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The 'digital skills shortage' and 'war for talent' have been well explored by consultancies, comprehensively covered in the media, and felt first-hand by hiring managers trying to find the perfect person to join their team.
Quite simply, right now there are a lot of digital jobs and not enough qualified candidates.
So when the preferred specialist knowledge and experience is out of reach, how do you identify someone with the right blend of 'soft skills' who could learn the technical aspects of a role?
Last week, as the world’s media dissected the details of the Apple Watch and iPhone 6, I spent an inspiring day mentoring at Seedcamp Week London, where some of Europe’s most promising new startups are immersed into the Seedcamp system of networks, learning, and capital raising.
The 28 startups taking part were getting ready to shake up a variety of sectors, from music, retail and design to healthcare, property and more.
I didn’t get to meet them all but I did spend time with two that are creating new digital marketing tools which piqued my interest.
Earlier this year I wrote about how to start formulating a digital marketing strategy.
Getting the strategy right is of course paramount. But even when the strategy is right, if it’s not understood, supported, and turned into action then it’s barely more than an academic exercise.
Ella Fitzgerald was on the money when she sang "tain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it… that’s what gets results".
Here are some actions to take when creating your digital marketing strategy that will also help to build the foundation for its success.
The Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation has a big, possibly the biggest, goal.
The philanthropic organisation, backed by a $36bn share of Gates' substantial fortune, exists to raise the human condition. To improve the quality of life for every individual on the planet.
When that’s your goal, where on earth (quite literally) do you focus?
In February I wrote an article about where to start with a digital marketing strategy. Then recently, on a slow Sunday train journey, I read Rolling Stone’s interview with Bill Gates and saw that his answers to questions about the Gates Foundation's work contain some great lessons for effective strategy.
One of my specialisms is digital strategy. So I read a lot about strategy, and digital, and digital strategy.
In doing so I consistently find that the term has many interpretations in the digital world, meaning that digital marketing discussion forums are full of people asking where to start with crafting their own strategy.
Those same discussion forums are often flooded with responses that are blatant and biased sales tactics rather than genuinely helpful pointers.
So, here’s my advice (without ulterior motive!) for where to begin.
It seems that everywhere I look this month I’m reminded of a major and growing trend that’s increasingly impacting the way that every business needs to think.
It’s this: customer expectations are rising faster than a bunch of helium balloons on a calm day. Especially when it comes to digital.
What does this mean and how can you go about meeting and managing your customers’ expectations?
The first person I ever managed was located in a different office. I was in London, she was in Maidenhead. We both became very familiar with the M4.
Many years on, I've led a team where just one person out of 16 worked remotely, a team wholly based in America while I was in London, and a boss a hop, skip and a nine hour flight away.
Love it or hate it, distributed is the way the workforce is heading, especially within digital.
So here are my seven simple steps for creating an engaged and effective distributed team.