tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/talent-recruitment Latest Talent & recruitment content from Econsultancy 2017-10-24T17:06:32+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:ConferenceEvent/896 2017-10-24T17:06:32+01:00 2017-10-24T17:06:32+01:00 Digital Therapy Live <p><strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong> is an event dedicated to providing a cure for your digital angst. It’s part of our <strong>Digital Therapy</strong> programme for 2017, a mixture of events and webcasts running throughout the year.</p> <p>We ran our first <strong>Digital Therapy Live </strong>in May and, as it was such a success, we have decided to run another event in November of 2017. </p> <p>November's<strong> Digital Therapy Live</strong> will explore topics of concern in the digital space, providing you with the opportunity to digitally destress and debunk digital mysteries, with our experts giving you sound advice on how to pursue your best digital future (without the angst).</p> <p>It’s designed to be a comfortable and confidential setting, so what’s said at <strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong>, stays at <strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong>. In this private forum, surrounded by your peers and our experts, you are free to rant, question, dispute, explore and immerse yourself in comprehensive digital discussion. </p> <p>This event is exclusive to Econsultancy users who are also senior client-side marketers.</p> <h4><strong>Roundtable topics</strong></h4> <p>At <strong>Digital Therapy Live</strong> you’ll have the opportunity to participate in two roundtable discussions, each focusing on different digital pain points. Upon being allocated a space, you’ll have the chance to choose which discussion tables you would like to take part in the most. Topics on the day include:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Personalisation</strong> - 89% of brands can’t deliver personalised digital experiences,  discover how to ensure you are in the 11% that can.</li> <li> <strong>The Customer Journey</strong> - All I want for Christmas is a great customer journey!</li> <li> <strong>GDPR</strong> - Are you GDPR ready? How do marketers prepare for the critical months ahead?</li> <li> <strong>The Collaboration Imperative</strong> - Leading the path to purchase through the power of collaboration.</li> <li> <strong>The M3 Model</strong> - Making the marketing department fit for the future.</li> </ul> <p>We hope to ease your anxiety and eliminate your digital woes throughout the event; our roundtable discussions aim to help you negotiate the many digital difficulties presented to the modern marketer. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69344 2017-09-28T10:00:00+01:00 2017-09-28T10:00:00+01:00 How to keep your brand safe in a programmatic world: A practical guide Ray Jenkin <p>Thought pieces and tips on tackling brand safety are often highly technical or go deep into the weeds on specific areas of brand safety technology, leaving those looking to make their first move a bit bewildered.</p> <p>This post provides advertisers and agencies with broad actionable steps they can take to start to define, implement and adjust protective measures, in light of both brand and business requirements.</p> <h3>1. Define your programmatic brand safety policy</h3> <p>A clear, unambiguous policy helps your vendor and agency partners execute brand safety measures more accurately and effectively. It is key to align your programmatic brand safety policy with your business goals, marketing goals, brand values and industry/sector considerations and then translate these into practical scenarios.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/9236/safe.jpg" alt="" width="600"></p> <p>For example, having an airline appear alongside or in content linked to an aeroplane accident, terrorist attack or delay would not engender trust in the brand, but instead risk the brand's reputation through association and miscommunication.</p> <p>Understanding the tradeoffs of enforcing these policies and their impact on your marketing goals is vital. You’ve got to ask yourself if they are at odds, or if there is a compromise you are willing and able to make.</p> <p>When formulating and documenting your policy, ensure there is someone present with a good understanding of the programmatic buying landscape to provide input on the likely implications of enforcing a policy, on implementation, pricing and delivery of media.</p> <p>Don’t be scared to tweak it, learning as you go along; capturing updates will only reinforce your commitment. But be careful not to forget to share your policy with all your media delivery partners, especially with any amendments you may make – you and your partners should remain accountable.</p> <p>Additionally, strong communication, i.e. keeping your media delivery partners up-to-date, may prevent any costly misunderstandings.</p> <p>Lastly, in order to fully understand where success lies: when your brand is safe, find the right metrics to measure your policy. Calibrate the measurements with any historic data you may have, and be ready and willing to adjust based on guidance from agencies and vendors on industry benchmarks. For example, you may measure the percentage of blocked ads that fell into brand-sensitive categories.</p> <h3>2. Tips to help shape and enforce your policy</h3> <p>When shaping and enforcing your policy, consider your agency and/or vendor’s best practice and trade body memberships. Ask yourself, have the adtech vendors, programmatic trading partners and media owners you work with defined their own policies and frameworks to protect your brand? And are they audited and accredited by trade bodies such as JICWEBS in the UK and the Media Ratings Council (MRC) in the US?</p> <p>Additionally, to strengthen the implementation and enforcement of your policies, ensure any media partners are able to show how they will implement and enforce them, as well as comply with your metrics, measuring well against your standards. Having a holistic implementation and enforcement across a much wider audience will act as a testimony to your policy’s strength.</p> <p>It important to keep in mind what technology is being used by your vendors and agencies to ensure brand safety as well. A plethora of brand safety technology is now available to provide you with transparency on where your ads are being seen.</p> <p>Consider owning this adtech vendor relationship yourself so you can control and monitor your brand safety with more standardisation across your media plan. And for companies undertaking the programmatic media buying on your behalf, ask for their internal human processes on areas such as inventory selection, black and whitelisting, audit processes and peer review.</p> <p>Don’t underestimate the human element in the implementation of technology – when used efficiently it will do nothing but benefit you.</p> <p>Whether you own the demand side platform (DSP) relationship or your vendor or agency does, be sure to understand what that company does to filter the inventory before it becomes available for buying. Question how they categorise their inventory and what measures are built into their buying platforms to ensure your policy can be implemented – consistency amongst all operations, inside and outside of your company, is key!</p> <p>You should therefore also ensure your vendors are able to provide you with ongoing reporting and data to help you evaluate implementation – this will allow you to make adjustments and benchmark your policies on all fronts.</p> <h3>3. Implement internal and external measures to enforce your brand safety</h3> <p>Appoint someone to be accountable for programmatic brand safety.</p> <p>This person should lead on the distribution, implementation and adjustment of your policy, keep up-to-date with industry best practice and technological developments, measure vendors and agencies on their ability to adhere to your policy and respond in a timely and efficient manner when there is an extraordinary event such as negative press, a world event or controversial issue.</p> <p>Having someone accountable for programmatic brand safety will provide clearer lines of communication on a day-to-day basis, allowing for speed-to-market on brand related issues and acting as an incentive for said person to be an advocate for best practice inside and outside of your company.  </p> <h3>In conclusion... </h3> <p>The devil is in the detail, but building a clear framework of what your brand stands for, what your goals are and in turn what your brand safety policy should reflect means you can find the right partner fit across all areas of your media activity.</p> <p>Furthermore, these partners will then have a clearer idea of how they need to be prepared to work with you both through process and technology.</p> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/69344-how-to-keep-your-brand-safe-in-a-programmatic-world-a-practical-guide/edit/"><em>The CMO's Guide to Programmatic</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65677-a-super-accessible-beginner-s-guide-to-programmatic-buying-and-rtb"><em>A super accessible beginner’s guide to programmatic buying and RTB</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68650-the-future-of-programmatic-2017-and-beyond"><em>The future of programmatic: 2017 and beyond</em></a></li> </ul> 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/69369 2017-09-06T15:00:00+01:00 2017-09-06T15:00:00+01:00 Why marketers need to consider the difference between training and education Seán Donnelly <p>The ability for marketers to learn and stay on top of industry changes isn’t a trivial matter. If I can quote Arie de Geus, business theorist and former Head of Shell Oil’s Strategic Planning Group: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.”<br></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/8715/econsultancy-how-marketers-learn-report-full_image-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="" width="470" height="200"></p> <p>At Econsultancy we spend a lot of time identifying, analysing and evaluating digital trends. Some of these trends turn into fads and pass unnoticed. But some have the potential to change not only the role of the modern marketer, but also the structure of entire industries. Regardless of how trends materialise, marketers must learn to adapt to the ever-evolving ecosystem in which we operate. To adapt to any new reality requires learning.</p> <h3>Always be learning</h3> <p>If we could boil down the key message from the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/how-marketers-learn-research-findings/">How Marketers Learn</a> report into three words, they would be ‘<em>always be learning’</em>. The message is as applicable to individuals as it is organisations. Individual learning is, after all, at the heart of organisational learning.</p> <p>The report points out that if an organisation wants to adapt, grow and stay connected to customers, it will need to embed a culture of learning, that is, a dynamic culture that thrives on change. This will be essential for modern marketers in order to be able to interpret and navigate new trends and tactics. </p> <h3>Characteristics of the modern marketer</h3> <p>Modern marketing is an eclectic discipline. Much of what is required of the modern marketer revolves around a thorough understanding of marketing theory, technical marketing capabilities and an equal measure of strategic thinking and creative thinking capability.</p> <p>In fact, in 2013, Econsultancy published a call to arms of sorts for marketers. The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62574-introducing-the-modern-marketing-manifesto">Modern Marketing Manifesto</a> lays out the critical capabilities and characteristics of modern marketers to succeed. Take a look at it and ask yourself how aligned your own capabilities are. If you’re not in alignment, you might need to think about how to get up to speed. Training and education will play a big part in that. </p> <p>As I worked on this report, I couldn’t help but reflect on the value of training and other forms of education.</p> <h3>Thinking about the difference between training and education </h3> <p>Education is about theory. It is longitudinal. Education is about learning to think critically and in the abstract. Anyone who has studied marketing at university will remember that they learned about theories and frameworks but may not have had the opportunity to apply that knowledge with real clients.</p> <p>A degree in marketing will equip any marketer with the theoretical knowledge and strategic awareness to commence a career in marketing. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8501/education.jpg" alt="" width="407" height="271"></p> <h4>Training</h4> <p>Training on the other hand is about learning skills and tactics. It is specific. Good training provides the capability to do something rather than simply know something. </p> <p>In my opinion, training can empower marketers to think tactically and apply those new tactics in specific contexts. Marketers with knowledge of classic marketing theory and relevant training can excel by being able to think both tactically and strategically.    </p> <h3>Marketing qualifications and the need for training</h3> <p>As important as marketing training is, without wider marketing education it may be insufficient to address the requirements of today's marketers. Modern marketers need to be thoroughly schooled in marketing theory in order to equip them with foundational knowledge and strategic awareness that they can continue to apply as new digital tactics continue to emerge.</p> <p>There are a lot of people that are great digital marketing technicians. Some people might even consider them to be thoughtleaders in marketing. In practice though, some of those people might lack a wider appreciation of the discipline of marketing. Professor Mark Ritson wrote about this in his <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/07/12/mark-ritson-maybe-its-just-me-but-shouldnt-an-expert-in-marketing-be-trained-in-marketing/">Marketing Week column last year</a>: “Before anyone is declared an expert/ninja/guru/visionary in marketing they need to learn the discipline. You need a qualification to be qualified.”</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8503/Ritson_head_Scratch_small.jpg" alt="" width="980" height="400"></p> <p>Ritson got a bit of stick about that article. You might argue that his view focused too narrowly on academic qualifications and doesn’t take into account the fact that individuals can learn the principles of marketing and accompanying skills through a mix of career learning (assuming that they are working at a company with a good academy or marketing programme) and independent learning (reading, conference attendance etc.). </p> <p>Might I politely suggest that instead of targeting Mark Ritson for calling out marketers with no qualifications, perhaps we should think about the value that a qualification brings to the profession in terms of credibility and trust, particularly at senior levels where other executive colleagues will likely have their own qualifications (accountancy, finance, law etc.). Rightly or wrongly, those people may regard their marketing colleagues more highly if they can see that those marketers acquired their skills and knowledge via a robust and challenging qualification process, in the same way that they have. </p> <p>While disciplined people that take pride in their work can most certainly learn what they need to know to succeed, there is still a value in holding a recognised qualification. Let’s be honest, no matter what the profession is, the more qualified you are, the more opportunities there will be for career advancement, bonuses and pay increases!</p> <p>As somebody with somewhat of an academic background, I would suggest that while knowledge and approaches may move on, there is something about an academic programme that forces students to learn to think critically and strategically. This ability never goes out of date.</p> <p>While marketing theory may not change quickly, the professional discipline of marketing is always changing. The emergence of new technologies which can change consumer behaviour and vice versa mean that marketers are expected to not only practice increasingly sophisticated digital marketing tactics but also be able to coordinate with fellow marketers to plug these tactics into the overall marketing strategy.</p> <p>For this reason, marketers require regular training to improve skills and ensure that they can remain current and effective in their roles. Training at regular intervals throughout one’s career is important. This is equally true for junior marketers as it is for experienced professionals wishing to keep abreast of trends and tactics.</p> <p>Also, while marketers don’t officially require a further period of practical training after completion of academic studies the way other professions do (accountancy, law and medicine for example), in practice, most marketing professionals will start their career in junior positions where they will need to focus on a core set of channels or tactics to develop their technical and tactical expertise. They will develop these skills via on-the-job learning and focused training courses. It is for this reason, many companies well known for the quality of their marketing will run their own marketing academies in order to equip their staff with the skills that don’t neatly fall within the scope of a marketing degree.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/8502/training-blog-flyer.jpg" alt=""></p> <h3>Balancing education and training</h3> <p>There’s a lot written about how quickly things are changing but let’s be clear about one thing - the pace of change today is as slow as it will ever be. While the fundamentals of marketing may not change quickly, there is an ever increasing range of digital armoury available to marketers. </p> <p>In order to keep your head above water and not fall victim to the whims of the latest hysteria around which digital marketing channel is the hottest, marketers need a solid marketing foundation. This is acquired through education. </p> <p>However, as long as technology continues to reshape consumer behaviour and vice versa, there will be a requirement for training to help marketers and companies navigate those changes.</p> <p>And so education and training go very much hand in hand. Education provides the foundation upon which to layer training. Skills-based training on its own will only result in short term thinking and an inability to understand the limitations of that training.</p> <h3>Our thoughts on balancing theory and training at Econsultancy</h3> <p>While technology and consumer behaviour may change, the fundamentals of marketing don’t, at least not very quickly. This is why I think the Econsultancy’s sister-brand <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/mini-mba/">Marketing Week’s Mini MBA in Marketing</a> has been so well received. It provides a nice foundation upon which participants can layer on digital and channel specific skills.</p> <p>The Mini MBA in Marketing was designed to mirror the core marketing course offered in MBA programmes at top business schools. That means equipping learners with the knowledge and frameworks they need to become more effective marketers.</p> <p>It’s a nice supplement to what we do at Econsultancy. Please excuse the shameless plug but our clients turn to us to get a balanced view on the latest trends, tools and tactics in digital marketing. We can do this because we publish content that bridges the divide between education and training. While the Mini MBA in Marketing can provide the foundations, Econsultancy is able to support marketers to layer up their skills via capability management, training, conferences and e-learning.</p> <h3>Econsultancy career resources</h3> <h4><strong>Mini MBA in Marketing</strong></h4> <p>If you are interested in classic marketing education, I would encourage you to check out the <a href="https://www.marketingweek.com/mini-mba/">Marketing Week online MiniMBA in Marketing</a>. Participation will equip learners with awareness of key marketing skills such as market orientation, research, segmentation, positioning, brand equity and strategy. This knowledge will empower learners to move beyond tactical thinking to being strategically aware.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/8499/mw_mmba_logo-blog-flyer.jpg" alt=""></p> <h4>Digital Skills Index</h4> <p>If you are already schooled in classic marketing, but feel that you are lacking in digital skills and don’t know where to start, may I suggest that you start with our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index/">Digital Skills Index</a>. The Digital Skills Index is an online assessment that measures the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in digital marketing and provides a detailed appraisal of your current digital marketing knowledge as well as a set of recommendations on how to advance and sharpen your skills.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/8718/Digital_Skills_Index.png" alt="" width="763" height="417"></p> <h4>Relevant reports and blog posts</h4> <p>If you’re already a supporter of professional development and lifelong learning but are wondering what to focus on next, my colleague Ben Davis wrote a really great piece last year called '<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68550-forget-learning-to-code-what-should-marketers-really-know">Forget learning to code; what should marketers really know</a>'. It’s a very well written and pertinent article for any marketer wondering what skills they need to learn next.</p> <p>You might also be interested in our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/skills-of-the-modern-marketer">Skills of the Modern Marketer</a> report. The report defines the soft skills needed to be successful in an organisation and the deep vertical knowledge areas that marketers see growing in importance in the coming years.</p> <p>As an analyst whose job it is to be able to identify and translate the importance of digital trends, I am very much in a state of always learning. This has enabled me to subscribe to the philosophy of pursuing a “living degree”, that is, taking an always-on approach to learning that adapts to changing environments.</p> <p>The <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. It provides an overview of how marketers are currently managing their learning requirements.</p> <p>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. If you’re a marketing practitioner, regardless of where you are in your career, this report will help you reframe how you and your organisation approach professional development.</p> <h3>Econsultancy training</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/">Econsultancy training courses</a> are developed by digital marketing experts and are based on the most up to date insight available. By attending an Econsultancy training course, you’ll benefit from:</p> <ul> <li>Best practice advice that draws on the expertise of researchers, analysts and practitioners</li> <li>The opportunity to continue your learning and grow your digital capabilities through our raft of resources, including a free report of your choice on completion of your course from our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/" target="_self">award-winning research library</a>.</li> <li>A friendly training team that will advise you on the course or programme that’s right for you.</li> <li>Small, collaborative classes (no more than 15 people).</li> </ul> <h3>Festival of Marketing</h3> <p>The lineup at this year’s Festival of Marketing is packed with great speakers and brands. Business icon Jo Malone joins <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69359-stephen-fry-to-headline-the-festival-of-marketing-2017">Stephen Fry</a> atop the bill, while marketing heavyweights Mark Ritson and Byron Sharp will go head-to-head in the other headline slot.</p> <p>Away from the headliners we have speakers from the world’s biggest brands, including Virgin, Unilever, Bentley and JustEat. After you’ve <a href="https://goo.gl/dsqgYw" target="_self">browsed the full agenda</a>, make sure to <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/buy-a-ticket?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econblog/" target="_self">buy your ticket</a>.</p> <p>...............Always be learning!</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/69254 2017-07-20T09:44:00+01:00 2017-07-20T09:44:00+01:00 Four key digital challenges for IT leaders in 2017 Nikki Gilliland <p>Based on a sample of more than 500 IT leaders, here are a few key charts from the research, highlighting the biggest hurdles IT professionals currently face.  </p> <h3>1. Threat of security breaches</h3> <p>While technical skill is still a given, the role of senior executive within IT departments has evolved into something much broader, requiring a deeper understanding of business objectives. This also means creating a bridge between technology and other areas of the business such as HR, finance, and marketing. </p> <p>This focus on the wider customer experience has also led to the concept of the ‘chief integration officer’ – someone who is able to influence the overall strategic vision of a business. Following on from this, it is clear that the challenges faced by IT leaders are much more complex than they once were.</p> <p>Now, the threat of security breaches and cyber-attacks is cited as a key concern by 41% of respondents – higher than any other area.</p> <p>Perhaps unsurprisingly, executives at organisations with annual revenues exceeding £150m are more likely than their peers at smaller organisations to reference security as a major challenge.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7501/Security_attacks.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="535"></p> <h3>2. Finding the right mix of skills</h3> <p>Interestingly, it is larger organisations that cite lower levels of confidence in their digital skills mix, with just 58% agreeing that they are well-positioned in this area compared to 61% of smaller organisations. </p> <p>Similarly, European organisations seem less confident than their American and APAC counterparts. Talent availability is seen as more of a challenge than in other regions, with availability of individuals with the right mix of skills being cited as a top-three internal problem by more than 34% of European respondents.</p> <p>This is also the case when it comes to culture, with 61% of European respondents describing their company culture as "innovative, adaptable and undertaking a ‘fail fast’ approach". When compared with 68% of respondents saying the same for North America and 75% in APAC, it’s clear that Europe is still playing catch up.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7504/Skills_and_culture.JPG" alt="" width="739" height="618"></p> <h3>3. Escaping silos</h3> <p>In terms of internal barriers, it appears the age-old problem of organisational structure remains the biggest. 42% of executives cited frustration with departmental silos and bureaucratic processes, while 41% expressed frustration over integrating legacy systems with new tools and technologies.</p> <p>This is even more the case for larger organisations in Europe, with 52% of European respondents citing bureaucracy as a top internal barrier.</p> <p>Interestingly, while support from senior management is less of a concern, a lack of shared vision relating to the meaning of digital transformation appears to be sustaining conflict. Again, this challenge is slightly more evident in Europe, tying in with the aforementioned struggles of skills and culture.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7506/Silos.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="541"></p> <h3>4. Keeping abreast of innovation</h3> <p>With IT executives now expected to help drive marketing strategy, keeping ahead of major technologies connected to innovation is another growing challenge – especially for larger organisations.</p> <p>46% of executives at larger companies are more inclined to feel pressure regarding tracking technology and innovation trends compared to 36% of smaller company peers. Interestingly, IT executives appear to be looking outside of their organisations to keep abreast of technological innovation. More than half of respondents say they exploit technology content sites and webcasts and webinars.</p> <p>Lastly, the challenge to keep on top of innovation also extends to finding talent, with increasing importance in striking a balance between traditional technical knowledge and softer skills such as communication, co-operation and strategic thinking.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/7508/Innovation.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="550"></p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download the full <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/2017-digital-trends-in-it/">2017 Digital Trends in IT Report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69039 2017-05-08T15:00:00+01:00 2017-05-08T15:00:00+01:00 12 do's and don'ts for attracting digital talent in job postings Patricio Robles <p>Here are 12 do's and don'ts for job postings for digital roles. </p> <p>And to learn more on this topic, apply for a free place at our <a href="https://goo.gl/LO5VrK">Digital Transformation Conference</a> in London on June 14, which will focus on Digital Talent and Culture.</p> <h3>1. Do: describe what your company does and what makes it unique</h3> <p>For many digital professionals, what you do and why it's interesting can be what first interests a candidate in learning more about an opportunity at your company.</p> <p>In describing what you do and why it matters, KISS (keep it simple, stupid) works best. Focus on the who, what, when, where, why and how, and do it succinctly. In effect, this portion of a job posting should be thought of as the elevator pitch for prospective employees.</p> <h3>2. Don't: talk about "changing the world"</h3> <p>Even if you truly believe that your company is "changing the world", let your description of what your company does make this evident instead of incorporating this overused and increasingly meaningless phrase in your job postings. The smart people you're trying to recruit will have no problem determining the impact of your company on the world if you describe what you do well enough.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/IXuFrtmOYKg?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>3. Do: use a standard job title and make sure it's accurate</h3> <p>When it comes to job titles, don't get clever. Make sure your job postings use industry-standard job titles.</p> <p>Sometimes, this can be more difficult than it sounds, particularly for creative roles. For example, there is a lot of debate about UX roles and job titles. In cases where there's some question as to the job title, ask for input from the employees who will be managing and working with the new hire.</p> <h3>4. Don't: try too hard to look cool or creative</h3> <p>While adding a dash of humor or creativity to a job posting is not a no-no – when done well, it can be especially helpful for creative roles and firms – be careful not to try too hard to look cool or creative.</p> <p>Modesty is best when attempting to inject humor, irony or pure awesomeness into a job posting because more often than not, attempts that are overdone produce postings that are confusing, awkward or even cringeworthy.</p> <h3>5. Do: describe the skills and experience you want in a candidate</h3> <p>Far too many job postings fail to describe in detail the skills and experience the successful candidate will possess. Not including this information is one of the primary reasons job postings fail to deliver quality candidates who are capable of performing the duties of the job.</p> <p>Specificity is key. For example, what specific software, tools and processes should the candidate have knowledge of? And how many years of experience do they need? Often companies don't include detailed enough information because the person who writes the job posting doesn't ask for or receive enough input from the employees who are best-positioned to know what the job actually requires. So it is important to ensure that there is collaboration between HR and hiring managers when this portion of the job posting is written. </p> <p><strong>Bonus tip:</strong> be careful about substituting adjectives like "ambitious", "analytical", or "assertive" for a legitimate description of skills. These are <em>not</em> skills, and they <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/06/02/textio-unitive-bias-software_n_7493624.html">can even reveal bias that turns candidates off</a>. Fortunately, if skills are adequately described, ambiguous adjectives often become unnecessary.</p> <p>For example, a well-written job posting for a data scientist role would probably not need to use the word "analytical" because a candidate with the skills described would obviously have a track record demonstrating analytical prowess.</p> <h3>6. Don't: use words like "ninja", "rockstar" and "guru" or state that you hire only the "best"</h3> <p>Words like "ninja", "rockstar" and "guru" mean nothing, and given that <em>every</em> company only hires candidates it feels are up to its standards, stating that you're looking for the "best" in a job posting is pointless. Enough said.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5914/ninja_turtles.jpg" alt="" width="709" height="493"></p> <h3>7. Do: post the salary</h3> <p>While many job postings do not list a salary or salary range, it's a seller's market for many digital roles today. Desirable candidates usually have no shortage of options – a recent survey <a href="https://medium.com/@wbelk/68-of-high-performance-employees-are-contacted-about-new-job-opportunities-at-least-once-per-month-c710f0393654">found that</a> 68% of high-performance employees are contacted about new job opportunities at least once a month – so keeping salary a secret in your job posting can sometimes even result in it being passed over.</p> <p>Posting salary also eliminates the need to spend time dealing with candidates whose salary expectations aren't aligned with yours and could be especially helpful in attracting engineers, who, thanks to the hot market, have over the years become increasingly sensitive to and savvy about salary negotiations.</p> <h3>8. Don't: oversell your sweet digs</h3> <p>There are few people who don't want to work in a comfortable setting, but chances are that the awesomeness of your office is a lot less important to job candidates than it is to the person who decorated your office. So while it's okay to mention the basics about the physical environment you offer, don't make your office a focal point of your job posting.</p> <h3>9. Do: list benefits</h3> <p>Health and life insurance, retirement accounts and paid leave aren't sexy, but they are very, very important to many candidates. So be sure to detail them.</p> <h3>10. Don't: play up perks that could give the wrong impression of your company culture</h3> <p>While there's nothing wrong with an awesome ping pong table or hosting epic parties from time to time, companies should resist the urge to play up perks that probably aren't all that important to many good candidates. In many cases, these perks can even be turn-offs to talented prospects because they can create a false impression of company culture.</p> <p>Obviously, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68840-culture-and-digital-transformation-how-to-build-a-living-business/">company culture <em>is</em> important</a>, but if your company culture is defined by perks, your company likely has a problem.</p> <h3>11. Do: explain the challenges and opportunities the job will offer candidates</h3> <p>Salary and benefits are generally important considerations for talented professionals who often have numerous options, but offering a high salary and generous benefits won't necessarily seal the deal if a candidate doesn't feel that the job will be challenging enough and/or offer significant enough opportunities for growth.</p> <p>For that reason, it's incredibly important that a job posting explain what the job offers candidates beyond salary and benefits. Examples of things that can entice candidates include the ability to work on unique technical challenges that a candidate likely won't encounter elsewhere, or the opportunity to work on high-profile projects.</p> <h3>12. Don't: ask for a unicorn</h3> <p>The fast-paced and ever-changing nature of digital means that organizations are often looking for candidates who have cross-disciplinary skills and are comfortable taking on a wide range of tasks, even if it means learning on the fly.</p> <p>But be careful about giving the impression that you're unrealistic in your expectations. Nothing will turn off a qualified candidate more than the impression that you're looking for a single employee who can do anything, anywhere, anytime. There are no unicorn employees, even if your company is a unicorn.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68962 2017-04-06T11:03:00+01:00 2017-04-06T11:03:00+01:00 How HR professionals are adapting to the digital age Nikki Gilliland <p>Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-hr-in-the-digital-age/" target="_blank">Future of HR in the Digital Age</a> report delves into this topic, drawing on insight and knowledge from people within the industry as well as wider research.</p> <p>Here are a few key takeaways, highlighting how HR professionals are adapting to digital change.</p> <h3>Being proactive rather than reactive</h3> <p>While HR professionals are increasingly using data to gain a clearer picture of employees across organisations, it appears that this is still being done at quite a basic level – usually for diagnostic purposes such as measuring output. </p> <p>In future, it is predicted that data will play a more proactive role in HR practice, ultimately being used in predictive ways to develop greater understanding and impact for the HR function overall.</p> <h3>Following the focus on CX</h3> <p>The below chart shows that customer experience is still seen as the biggest opportunity for businesses – above and beyond other factors such as creating compelling content or data-driven marketing.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5200/CX.JPG" alt="" width="624" height="592"></p> <p>In turn, CX is also driving change in the processes, structures and practices across organisations as a whole – including HR. </p> <p>Whether it is finding ways to reinforce a collaborative culture or breaking down department barriers, the implications for HR are essentially a greater need to support cross-company collaboration and to facilitate change.</p> <h3>Improving digital literacy </h3> <p>Despite 71% of respondents in a survey saying that it is very important for business leaders to be technology-literate, just 28% said that they believe that is the case within their current organisation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5201/Tech_literate.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="453"></p> <p>This is clearly one area that senior professionals need to work on, however it’s not just about improving technology knowledge in an operational sense.</p> <p>Rather, senior professionals need to understand the potential, integration and application of technologies, with the separation and clear distinction of these three contexts being key.</p> <h3>Recognising the employee experience</h3> <p>While CX is often cited as the main catalyst for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68216-six-iconic-retailers-and-their-digital-transformation-journeys/" target="_blank">digital transformation</a>, many professionals are beginning to recognise that employee engagement is also a core component.</p> <p>In other words, true transformation is about more than just technical expertise and channels, or indeed marketing and CX. It is about how organisations respond appropriately to the challenges and opportunities that the digital world creates, or in other words, how they reshape the way in which teams work, collaborate and behave. </p> <h3>Evolving leadership qualities </h3> <p>Finally, HR professionals are increasingly focusing on ‘softer skills’, with a change in the perception of leadership qualities seen overall. Rather than traditional leadership qualities such as being inspirational, highly commercial and action-oriented – skills such as adaptability, flexibility, curiosity and the ability to embrace change are growing in importance.</p> <p>Of course, a mix of both soft and traditional skills remain the ideal, with knowledge and empathetic emotional intelligence truly driving organisational change. For HR professionals, the greatest challenge remains being able to find it.</p> <p><em><strong>Related reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68873-what-exactly-is-company-culture-and-how-can-hr-change-it/" target="_blank">What exactly is company culture? And how can HR change it?</a></em></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67976-this-is-how-you-explain-to-hr-what-digital-means/" target="_blank"><em>This is how you explain to HR what 'digital' means</em></a></li> </ul> <p><em><strong>Econsultancy subscribers can also download the full <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/the-future-of-hr-in-the-digital-age/" target="_blank">Future of HR in the Digital Age</a> report.</strong></em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68951 2017-04-03T11:44:55+01:00 2017-04-03T11:44:55+01:00 What makes Premier Inn the world’s strongest hotel chain? Nikki Gilliland <p>With total sales up 12.9% and like-for-like sales up 4.2% in 2015 and 2016, it marks a successful period for the hotel chain.</p> <p>So, what exactly makes Premier Inn so strong? Here’s a breakdown of its <a href="http://brandfinance.com/knowledge-centre/reports/brand-finance-hotels-50-2017/" target="_blank">BSI score</a> along with some further insight into what it’s been doing right.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/5139/BSI.JPG" alt="" width="368" height="400"></p> <h3>Familiarity and consumer confidence</h3> <p>As one of the first mass market UK hotel chains to be advertised on prime time television, Premier Inn has infiltrated the consumer mind-set as a go-to brand. By using high-profile celebrities in its TV ads, most notably with comedian Lenny Henry, it has further cemented itself into the consumer consciousness.</p> <p>Alongside this sense of familiarity, Premier Inn has worked hard to instil a sense of confidence in consumers – and this has mainly been achieved by differentiating itself from the competition.</p> <p>With its ‘great night’s sleep guaranteed’ pledge, it goes above and beyond the promise of convenience or value to offer something that all consumers crave from a night in a hotel – real comfort and a sense that it is a home away from home. </p> <p>By using its partnership with Hypnos beds in this way, and even going as far as offering a money-back guarantee, it has been able to beat out similar chains that solely rely on factors like low cost.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpremierinn%2Fposts%2F1469295463100686%3A0&amp;width=500" width="500" height="662"></iframe></p> <h3>Emotionally-led campaigns</h3> <p>Having established itself as a well-known and familiar brand, Premier Inn has widened its marketing approach to focus on more emotionally-led campaigns – recently using director Ben Wheatley for a new series of adverts. </p> <p>‘Great Aunt Mabel’s Birthday’ – a decidedly Wes Anderson-inspired ad – portrays the experience of getting ready for a special birthday party, building on relatable family-driven elements to engage viewers. </p> <p>Similarly, its ‘Working Girl’ ad depicts a different but similarly emotionally-driven experience of giving an important work presentation, which is conveniently made easier thanks to Premier Inn’s free Wi-Fi, unlimited breakfast and king-size Hypnos beds.</p> <p>With an emotional response reported to have a far greater influence on a consumer’s intent to purchase than the ad’s content – by a factor of 3-to-1 for television commercials – Premier Inn’s decision to veer into this territory is likely to resonate with consumers. </p> <p>What’s more, it aims to show the brand in a fresh and multi-faceted light, removing the perception that it's <em>only</em> about a good night’s sleep.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dbpH2F-kn8Y?wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>Value-for-money and employee focus</h3> <p>With value-for-money having a direct influence on consumer satisfaction, Premier Inn’s commitment to offering a quality service for less appears to be at the heart of its success. But more than this, it is its ability to strike a balance between value and quality which sets it apart – and a reason why it has also ranked consistently highly on YouGov’s BrandIndex.</p> <p>Lastly, with staff satisfaction and corporate reputation contributing to brand strength, Premier Inn’s commitment to equality is also worth a mention.</p> <p>As well as a student placement scheme, the brand runs the Premier Inn Hospitality Apprenticeship programme to recruit people from diverse class backgrounds, regardless of academic achievement. The chain employs around 700 apprentices in the UK at any one time, offering the opportunity for apprentices to rise up the ranks and even run hotels or large teams at corporate level.  </p> <p>In doing so, it has demonstrated its position as a fair and socially-aware employer, undoubtedly contributing to its status as a powerful brand. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpremierinn%2Fposts%2F1349966288366938&amp;width=500" width="500" height="488"></iframe></p> <p><strong><em>Related reading:</em></strong></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65315-which-hotel-sites-offer-the-best-user-experience/" target="_blank">Which hotel sites offer the best user experience?</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67658-how-hotels-can-personalize-the-customer-experience-to-compete-with-airbnb/" target="_blank">How hotels can personalize the customer experience to compete with Airbnb</a></em></li> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68025-how-hotels-can-create-a-more-convenient-customer-experience/" target="_blank">How hotels can create a more convenient customer experience</a></em></li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68904 2017-03-20T10:09:34+00:00 2017-03-20T10:09:34+00:00 Minding the digital skills gap: top tips for aspiring modern marketers Donna-Marie Bohan <p>In today’s business landscape we are witnessing a transforming job market. How are marketing roles and responsibilities going to change and develop in the future? How does the human element of brand building evolve in a world of emerging technology?</p> <p>These are some of the questions that concern us as modern marketers grappling with a fast-moving and uncertain environment. </p> <p>Data from The Marketing Society shows that <a title="why cmos life expectancy is falling" href="https://www.marketingweek.com/2016/03/07/why-cmos-life-expectancy-is-falling/" target="_self">the average tenure of CMOs in the UK stands at just 18 months</a>. All this means that marketers are having to work even harder to prove their worth to the board. With <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68718-what-is-zero-based-budgeting-and-what-are-its-benefits-for-marketers/">zero-based budgeting</a> and increasing pressure to prove ROI on marketing spend now commonplace, the onus is on marketers to show how marketing affects the business bottom line and how it ultimately drives a business forward.</p> <p>A shift in how marketing operates means that finding and nurturing the right talent is often difficult.</p> <p>Panellists Julia Porter (Origin Housing), Liz Curry (Comic Relief) and Luis Navarrete Gomez (Lego) reflected on this issue at Marketing Week Live and spoke about the challenges and opportunities of the skills gap for the modern marketer.</p> <p>Here are some of their top tips for aspiring marketers.</p> <h4>Data is your friend</h4> <p>Data is now a central part of marketing for the future, which means that marketers need to be comfortable utilizing it. Creativity is no longer enough; understanding data is essential if a marketer wants to develop their career.</p> <h4>Don’t lose focus on what’s important</h4> <p>Functional skills such as ecommerce and CRM as well as channels skills such as programmatic and social were cited as examples of the type of know-how now in demand.</p> <p>That being said, while data literacy and a basic knowledge of technology is important, the tech revolution has perhaps resulted in marketers losing sight of what’s really important: the customer.</p> <p>Porter (Origin Housing) admitted that marketing to people has become a bit frenetic. Instead, marketers must focus on how data can be used to add value and provide a better customer experience.</p> <h4>A hybrid mix of skills</h4> <p>The expectation for marketers to embrace both innovation and data analysis reflects a new reality: marketers need both left and right brains; a competency with numbers but also a creative mindset. In actuality, a combination of skills is essential for marketers to truly progress in their careers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0008/4742/left_and_right_brain-marketo-blog-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="left and right brains - Marketo" width="470" height="234"></p> <p>This notion can be extended to the need for marketers to possess both functional and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64780-have-changes-in-modern-marketing-led-to-a-soft-skills-revolution/">soft skills</a>. Proactivity, adaptability and leadership are increasingly valued. As professionals with more technical backgrounds continue to join the ranks of marketing and the requirement of proving ROI to the board continues to increase, stakeholder management, aligning people with business goals and team building are important capabilities for the modern marketer.</p> <h4>Curiosity never killed the cat</h4> <p>So while recruiting for attitude and behaviour is considered just as important as hiring for skills and qualifications, panellists were in agreement that curiosity is one sought-after characteristic in the search for marketing talent.</p> <p>With rapid technological advancements demanding more continuous links between education and employment, lifelong learning is an imperative. Reading to keep abreast of the industry, the rising popularity of MOOCs and online classrooms and joining the gig economy are some of the ways in which marketers are taking ownership of their learning and shaping their own career and personal development.  </p> <h4>Finally…</h4> <p>Panellists offered some other practical tips on staying ahead in the era of modern marketing and how to improve knowledge and skills.</p> <p>Curry spoke of the benefits of making contacts with people who are at the same level as you in their career and mentioned the data council forum of which she is a member. Networking with peers in such forums is a valuable means of exchanging information and learning from one another.</p> <p>Finding a mentor was also referred to as a useful step towards boosting professional development. Mentoring schemes are provided by professional bodies such as the <a title="CIM mentoring scheme" href="http://www.cim.co.uk/more/mentoring/" target="_self">Chartered Institute of Marketing</a>, for example. The Marketing Academy also provides one-to-one mentoring and executive coaching from CMOs through its UK <a title="Marketing Academy scholarship programme" href="http://www.themarketingacademy.org.uk/our-programmes/the-scholarship" target="_self">Scholarship Programme</a>.   </p> <p>But Curry also emphasised the importance of being clear about what it is that you enjoy doing. There’s no point trying to make yourself a data scientist if you hate maths or statistics. It’s important to understand what an organisation needs as well as what you need.</p> <p>Deciding what you are interested in and building a portfolio of skills around that is a sensible approach to maximising opportunities and getting the most out of your career. </p> <p><em>To benchmark your own digital knowledge, take Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-skills-index-lite/">Digital Skills Index</a>. And to expand your skills, book yourself onto one of our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/">digital marketing training courses</a>.</em></p>