tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/culture Latest Culture content from Econsultancy 2016-04-28T14:52:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67792 2016-04-28T14:52:00+01:00 2016-04-28T14:52:00+01:00 What does 'startup culture' really mean & how can it help big businesses transform? Ben Davis <p>No sooner have we decided digital is imperative than I.T., Marketing, Ecommerce, Tech and Communications descend into a bun fight.</p> <p>When I thought more about the nest of snakes that corporate culture <em>can</em> be (be thankfully doesn't have to be), I decided it would be more productive to dwell on the delights of startup culture.</p> <p>Behind the workplace tropes (ping pong, beer, takeout) and seat-of-your-pants risk involved in working at an early stage startup, just what is startup culture?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4420/HiRes.jpg" alt="ping pong" width="450"></p> <h3>What is startup culture? </h3> <h4>The chance of a promotion and a pay rise</h4> <p>This is by virtue of a startup's growth.</p> <p>Big corporates must emulate this and promote as much as is possible, something that banks have recently woken up to, as new talent begins to think 'why the heck should I kill myself for you?'</p> <p>Top MBA graduates are now <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/20db6e5c-f7e6-11e5-96db-fc683b5e52db.html#axzz477dOPsF2">40% less likely</a> to choose banking as a career, with some looking to tech instead.</p> <p>Bank of America reacted by this year announcing earlier promotion for analysts and associates.</p> <h4>Co-location</h4> <p>Again a virtue of diminutive organisation size.</p> <p>Open-plan offices have been de rigueur for a while now at big corporates. But the advantage that startups have is that often their entire organisation is a cross-functional team.</p> <p>As companies get bigger, Accounts, Sales and, crucially, Tech get their own domains on their own floors. I.T. can be thought of only as a ticketing system (however agile).</p> <p>What co-location does is increase the efficiency of communication. Small issues can be raised without fear of bureaucracy or being ignored.</p> <p>Meetings don't have to be scheduled weeks in advance - minutes can be grabbed here and there, with employees empowered to act. </p> <h4>Productive informality</h4> <p>I can't remember where I first saw this phrase, but it was in an excellent blog post somewhere.</p> <p>Productive informality is enabled by co-location, but it's more than that.</p> <p>It's a get-on-with-it attitude that dictates a loose reign for managers who trust employees to tread the right side of 'process'.</p> <p><em>A stock photo representing productive informality</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4426/iStock_000061765050_Small.jpg" alt="informality" width="500" height="333"></p> <h4>Getting on with it</h4> <p>Targets that are too prescriptive, too detailed and reviewed too seldom can cripple employees who are afraid of committing to something that 'isn't my job'.</p> <p>The review process is ongoing, it's the other side of a coin of responsiblity, opposite self-awareness (I'm writing quickly and don't have the time to change that metaphor).</p> <h4>A focus on long-term revenue</h4> <p>A startup is all about money 'then' not 'now'.</p> <p>The focus to begin with is product and funding, then user adoption, then service, then marketing.</p> <p>Only corporates that allow a division to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67183-an-inspiring-digital-transformation-case-study-travelex">take a long-term view</a> can achieve new and disruptive product development.</p> <h4>Democracy (unless the founder weighs in)</h4> <p>There's still a management structure in a startup, of course.</p> <p>But every member of staff is invested enough in the project to be respected for their views.</p> <p>Ultimately, the founder may say 'we're doing it my way', but not until others have had their say.</p> <h4>Confidence</h4> <p>If you watch Silicon Valley, the HBO series, you'll know that the joke of series one was startups who said they were going to 'change the world'.</p> <p>It's funny because it's true. This zeal for product and company mission is what engenders ownership of brand and service.</p> <p>Some of that startup confidence needs to be bottled, and pumped into ailing corporates. Never diss the product.</p> <p><em>A 'fake' poster for Pied Piper, advertising the new series of HBO's Silicon Valley.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/4427/pied_piper-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="pied piper" width="470" height="695"></p> <h4>Recruiting for personality AND skills</h4> <p>This is what every company tries to do, big or small.</p> <p>However, through sheer numbers of applications, HR departments in big organisations have to discount some people who haven't ticked every box.</p> <p>Goldman Sachs is using machine learning to better sort through the 40-50 applicants per position.</p> <p>This is a tricky one to get right but it is so important. To quote <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20130923230007-204068115-how-i-hire-focus-on-personality">Richard Branson from LinkedIn</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>The first thing to look for when searching for a great employee is somebody with a personality that fits with your company culture. Most skills can be learned, but it is difficult to train people on their personality.</p> <p>...Great grades count for nothing if they aren’t partnered with broad-ranging experience and a winning personality.</p> <p>If you hire the wrong person at the top of a company, they can destroy it in no time at all.</p> </blockquote> <h4>Flexible working</h4> <p>Working all hours or working none. Working everywhere or nowhere.</p> <p>There's a lot of truth in Marissa Meyer's assertion that corridor meetings are important - teams need to interact.</p> <p>But quite simply, the employee who can stay at home and take delivery of a refrigerator/ fibre-optic internet connection/ leather swing without taking holiday is far more likely to double their efforts at home and when back in the office.</p> <p>Those pesky millenials just love to sit in a Hackney/Williamsburg cafe on a Friday afternoon (stereotype alert).</p> <h4>Using the best tools</h4> <blockquote> <p>1. Can I have a Mac please? Can I use Google Drive?</p> <p>2. Sure - as long as you use two-step authentication and never share outside our domain.</p> </blockquote> <p>That is the response of an enlightened business owner.</p> <blockquote> <p>1. What about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67489-slack-yammer-facebook-who-ll-win-the-collaboration-battle/">Slack</a>?</p> <p>2. Is that a new band?</p> <p>1. No, it's a messaging tool that would really help some of our teams?</p> <p>2. Great - I'm glad we hired you.</p> </blockquote> <h4>A healthy ratio of tech to non-tech</h4> <p>Techies should not be too busy to dip into ad hoc work (like everyone else in the office) because the I.T. Head has calculated exactly how much resource he needs to complete the current pipeline.</p> <h4>Access to the leader</h4> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67118-17-bullshit-free-quotes-about-company-culture-from-digital-organisations">Culture</a> is passed down from the top and becomes dyed in the wool.</p> <p>If the leader is only in the office once a month (and not just in his/her office), you should be worried.</p> <h4>Perks</h4> <p>All the above are perks (to those who have never known them).</p> <p>Throw in some free drinks (without caveating their provision in a boring email) etc. etc.</p> <h3>Conclusion </h3> <p>Can big corporates achieve all of these things? I don't know, but the challenge is their's.</p> <p>Better that than wrestling for 'control' of digital, something that should eventually be too pervasive to be wrangled by just one person, team or department. </p> <p><em>If you're interested in talking to Econsultancy, check out our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital Transformation resources</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67693 2016-04-04T11:27:55+01:00 2016-04-04T11:27:55+01:00 A day in the life of... Head of Marketing at a fintech startup Ben Davis <h3>Please describe your job! What do you do? </h3> <p>I run the marketing team for fintech startup <a href="https://www.clearscore.com/">ClearScore</a>. I’m responsible for all aspects of marketing - brand, advertising and acquisition activity, PR and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64545-what-is-crm-and-why-do-you-need-it/">CRM</a>.</p> <p>Last summer we launched a brand new service which allows people to come to our site and get a clear picture of their personal credit report data and score - for free.   </p> <p>Our mission is to make everyone's finances less of a hassle, starting with free access to the information about you that banks and lenders all get to see.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3476/screen_shot_2016-03-31_at_15.10.11-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="379"></p> <h3>Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h3> <p>I report into the CEO, Justin Basini. The marketing team is four people strong and <a href="https://www.clearscore.com/jobs/">we’re looking for more recruits now</a>.</p> <p>One of the brilliant things about working in a startup is the flat structure and close-knit team. Me and my team work closely with all 25 ClearScorers.</p> <h3>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role? </h3> <p>ClearScore is <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/data-driven-marketing-trends-briefing-digital-cream-london-2015/">a data-driven business</a> – we use technology and data to provide people with an experience that feels smart, calm and clear.</p> <p>Being able to interpret data and build insights into the customer experience is a key part of what I need to do.</p> <p>In general, to be effective in a small company with big ambitions, you need to be a multi-tasker with a ‘get it done’ attitude.</p> <p>It’s important to be comfortable with ambiguity and be able to forge a path and build structure from a blank sheet. You need to be able to focus clearly on what matters and not be distracted.</p> <p>In a growing business, having the ability to spot talent and draw a brilliant team of people around you is key to being effective as well. My team is wonderful and I couldn’t be effective without them. </p> <h3>Tell us about a typical working day…</h3> <p>I get in to the office between 8.30am and 9.30am - after starting the day with a run or yoga session and breakfast.</p> <p>I start the day reviewing the performance figures for the day before, and catching up with the team on priorities for the day.</p> <p>From that point on there isn’t really a typical day - I could be in a focus group testing a new feature with our users, reviewing some advertising concepts, at a shoot, media planning with my media agency, working on a PR story, reviewing priorities for the next sprint with the technology team... </p> <p>Depending on evening plans, I will leave the office any time between 6pm and 8pm.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3510/Screen_Shot_2016-04-01_at_10.54.42.png" alt="clearscore" width="615"></p> <h3>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p>I genuinely love my job, mainly because I love our product and the team around it. The whole team is really proud - obsessing over how the website looks, each interaction and each new feature.</p> <p>It’s really a pleasure to take something we’re so proud of to our customers, and we love reading feedback from people who write in or post on forums.</p> <p>It's also rare that a marketer gets the chance to take a brand from conception through to mass-market. I feel very strong ownership of our marketing and love being able to shape our strategy and plans and see the immediate impact.</p> <p>Having no legacy of what has gone before is very refreshing. That can be quite hair-raising sometimes too.</p> <p>There is nowhere to hide in such a small team, and I do feel the pressure that comes with that.</p> <p>Our business needs to hit some incredibly ambitious targets to meet the expectations of our shareholders. Sometimes you need nerves of steel!</p> <p>Another favourite part of my role is working on product development - bringing to life the features conceived by our CEO and lead designer. We have so many ideas for smart new features that we are working on.</p> <p>Of course it is fantastic when hard work is rewarded with industry recognition - winning Innovative Product of the Year and Financial PR Campaign of the Year in the last couple of months were definitely highlights.</p> <p>As a business we’re good at celebrating success - any excuse to get down to the pub! </p> <h3>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h3> <p>It’s very easy to measure success in our business, and my goals are tangible - my team and I are focused on bringing traffic to our website, new registrations and return users.</p> <p>These, combined with building a strong brand, are my main deliverables. </p> <p>In order to achieve this I pore over a lot of metrics - advertising response rate, app store downloads, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66569-five-ways-to-use-social-proof-online">user reviews</a>, net promoter score, engagement rate, SEO performance. We measure everything.</p> <p>I have some fantastic Analyst colleagues who ensure I can access what we need to be successful.</p> <h3>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h3> <ul> <li>Kissmetrics has been an invaluable tool for us to understand each phase of our registration process and user behaviour on site.</li> <li>Adalyser for enabling granular tracking and optimisation of TV schedules.</li> <li>Majestic and SEM Rush for SEO.</li> <li>I also really value Da Pulse - a team management tool which enables sharing of objectives, progress and keeps us really focussed in team meetings.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3514/kissmetrics.png" alt="kissmetrics" width="310" height="163"> </p> <h3>How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?</h3> <p>I started out in the automotive industry, kicking off my career with BMW and then as National Communications Manager at MINI.</p> <p>After volunteering in Peru I came back to London interested in the challenge of working for startups.</p> <p>Following a stretch at Zapp, the bank-backed mobile payments service, the opportunity to join ClearScore as the fifth permanent employee came up and I couldn’t turn it down.</p> <p>Right now I’m focusing on growing our user base and developing this business into a world-class consumer service.</p> <p>We’ve got big plans to evolve ClearScore.com and completely shake-up the way people handle their money. Watch this space...</p> <h3>Which brands do you think are doing digital well?</h3> <p>It’s yet to launch but <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/01/06/atom-bank-creates-1-4-million-logos-in-bid-to-prove-customer-obsession/">Atom Bank</a> is a very interesting business. It has been over twenty years since Amazon created a completely new way to shop and it’s taken financial services too long to show any innovation.</p> <p>I am also a huge fan of AirBnB - another business that uses technology to solve a human problem. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65322-how-to-rebrand-airbnb/">Its product design and brand</a> are amazing. </p> <h3>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the digital industry?</h3> <p>Look for the right people and businesses to work with - is your company well-positioned to harness the developing technologies and innovations you want to be part of? Is this deep understanding coming from the very top of the company?  </p> <p>For people early in their career, I recommend specialising and training in a growing area like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-training">SEO</a> or content marketing. I also recommend <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/coding-for-professionals/">learning some basic coding</a>.</p> <p>You will be highly employable and if you choose the right organisation, you’ll then have opportunity to broaden your skill-set as you progress.</p> <p><em>If you're looking for a new challenge in digital, see the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/">Econsultancy jobs board</a> or benchmark your own digital knowledge using our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index-lite/">Digital Skills Index.</a></em></p> <p><em>Alternatively, if you already work in the digital industry and would like a Day In The Life profile, you can email us via press@econsultancy.com.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67687 2016-03-30T12:38:00+01:00 2016-03-30T12:38:00+01:00 A day in the life of... Managing Director of an ad tech firm Ben Davis <p>This isn't (of course) a sales pitch and Chris gives some particularly lucid insight into the world of digital (and what it takes to succeed).</p> <h3>Please describe your job! What does the EMEA MD of a platform such as Pixability do?</h3> <p>My job is to build upon the successful product, team, and reputation already achieved in the US, and establish a wider company footprint. </p> <p>From day one, I’ve committed to building robust foundations in four areas:  </p> <ol> <li>Develop a strong European reputation as the integral solution for successful cross-platform video advertising across the walled gardens of YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.</li> <li>Hire a stellar crew of commercial sellers and account managers.</li> <li>Build operational practices in unison with my US peers.</li> <li>Finally – and most importantly – build commercial partnerships with media agencies and their brand clients.</li> </ol> <p>Right now that means lots of meetings with a wide variety of media agencies, clients, journalists, job applicants, headhunters, and end-of-day management conference calls to HQ in Boston.</p> <p>It’s a long – but very fulfilling – day.</p> <h3>Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h3> <p>I lead Pixability’s EMEA presence and report into Art Zeidman, SVP and Chief Revenue Officer for the business.</p> <p>We met last year and found lots of common ground in both experience (multi-media backgrounds and former Google employees) and ambition for the business.</p> <p>He successfully helped build Unruly Media and understands the nuances of a European media operation versus a US operation.</p> <p><em>Chris Bennett</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3428/Chris_Bennett__EMEA_Managing_Director__Pixability.jpg" alt="steven bennett" width="615"></p> <h3>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h3> <p>I wear multiple hats every day. While I have the support of more than 60 people in the US, we are a start-up in Europe.</p> <p>That means I must be seller, spokesman, office manager, and recruiter.</p> <p>All of these roles require strong relationship management skills.</p> <p>In our industry, customers are inundated with fresh ideas and new business opportunities, so articulating the marketplace, our value within it, and our USP quickly – but with some degree of playful charm – is important in all discussions.</p> <p>Success will come from strong strategic planning combined with speedy execution. An ability to think and run at the same time is supremely valuable.</p> <p>Strong decision-making is a must. This can be as much about what we won’t do, as what we will do.</p> <p>In small teams and early-stage businesses, it’s very easy to be distracted by inbound noise that only steers you off track. </p> <p>Strong and effective leadership is about bringing talented individuals together to work hard towards a common goal.</p> <p>No one individual will make Pixability a success – it requires a cohesive team effort.</p> <p>Having the aptitude to be the conductor of these efforts is the most important skill I can deliver on.</p> <h3>Tell us about a typical working day…</h3> <p>I am usually in the office by 7.30am.</p> <p>We are based in a fabulous WeWork building in Moorgate and I value the early quiet time to prepare and plan for the day ahead – not to mention the uninhibited access to the coffee machine before the 9.30am rush takes hold.</p> <p>Customers always take priority – most days I will have meetings at the media agencies.</p> <p>This week I was in London with Mindshare UK while last week my focus was in Paris, working with Gucci and ZenithOptimedia.</p> <p>I receive numerous inbound enquiries every day from Europe to Africa and Asia. </p> <p>I make a habit of connecting with Art and the US team on a daily basis as it’s important to share practices and discuss customer responses.</p> <p>Our business is evolving fast, and listening to our customers is the best way to continuously enhance and develop our solution.</p> <p>I also regularly tap former colleagues for a third-party perspective on the market.</p> <p>Steve Hyde at 360xec is great independent counsel thanks to his extensive experience on the agency side, Steve Parker at Starcom MediaVest sets me on the straight road, and Derek Jones at Mediatel – despite being an Arsenal fan – always has pearls of wisdom to share.  </p> <p>Early evenings are normally spent interviewing new hires.</p> <p>I place great importance in meeting lots of candidates – it takes time but it helps me build the best teams. Get the hiring wrong, miss out on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67118-17-bullshit-free-quotes-about-company-culture-from-digital-organisations">cultural fit</a>, and everything else is a wasted effort. </p> <p>After that, it’s home to the family, though sometimes via the spinning studio. I am training for a triathlon and the eight cups of coffee every day does me no good at all.</p> <p><em>Pixability has a culture code.</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.pixability.com/culture/"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3430/Screen_Shot_2016-03-30_at_12.34.05.png" alt="pixability culture code" width="615"></a></p> <h3>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h3> <p>The breadth and variety of responsibilities help me leap out of bed every day. No two days are the same and that is very motivating.</p> <p>Equally the opportunity to build a successful business for Pixability was – and continues to be – a big draw. We have a great product, a great team, and a great opportunity.</p> <p>Time zones can be the hardest part of my job. It can feel like my partners in the US are just gearing up for the day as I am winding down. </p> <h3>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?</h3> <p>My short-term focus is on measuring revenue, customer wins, and retention.</p> <p>That will fast develop into greater scrutiny of profitability, to ensure that as we scale resources we don’t lose sight of our core ambition.</p> <p>My goal is to develop a strong European reputation as the partnered solution for successful cross-platform video advertising across walled gardens. </p> <p>My longer-term focus is to deliver strategic value back to the core business. For example, today our partner discussions take place in California.</p> <p>I look forward to the day we can develop and sign off on a partnership with a European platform business.</p> <p>As we develop the organisation, I see a very strong value proposition for the large TV players in all markets.</p> <p>On a personal level, my ambition is to continue to enjoy every day. That involves building a super talented team who aren’t afraid to bring brave new ideas to the fore. </p> <h3>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done? </h3> <ul> <li>1x coffee machine plus 2x pairs of Asics trainers keep me fast and sane.</li> <li>TheListInc – an online database tool that helps me to understand the key client and agency relationships in the UK.</li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67489-slack-yammer-facebook-who-ll-win-the-collaboration-battle">Slack</a> – a brilliant shared messaging and posting board we use across all aspects of our company – serious and social.</li> </ul> <h3><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/3429/asics-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="asics shoes" width="470" height="353"></h3> <h3>How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?</h3> <p>After a number of years in commercial roles at what we know as traditional media channels, Google UK hired me as one of a number of new industry leaders.</p> <p>I was tasked with developing new customer relationships in the entertainment and media sector.</p> <p>After Google, I spent some time with Publicis, followed by three early-stage mobile companies, two of which were sold off to European media players.</p> <p>As for what’s next – hold up, I only just arrived and am intent on ensuring Pixability’s success. I’m particularly looking forward to visiting our future office in Shanghai. </p> <h3>Which brands do you think are doing digital well?</h3> <p>Under Armour is definitely creating some noise in the industry and rightly so. By <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67680-cross-device-measurement-what-to-look-for-in-a-solution">connecting data across multiple platforms</a> such as food diaries and activity logs, an unrivalled view of a consumer can be achieved.</p> <p>Equally its approach is very social – the brand cares about what influencers are talking about as much as what it is trying to say across platforms. </p> <h3>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the digital industry?</h3> <p><strong>To get hired, walk the walk, don’t just talk the talk</strong></p> <p>Demonstrate an interest and proactive approach to digital media – just being on Facebook or subscribing to 50 YouTube channels won’t cut it. Write a blog, become a vlogger, and build a website with ad capability and analytics tools enabled.</p> <p><strong>Build your domain knowledge to be successful</strong></p> <p>Understanding the moving parts of digital media and the technical language is not always a prerequisite for a role but it certainly helps you stand out from the crowd. </p> <p><strong>Be credibly ambitious</strong></p> <p>Hiring takes time and can be expensive so I always look to hire for the second role someone might hold in my company, not the first.</p> <p>Candidates who have a strong awareness of their capabilities and a roadmap of ambition to grow and succeed in the business always catch my attention.</p> <p><strong>Prove numerical capability</strong></p> <p>The ability to interpret data and articulate insight and opportunity from data is crucial.</p> <p>While we operate in a creative industry, it’s no longer acceptable to ‘not be good with numbers’. If you think it’s a weak spot in your armoury, be proactive and learn.  </p> <h3><em>More on digital jobs</em></h3> <p><em>If you're looking for a new challenge in digital, see the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/" target="_self">Econsultancy jobs board</a> or benchmark your own digital knowledge using our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index-lite/" target="_self">Digital Skills Index</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Alternatively, if you already work in the digital industry and would like a Day In The Life profile, you can email us via press@econsultancy.com.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67665 2016-03-22T13:43:54+00:00 2016-03-22T13:43:54+00:00 HR departments are feeling the pain of digital disruption Seán Donnelly <h3>Recruiting staff with the right mix of digital skills is difficult</h3> <p>While this might not be a new problem, it would seem that this issue is particularly pronounced for companies that aren’t based in or near large urban centres.</p> <p>As the requirement to capture and make use of data continues to grow, so too does the need to develop the right infrastructure and talent. According to our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2016-digital-trends/" target="_blank">Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2016 Digital Trends</a>, published in association with Adobe, only 37% of respondents indicated that they have the analysts they need to make sense of their data.</p> <p>Companies are responding to the challenge in a number of ways:</p> <p><strong>Hire for behaviour and attitude, not qualifications</strong></p> <p>There was some discussion about hiring graduates, whose expectations may be too high both in terms of what they wish to earn and how quickly they expect to progress.</p> <p>Because it can be difficult to attract these graduates, some companies are hiring people for behaviour and attitude and equipping them with the right skills through training.</p> <p><strong>Developing apprenticeships and school leaver programmes</strong></p> <p>Several participants noted that this approach was effective as more and more young people are developing technology skills either at school or independently.</p> <p><em>Companies that based far from large urban centres are finding it hard to recruit digital skills.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3186/old_street.jpeg" alt="old street" width="258" height="195"></p> <h3>If recruiting is an issue, retention is just as challenging</h3> <p>Several participants spoke of what they called the “18 month itch”. So called “millennials”, particularly those working in technology and marketing related roles, may choose to move on after 18 months. </p><p>This was particularly prominent in cases where companies are using new technology tools that require training to use them effectively. Once staff become experts at using new and complex technologies, they can become more attractive to other employers so can earn more lucrative salaries elsewhere. This raises a number of issues for HR professionals:</p> <p><strong>Should companies try to retain 'itchy' staff?</strong></p> <p>Or, should companies develop a pipeline of talent to allow staff in other departments the opportunity to upskill and move laterally within the company?</p> <p>Several attendees said that their companies are actively developing procedures to identify staff who traditionally worked in more traditional junior operational roles and giving them the opportunity to upskill into new roles. </p> <p><strong>How should companies manage the leaving process?</strong></p> <p>One HR Manager in attendance said that companies should develop a “positive leaving strategy”. This just means parting ways in the best way possible. The HR Manager that suggested this noted that her company runs “alumni drinks” twice per year. This is useful for a number of reasons:</p> <ul> <li>Staff may move to potential clients. Maintaining a positive relationship with an ex member of staff can be useful for strengthening client relationships and in some cases new client acquisition.</li> <li>A positive leaving strategy can leave the door open to staff coming back to the company in the future when they have acquired new skills. Admittedly, there were different points of view among attendees regarding whether this should be encouraged or not.</li> </ul> <p><em>The 'itch' is felt quicker than ever.</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/3194/itch.jpeg" alt="seven year itch" width="202" height="250"></p> <h3>Addressing digital literacy remains an issue</h3> <p>When it comes to digital maturity, addressing digital skills, from the most junior employee right up to senior management remains an issue.</p> <p>According to our recent research into organisational structures and digital leadership titled <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/effective-leadership-in-the-digital-age/" target="_blank">Effective Leadership in the Digital Age</a>, more than a third (40%) of businesses believe that recruiting staff with suitable skills is a significant barrier to digital progress, making it a bigger problem than 'legacy systems and processes' (35%). </p><p>This is where things got tricky. Having moderated a number of roundtables on different digital topics, I have come to observe that these sessions can often raise more questions than they answer. One such question was whether digital skills should be a requirement for every position or whether digital skills should be centralised? </p><p>While digital literacy is recognised as an issue that needs to be addressed, HR Managers are unclear of what digital literacy is, how to teach it and of course how to measure it. With that in mind, there was some discussion about measuring employee performance. </p><p>Attendees did agree that what we traditionally call “appraisals” should be reframed. The following insights represent a summary of the different ideas and approaches that were discussed with regard to appraisals:</p> <p><strong>People first</strong></p> <p>Attendees noted that while there is a plethora of technologies available for managing and administering reviews, it is important to put people and not technology first.</p> <p><strong>Process driven</strong></p> <p>Performance reviews should be considered as a process and not an event that takes place once or twice per year. One HR Manager pointed out that there should never be any surprises at an appraisal.</p> <p><strong>Two way</strong></p> <p>In fact, one company now calls appraisals “quality conversations”. Appraisals should be approached as a two way conversation rather than one way feedback from a manager to an employee.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9535/Screen_Shot_2015-11-27_at_13.36.42.png" alt="digital skills a challenge" width="615"></p> <h3>Legacy systems and functional silos</h3> <p>Finally, I wondered if we’d hear the words “legacy system” and “silo” and sure enough they popped up. There was discussion among the HR Managers present that the word “digital” too often seems to be considered part of “marketing”. </p><p>One attendee noted that for organisatons to get to grips with digital, they need to develop a “digital family” by joining up IT, Marketing and HR. </p><p>At Econsultancy, we are certainly of the view that a digitally mature organisation will have digital integrated throughout the company. This is represented in our five stage model of digital maturity in our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-marketing-organisational-structures-and-resourcing-best-practice-guide/" target="_blank">Digital Marketing: Organisational Structures and Resourcing Best Practice Guide</a> which is outlines the following evolutionary path:</p> <p><strong>Dispersed structure</strong></p> <p>To begin with digital expertise is normally spread thinly across the organisation.</p> <p>This digital expertise develops organically as employees with digital skills start to make the case for digital. These employees may sit within different departments and so may only have influence within their own team or department.</p> <p><strong>Digital centre of excellence</strong></p> <p>As digital skills mature, many organisations centralise them into what we called a centre of excellence. This centre of excellence is responsible for driving the digital agenda throughout the company. </p> <p><strong>Hub and spoke</strong></p> <p>The next stage in this evolution is what we call “hub and spoke”. At this stage, there is still a central digital hub but digital starts to mature throughout the organisation.</p> <p>This is effectively a combination of centralised and decentralised capability / resourcing / expertise whereby some key functions or capability remain centralised but local functions (think HR) or divisions can develop their own capability that links to the centre.</p> <p><strong>Multiple hub and spoke</strong></p> <p>This moves to a multiple hub and spoke model as digital gets adopted across multiple divisions or business units. Organisations that pass through this stage may have a number of divisions with discrete audiences for example and so while there may still be a central digital hub, each division may also have their own hubs.</p> <p><strong>Fully integraged 'honeycomb' structure</strong></p> <p>The final stage in this model is where digital and digital skills become fully integrated within the fabric of the company. A company at this stage within the model could reasonably be expected to have both the analysts and technology to be able to surface usable insights both from customers and also staff.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/2174/DT_structures.png" alt="" width="500" height="250"></p> <p>We’ve already mentioned that only 37% of companies have the analysts to make sense of their data. Based on the same research, only 41% of companies report that they have good infrastructure to collect the data that they need.</p> <p>If digital is to be used for operational efficiency by HR, then clearly the term “digital” needs to be understood more broadly than as something led by marketing. For that reason, when we discuss digital transformation, we are thinking about something that encompasses the entire organisation, not simply the marketing department.</p> <h3>Leading the charge</h3> <p>Many organisations need to start somewhere and so perhaps it makes sense that until recently digital transformation has been led by either the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66906-was-i-wrong-about-chief-digital-officers/" target="_blank">CTO, CMO and in some cases the CDO</a>. Is there scope for HR professionals to lead the charge? Certainly they have a key contribution to make.</p> <p>Digital transformation after all needs to be successfully accompanied by cultural transformation.</p> <p>I suspect that we will conduct further research into digital from the perspective of HR professionals. In the meantime, readers might be interested in our report “Effective Leadership in the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/effective-leadership-in-the-digital-age/" target="_blank">Digital Age, Skills and Capabilities of Successful Digital Transformation Leaders”</a>.Digital Transformation</p><p>Digital is changing faster and more profoundly than anyone could have predicted. Doing what you've always done is no longer an option.</p> <p>----</p> <p><em><strong>How can Econsultancy help?</strong></em></p><p>The specialist digital transformation practice within Econsultancy helps companies accelerate their journeys to digital excellence. We address the four vectors of change:</p> <ul> <li>Your strategy - where should you be going with digital?</li> <li>Your people - what teams, talent and skills do you need to get there?</li> <li>Your processes - how should you change the way you work?</li> <li>Your technologies - what platforms, software and data strategy will serve you best?</li> </ul> <p>Talk to us about an initial, no-cost consultation. We’ll discuss your toughest challenges, outline our methodology and come back with a proposal.</p> <p>Contact our Digital Transformation Team on transformation@econsultancy.com or call</p> <ul> <li>EMEA: +44 (0)20 7269 1450</li> <li>Americas: +1 212 971 0630</li> <li>APAC: +65 6653 1911</li> </ul> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2q_lWLm5qtg?wmode=transparent" width="425" height="350"></iframe> </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67642 2016-03-14T11:27:59+00:00 2016-03-14T11:27:59+00:00 How brands celebrated International Women’s Day 2016 Chloe McKenna <p>Brands are increasingly building the awareness day into their marketing strategies, with global companies through to SMEs alike posting content and launching campaigns around the theme.</p> <p>In this post I’ll run through some of the most impactful campaigns from the day.</p> <h3>Microsoft: #MakeWhatsNext</h3> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Can you name any women inventors? We asked girls who love science this question. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IWD2016?src=hash">#IWD2016</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MakeWhatsNext?src=hash">#MakeWhatsNext</a><a href="https://t.co/M0EMX00OXx">https://t.co/M0EMX00OXx</a></p> — Microsoft (@Microsoft) <a href="https://twitter.com/Microsoft/status/706849969374777344">March 7, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Microsoft marked IWD with the launch of its #MakeWhatsNext campaign video.</p> <p>The video highlights the often undervalued contribution that women inventors have made to science, due to the emphasis often falling on their male counterparts in terms of what children are taught through mainstream school curriculums.</p> <p>Each girl is first asked to name an inventor, which all managed with ease, reeling off names including Thomas Edison, Alexander Bell and Leonardo Di Vinci.</p> <p>They were then asked to repeat the exercise but instead to list female inventors instead, and all struggled to do so explaining that they had only been taught about the men.</p> <p>The campaign coincides with Microsoft’s YouthSpark program which aims to help young people, particularly women, get access to tools and training to empower them through computer science.</p> <h3>Fairy Fair</h3> <p>Fairy released a video aimed at addressing the unequal distribution of who does the household chores between the genders.</p> <p>Opening with the statistic that on average women in the UK spend 117 minutes more doing household chores than men every day, the video interviewed couples about how they share duties such as laundry, cleaning, cooking and ironing with the women lamenting the fact that they end up burdened with the lion's share.</p> <p>Fairy provided them with a bottle of Fairy Liquid, dropping the ‘Y’ as a reminder to the men to help out more. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2932/Fairy-Fair.png" alt="" width="712" height="399"></p> <p>The same theme was first explored by Ariel India in its <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OD0tlRRzS9M">#Sharetheload campaign</a> earlier this year.</p> <p>Research conducted by BBDO India revealed that 73% of women feel men prefer relaxing over helping with household chores.</p> <p>The ads asked the question ‘Is laundry only a woman’s job?’ and earned significant media coverage in India, also sparking social media conversations and debate.</p> <p>Actions from the campaign included a ‘His &amp; Her’ product being created, a change to the wash care labels of clothes, and in a landmark move Ariel tied up with matrimonial websites (where millions of prospective couples meet) and willingness to ‘Share the load’ was introduced to matchmaking profiles.</p> <p>The result? Millions of men pledged to #sharetheload and contribute to a shift in the mindset of other men across India. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wJukf4ifuKs?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <h3>Google: #OneDayIWill</h3> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Our International Women's Day Doodle celebrates the dreams of women around the world. Share yours using <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OneDayIWill?src=hash">#OneDayIWill</a> <a href="https://t.co/QhNtCNTWgj">pic.twitter.com/QhNtCNTWgj</a></p> — Google UK (@GoogleUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoogleUK/status/707104818037465088">March 8, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Google’s IWD doodle celebrated the aspirations of women from around the world.</p> <p>The video featured 13 cities around the world, asking 33 girls and women from all walks of life to complete the sentence “One Day I Will…”.</p> <p>From San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro through to Moscow and Cairo, each of the women came from a different location and had a unique perspective and set of ambitions.</p> <p>The doodle included some notable figures including anthropologist Jane Goodall and Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai through to unknown women who Google described as the “women [who] continue to dream big”. </p> <h3>Oxfam International: Make a pledge</h3> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Today is <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IWD2016?src=hash">#IWD2016</a> here's to the unsung heroes of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SouthSudan?src=hash">#SouthSudan</a>. Read their messages: <a href="https://t.co/8cHoYgMSlL">https://t.co/8cHoYgMSlL</a> <a href="https://t.co/22qUhurzWm">pic.twitter.com/22qUhurzWm</a></p> — Oxfam International (@Oxfam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam/status/707147636659363840">March 8, 2016</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">When women are unlimited, poverty is undone. Pledge &amp; make it happen: <a href="https://t.co/BfJ9VIljep">https://t.co/BfJ9VIljep</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/womenunlimited?src=hash">#womenunlimited</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IWD16?src=hash">#IWD16</a> <a href="https://t.co/fWKYELGQJz">pic.twitter.com/fWKYELGQJz</a></p> — Oxfam (@oxfamgb) <a href="https://twitter.com/oxfamgb/status/707099841088897024">March 8, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Oxfam International shared messages of struggle, inspiration and freedom from women around the world, calling on followers and supporters to make a pledge of support.</p> <p>Via an onsite checklist, users can promise to carry out various actions in the name of advancing female equality, from signing a petition asking David Cameron to lead the fight on wage inequality, through to pledging to buy Fairtrade products in order to support women farmers.</p> <p>The bold campaign saw Oxfam itself pledge ‘that every girl should be able to dream as big as every boy.’</p> <h3>What can we expect from International Women's Day 2017?</h3> <p>While each of the campaigns from 2016’s IWD highlight a positive message of equality, it’s important to remember that it hasn’t been achieved yet.</p> <p>Many of the issues which IWD highlights, from pay and education inequalities through to unequal distribution of the household chores, still effect women from across the world on a daily basis.</p> <p>Content such as that which the BBC shared around the <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-35687712">question of oppression among Saudi women</a> and dating app Happn’s <a href="http://www.self.com/trending/2016/03/dating-app-campaigns-for-womens-rights-with-fake-survivor-profiles/">shocking campaign</a> highlighting the prevalence of domestic abuse, are stark reminders that there is still a long way to go before there is complete gender parity globally.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2933/IWD-2017.png" alt="" width="744" height="406"></p> <p>For #IWD2017 it’s safe to assume that even more brands will be planning campaigns and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67530-five-social-media-campaigns-celebrating-women-across-the-globe/">content around the theme of female empowerment</a> internationally.</p> <p>This will help to raise awareness and work to support the UN’s overarching goal of gender equality for all and a <a href="http://www.un.org/en/events/womensday/">‘planet 50-50 by 2030’</a>. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4039 2016-03-07T09:00:00+00:00 2016-03-07T09:00:00+00:00 Digital Transformation in the Retail Sector <p>In a fast-moving and highly competitive retail market, companies are increasingly embarking on programmes to digitally transform themselves.</p> <p>The <strong>Digital Transformation in the Retail Sector</strong> report looks at the challenges that retailers are facing. The research seeks to understand best practice approaches from those interviewed, along with techniques and strategies that different types of retailers are adopting to increase their chances of success.</p> <h2>Methodology</h2> <p>We carried out a series of in-depth interviews with senior executives from across a range of retailers to understand how they were responding to different opportunities and challenges.</p> <p>Retailers interviewed included: AO.com, Asda, The Body Shop, B&amp;Q, Feelunique.com, Good Hair Day, Pandora, Schuh, Shop Direct, Tesco and Volcom, as well as a number of third parties.</p> <p>We also looked at sector-specific data from our <a title="Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2016 Digital Trends" href="https://www.econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2016-digital-trends">2016 Digital Trends report</a> published earlier this year.</p> <h2>You'll discover findings around:</h2> <ul> <li>Ways in which companies are putting the customer at the heart of everything to optimise the customer experience.</li> <li>Making the experience more personalised is a top digital priority and how companies are focusing on ways to do this. </li> <li>The focus retailers are placing on blending the digital and physical experience and driving ownership of omnichannel across the customer journey. </li> <li>How retailers are looking to differentiate their offering and how pure-play digital players are focusing on delivering added value online. </li> <li>How retailers are driving forward cultural change in a digital-fast moving environment. </li> <li>How data-driven marketing is a key priority for retailers and the ways in which retailers are adopting a more data-driven approach.</li> <li>How companies are using technology to enhance the customer experience.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></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 6809 2088</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/67497 2016-02-11T15:27:15+00:00 2016-02-11T15:27:15+00:00 Five factors that help create strong company values Jen Todd Gray <p>Seventeen years later, we still have that pioneering spirit, but with a team of 400 across the country and a dynamic rhythm to our work.</p> <p>With a recent rebrand under our belt and new senior leadership in place, it made sense for us to breathe new life into our principles and empower our team to continue doing great work.</p> <p>In a world where workplace stress leads to an almost <a href="https://hbr.org/2015/12/proof-that-positive-work-cultures-are-more-productive">50% increase in voluntary turnover</a>, companies need to work to produce a positive culture so employees feel a sense of purpose.</p> <p>Here are five key points that seasoned companies, as well as sprightly startups, should consider.</p> <h3>1. Understand the importance of values</h3> <p>Company values are a roadmap of how a team strives to conduct business. Every company has a personality and something it stands for, giving prospective consumers and employees insight as to their ideals.</p> <p>Our values are ingrained into our interview process, part of our annual reviews, and woven into everything we do.</p> <p>Zappos, a company that prides itself on being "powered by service," rotates its <a href="http://www.zappos.com/d/about-zappos-culture" target="_blank">ten core values</a> on its <a href="http://www.zappos.com/" target="_blank">homepage</a>; doing so lets consumers know where they stand as a business and adds a level of accountability.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1738/Screen_Shot_2016-02-11_at_15.22.35.png" alt="" width="800"></p><p>Values also help leaders market their company, guiding messaging and tactics with strategies that pertain directly to their mission.</p> <p>Last fall, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67109-rei-opts-out-of-black-friday-sort-of/" target="_blank">REI made headlines</a> for its decision to forgo Black Friday altogether, urging consumers to #OptOutside instead.</p> <p>While many brands benefit from hyped up sales, REI decided that participating in Black Friday was brand erosive, as the company motto is “<a href="http://www.rei.com/stewardship.html" target="_blank">life outdoors is a life well lived</a>.” </p> <p>By taking a bold stance against the hectic and crowded indoor shopping day, it enhanced REI’s positioning as an outdoor fitness brand.</p> <p>When people are looking to do business, it’s not just about the product or service value, but how business is conducted.</p> <p>Ultimately, business is about building great relationships and choosing the right partner based on shared values - the common adage rings true, "People do business with people they like and trust."</p> <h3>2. Know when to modernize</h3> <p>When it comes to a refresh, companies should consider the impact they hope to make and the proper time for pursuing it - don’t just change for the sake of changing and don't change values often - that will lead to confusion.</p> <p>Often, a values revamp makes sense when a company enters a new phase.</p> <p>We began discussing modernization during our rebranding process back in 2013 and, in the months since, watched as our principles evolved alongside the company.</p> <p>While your core values shouldn’t make large swings, you may need to reinvigorate them as your business evolves.</p> <h3>3. Know what you stand for</h3> <p>When issuing corporate values, think about not only who you are as a company, but what you aspire to be.</p> <p>While it’s fine to include these ambitions in company standards, values should be attainable, embracing behaviors that can be embodied every day.</p> <p>Southwest Airlines, for instance, is known for its <a href="https://www.southwest.com/html/about-southwest/careers/culture.html" target="_blank">fun-loving attitude</a> despite the chore that travel can often be.</p> <p>When a FOX reporter <a href="http://metro.co.uk/2015/12/29/fox-news-reporter-live-tweets-budding-romance-at-the-airport-5589316/" target="_blank">live-tweeted a budding airport romance</a> while waiting for her flight, Southwest was <a href="https://twitter.com/SouthwestAir/status/681347758196838400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" target="_blank">quick to jump in on the fun</a>, offering the couple pizza and branded swag.</p> <p>Above all, employees need to feel empowered to mobilize around these principles and implement them in daily operations.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/bfreeland">@bfreeland</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MartinaFOX23">@MartinaFOX23</a> we'll get the pizza and some Southwest goodies! ^BE</p> — Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) <a href="https://twitter.com/SouthwestAir/status/681347758196838400">December 28, 2015</a> </blockquote> <h3>4. Create a sense of ownership</h3> <p>To ensure values are carried out at all levels of a company, leaders must actively demonstrate these beliefs - you can’t recite them once and be done.</p> <p>Leadership teams should frequently evaluate how well employees are invested in these values and find ways to reinforce positive examples.</p> <p>Publicly celebrate individuals who are 'culture carriers' at company meetings, in internal newsletters, on your company blog – whatever channel fits your business.</p> <p>Quarterly peer-nominated awards are a great way to actively empower employees to recognize these values among their peers.</p> <p>Send thank you emails to team members and copy their leaders; order buttons, magnets or small trophies to gift workers when they do a good job. As a whole, visible recognition is an effective way to reinforce key behaviors.</p> <h3>5. Live values everywhere</h3> <p>Whether you have one office location or 1,000 retail outlets, genuine culture adoption comes from full leadership buy-in and an intimate knowledge of the principles and how to live them.</p> <p>However, even when you give leaders the tools to succeed, understand that adoption won’t be instantaneous.</p> <p>For the best results, keep things simple and find opportunities to lead by example. Keep values in mind when hiring.</p> <p>Recruiters should seek individuals that personally embrace the same values to ensure a cultural fit.</p> <h3>Starting from square one?</h3> <p>If you don't have a core set of values written down already, take a hard look at who you are – ask both employees and clients what makes your company special, and begin there.</p> <p>What gets your team members excited? Why do they like working there?</p><p>Finally, keep in mind that cultural values aren’t the same as perks. Shy away from calling out your colorful walls, hip break room and foosball table, and instead focus on the qualities that help you stand out in your field.</p> <p>Values aren't tangible things, but a culture can certainly be felt the moment you walk in to a place. The more authentic your values are, the easier they’ll be to instill and the stronger your company will be. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67107-five-digital-organisations-with-a-transparent-company-culture/"><em>Five digital organisations with a transparent company culture</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67059-changing-company-culture-six-things-to-try/"><em>Changing company culture: six things to try</em></a></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67454 2016-02-01T10:09:36+00:00 2016-02-01T10:09:36+00:00 Five digital realities every CEO & MD must face in 2016 Paul Rouke <p>You can’t change your past but you can change your future. You can’t change the decisions got you where you are today but your future decisions can take you in new, more life changing directions.</p> <p>My point is that there are some things you can’t control but you shouldn’t let that define you.</p> <p>For the few percent of people in the world who choose to take control of their own destiny and start their own business (or those who become a business owner), there are business realities that we have to face up to but you can still control your own destiny.</p> <p>The reality is you and your team simply have to create a perceived value in your product and service to get people to spend money with you.</p> <p>You can’t control what your competitors are doing but you <em>can</em> create your own culture. For a business to succeed it requires one person to make it happen.</p> <h3><strong>What about your business online? How important is it and what steps should you be taking?</strong></h3> <p>Back in late 2012 I published “<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/11372-will-2013-be-the-year-of-conversion-optimisation/">Will 2013 be the year of conversion optimisation?</a>” So, was it?</p> <p>Was it hell.</p> <p>So when will it be the ‘year of conversion optimisation’? At the rate we are going, 2019. What a crying shame.</p> <p>If only conversion optimisation was as sexy sounding as social media, big data, personalisation or omni-channel (for more areas of focus, see Ashley Friedlein's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67397-ashley-friedlein-s-10-digital-marketing-ecommerce-trends-for-2016/">10 digital marketing trends for 2016</a>).</p> <p>In this post I will discuss five realities every CEO must get to grips with in 2016 (and beyond) when it comes to their online experience.</p> <h3>1. Investing intelligently in converting visitors to customers will become essential</h3> <p>There is still a fundamental disconnect between the amount of money companies spend on acquiring traffic, versus what they are willing to invest in turning a higher percentage of that traffic in to customers.</p> <p>It’s almost as if increasing the investment in conversion optimisation is somehow problematic for an acquisition strategy, when reality is it has the potential to dramatically improve the ROI you get from the hundreds, thousands and millions of pounds spent on traffic acquisition each month.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1185/Jedi-Master-Yoda-in-a-sce-006.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="330"></p> <p>Even those businesses who <em>are</em> increasing their investment in conversion optimisation may not be doing so intelligently and are therefore still struggling to grow.</p> <p>Millions of pounds of marketing budget is wasted each year on tools which just aren’t used properly and are therefore failing to produce the advertised results.</p> <p>Then there are millions of pounds being spent on big website redesigns that simply don’t deliver the increase in performance expected from that level of spend.</p> <p>The reality for CEOs is that by investing consistently and intelligently in strategic conversion optimisation they will finally be creating the platform on which they can outgrow their competition.</p> <p>Here are <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66339-five-characteristics-of-businesses-ready-to-grow-through-data-driven-optimisation/">five characteristics of businesses ready to grow through conversion optimisation</a>. If you are embarking on a website redesign, <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/PRWD/how-to-avoid-a-website-redesign-disaster-paul-rouke-at-digital-marketing-show-2015-55256619">here is how to avoid disaster</a>.</p> <h3>2. Pure and simple, A/B testing needs to be mastered before you starting chasing the home run that is big data &amp; personalisation</h3> <p>It is very easy to be excited by something new and shiny. You want to dive in head first and play with all the bells and whistles.</p> <p>Think about your first love. Whether it was love at first sight or your mutual feelings took a little longer to develop, you no doubt fell head over heels with that person.</p> <p>You probably didn’t even stop and think about what are the important foundations to get in place to allow your new relationship to have the biggest chance of long term success.</p> <p>Because of this, realistically, you won’t be with your first love today. Data-driven optimisation is a culture of experimentation.</p> <p><a href="http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/muppet/images/7/74/BeakerHands.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120626193657"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1226/dr_beaker.jpg" alt="" width="475" height="316"></a></p> <p>It can’t be like a first love because if it is, chances are you will have limited impact, low test success rate, poor buy-in from senior management and a general lack of confidence in the potential of conversion optimisation being a crucial growth lever for your business.</p> <p>So many times I see businesses conducting quite complex personalisation and multivariate tests, with little or no reason <em>why</em>.</p> <p>When you analyse the online experiences of these businesses, it become clear very quickly that what they shouldn’t be doing is getting distracted by the shiny new tools and complex tests.</p> <p>Instead, they should learn to walk before they can run by mastering the science and art of researching, planning and delivering intelligent, insight driven A/B tests.</p> <p>The reality for CEOs is that they need to recognise that big data and personalisation is not what their business needs right now.</p> <p>What their business <em>really</em> needs is intelligent and pure A/B testing to drag their online experience kicking and screaming to a place which benefits everyone of their visitors.</p> <p>Intelligent KPIs are also required to measure and improve the impact that optimisation is having for your business – my previous article ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66434-vanity-versus-sanity-metrics-in-conversion-optimisation/">vanity versus sanity metrics in conversion optimisation</a>’ underlines the importance of quality <em>then</em> quantity, for your optimisation strategy.</p> <h3>3. Tools and machines cannot replicate people’s brains</h3> <p>I have previously written about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67245-why-mvt-doesn-t-live-up-to-the-hype-isn-t-worth-significant-investment/">why MVT (multivariate testing) should be replaced by NHT (No Hypothesis Testing)</a>.</p> <p>In that article, I explained how so often the role of coming up with an ‘improved’ version or variation of a webpage is put in the hands of the tool.</p> <p>Instead of having one or two strong, intelligent variations based on an insight driven hypothesis, the tool is used to deliver multiple variations of headlines, buttons and copy to visitors to see “which one sticks.”</p> <p>The biggest mistake businesses make is in limiting the investment they make in people, or more importantly, in people’s expertise.</p> <p>So often companies invest a huge amount of money in enterprise level tools, only to just scratch the surface on what is actually possible.</p> <p>If you asked 50 brands if they feel they are getting value for money from their testing platform or whether they are utilising the feature set to its potential, 10% (at most, from my experience) would say yes.</p> <p>The reality for CEOs is that they need to recognise that data-driven optimisation will not be achieved without significant investment in the people responsible for crafting and delivering improved online experiences.</p> <p>Think user researchers, data analysts, UX designers, front and back end developers, copywriters and psychologists.</p> <p>These are all essential skill-sets being employed by brands like Booking.com, AO.com and Spotify. AO.com has used such people so well that it led me to asking <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66768-ao-com-the-best-ecommerce-experience-available-online/">whether AO is the best ecommerce experience online</a>?</p> <h3>4. You will need to become customer-centric at some stage</h3> <p>Becoming or being customer-centric seems like an obvious statement. Most business would claim they are customer-centric.</p> <p>The reality is businesses are still only scratching the surface when it comes to truly understanding the behaviour, perception, expectations and motivations of the people they call customers.</p> <p>Let’s get this straight. Having some remote user testing videos done, adding an on-site survey and watching a few session recordings does not a customer-centric business make.</p> <p>It doesn’t even get you close. You could say I’m just biased as I have worked in user research for over 15 years now, but here is what these 15 years <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uc6wzgsaZTw">have taught me about conversion optimisation</a>.</p> <p>The reality is those businesses that genuinely make that decision to become customer-centric are the ones outpacing their competition and taking market share; you only need to <a href="http://www.prolificnorth.co.uk/2016/01/shop-direct-predicts-increase-in-digital-personalisation-in-2016/">look at Shop Direct Group</a> to see that.</p> <p>You need to make this same decision before it’s too late.</p> <h3>5. Yes, your competitors are already taking optimisation really seriously</h3> <p>Be warned, your competitors are already taking conversion optimisation much more seriously than they ever have before.</p> <p>They’ve seen the true beauty of conversion optimisation, experimentation, and having a test and learn culture running through their business.</p> <p><strong>The beauty is you can take control of your own destiny.</strong></p> <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1227/destiny.gif" alt="" width="512" height="256"></strong></p> <p>You choose how much investment you’ll make in people, skills, tools, processes, cultural transformation.</p> <p>You choose how ambitious and progressive your business will be in optimising and evolving your online experience. You choose whether the business <a href="http://www.slideshare.net/PRWD/iterative-versus-innovative-testing-exploiting-the-full-spectrum-of-testing-opportunities-paul-rouke-elite-camp-2015-final">embraces the full spectrum of optimisation</a>.</p> <p>Do you want an example of a brand controlling its own destiny? Look no further than AO.com.</p> <p>I’ll put it out there, it's making buying washing machines and dishwashers fun and desirable. If AO.com can do this, what is stopping you?</p> <h3>In summary</h3> <p>It’s time to face up to these realities and start walking the walk. Remember, you can control your own destiny.</p> <p>Time to choose.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:Report/3958 2015-11-25T14:25:00+00:00 2015-11-25T14:25:00+00:00 Digital Marketing: Organisational Structures and Resourcing Best Practice Guide <p>The <strong>Digital Marketing: Organisational Structures and Resourcing Best Practice Guide</strong> is an update on the previous iterations of this research (2011 and 2013), and is based on interviews with senior employees at companies across a range of business sectors, as well as an online survey of senior digital professionals within Econsultancy's user base.</p> <p>Written by experienced blogger, writer and consultant <strong>Neil Perkin</strong>, the report makes best practice recommendations designed to help you respond to the challenges faced by managers and organisations when structuring digital marketing capability.</p> <p>The research was designed to provide an overview of the common issues, themes and challenges associated with <strong>digital resourcing and structures</strong>, but also to assess whether conclusions arrived at in the first two iterations of the research are still valid and how marketers' responses to these challenges have evolved.</p> <p>The report aims to pull together findings from our new research, and also provide some updated recommendations on approaches to and opportunities within digital resourcing and structures.</p> <p>The methodology involved three main phases:</p> <ul> <li> <em>Phase 1:</em> A series of in-depth interviews (15 interviews in total) with a range of senior digital and non-digital marketers and ecommerce leads across different sectors and markets. This was to provide insight into key themes, challenges and opportunities in structuring and resourcing digital marketing.</li> <li> <em>Phase 2:</em> Desk research to identify relevant issues, examples and models.</li> <li> <em>Phase 3:</em> An online survey (439 respondents) of relevant senior staff across a range of organisations and sectors, designed to better quantify feedback.</li> </ul> <p>The report contains everything you need to know about digital resourcing and structures, including sections on budgeting, skills and training, resourcing and opportunities for the future.</p> <h2>Digital Transformation</h2> <p style="font-weight: normal;">This research is part of a series of reports Econsultancy is producing on the topic of <strong><a href="http://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation">digital transformation</a></strong>. </p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Digital is changing faster and more profoundly than anyone could have predicted. <strong>Doing what you've always done is no longer an option.</strong></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The specialist digital transformation practice within Econsultancy  helps companies accelerate their journeys to digital excellence. We address the four vectors of change:</p> <ul style="font-weight: normal;"> <li>Your<strong> strategy</strong> - where should you be going with digital?</li> <li>Your<strong> people</strong> - what teams, talent and skills do you need to get there?</li> <li>Your<strong> processes</strong> - how should you change the way you work?</li> <li>Your<strong> technologies</strong> - what platforms, software and data strategy will serve you best?</li> </ul> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><strong>Talk to us about an initial, no-cost consultation. </strong>We’ll discuss your toughest challenges, outline our methodology and come back with a proposal.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Contact our Digital Transformation Team on <a href="mailto:transformation@econsultancy.com">transformation@econsultancy.com</a> or call</p> <ul style="font-weight: normal;"> <li> <strong>EMEA: </strong>+44 (0)20 7269 1450</li> <li> <strong>Americas: </strong>+1 212 971 0630</li> <li> <strong>APAC: </strong>+65 6653 1911</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/67225 2015-11-23T10:45:29+00:00 2015-11-23T10:45:29+00:00 International ecommerce: Four things to consider when venturing into foreign markets Ian Harris <p>One of the recession’s ‘silver linings’ was that it changed the ‘tunnel vision’ attitude many businesses can develop. </p> <p>The difficulties that arose as a result of this economic stagnation forced business to explore other opportunities – namely those abroad.</p> <p><img src="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web_1-2.jpg" alt="International e-commerce" width="324" height="279"></p> <p>Now that the economic situation looks a bit brighter at home, we wanted to revisit the research. We surveyed 500 senior decision-makers within large organisations to understand how they now prioritise their expansion budgets, and what they consider to be the main barriers for successful market entry. </p> <p>The overriding theme of the results was a sense of missed opportunity. The survey revealed that 62% of respondents believe they are currently missing out on key global ecommerce opportunities.</p> <p>This statistic alone highlights that many UK businesses are still yet to fully explore the global opportunities an online presence can provide.</p> <p>It also highlights a potential dearth of information about how and why a business should engage in such markets. </p> <p>With the country looking forward to developing better, more profitable business offerings, a lack of information in such a key area may highlight the need for a more protracted, government-led emphasis on globalising UK ecommerce.</p> <p>The problem may, however, not be as dire as the figures suggest. 83% of respondents considered overseas expansion to be a new revenue stream. </p> <p>This means that although they might currently be engaged in ecommerce in overseas markets, they simply aren't getting the most out of their endeavours.</p> <p>So, how can businesses that have identified the potential in these markets then go on to take the next steps and ensure they're not missing out?</p> <p><em>Read on to find out, or for more on this topic read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65718-international-seo-a-beginner-s-skills-guide/"><em>International SEO: A beginner's skills guide</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66817-five-international-social-media-myths-debunked/"><em>Five international social media myths debunked</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66575-five-golden-rules-when-localising-for-international-ecommerce/"><em>Five golden rules when localising for international ecommerce</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66929-how-to-overcome-the-difficulties-of-copywriting-for-the-chinese-market/"><em>How to overcome the difficulties of copywriting for the Chinese market</em></a></li> </ul> <h3>Speak the same language as your customers</h3> <p>The study revealed that a large majority of UK businesses felt that they were failing to properly embrace digital business opportunities.</p> <p>While many businesses have certainly woken up to the digital opportunities available to them, many are still not adapting their marketing strategies country to country. </p> <p>Worryingly, 40% of the businesses we surveyed don’t think that communicating with customers in their native languages is important.</p> <p>This is despite the fact that three out of five of these businesses rely on up to 50% of their revenue from global markets. </p> <p>Studies have shown that failing to communicate in native languages can have a serious effect upon the trust consumers place with brands.</p> <p>However, translation doesn't just pertain to the direct translation of written content on your site. The content on your site should always be implemented with technical SEO best practice in mind.</p> <p>This could range from meta-tags and titles to more advanced technical recommendations. This should help you to develop fully optimised content on local domains, which will help increase rankings on your targeted keywords, but also give a better user experience.</p> <p>A native speaker’s cultural insight is also invaluable when moving into a new market. The nuances of a language and culture may not be immediately available to a second language translator but it is these small insights that will keep you ahead of the competition.</p> <p>For example, a native speaking French content consultant could reject content with sub-titles such as “Did You Know…?” for the French market.</p> <p>While acceptable in the UK, this could be perceived as condescending to French audiences, who would prefer something neutral such as “Additional Information” as a title.</p> <p><img src="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web_4.jpg" alt="International e-commerce" width="345" height="297"></p> <h3>Localise your site</h3> <p>It’s not just issues around translating content that can influence customer sentiment either, there are many other big factors to consider too, including your domain structure.</p> <p>87% of businesses stressed the importance of using a local website domain. </p> <p>Yet, many are still not implementing vital changes like this. In a country where 20% of the ecommerce market is through exports, with the majority in Europe, the need for specialised and tailored ecommerce presences in these markets is vital.</p> <p><img src="https://www.searchlaboratory.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web_5.jpg" alt="International e-commerce" width="291" height="251"></p> <p>You should also spend some time on specialising <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-backlink-masterclass">your backlink profile</a> for each country, as this can have a big effect on the trust signals that Google places on your localised site.</p> <p>Your online marketing plan should include local PR, such as PR campaigns and events that will help build natural links to your site.</p> <p>Businesses should also implement a proactive quality link building campaign (brand mentions can be an effective tactic if your brand is already well known in the region) to get links from local sites.</p> <p>This two-pronged strategy should help indicate to both Google, and your customers, that you’re a trusted brand in the market.</p> <h3>Get your brand noticed</h3> <p>The usability and relevance of your website are vital to ensuring your audience's journey ends in a conversion – but you need to get them there first.</p> <p>In markets where you’re a new brand, you're competing with established businesses who know the market inside out. Often you may have to build yourself up from the bottom.</p> <p>To get noticed you have to get your name out there, which involves lots of relationship building with industry influencers.</p> <p>Communicating with these influencers (often journalists and bloggers) is easier if you use native speaking employees. Native speakers understand the market and can save you valuable time lost in research. </p> <p>Content promotion methods differ from country to country too.</p> <p>For example, while forums are generally considered bad practice in the UK, in China they are still hugely influential.</p> <p>Social media is becoming ever more important to brand recognition. In Europe and America, Facebook still dominates the social landscape.</p> <p>When looking at other large markets though, don’t be mistaken for thinking that it’s the be all and end all.</p> <p>In China, the platform's website is blocked, so usage is very low. <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64625-weibos-wechat-renren-how-to-approach-social-marketing-in-china/">QZone and Weibo are the market leaders</a>, with the former boasting a profile for 99% of Chinese internet users. (For more on this topic, download Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/state-of-ecommerce-in-china/">State of Ecommerce in China Report</a>).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3607/starbucks_screenshot-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="457"></p> <p>In Russia, VK (Vkontakte) has over five times as many daily users as Facebook. </p> <p>These platforms work in different ways, with users interacting differently on each site. You should research the habits and trends on these different platforms before <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66774-social-media-marketing-in-china-which-platforms-should-you-invest-in/">forming a social media strategy</a>.</p> <h3>Use paid platforms effectively</h3> <p>You may also choose to run paid campaigns along with your organic ones. As with organic channels, you will need to translate each campaign for each market.</p> <p>One of the mistakes that marketers often make is rolling out a successful campaign from one market across many others. </p> <p>Just because <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/ppc-training/">a PPC campaign</a> was successful in one country doesn't mean it will be in another.</p> <p>The structure and content of your ads in different markets should be based upon comprehensive research and testing in each market. Successful campaigns will have relevant messages and a tone that is in keeping with your market. </p> <p>Programmatic has also become much more important to many digital marketing strategies. 90% of stakeholders in Europe have said they plan to increase their visibility on the platform over the next 12 months.</p> <p>Effective use of programmatic is heavily reliant on the ability to analyse audience habits. It’s important, therefore, that you have good insight into the markets you’re entering.</p> <p>This insight covers a wide range of ideas, such as how your brand is perceived in a particular country and how programmatic campaigns in your industry have worked in the past. </p> <p>Looking at this, as well as the cultural attitudes and habits of your audience, should help you localise each campaign. </p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>The UK has the third biggest ecommerce market in the world. Considering the size of country and population, that’s quite an achievement.</p> <p>This indicates a market and consumers who are progressive, and global, in their thinking.</p> <p>Today, there are countless opportunities for businesses to expand overseas. UK business leaders should focus their efforts on tailoring their strategies to each market.</p> <p>If they present an accessible and relevant online presence to users, brands can reap all the rewards that globalisation offers.</p>