tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/culture Latest Culture content from Econsultancy 2016-07-29T15:00:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4208 2016-07-29T15:00:00+01:00 2016-07-29T15:00:00+01:00 Trends and Priorities in the Media and Entertainment Sector <h2>Overview</h2> <p>This Trends and Priorities report, focused on the <strong>media and entertainment</strong> sectors, is produced by Econsultancy in association with <a href="http://www.adobe.com/marketing-cloud.html">Adobe</a> and explores an industry caught between its past and future, with many having high aspirations but held back by culture and siloed budgets.</p> <p>The report, which is based on a survey of more than 200 senior-level marketers and executives in North America, discusses where the sector's digital trends are headed and the strategic priorities for media and entertainment companies as they attempt to stay ahead of the curve.</p> <p>The media and entertainment industry is responding to change with a set of interlocking strategic priorities focused around data, addressable audiences and technology partnerships. Throughout the trends report there are signs that media organizations are working to better understand their consumers and build the new capabilities to serve them.</p> <h2>You'll discover findings around:</h2> <ul> <li>What are media companies' top strategic priorities?</li> <li>How media companies are looking to partnerships to address emerging needs in addressable audience expansion.</li> <li>Are KPIs changing to accomodate the new priorities of media companies?</li> <li>How technology is a focus but media marketers struggle with selling it into the enterprise.</li> <li>Which technologies are media companies pursuing to improve their digital capabilities?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Download a copy of the report to learn more.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68088 2016-07-26T14:26:00+01:00 2016-07-26T14:26:00+01:00 How can digital brands adapt content strategy for high growth markets? Marco Veremis <p>With three billion content-hungry consumers, high growth markets offer exactly this. In fact, according to Upstream’s <a href="http://www.developingtelecoms.com/tech/apps-content-ott/6483-amazon-eyes-up-emerging-markets-for-next-growth-opportunity.html">2016 Developing Markets Mobile Commerce report</a>, there is an estimated $70bn revenue opportunity on offer.</p> <p>Not only is there a desire for digital services and a willingness to pay, but with the purchasing power of consumers also increasing, emerging markets are a truly viable option for brands.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/netflix-expands-to-190-countries-1452106429">The expansion of Netflix</a> to a further 130 countries earlier this year suggests these markets are beginning to be identified for their revenue potential, but digital content brands still have a long way to go before they are truly maximising the opportunity available.</p> <p>Whilst Netflix recorded <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2016/4/18/11454362/netflix-q1-2016-earnings-81-million-subscribers">double the number of subscribers in Q1</a> this year compared to 12 months earlier, it has also projected a slowdown in new subscribers for Q2, suggesting more needs to be done to engage consumers.</p> <p>Understanding the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-the-quest-for-mobile-excellence/">mobile-first markets</a> and the habits and preferences of those within them is critical. For the likes of Netflix, it’s clear that taking a one-size-fits-all approach based on the practices followed in Western markets is not going to deliver long-term success.</p> <p>Whilst there is an appetite for digital content services, this is simply not enough to drive revenue growth. Recognising the environmental and cultural limitations and adapting accordingly is going to be key for any brand looking to extend its reach.</p> <p>So, how can brands such as Amazon Prime and Netflix ensure they approach high growth markets fully prepared, to maximise the viable revenue opportunities on offer?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9222/Screen_Shot_2015-02-06_at_11.13.14.png" alt="netflix" width="615"></p> <h3>Make digital services affordable</h3> <p>The economic intricacies of each emerging market means digital providers will need to adopt <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67699-how-online-retailers-can-improve-price-optimization-strategies/">pricing strategies</a> that take into consideration the huge gaps in GDP, compared to developed markets in the West.</p> <p>The total cost of services needs to be affordable, taking into account both the initial cost of purchasing the service and the ensuing on-going cost of using it.</p> <p>In terms of the initial cost for purchasing its service, for example, while Netflix introduced pricing in Brazil that is 39% lower than that in the US, it is worth bearing in mind that the income differential in other emerging markets can be as much as 94% lower compared to the US.</p> <p>It is therefore necessary for brands to set pricing in line with purchasing power, adjusted to the local currency.</p> <p>In addition to the initial cost of purchasing a digital service, streaming and mobile data charges are also costs consumers need to bear. For the average consumer in an emerging market, streaming costs use five times more of their monthly income, compared with the corresponding percentage of the average US consumer’s monthly income.</p> <p>Therefore it should come as no surprise that the majority (87%) of consumers accessing digital services on mobile devices in high growth markets, demand lower data charges.</p> <p><a href="https://media.netflix.com/en/company-blog/netflix-introduces-new-cellular-data-controls-globally">Netflix just released a new tool</a> to help people avoid costly bills for high data use when viewing streamed television shows on mobile devices, which indicates that it is taking steps to overcome this.</p> <p>Another approach brands can take is to create an affiliation with local mobile operators to offer bundles that reduce charges for consumers. Brands may also need to reconsider monthly subscription offers in emerging markets as pay cycles can be much shorter, often weekly.</p> <p>Understanding the specifics of the market will enable brands to develop a proposition that suits the behaviour of the consumers they are trying to engage.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7461/cellular_data_usage_netflix.png" alt="netflix data usage feature" width="450"></p> <p><em>Netflix's new cellular data usage tool</em></p> <h3>Keep content ‘Lite’ to make it accessible</h3> <p>Digital brands that make their content as accessible as possible on mobile devices can perform better in developing markets.</p> <p>In high growth markets, 61% of consumers report internet connectivity as still being slow and unreliable, with intermittent Wi-Fi, which means accessing digital content is reliant on mobile data. One option for brands to consider is to provide ‘lite’ versions of services, which use less data.</p> <p>Additionally, it’s important to remember that digital commerce isn’t solely focused on apps. Research shows that consumers are accessing content via mobile web browsers more than apps (43% vs 40%).</p> <p>SMS and MMS messages <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67108-is-sms-the-most-underrated-and-overlooked-dark-social-channel/">also still play a role</a> for some services, so shouldn’t be discounted.</p> <p>With this is mind, brands should not be too reliant or restricted to apps but instead deliver content through multiple delivery channels where possible to ensure they reach 100% of the population.</p> <h3>Deliver localised content</h3> <p>Before launching digital offerings in emerging markets, brands must first do their due diligence to understand what type of services are missing and develop content that truly meets consumers wants and needs.</p> <p>Providing content and services that are compelling, have a local feel and are available in native languages will be important for brands.</p> <p>Whilst there is a demand for international content in emerging markets, 76% of consumers have a strong preference for content and services to have a sufficient local feel, in terms of language and cultural nuances.</p> <p>Netflix recently announced a move towards <a href="http://www.businessfinancenews.com/25950-netflix-inc-to-cater-to-indian-market-with-original-bollywood-content/">producing exclusive Bollywood content</a> for the Indian market and also added <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/03/26/inside-netflix-how-reed-hastings-is-building-the-first-global-tv/">Arabic, Korean and Chinese</a> to the 17 other languages it already supports.</p> <p>This willingness to adapt to the local market and deliver content that appeals to the consumers is something digital brands such as Amazon Prime will have to prioritise if they hope to truly take advantage of the $70 billion digital opportunity on offer.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68080 2016-07-20T10:58:50+01:00 2016-07-20T10:58:50+01:00 It's time to reinvent the HiPPO Paul Rouke <p>The traditional HiPPO in business is the thing that so often is seen as the opposite of progress, engagement, leadership, inspiration, collaboration and humility.</p> <p>The HiPPO (meaning Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) usually stirs perceptions from the wider team of egotism and short-sightedness, whilst generating frustration for everyone underneath them within an organisation.</p> <p>If you have never worked within a company where you’ve had a HiPPO running the show, you’re one of the lucky ones.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7119/by_Nils_Rinaldi__Flickr.jpg" alt="" width="549" height="367"></p> <p>If you think you might be the one being perceived as a HiPPO, then consider this a guide to change.</p> <h3>The reality is this…</h3> <p>Every business will always have a HiPPO, but do we have to accept and work in businesses where the typical negative influences on company culture are driven from the top down?</p> <p>Do we have to accept these types of leadership traits?</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Egotistical</strong> – “I have all the answers”</li> <li> <strong>Arrogance</strong> – “I’m experienced enough”</li> <li> <strong>Cowardice</strong> – “I don’t need to quantify this”</li> <li> <strong>Blinkered</strong> – “But this is the way I’ve always done it”</li> <li> <strong>Apprehension</strong> - “It’s easier to keep things the way they are”</li> </ul> <p>A simple solution would simply be to eradicate these negative influences within a business. What I propose however, is that we reinvent the HIPPO to make it something every single person within a business (and generally in life) can aspire to.</p> <h3>I’m in, let’s reinvent the HIPPO</h3> <p>So how do we do it? Well, we change what the acronym is built from. Below you will see my proposed changes and my rationale. In my experience, I’ve found the qualities I’ve listed below are integral to healthy and thriving relationships, both in and out of the workplace.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7118/hippo-re-invented.png" alt="" width="549" height="308"></p> <h3>H for Humility</h3> <p>Personally speaking, in life but even more importantly in business, over my career I have come to truly appreciate the importance of having humility.</p> <p>No matter how experienced I am in my profession, how much public speaking I do, how many hours I spend with users (listening to them during a research session), or how many businesses I go and meet who are at the start of a journey to transform their culture and strategy, <strong>I know I do not have all the answers</strong>.</p> <p>Just as important is not pretending I have all the answers, either. I’ve no doubt that you will know a whole lot more than me in your areas of passion and experience.</p> <p>In a business environment, having humility is a key to success. Correctly identifying and communicating individual strengths and weaknesses will create a stronger team unit, from the board level down through the departments and beyond.</p> <p>I would summarise the importance of humility as this: <strong>know that you will never have all the answers, truly respect the thoughts and ideas of others, and listen more than you talk to give people in your presence the opportunity to share their very best (often buried away) ideas for improving experiences and our world.</strong></p> <h3>I for Integrity</h3> <p>I have a confession to make, and quite an embarrassing one at that.</p> <p>Back in 2010, if you were leaving people a recommendation on LinkedIn, you had the option of choosing three words which best describe that person. When I was receiving recommendations, the word that was chosen for me most often was integrity. Believe it or not, if someone asked me to describe what integrity means, I wouldn’t have had a compelling answer. My thought back then was simply that it related to being honest, but I couldn’t say much more.</p> <p>Type integrity into Google and this is what you get:</p> <blockquote> <p>Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to uphold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.</p> </blockquote> <p>On reflection (LinkedIn removed this feature a few years later), it makes me very proud that integrity was the word so often used to describe me as person.</p> <p>For everyone reading this, <strong>having integrity (especially in business) will garner you more respect and provide you with a platform that more people will want to share with you.</strong></p> <h3>P for Passion</h3> <p>The happiest, most fulfilled and not coincidentally, the most successful people you will meet all have something in common: they live life with passion.</p> <p>A quick search in Google brings up this result:</p> <blockquote> <p>Passion is a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion, a compelling enthusiasm or desire for something.</p> </blockquote> <p>From my personal experience, you won’t be able to realise your potential in a role you’re not passionate about. I learnt that when I left BAE after one year of an apprenticeship.</p> <p>You also can’t underestimate the importance of passion in motivating those around you. One key example of this is public speaking. I have seen many public speakers over the last 10 years (and I’m one myself), and the speakers who stick with me and whose message resonates deliver their message with passion.</p> <p>For everyone reading this, <strong>being passionate about what you do will demonstrate how much your work means to you, and your enthusiasm will be infectious.</strong></p> <h3><strong>P for Positivity</strong></h3> <p>I have another confession to make. You know how you can be a “glass half-full” or “glass half-empty” person? I am typically a “glass half-empty” person.</p> <p>At this stage I won’t go in to explaining about imposter syndrome, apart from saying that it’s something that affects almost all driven, passionate, ambitious people.</p> <p>For me, advocating the importance of positivity is in some way contradictory to my general persona, but one thing I know is 100% true: when I focus on being positive in my life and in my work, more positive things happen.</p> <p>A key part of being (and staying) positive is knowing that you are working towards something.</p> <p>Maybe things don’t fall in to place straight away. Maybe you are getting setbacks and people around you start to lose faith. Throughout this, staying positive, keeping the faith, planning for long term personal (and business) success is crucial.</p> <p>The higher you are in a business, the more people will look to you for guidance. If they see the captain of the ship doesn’t believe, then why should they?</p> <p>For everyone reading this, <strong>remember that our lives and our careers should be a marathon, not a sprint. Have determination to reach your goals, keep pushing forward, fight back against those negative thoughts in your mind, and know that positive thoughts bring positive experiences.</strong></p> <h3>O for Openness</h3> <p>When we are open-minded, we are creating opportunities for ourselves to have new experiences in our lives or in our careers. We are stepping outside of our comfort zone to try new things.</p> <p>In some ways, this is facing up to our fears: fear of taking on a new role that is going to stretch us, fear of putting our experiences and reputation on the line, fear of standing in front of people to deliver a presentation.</p> <p>Being open these past 15 years has led me to where I am today. Yes, I have had to face up to my fears on many occasions; but would I swap all that anxiety, worry, stress, and the sleepless nights for having a simple career which is just plodding along on auto-pilot?</p> <p>Not for one minute.</p> <p>What are your biggest fears? Are you truly fulfilling your potential? Is there something that you wish you could do which will take you completely outside of your comfort zone? Just remember: who dares, wins.</p> <p>For everyone reading this, <strong>whether you’re at the top of the chain and worried about change, or anywhere in the business, if you take one thing away from reading this article, it is this: open your mind to the possibility of facing up to some of your biggest fears.</strong></p> <h3>Will you aspire to be the HIPPO?</h3> <p>So there we have it, the re-invented HIPPO. Humility, Integrity, Passion, Positivity, Openness.</p> <p>Thank you for reading (the first step in being open to change) and I look forward to working alongside and working with more HIPPOs during the rest of my career.</p> <p><em>For more on leadership, read the following:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67238-redefining-leadership-in-the-digital-age">Redefining leadership in the digital age</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67303-15-inspiring-quotes-from-digital-leaders">15 inspiring quotes from digital leaders</a></li> <li> <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67797-digital-transformation-five-key-tenets-of-a-digital-leader">Digital transformation: five key tenets of a digital leader</a> </li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4175 2016-06-30T09:28:00+01:00 2016-06-30T09:28:00+01:00 The Convergence of Marketing and Sales <p>The Convergence of Marketing and Sales report provides a framework to assist a manager's journey in deciding whether or not to converge marketing and sales. Designed to be a companion and thought-provoker, the guide is written in two parts.</p> <h2>What's in the report?</h2> <p><strong>Part 1</strong> sets the scene, framing marketing and sales in different ways - from the path to purchase in the mind of the customer, to the marketing and sales process in the mind of the vendor, and the changing role of marketing and sales in a digitally networked world.</p> <p><strong>Part 2</strong> outlines our framework, split into the following key steps:</p> <p><strong>Strategy development</strong></p> <p><strong>Diagnosis</strong> - the research and obstacle definition that needs to precede all strategy development. We consider four key topics:</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Process design. </strong>Diagnosis focused on current processes used by marketing and sales and how they differ from the ideal.</li> <li> <strong>Content management. </strong>Diagnosis focused on current content used by marketing and sales and how they differ from ideal.</li> <li> <strong>Competitor analysis.</strong> Analysis of how to gain competitive advantage.</li> <li> <strong>Measurement planning. </strong>What measurements do we need to put in place to indicate if our strategy is working and do we need to refine and optimise the actions we are taking?</li> </ul> <p><strong>Insights and action - </strong>what insights have come from the above diagnoses and how can we convert these insights into coherent actions to overcome obstacles and achieve our strategic goal? (We identify Key Actions at the end of each topic.)</p> <p><strong>Strategy deployment</strong></p> <p><strong>Team organisation. </strong>How, when we roll out this convergence strategy for marketing and sales, do we take two teams with different cultures and different ways of working and turn them into a single team?</p> <p>Written by experienced consultant Dr Mike Baxter, who has led consultant teams on many of Econsultancy's digital transformation projects, the report aims to identify best practice approaches and techniques. The report also includes real-life examples illustrating how marketing and sales have a pivotal role in digital transformation.</p> <h2>How can we help?</h2> <p>Our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/digital-transformation/">Digital Transformation</a> team regularly supports leading organisations to drive forward organisational change. Our Digital Maturity Audit is often the first step in this journey, providing you with a clear framework to:</p> <ul> <li>Understand critical capability gaps.</li> <li>Prioritise key projects and areas for development.</li> <li>Validate business cases for investment.</li> </ul> <p>If you want to find out more about the Digital Maturity Audit and how we can help, please don't hesitate to get in touch by emailing <strong>transformation@econsultancy.com</strong> or calling us on +44 (0)20 3199 8475.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Pi15K7YytWo?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>video by <a href="http://www.londonvideostories.com/" target="_blank">LondonVideoStories</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4162 2016-06-21T11:05:00+01:00 2016-06-21T11:05:00+01:00 Digital Transformation in the Financial Services Sector <p>The <strong>Digital Transformation in the Financial Services Sector</strong> report looks at the challenges that companies within the sector are facing as they digitally transform themselves to compete in today’s changing market, seeking to understand best practice approaches, techniques and strategies that financial services companies are adopting to increase their chances of success.</p> <p>The report, which is an update on the 2015 research of the same name, aims to explore how marketers' responses to challenges have evolved and provide some updated recommendations on approaches to and opportunities related to digital transformation.</p> <h2>Methodology</h2> <p>We carried out a series of in-depth interviews with senior executives from across the financial services and insurance industries to understand how a range of organisations were responding to different opportunities and challenges.</p> <p>Companies interviewed included: Saga, MORETH&gt;N, RSA Insurance, LV, BlackRock, Alpha Financial Markets Consulting, Direct Line Group, The Co-operative Insurance, Barclays Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Santander UK, Droplet, Nutmeg, AXA, JP Morgan Asset Management, Bibby Financial Services, Interactive Investor, Hargreaves Lansdown, Betterment and Scalable Capital.</p> <p>We also looked at sector-specific data from our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing-2016-digital-trends/">Digital Trends 2016</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-trends-in-the-financial-services-and-insurance-sector-2016">Digital Trends in the Financial Services and Insurance Sector</a> reports, both published this year.<br></p> <h2>What you'll learn</h2> <ul> <li>The financial services industry is facing challenges from new business models and new players entering these markets, changing the ecosystem and making these sectors ripe for digital transformation.</li> <li>Companies in the sector see investment in digital and related skills as critical to success.</li> <li>Customer experience is a major focus for marketers.</li> <li>Having the right strategy and culture to deliver digital transformation is seen as essential.</li> <li>Data is perceived as being a huge part of the digital transformation journey.</li> </ul> <h2>You'll discover findings around:</h2> <ul> <li>How companies are looking to differentiate the customer experience and deliver value to their customers.</li> <li>Ways in which companies are putting the customer at the centre of decision-making.</li> <li>Practices companies are adopting to work in a more agile way.</li> <li>Encouraging a digital culture where digital is promoted throughout the organisation and is a part of everyone's job.</li> <li>Importance of re-platforming and moving away from legacy systems to be able to deliver on ambitions. </li> <li>Integrating data to understand customer journeys and behaviour to deliver more personalised and relevant communications.</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 style="color: #6b6b6b;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2q_lWLm5qtg?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p style="color: #6b6b6b;">video by <a href="http://www.londonvideostories.com/" target="_blank">LondonVideoStories</a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67942 2016-06-13T15:15:00+01:00 2016-06-13T15:15:00+01:00 How AO.com succeeds by focusing on people, culture & customer service Lynette Saunders <p>In an interview for my report on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-transformation-in-the-retail-sector/">Digital Transformation in Retail Sector,</a> Dave Lawson, AO.com’s group ecommerce director, said it's about getting the right people who care massively, are driven and smart, and rewarding them accordingly.</p> <p>The basic principle of delivering what customers want is embedded in what <a href="http://ao.com/">AO.com</a> does, but key for the company is its people. </p> <p>I was fascinated by what sounds like the perfect culture within a company, where everyone loved their job, was rewarded for what they do and was focused on the customer and keeping them happy.</p> <p>So much so that I wanted to find out more and Andrew Kirkcaldy, AO.com's group brand director, who looks after both the brand team and people team, was happy to answer more of my questions. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6110/ao_manager.jpg" alt="" width="800" height="533"></p> <h3><strong>Can you first tell me about your job role. It sounds interesting to link brand and people together?</strong></h3> <p>I have been in the business for eight years, working my way up from managing our Google paid search activity to managing all of the digital marketing teams, to now focusing on brand, people and culture.</p> <p>Two years ago, we realised that it was our culture that had enabled the business to be so successful and would shape our brand's future success.</p> <p>When I chat to people about what I do they are surprised at first, but when I explain the importance of having alignment of the culture and your brand communications it all makes sense.</p> <p>I see a piece of brand communication as a promise to the consumer - if the reality of the business doesn’t match up to that promise then you won’t have a very sustainable business.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6017/AO_screenshot.png" alt="" width="800" height="463"></p> <p>It’s about perception vs. reality, your brand communication has to originate from truth of the business; why do we do what we do.</p> <p>For us our biggest risk is not necessarily competitors, but ourselves as we continue to grow. We have a lot of programmes that support our emerging talent, as we see promoting from within as a key defence against diluting our culture.</p> <p>When we do look externally to recruit we take this very seriously. If we recruit a person who doesn’t believe in our vision and core values then this can be very disruptive and potentially damaging.</p> <p>By ensuring that everyone has an intimate understanding and belief in our culture means that the people who don’t ‘get it’ stand out very clearly.  </p> <p>We want to be the best electrical retailer in Europe. This can only happen by having the best people who believe they are part of shaping what that looks like.</p> <p>Best means lots of different things to people, therefore, we need the culture that amplifies the passion for our customer, as every customer has different needs. </p> <h3><strong>How did you develop the culture you have?</strong></h3> <p>Every business has a culture, but the key thing to understand is whether that culture is aligned to the vision of the business and, of course, aligned to what consumers expect and deserve.</p> <p>In startup businesses the culture is very potent, as you have the passionate founder who exudes why they believe in the business.</p> <p>As you grow more people join and decision-making gets de-centralised with people across different locations and countries, so this approach is not scalable. </p> <p>We knew that we had to codify the AO culture. We embarked on a programme of surveys, one-to-one interviews and focus groups to gather opinions, stories, anecdotes and customer testimonials, which gave us great insight into how it should be shaped.</p> <p>After many iterations we settled on five values. We tested them by seeing whether these values were used when we made business decisions over the years, how we treat our customers, to how we treat each other.</p> <p><em>Two of AO.com's five values</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6015/ao.com_values.png" alt="" width="802" height="347"></p> <p>This enabled us to see that they were more than just words, but how people behaved and the resulting stories they created. They were a perfect match.</p> <p>We launched the values by running culture workshops that outline the importance of our culture and why it now needed to be defined.</p> <p>We now run regular values role model workshops to arm people with how they can protect, promote and lead by example.</p> <p>We have monthly ‘state of the nation’ meetings where John Roberts (founder &amp; CEO) shares stories with the whole business on how the team have gone above and beyond by living the AO values.</p> <p>Finally, we also encourage all employees to share stories of colleagues who have lived the values. Some of these stories are amazing and humbling to read. It is these stories that maintain our passion for the business.</p> <p>Story telling is a key to making sure everyone realises that our culture is alive and well - people remember how you made them feel, not the facts and figures.  </p> <h3><strong>Through your recruitment process how do you ensure you hire the right people and know these are going to be people that care?  </strong></h3> <p>We have questions that extract stories from the candidate that allows the recruiter to understand whether they understand and believe in our vision and values.  </p> <p>For us it is about focusing on behaviours, their beliefs and attitudes rather than solely on their qualifications.</p> <p>A person could be the most qualified; most experienced in the world, but if they don’t ‘get’ our culture, then they don’t progress to the next stage. </p> <p>Our recruiters play a pivotal role in maintaining our culture as they are our gatekeepers for our special AO culture. They have an implicit understanding whether someone is right or wrong for our business.</p> <p>People don’t get to an interview if they are not the right cultural fit. Sometimes a simple question can help identify this. </p> <p>When I was interviewed eight years ago; I remember our COO asked me ‘how often do you see your mum?’ in the interview as he wanted to extract whether I care or not.</p> <p>You can’t teach or pay people to care and this is one of our core values.  </p> <h3><strong>How important is training to developing your culture?</strong></h3> <p>When people join they have a three-week induction training programme.</p> <p>For new starters into our contact centre, part of this is a values week, where they get to understand the AO mantra of how we approach customer service.</p> <p>It is not a big book of rules, but a set of principles. One of the core principles is;<em> “Treat every customer like your gran and do something your mum would be proud of.”</em></p> <p>We also run a series of product training across the business – we want them to be passionate about what they sell and have deep knowledge of products. We have built product showrooms so anyone can experience the product themselves.</p> <p>On top of that we have manufacturers bring their own mobile training centres to the business, where they give live demonstrations of the products.</p> <p>We have a development programme called <em>“AO star programme”</em> that is for rising stars within the business where they have the opportunity to get wider exposure across the business, which will enable them to accelerate their development.</p> <p>We try and tie things together through development and engagement. We set up our own charitable foundation called, AO Smile Foundation.</p> <p>Every development programme has a team building element and we use AO Smile initiatives to ensure that we mix team building and making a difference to the local community.</p> <p>For example, DIY SOS with a house that needs doing up where the family was unable to do for themselves. A great example of how people at AO.com go that extra mile is shown in this video:</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/fv-cC0RYITI?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>Remuneration is also important to ensure people are paid fairly and we benchmark in our industry and this is reflected in how employees are rewarded.</p> <p>For me Richard Branson’s quote sums it up nicely:</p> <blockquote> <p>Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.</p> </blockquote> <h3><strong>In my initial interview with Dave he talked about driving out negativity, how do you manage to drive a positive attitude?</strong></h3> <p>It starts with making sure you recruit like-minded people. We are a very fast-paced business and there are always too many opportunities to work on. This of course leads to frustration.</p> <p>The key is making sure people appreciate each other and respect what each person brings to the table and have what we call ‘positive frustration’.</p> <p>We know there will be conflicts and challenges to any ideas of progressive thinking. We are very positive company and encourage people to challenge, but do it in a constructive way. </p> <p>What has helped this, is by creating situations for people to come together from different parts of the business – logistics, operations, finance, IT and marketing through our development programmes, internal communications, engagement activities and events.</p> <p>This enables people to create personal connections as they get a greater appreciation for what others do.</p> <p>This reduces negativity as people see different views and try and work through problems together and everyone knows they are all working towards the same business vision.</p> <h3><strong>Finally, I have heard some great stories about how AO.com empowers its staff. Can you tell me more about why this works so well for you?</strong></h3> <p>Everyone has a part to play in our culture and vision of the business. If something does go wrong, we empower our staff to make it right.</p> <p>We have put guidelines in place and trust people we recruit to do what they can to make sure the customer is happy.</p> <p>The challenge is how we articulate our culture to people outside of the business. ulture is a set of beliefs, behaviours and feelings that means when you come and see the business you feel the difference.</p> <p>Over the years we have fanatically worked on making our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a> seamless.</p> <p><em>Positive reviews for AO.com</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6018/positive_reviews.png" alt="" width="800" height="432"></p> <p>When a customer places an order with us, we are making a promise to that customer and we take their hard earned money very seriously.</p> <p>Things do sometimes go wrong, but because the vast majority of our customer promises are met, we can fix the ones that go wrong quickly to ensure that the customer is happy.   </p> <p>As an example, we had a family of four who bought a free-standing cooker which had been disconnected and wouldn’t load on our van. The family had the problem of what were they going to do about their dinner.</p> <p>The agent took it upon themself to have pizzas delivered to the family so that they wouldn’t have to do it themselves. </p> <p>We are not telling people to give things away, but we know it is an inconvenience for people if things have not gone to plan.</p> <p>By living by our culture and principles, we allow people at AO to be very creative in how they solve problems.</p> <p>We don’t follow a computer says ‘No’ approach. </p> <p><em>For more on this topic, read:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66768-ao-com-the-best-ecommerce-experience-available-online/"><em>AO.com: The best ecommerce experience available online?</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64902-13-ecommerce-best-practice-lessons-from-ao-com/"><em>13 ecommerce best practice lessons from AO.com</em></a></li> <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:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4129 2016-05-13T11:19:00+01:00 2016-05-13T11:19:00+01:00 Digital Transformation Trends Briefing: Digital Cream London 2016 <h2>Overview</h2> <p><strong>Digital transformation is the journey from where a company is, to where it aspires to be digitally. </strong></p> <p>A digital organisation is generally considered to be one that focuses on customer experience irrespective of channel and has a ‘digital culture’. But how do you get the right mix of skills, culture and technology in order to benefit the customer and the long-term health of your organisation?</p> <p>Econsultancy's <strong>Digital Transformation Trends</strong> Briefing, sponsored by <a href="https://www.accenture.com/gb-en/interactive-index.aspx">Accenture Interactive</a>,<strong> </strong>focuses on the key themes, opportunities and challenges relating to digital transformation as highlighted by client-side digital marketers during <a href="https://econsultancy.com/events/digital-cream-london">Digital Cream 2016</a>. </p> <p>The report aims to provide a snapshot of the areas that are top of mind for marketers, exploring how brands seek to address the challenges and opportunities in this area. </p> <h2>Key trends featured in the report</h2> <ul> <li>Defining digital transformation - are we really talking about 'customer experience transformation'?</li> <li>Objectives and strategy planning - the merits of starting small and aiming big.</li> <li>Top-down vs bottom-up, and the challenges of changing workplace culture.</li> <li>The balance between innovation and business-as-usual.</li> </ul> <h2>Digital Cream</h2> <p>An exclusive invitation-only roundtable event, Digital Cream is an opportunity for senior client-side marketers to learn from each other about the latest best practice, what’s working and what’s not.</p> <p>Digital Cream takes place around the globe throughout the year - <a href="https://econsultancy.com/events">see our upcoming events</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2q_lWLm5qtg?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <p>video by: <a href="http://www.londonvideostories.com/" target="_blank">LondonVideoStories</a></p> tag: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> <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><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4548/iStock_000018198054_Small.jpg" alt="formality" width="500"></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: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: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>