and leadership that encourages learning.</p> <p>Though learning organisations can seem like a bit of a nebulous concept, I like to focus on the idea of a company being open to new ideas (and failures), reflective about its current practices and appreciative of diversity.</p> <p>There are plenty of companies aspiring to these values in 2017. Two companies that come to mind are Fjord and the UK's Co-Op. Fjord is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68840-culture-and-digital-transformation-how-to-build-a-living-business/">investing heavily</a> in design leadership, diversity, a global training program (Evolution) and peer learning.</p> <p><a href="https://digitalblog.coop.co.uk/">Co-Op's digital blogs</a> are a fantastic example of an open and reflective culture, and include many examples of learning processes and practices coming into being (e.g. <a href="https://digitalblog.coop.co.uk/2017/08/01/what-weve-learnt-in-digital-product-research-adapting-research-techniques/">What we've learnt in digital product research</a>). In the video below, a software developer explains what it's like to work in this problem solving atmosphere at Co-Op.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ibCwOIF2484?ecver=2&amp;wmode=transparent" width="640" height="360"></iframe></p> <h3>7. Agile - Government Digital Service</h3> <p>As I write this, I see that the UK's GDS has announced it is now focusing on quarterly missions, rather than annual ones. Here's part of <a href="https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2017/08/14/quarterly-missions-a-new-way-of-working/">the statement</a> from the GDS blog:</p> <blockquote> <p>The scope of the mission is flexible but the length of the mission is fixed. No mission is longer than 11 weeks. It might be the case that a theme extends over the course of the year, but we want iterative and complete delivery every 11 weeks, in case we need to change direction or stop. This will also help us to continually deliver value.</p> </blockquote> <p>GDS has pioneered an Agile approach in government since the start of GOV.UK, even producing a publicly available <a href="https://www.gov.uk/service-manual/agile-delivery">service manual for Agile delivery</a>. The guide provides advice on an Agile working environment, tools and techniques, user stories and planning.</p> <p>As the guide states, Government services need to be able to respond quickly to policy changes and the needs of the public. Agile is much better at this than Waterfall, especially when coping with changes to technology.</p> <p><em><strong>That's your lot. Which companies would you slot into these seven categories, and which have excellent digital cultures? Let us know below.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69310 2017-08-04T11:57:14+01:00 2017-08-04T11:57:14+01:00 What is digital transformation? [video] Ashley Friedlein <p>So here we are chatting about what digital transformation is, including challenges around people, culture, talent, leadership and process. We discuss ways you can measure levels of digital transformation and get into business model disruption, and trends including <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/trend-briefings-artificial-intelligence-ai">artificial intelligence</a>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68770-an-introduction-to-ai-and-customer-service/">conversational interfaces</a>, chatbots, driverless cars and more. </p> <p>So grab your own brew of choice, watch our chat, and feel free to ask questions or make your own comments below and we'll continue the discussion there.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_LbtWZ0-LVE?wmode=transparent" width="425" height="350"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>If your business needs help with Digital Transformation, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">get in touch with Econsultancy</a>. </em></strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69283 2017-07-31T12:30:00+01:00 2017-07-31T12:30:00+01:00 10 things agency owners can do to help their Business Development Manager flourish Ben Potter <p>So what can agency owners do to ensure they make a success of their fledgling business development function? Here are a few thoughts based on someone who has been there and bought the t-shirt (from a very good salesperson might I add).</p> <h3>1. Develop your knowledge and appreciation of business development</h3> <p>If the discipline of business development is under-valued by agency owners (or anybody else for that matter) it’s because it’s misunderstood. It’s completely unrecognisable from the traditional, negative perception of ‘sales’ or ‘selling’. This is reflected in the heady blend of attitudes (blue), behaviours (yellow) and skills (grey) required to do the job well. </p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7771/BDM_attitudes__behaviours_and_skills.PNG" alt="Attitudes, behaviours and skills of successful BDMs" width="741" height="415"></p> <p>Before you do anything, make an effort to read a <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Only-Sales-Guide-Youll-Ever/dp/0735211671" target="_blank">decent book</a> or two and understand some of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68385-ten-guiding-principles-to-help-small-digital-marketing-agencies-win-more-business/" target="_blank">principles of business development</a>. It will make you more appreciative of the role, more realistic in your expectations and a better manager.</p> <h3>2. Know what you’re looking for</h3> <p>If you haven’t recruited a BDM before, do your research and seek help. Look at other agencies and their job specs. Look at BDM’s on LinkedIn; their background, experience and the language they use. And speak to recruitment agencies with experience of placing BDM’s into agencies.</p> <p>The better you understand the responsibilities and requirements of the role, the more equipped you’ll be to put together a decent job spec, interview questions and tasks. You’ll also know what to look out for if using personality profiling techniques, such as <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers%E2%80%93Briggs_Type_Indicator" target="_blank">Myers Briggs</a>.</p> <h3>3. Ensure you have a credible value proposition  </h3> <p>Even the best BDM is not a miracle worker. If your <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68869-why-your-agency-s-value-proposition-probably-sucks-and-what-to-do-about-it/" target="_blank">proposition is weak</a> or your products / services uncompetitive (due to price, quality, service), hiring a BDM will make little difference. </p> <p>A relevant, compelling and credible agency proposition is the foundation of a successful business development strategy. It forms the basis of how the BDM will communicate your agency’s offering and value to prospects. If it’s not right, work on it.</p> <h3>4. Become a Sales Director… of sorts</h3> <p>A BDM is not <em>the</em> solution to winning more business. They are <em>part of</em> the solution (albeit an important one). As an agency owner that means the hard work doesn’t stop once they are on board. </p> <p>Their success will be largely shaped by your ability to manage them. In effect, you become an overnight Sales Director, responsible for inspiring, motivating and holding the BDM to account.</p> <p>If a BDM is left to their own devices, with poor stewardship from someone who doesn’t understand business development, they are very unlikely to succeed.</p> <h3>5. Invest in marketing, especially content</h3> <p>Prospects are busy, they research on their own terms and are inundated by other suppliers. Therefore, buying lists, ‘hitting’ the phones or sending hundreds of generic emails doesn’t work. We are way beyond that. </p> <p>If a BDM is to open new doors and nurture relationships, they need to create value through their communication. This means understanding the challenges faced by prospects, empathising with them, advising when appropriate and being helpful.</p> <p>To do this, the BDM needs a ‘tool kit’ of relevant, useful and engaging content. They simply will not have the time or expertise to create or curate this on their own. They’ll need the support of the wider team, particularly the discipline experts.</p> <p>Positively, most agencies invest in creating content. The key is to ensure that the content plan is, in part, driven by the new business strategy. </p> <h3>6. Give the BDM time to build a sales function</h3> <p>The frameworks, processes and templates that will exist in a more established new business department are probably thin on the ground if you’ve never had a BDM. A lot of small agencies I speak to don’t even use a CRM (for someone as anally retentive as I am when it comes to recording every call, email or even the slightest of enquiring glances at a networking event, this frightens the hell of out of me).</p> <p>With nothing to work from, you are essentially tasking the BDM with building a sales function from scratch. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as you give them the time and support to do so.</p> <h3>7. Approach business development as a team effort</h3> <p>The BDM is on board to own and lead new business. But they can’t do it on their own. He or she will need help from the wider team. Along with content, they can support the BDM in all manner of ways, from industry research to attending pitches. </p> <p>Another often forgotten point is that a BDM needs to believe in what they are selling – in an agency that generally means its people. Yet too often business development sits to the side of the agency, rather than at its heart. All the onus is on one person, rather than a collaborative effort where everybody plays a part. </p> <p>If you want your BDM to succeed, put them at the centre of the agency where they can hear everything going on and build relationships with the team; the people whose expertise and experience they are ultimately selling.</p> <h3>8. Invest in their development</h3> <p>I’ve done business development for the best part of (uh um) 15 years. But I learn new things every day.</p> <p><strong>There isn’t a BDM in the world who is the finished article.</strong> In fact, there isn’t a human being alive who is the finished article (apart from Bruce Springsteen, obviously). </p> <p>This means your investment in a BDM goes way beyond their salary. They need the necessary support, internally or externally, to continuously build their knowledge, skills and network.</p> <h3>9. Give credit when it’s due… and support when perhaps it’s not</h3> <p>Only a seasoned BDM knows just how much commitment, patience, resourcefulness and attention to detail it takes to win that dream client.</p> <p>It might take months, sometimes years, of hard graft.</p> <p>Celebrate every win like it was the first. Ensure the BDM’s pivotal role is acknowledged and understood by everyone. Celebrate the small wins too – the appointment booked with a great prospect after months of trying, for example. </p> <p>People in sales are (hopefully) motivated by the opportunity to smash a target and the financial rewards that comes with doing so. But this isn’t all they care about. The pat on the back, the casual ‘well done’, the motivational ‘keep your chin up’ are just as important as any financial rewards, especially when they’re on a bad run... which, trust me, happens. </p> <h3>10. Don’t pull the plug too soon</h3> <p>It will typically take a BDM 6–12 months before they’re flying. This is of course dependent on a whole host of factors, some of which have been explored above.</p> <p>Yet I speak to agency owners that have got shot of a BDM after three or four months, blaming their poor performance. Granted, in some instances perhaps the BDM just wasn’t right for the agency. But in others, I’m not convinced the BDM was given the necessary support, time and resources to deliver.</p> <p>So before you give them the old heave-ho, consider whether it might be you, not them. Have you given them the best possible platform from which to perform?</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69291 2017-07-28T10:43:24+01:00 2017-07-28T10:43:24+01:00 How brands are fighting against gender stereotypes Nikki Gilliland <p>(Insert eye-roll emoji here)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7874/Aurosa.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="470"></p> <p>This kind of sexist advertising is not big news. From cleaning products to yoghurt – brand gender stereotyping has been rife for decades. Even brands that deliberately set out to empower can get it wrong – you’ve only got to look at Dove and its ridiculously unnecessary body-shaped bottles.</p> <p>And it’s not always related to women, of course. Who can forget the infamous <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68212-how-lynx-s-bigger-issues-campaign-helped-reinvigorate-the-brand" target="_blank">Lynx ads</a>, and even more recently, the reinforcement of male gender stereotyping by Miller Lite, who told us that drinking any other type of light beer is unmanly.</p> <h3>Taking a tougher line</h3> <p>The ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) has just announced plans to tackle examples like this. But why now?</p> <p>2015 seemed to spark a turning point. It was the year when <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/67575-our-take-on-the-top-10-most-controversial-ads-of-2015">Protein World unleashed its controversial ‘Beach Body Ready’ ad</a>, resulting in 378 complaints against the brand for being ‘socially irresponsible’. </p> <p>At the time, the ASA cleared the campaign saying that it was ‘unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence’. However, it has since caused the regulatory body to recognise the need for a ‘strong evidence-based position’ when it comes to the portrayal of gender in ads.</p> <p>As a result the CAP (the Committees of Advertising Practice) has recently released a report detailing new guidelines that will come into force in 2018. It has stated that ‘a tougher line is needed’, particularly when it comes to ads that mock people for not conforming to gender stereotypes.</p> <h3>Companies spearheading change</h3> <p>It has to be said, there are many organisations out there already doing work to tackle the issue. Last month, Unilever announced a new alliance to drive out gender stereotyping, teaming up with UN Women, Facebook, and Mars to share knowledge and spread the culture of change. </p> <p>Meanwhile, GoDaddy – which was previously known for sexism in both its ads and internal infrastructure – appears to have turned a corner. Since Blake Irving was appointed CEO, the company has dropped its sexist ads and become a much more inclusive workplace, even being named as one of the top companies for women technologists in the US.</p> <p>One of the most well-known companies to spearhead a shift in perception is Sport England and its ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66469-seven-video-marketing-lessons-learnt-from-thisgirlcan/" target="_blank">This Girl Can</a>’ campaign, which persuaded 1.6m women to start exercising through a series of empowering and inspiring ads. Showing how fear of judgement can hold women back, it also effectively highlighted the gender pay gap. </p> <h3>A shift towards gender-neutrality</h3> <p>Interestingly, it’s not just the stamping out of sexism and outdated stereotypes that has become a focus for brands. Alongside this, some are taking steps to promote a more gender-neutral or fluid image, and redefining who their target market is on this basis. </p> <p>Here are a few examples to highlight what I mean.</p> <h4>CoverGirl</h4> <p>Men have been wearing make-up for decades, but up until recently the beauty industry has only represented women in mainstream advertising. This changed last October when 17-year-old makeup artist and YouTuber James Charles was named as CoverGirl’s first male spokesperson.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7866/Katy_Perry.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="539"></p> <p>James was specifically chosen to be the face of the brand’s ‘So Lashy’ mascara – a product that is designed ‘for anyone wanting to transform their lashes into a bold look - regardless of lash type or starting point’. </p> <p>It was James’ social media presence that caught CoverGirl’s eye, and digital content has undoubtedly contributed to the rise of male beauty in general. Male beauty bloggers and vloggers are amassing huge audiences on platforms such as Instagram and YouTube. </p> <p>There’s clearly a demand for this kind of content, too. A report by Mintel found that 47% of UK males aged 16-24 value the advice of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68087-six-brilliant-blogs-from-the-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">beauty bloggers</a> more than store staff. As well as CoverGirl, brands including L’Oreal, Maybelline, and Soap &amp; Glory have also taken steps to become more inclusive, using both men and women in campaigns to appeal to all genders.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Jake-Jamie Ward to be first male spokesmodel repping face masks for U.K. beauty brand Soap &amp; Glory via <a href="https://twitter.com/mic">@mic</a> <a href="https://t.co/KUt9Ti2tXd">https://t.co/KUt9Ti2tXd</a></p> — Jake-Jamie (@makeupbyjakej) <a href="https://twitter.com/makeupbyjakej/status/887673332711264256">July 19, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h4>MTV</h4> <p>Advertising is not the only way companies are working towards gender-neutrality. A few months ago, Emma Watson won MTV’s first ever gender-neutral acting award.</p> <p>The decision to introduce it has been described as a watershed moment for equality in entertainment, bravely shining a light on the silos that exist between men and women. </p> <p>However, it’s also been criticised for being a rose-tinted idea rather than a real drive for change. This is because the opportunities for women in entertainment are typically lesser than for men, meaning that it might inadvertently reduce the amount of female wins overall.</p> <p>That being said, MTV’s decision certainly highlights the need for tangible changes elsewhere in the entertainment industry, and is one of the first prominent examples of a company creating inclusivity for actors who do not conform to gender norms.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thank you for your beautiful Best Actor in a Movie acceptance speech at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MTVAwards?src=hash">#MTVAwards</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/EmmaWatson">@EmmaWatson</a> <a href="https://t.co/iGN3nQQylL">pic.twitter.com/iGN3nQQylL</a></p> — MTV (@MTV) <a href="https://twitter.com/MTV/status/861449768572035076">May 8, 2017</a> </blockquote> <h4>Barbie</h4> <p>Barbie has been guilty of perpetuating stereotypes over the years, furthering the ‘pink-ification’ of little girls’ toys. Even when the brand has aimed to set an example for empowerment, it has been criticised for putting females in pigeonholes. </p> <p>‘Engineering Barbie’ is the most recent example of this, with the toy encouraging girls to use engineering skills to build racks for clothes, shoes and jewellery. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7867/Clothing_rack.JPG" alt="" width="550" height="444"></p> <p>That being said, the brand has taken steps to become more progressive in its marketing activity. To promote its collaboration with fashion brand, Moschino, it created an ad that featured a little boy playing with the doll. </p> <p>Aiming to celebrate the fact that all genders love Barbie, it was the first example of the brand veering away from a strategy that solely targets girls.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/TULVRlpsNWo?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h4>H&amp;M</h4> <p>According to research by the Innovation Group, 43% of millennials say they know someone who uses gender-neutral pronouns. This figure increases among Generation Z’s, with 56% of those aged 13-20 saying the same. </p> <p>Fashion is one industry that has been taking note of this, with big-name retailers creating unisex clothing lines. </p> <p>Last year, Zara launched its ‘Ungendered’ collection, and more recently <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68351-why-women-are-talking-about-h-m-s-latest-ad-campaign" target="_blank">H&amp;M</a> has followed suit with its unisex ‘Denim United’ range.</p> <p>Interestingly, both collections have come in for criticism, mainly because the clothes appear to veer towards a male-aesthetic (as well as being pretty boring in design). However, H&amp;M <em>has</em> included a number of dresses in its collection, which has prevented the brand receiving the same kind of backlash as Zara. Then again, whether or not the retailer continues the collection is perhaps dependent on sales rather than sentiment.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1LbJjSHIln0?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Could it become a brand gimmick? </h3> <p>While ASA’s decision has been met with a largely positive response, there has been some suggestion that the guidelines will be difficult to implement. As it is arguably a subjective topic – where will we draw the line between stereotypes and standard segmentation? </p> <p>Similarly, will brands that typically target a specific gender feel obliged to err on the side of caution, and could this actually stifle creativity rather than lead to natural diversity?</p> <p>This also raises the question of brands jumping on the gender bandwagon, perhaps even using it purely for the sake of marketing purposes rather than real customer inclusivity.</p> <p>Fortunately, brands like L’Oréal and Unilever do appear serious about long-term investment in gender equality. Meanwhile, as the ASA cracks down on unacceptable stereotyping, maybe 2017 will signal a real sea change in the attitude of brand marketers. </p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68045-how-global-goals-is-using-social-media-to-highlight-gender-inequality/" target="_blank">How Global Goals is using social media to highlight gender inequality</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68127-a-closer-look-at-dove-s-anti-sexism-mybeautymysay-campaign" target="_blank">A closer look at Dove's anti-sexism #MyBeautyMySay campaign</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68865-will-bad-pr-lead-uber-to-destruction/" target="_blank">Will bad PR lead Uber to destruction?</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69265 2017-07-20T17:43:59+01:00 2017-07-20T17:43:59+01:00 The evolving relationship between brand marketers and agencies [New research] Nikki Gilliland <p>Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/partners-in-transformation-what-brand-marketers-need-from-agencies/">Partners in Transformation report</a> in association with IBM delves into this topic, specifically looking at the areas agencies should be focusing on in future.</p> <p>Before we take a closer look at the research, note that the companies who took part in the study are split into ‘high performing’ and ‘mainstream’, with the former significantly exceeding their top 2016 business goals compared to others that are defined by a poor to average marketing performance.</p> <p>So, what do brands need from agencies in 2017 and beyond? Let’s get into it.</p> <h3>CX support for different stages of the journey</h3> <p>Improving customer experience remains at the heart of most brand growth strategies, however, agency input usually depends on where companies are in the process of implementation (and current levels of success).</p> <p>Our research shows that high performing companies are far more engaged with their agencies in areas related to customer service – 65% compared to 40% of mainstream companies. </p> <p>High performing companies also draw on different kinds of expertise, with 44% citing new and innovative ideas for improving CX as most important. In contrast, mainstream companies still in the early stages of development largely cite execution and implementation.</p> <p>This shows us that – while CX presents a massive opportunity for agencies of all sizes – it is vital to understand and recognise where brands are in the journey and to determine how they can move forward.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7612/CX.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="507"></p> <h3>Turning data into insight</h3> <p>90% of brands agree that knowing more about their customers is the key to improving CX. However, with an increasingly fractured customer journey – with people moving from one device to another and back again – it’s becoming all the more challenging for marketers.</p> <p>Intelligent use of data is the answer, with agencies able to play a vital role in more technical aspects of analysis. However, this doesn’t mean all companies are willing or well-prepared to heed agency advice.</p> <p>High performing companies are nearly 30% more likely to take advantage of their agencies’ ability to turn data into insight than the mainstream. </p> <p>This tells us that lower performing companies tend to get stuck in the cycle of collecting data but doing the minimum with it, whereas real success is generated from making sense of it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7613/Data.JPG" alt="" width="730" height="368"></p> <h3>Technology and training</h3> <p>Similar to the challenges presented by data, many brands struggle to take full advantage of the existing technology they have in place. As a result, agencies can offer value by stepping in and helping brands understand and execute technology-driven marketing.</p> <p>What’s more, agencies can also play a vital role in helping brands to stay on top of innovation, with 42% of high performing companies citing the importance of them ‘helping to source technology providers’.</p> <p>Meanwhile, agencies can help to foster long-term partnerships with brands by providing technology training. This emphasises the fact that value does not just lie in providing greater access to tech, but in helping brands gain a deep understanding of it themselves.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7614/Technology.JPG" alt="" width="709" height="354"></p> <h3>Collaboration is key </h3> <p>Despite 92% of all companies saying that it’s important for agencies and internal teams to collaborate, levels of satisfaction are relatively low. </p> <p>Just 19% of mainstream companies say agencies’ collaboration with internal teams is ‘quite effective’, while just 13% say the same for collaboration between multiple agencies.</p> <p>In contrast, high performing companies are much more positive about the situation, citing close relationships, leadership, and regular reviews as the key to successful relationships. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7615/collaboration.JPG" alt="" width="740" height="369"></p> <h3>In conclusion…</h3> <p>In such a highly pressurised and competitive landscape, brands often need to turn to agencies in order to drive growth as well as expand their own internal capabilities and expertise.</p> <p>Perhaps the most important takeaway from the research is that there is no single or overarching strategy for success. </p> <p>Rather, the most successful agencies demonstrate the ability to adapt and hone relationships based on client-need, fostering communication, fast decision-making, and collaboration every step of the way.</p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download the full report: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/partners-in-transformation-what-brand-marketers-need-from-agencies/">Partners in Transformation: What brand marketers need from agencies</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69173 2017-07-11T15:55:00+01:00 2017-07-11T15:55:00+01:00 Customer experience in Amazon's New York book store: Why not just buy it online? Charles Wade <p>Upon arrival customers are met by greeters (the first faces of Amazon, aside from CEO Jeff Bezos) who are both eager to help and distinctly Apple-esque, albeit dressed in checked shirts, jeans, and Converse – rather than seasonal t-shirts – giving more than a hint of the company’s Seattle roots.</p> <p> Whilst meandering through, it becomes apparent that all the usual categories exist: Fiction, Kids, Cooking; indeed, everything you might <em>expect</em> from a book store. Slightly depressingly, ‘Self-Improvement’ was the busiest of all...</p> <p>There is alchemy here though. Firstly, all the stocked editions have an amazon.com rating of four stars and above. Moreover, they have clearly been chosen based on what is popular in New York, utilising troves of data that the company has on the city's inhabitants. Perusing the travel section’s destinations brings this to life: London, Paris, Europe, Costa Rica, and the new darling of affluent Manhattanites, Cuba!</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">I had time before a doctor's appointment in Columbus Circle, so I went to see New York's first Amazon Books store. It's interesting.... <a href="https://t.co/jyzwJhVBpU">pic.twitter.com/jyzwJhVBpU</a></p> — Kate (@librarian_kate) <a href="https://twitter.com/librarian_kate/status/872827409321611264">June 8, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>It is certainly Prime time, with calls to action <em>everywhere</em> highlighting the advantages of signing-up to the premium shipping and content service. Pricing is one such example: Prime members and Amazon device owners pay the same in-store as they would have had they bought the books from the website, whereas everyone else is charged the (typically more expensive) list price.</p> <p>Strangely, ancillary items – like water bottles and key-finding devices – have no prices shown; no stickers nor shelf placards. As such, the customer must scan them using either the Amazon app or in-store machines, or take them to a cashier. Either way, the process buys time and, importantly, takes them away from the shelf, building a connection and making it harder to simply put the product back.<br> </p> <p>One obvious concept, well-executed, is relaying customer feedback. One wall is adorned with ‘Books with more than 10,000 reviews’; then there are ‘Most popular’ titles such as <em>Fahrenheit 451</em>; or ‘91% of people rated this 5 stars’; alongside individual customer reviews. A chalk board behind the till-point allows the in-house team to highlight weekly bestsellers. </p> <p>As with iPads in the Apple Store, the Kindle is deployed as a reference tool for visitors to use to search for recommendations. Intriguingly, digital best-practice has been brought to life with a wall of ‘If you liked then you’ll love’, where popular titles are paired alongside each other. Again, it is likely that this has been driven by oodles of user behaviour but it was compelling – gorgeous covers combined with intrigue.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here's a peak at the first brick and mortar Amazon Bookstore, Columbus Circle, New York City. Far from our beloved 66 St B&amp;N, but I liked it <a href="https://t.co/k49GaTHS01">pic.twitter.com/k49GaTHS01</a></p> — (((Orchid))) (@OrchidNYC) <a href="https://twitter.com/OrchidNYC/status/872991098398027776">June 9, 2017</a> </blockquote> <p>Interestingly, there is no order and ship directly to home option. (Maybe that was a pastiche too far, with Bonobos still <em>the</em> player in that space.) As with most book shops magazines are also on show – think GQ, Cosmopolitan, Outdoor Magazine – along with Osprey backpacks and hiking equipment; coffee presses, and nick knacks tempt the customer throughout journey to the checkout. </p> <p>Moreover, the full gambit of Amazon products is on display, from the simple gift card, through to Kindles, Fire TV, and the Echo. A rolodex of cue cards is placed next to each device giving people ideas of what to ask Alexa, a considered touch that urges the customer to form a bond with ‘roboshop’.</p> <p>The Columbus Circle store is only 4,000-odd square feet, so not huge. The space on the right and left upon entry is soon swallowed by the central payment area and a funneled sensation is created at the back. Located in one of the city’s higher-end shopping malls it does not look out of place. Make no mistake, this made for a pleasant trip. </p> <p>No surprises and multiple titles that caught the eye (so predictable!). Yet, simultaneously it was so devoid of creativity; the devil may be in the detail, it certainly is not in the décor (the small wooden tables and leather-style chairs look like they might be related to Starbucks’ furniture.)</p> <p>What is more, following the visit one thing was hard to reconcile: why go here, rather than buying it on amazon.com?</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4502 2017-06-08T11:00:00+01:00 2017-06-08T11:00:00+01:00 Digital Transformation in the Financial Services and Insurance Sector <p>The<strong> Digital Transformation in the FSI Sector: Gearing up for success in a changing market</strong> report builds on our <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/digital-transformation-in-the-financial-services-sector-2016">previous report</a> looking at digital transformation in the sector. The report aims to explore the approaches new entrants are taking and their focus on the customer experience and marketers' responses to challenges, as well as providing recommendations on approaches to and opportunities related to digital transformation.</p> <h2>Methodology</h2> <p>We carried out a series of in-depth interviews with senior executives from across the financial services and insurance industries to understand how a range of organisations were responding to different opportunities and challenges.</p> <p>Companies interviewed included: The AA, Atom Bank, Aviva, AXA PPP Healthcare, Bought By Many, Lloyds Banking Group, Monzo, National Australia Bank, OCBC Bank, HSBC Singapore, Salesforce and UBS Wealth Management, APAC.</p> <p>We also looked at sector-specific data from our <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/2017-digital-trends-in-financial-services-and-insurance">2017 Digital Trends in Financial Services and Insurance sector</a>.</p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <p>The financial services industry has seen more disruption in the last few years and continues to face significant challenges as new players are seizing the opportunity to enter these markets and new models emerge.</p> <ul> <li>Customer experience continues to be a major focus for marketers and new entrants are focusing on differentiating the customer experience and making the financial lives of customers easy.</li> <li>Having the right strategy and culture to deliver digital transformation is seen as essential with strong leadership from the top.</li> <li>Data is perceived as being a huge part of the digital transformation journey.</li> </ul> <h2>You'll discover findings around:</h2> <ul> <li>How companies are looking to differentiate the customer experience and deliver value to their customers.</li> <li>Ways in which companies are re-orientating their focus around customers and moving away from being product-focused to putting the customer first and delivering products and services more aligned to their needs.</li> <li>The importance of earning trust in the sector and delivering more transparent services to customers.</li> <li>Practices companies are adopting to work in a more agile way. </li> <li>Encouraging a digital culture where digital is not a bolt on. </li> <li>Unlocking the value of data to understand customer journeys and behaviour to deliver more personalised and relevant communications.</li> <li>Importance of innovation starting with the customer and how companies are collaborating and partnering to drive change. </li> </ul> <p>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</p> <p>A <strong>free sample</strong> is available for those who want more detail about what is in the report.</p> <h2>How we can help you</h2> <h2 style="font-weight: normal; color: #3c3c3c;"><a style="color: #2976b2; text-decoration: none;" href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation" target="_self"><img style="font-style: italic; height: auto; float: right;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/8296/rgb_dt_logo-blog-third.png" alt="Digital Transformation" width="200" height="66"></a></h2> <p><a title="Digital transformation - Econsultancy" href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital transformation</a> is a journey that's different for every organisation. To enable delivery of your digital vision (or help you shape that vision) we’ve designed a comprehensive approach to tackle your transformation.</p> <p>Covering everything from strategic operational issues, down to specific marketing functions, we will work with you to achieve digital excellence.</p> <p>Talk to us about an initial, no-cost consultation.</p> <p>Contact our Digital Transformation Team on <a href="mailto:transformation@econsultancy.com">transformation@econsultancy.com</a> or call</p> <ul> <li>EMEA: +44 (0)20 7269 1450</li> <li>APAC: +65 6653 1911</li> <li>Americas: +1 212 971-0630</li> </ul> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2q_lWLm5qtg?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p>