tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/skills-capabilities Latest Skills & capabilities content from Econsultancy 2018-06-21T13:06:00+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70111 2018-06-21T13:06:00+01:00 2018-06-21T13:06:00+01:00 First we defined modern marketing, now we can train you in it Ashley Friedlein <p><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/2908/M3.jpg" alt="modern marketing model" width="600"><br></strong></p> <p>You can read my <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69468-introducing-the-modern-marketing-model-m3">introduction to the model</a>, but in brief it’s a unifying framework that brings together traditional marketing elements with new competencies and capabilities from data and analytics, customer experience, content, multichannel, and personalisation.</p> <p>In some cases, these new digital-focused competencies are simply subsumed into traditional definitions that remain valid whatever tactics they encompass – search keyword research or social media analysis, for example, fall nicely under ‘Customer Insight’. Elsewhere, it’s vice versa, with ‘product’, one of the venerable 4Ps, subsumed into the more modern element of ‘customer experience’, and ‘place’ morphed into ‘distribution’ to accommodate non-physical forms of place. And there is one element that represents a newer and emerging set of modern marketing competencies – ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69899-what-data-competencies-does-a-modern-marketing-function-need/">data and analytics</a>’.</p> <p>Though M3 serves to highlight new and often complex requirements for marketing competencies and capabilities, it is still just a model. <strong>That’s why I’m teaching a new online training course</strong>, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fast-track-to-modern-marketing">Fast Track to Modern Marketing</a>, launched by Econsultancy to explore M3 competencies in greater detail.</p> <p>The course is delivered online through 10 interactive modules. Participants get 60-day online access to the modules, accredited as 14 CPD hours of study.</p> <p>The 10 modules break down as follows:</p> <p><strong>Marketing Strategy</strong></p> <ul> <li>What is marketing strategy in the context of your overall organisation strategy?</li> <li>How is strategy quantified?</li> <li>Tools for aligning internal and external partners</li> <li>What is an agile strategy?</li> <li>Future-proofing strategy</li> </ul> <p><strong>Market / Customer Orientation</strong></p> <ul> <li>What is it? How does it differ across markets?</li> <li>How do you decide what level of personalisation is right?</li> <li>Ways to engage all of the organisation</li> </ul> <p><strong>Customer Insight</strong></p> <ul> <li>The key methods of data gathering from both market research and digital data analytics</li> <li>The importance of doing it backwards (!)</li> <li>The value of, and danger of, social listening</li> <li>Understanding potential and existing customers</li> <li>Key questions to ask</li> </ul> <p><strong>Brand &amp; Value</strong></p> <ul> <li>Distinctiveness and differentiation (touching on purpose driven branding) </li> <li>Brand equity and brand salience</li> <li>Brand tracking and measurement (with digital tools)</li> <li>Value and pricing</li> <li>Articulating the brand within the organisation</li> <li>Ways to build the brand (and therefore the business)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Segmentation &amp; Targeting</strong></p> <ul> <li>Mapping segments to build a targeted approach</li> <li>‘Size of the prize’ methodologies</li> <li>Developing target segment portraits</li> <li>Influencer and stakeholder segments</li> <li>Contextual targeting with digital</li> </ul> <p><strong>Positioning </strong></p> <ul> <li>Data-based digital proposition delivery</li> <li>Using brand architecture</li> <li>How UX and experience impacts on brand</li> <li>Articulating brand positioning</li> </ul> <p><strong>Customer Experience </strong></p> <ul> <li>What is CX? How does it fuse traditional and digital?</li> <li>How even CPG can be thought of as a service.</li> <li>How marketing can improve CX. </li> <li>The importance of customer personas, customer journey and moments of truth</li> <li>Measuring customer satisfaction</li> <li>Adopting a hierarchy of customer needs</li> </ul> <p><strong>Distribution</strong></p> <ul> <li>How models of distribution have changed </li> <li>How digital has broken down the barriers to entry </li> <li>The key types of digital distribution </li> <li>The importance of brand management </li> <li>The key questions that you should always ask</li> </ul> <p><strong>Integrated Marketing Communications </strong></p> <ul> <li>What integrated marketing communications means</li> <li>How we successfully fuse together classic and digital</li> <li>How content is at the heart of IMC</li> <li>The importance of frameworks to align paid, owned, earned and shared activity</li> <li>The rise of channels/platforms and touchpoints</li> <li>Data and insight to improve and optimise IMC</li> </ul> <p><strong>Data &amp; Measurement </strong></p> <ul> <li>Why marketing has to become much more ‘data literate’</li> <li>Beyond measurement data</li> <li>Data compliance and an ethical approach to customer data</li> <li>Marketing measurement and optimisation</li> <li>Approaches to help us analyse measurement data successfully</li> </ul> <p><em><strong>So, if you’re interested in getting a deeper understanding of what modern marketing is and how it should be approached, sign up for our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fast-track-to-modern-marketing">Fast Track to Modern Marketing</a> online course.</strong></em></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/fast-track-to-modern-marketing"><em><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5563/7e2ae037-ed6a-4fb7-8f81-4d2eb1452956.jpg" alt="fast track to modern marketing" width="550" height="300"></strong></em></a></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70085 2018-06-11T11:05:08+01:00 2018-06-11T11:05:08+01:00 ‘Created value’: How agencies can increase client retention Ben Potter <p>But then a few days later a call comes out of the blue. The client serves notice. You’re flabbergasted. How can this be? You’re absolutely killing it. Or, you thought you were.</p> <p>I’ve heard variations on this story a thousand times. There are instances, of course, when the factors that led to the decision are entirely outside of your control. But there are also times when losing the client is wholly avoidable.</p> <p>The problem with a typical stats report is that it only tells half the story. An upward trajectory in traffic, conversion rate or even revenue does not necessarily translate into the business metric that matters most – profit.</p> <p>Neither does a stats report typically reflect what really matters to the client, over and above the agreed key performance indicators, such as traffic.</p> <h2>The ‘value spectrum’</h2> <p>This is perhaps best explained by something I came across in the book<em> <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/DISCOVER-Questions-Get-You-Connected/dp/098973790X" target="_blank">‘Discover Questions, Get You Connected’.</a> </em>With a couple of my own tweaks / additions, I think it perfectly encapsulates the principle of value where agency / client relationships are concerned.</p> <p> <img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5194/Capture.PNG" alt="Three layers of value" width="776" height="366"></p> <p>Let’s say you offer Pay-per-Click (PPC) as a service. A prospect has a specific need, in that they want to increase brand awareness, traffic and sales. You are one of thousands of agencies, freelancers or consultants who could set up and manage a campaign to meet these goals. </p> <p>Whilst the difference in performance between the worst and best suppliers might be significant, there’s a huge middle ground where this difference is marginal. </p> <p>As a result, the prospect is probably going to look for the cheapest solution. Who can blame them? There is very little to distinguish one supplier from another. </p> <p>But let’s say your agency has a lot of experience in the prospect’s sector. Combined with this, you are also able to demonstrate how you’ll deliver a better ROI than your competition with your proprietary tools. Now we’re starting to get somewhere - there is some added value in your offering.</p> <p>However, this might not be enough to win the business. Most so-called USPs (people, tools, transparency, for example) are not really USPs at all, not in the mind of the prospect anyway. Instead, they’re invariably hygiene factors; the minimum standard expected, if you like.</p> <p>This is where the right-hand side of the ‘value spectrum’ can make all the difference, especially in a market saturated with suppliers all broadly offering the same thing. That’s because value is not ‘one size fits all’. Instead, it is something that is unique to each client / agency relationship. </p> <h3>Value comes in many forms </h3> <p>Value does of course include the tangible results you deliver. But if this is the extent of the value you create for your clients, I’d suggest that makes you easily replaceable, irrespective of how good those results are.</p> <p>The mistake many agencies make is that they only seek to understand value in the context of the business. Whilst this of course matters, companies don’t buy your services, people do.</p> <p>It’s therefore equally important to understand the issues or challenges faced by the individual (or individuals, if several stakeholders are involved), along with the specific outcomes they are looking to achieve by working together. I can assure you these will differ every time. </p> <p>For example, the fact that your key contact wants to build their knowledge and show off an award-winning campaign so that they can get that all-important promotion won’t be something that features in the RFP. Equally, it’s unlikely to be insight that somebody will simply offer up. </p> <p>Questions, such as…</p> <ul> <li><em>What are your priorities?</em></li> <li><em>Where would you like to be in six months?</em></li> <li><em>What obstacles are you facing in getting there?</em></li> <li><em>How will you measure the success of our work together? Can you put a value on it?</em></li> <li><em>How can we make your life easier?</em></li> <li><em>How do we make you look good?</em></li> </ul> <p>…should therefore feature as part of the information gathering and qualifying process (and at regular intervals once the client is on-board). Variations of these questions are used to establish value in the context of the business, something that Blair Enns articulates wonderfully in <a href="https://www.winwithoutpitching.com/value-conversation-hack/" target="_blank">this article.</a></p> <p>The important distinction is that you are also looking to establish what is valued by the individual.</p> <p>You’ll need to build a certain amount of trust and rapport before posing such questions. You are asking somebody to open up and reveal their needs, desires, motivations and concerns. </p> <p>But when you understand what really matters to the prospect and put it at the centre of your solution, planning process, reporting and reviews, you will find yourself an invaluable strategic partner, as opposed to an easily replaceable commodity. This does of course assume you actually get the client to the ‘promised land’. But if you don’t know what the promised land looks like for the client, how can you expect to help them get there?</p> <h3>Where are your clients on the ‘value spectrum?’</h3> <p>If you see a lot of client churn, it might be because <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69938-agencies-do-you-win-business-by-accident-or-design/" target="_blank">you’re not winning the ‘right’ business</a> in the first place. It might be that you’re just not very good at digital marketing. But I doubt that’s the case. </p> <p>It’s more likely a failure to initiate relationships where ‘created value’ drives everything. </p> <p>An exercise I have my clients do is to be completely honest with themselves and plot where each of their clients are on the ‘value spectrum’. More often than not, they sit on the left and in the middle.</p> <p>This is no bad thing. It might be that certain clients just aren’t right and they should let them go. Or, it initiates a set of actions to better understand their clients, using the insight to build stronger, relationships that benefit both parties in equal measure.</p> <p>So, take a look at the image above. Where do your clients sit?</p> <p><em><strong>If you work at a digital agency with a presence in the UK, why not <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/top-100/">enter Econsultancy's Top 100 Digital Marketing Agencies</a>?</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70082 2018-06-11T08:28:15+01:00 2018-06-11T08:28:15+01:00 The best digital marketing stats we’ve seen this week Nikki Gilliland <p>Enjoy.</p> <h3>93% of consumer-facing businesses are unable to use predictive analytics</h3> <p>According to a <a href="https://www.sas.com/en_gb/whitepapers/darkness-of-digital-shadows/download.html#formsuccess" target="_blank">new report</a> by SAS – based on the responses of 350 heads of marketing, customer service and experience - businesses are at risk of offering repeated recommendations to customers. This is because 93% said they are unable to use analytics to accurately predict what individual customers will want in future.</p> <p>Meanwhile, 54% mistakenly believe that they are ‘best-in-class’ or ‘transformational’ when it comes to using customer intelligence to shape their marketing campaigns.</p> <p>Other interesting takeaways from the report include the fact that 30% of companies say they use less than half of the customer data they hold, and 70% of organisations are typically not collecting meaningful data to personalise digital experiences. For example, just 25% are analysing previous transactions, and only a fifth are using CRM data.</p> <p><strong>More on predictive analytics:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69860-start-me-up-metrical-reducing-cart-abandonment-with-predictive-analytics" target="_blank">Start Me Up! Metrical – reducing cart abandonment with predictive analytics</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69228-predictive-analytics-four-prerequisites-of-an-effective-strategy" target="_blank">Predictive analytics: Four prerequisites of an effective strategy</a></li> </ul> <h3>59% of UK consumers think all brands should offer loyalty schemes</h3> <p><a href="https://yougov.co.uk/news/2018/06/05/what-the-british-think-of-loyalty-programmes/" target="_blank">A new study</a> from YouGov and Mando Connect suggests that the majority of UK consumers expect brands to reward them for their loyalty.</p> <p>In its research, YouGov discovered that 59% of adults think all brands should offer a loyalty programme, while 77% are subscribed to at least one programme already. This figure rises to 85% among women compared to 70% of men.</p> <p>Meanwhile, 72% of people think loyalty programmes are a great way for brands and businesses to reward their customers, and as a result, 59% think all brands should offer loyalty schemes.</p> <p>However, the research also shows that no one size fits all, with people citing very different motivations for engaging with loyalty programmes. For example, benefiting from discounts and offers is the top reason that people join loyalty programmes – cited by 87%. However, 55% also cited discounts and rewards from partner brands, and 52% wanted free services, products and experiences.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5127/loyalty_schemes_stat__1_.png" alt="consumer opinion on loyalty" width="780" height="391"></p> <p><strong>More on loyalty:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68811-loyalty-programs-are-losing-their-sway-here-s-what-brands-can-do-about-it" target="_blank">Loyalty programs are losing their sway: here's what brands can do about it</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69780-five-ways-ecommerce-brands-can-build-customer-loyalty" target="_blank">Five ways ecommerce brands can build customer loyalty</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69622-four-ways-brands-build-loyalty-engagement-without-using-points" target="_blank">Four ways brands build loyalty &amp; engagement (without using points)</a></li> </ul> <h3>Almost half of B2B buyers make their minds up before talking to vendors</h3> <p><a href="https://info.millerheimangroup.com/WP-2018-05-30BuyerPreferenceStudy.html" target="_blank">According to research</a> by Miller Heiman Group and CSO Insights, 68% of B2B buyers see little or no difference between vendors, largely due to a lack of insight provided during the decision-making process. </p> <p>In a survey of 500 decision-makers, only 23% of buyers said they identify sales-people as a top three resource for solving their business problems.</p> <p>In fact, 70% of buyers fully define their needs on their own before even approaching or engaging with a seller. Meanwhile, 44% of potential buyers identify specific solutions before engaging with sales reps and 20% don’t contact sellers until they’re ready to commit to a deal.</p> <p>It’s not all bad news for sales, however, as buyers still want fresh insight and expertise if it is relevant – 65% said they find value in discussing their needs with reps.</p> <p><strong>Related reading:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69826-could-a-pharma-company-shun-sales-reps-and-be-successful" target="_blank">Could a pharma company shun sales reps and be successful?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68810-four-ways-ai-is-already-being-applied-to-sales-and-marketing" target="_blank">Four ways AI is already being applied to sales and marketing</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69065-five-advanced-data-and-segmentation-tactics-for-marketing-and-sales" target="_blank">Five advanced data and segmentation tactics for marketing and sales</a></li> </ul> <h3>Retail digital marketing budgets on the increase, but investment in skills neglected</h3> <p>Econsultancy’s 2018 <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2018-digital-trends-in-retail/" target="_blank">Digital Trends in Retail</a> report in association with Adobe states that retailers are increasing digital marketing investment, with 72% of respondents (from a survey of 600 senior leaders) saying that they plan to do so in 2018.</p> <p>However, just 29% of respondents say that they plan to invest significantly in digital skills and education during 2018, while 24% say they will be making little or no investment in upskilling their staff this year.</p> <p>The combination of difficulty in recruiting and retaining experienced practitioners, and the fast-changing nature of digital marketing and commerce, means that a failure to invest in training and skills could lead many to come unstuck in future.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5126/Adobe_investment.JPG" alt="digital marketing spend for retail" width="760" height="488"></p> <p><strong>Related reading:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/70071-the-future-of-ecommerce-according-to-mary-meeker/" target="_blank">The future of ecommerce according to Mary Meeker</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69778-from-growth-to-soft-skills-where-professional-marketers-should-focus" target="_blank">From growth to soft skills, where professional marketers should focus</a></li> </ul> <h3>Social marketers focused too much on sales</h3> <p>Sprout Social’s <a href="https://sproutsocial.com/insights/guides/2018-index/" target="_blank">latest report</a> suggests that marketers are still wrongly focusing on the ROI of social media activity, despite most users not falling into the ‘buy now’ mind-set.</p> <p>55% of survey respondents (from a pool of 2,000 social marketers) listed measuring ROI as a primary challenge. And while 41% of marketers note generating sales as one of their primary goals on social, only 14% of marketers say they are able to quantify the revenue from social.</p> <p>The report states that this is not necessarily because social marketers aren’t sophisticated enough to focus on conversions. Rather, it’s because social’s true value isn’t in direct attribution, but it in the awareness and consideration stages of the funnel.</p> <p>In fact, consumers’ top preference for social content falls into the consideration category, with 30% of those surveyed saying they want links to find out more information from brands on social.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5125/social_marketers.JPG" alt="challenges for social marketers" width="660" height="491"></p> <p><strong>Related reading:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69144-measuring-social-media-roi-case-studies-stats-that-prove-it-s-possible" target="_blank">Measuring social media ROI: Case studies &amp; stats that prove it’s possible</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69111-if-you-want-to-improve-your-marketing-roi-stop-spending-on-social-media" target="_blank">If you want to improve your marketing ROI, stop spending on social media</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/68956-should-marketers-be-able-to-prove-the-roi-of-influencers" target="_blank">Should marketers be able to prove the ROI of influencers?</a></li> </ul> <h3>78% of executives struggling to execute digital transformation</h3> <p>In a survey of select CDO’s, CMO’s and IT professionals, Acquia has found that the majority of executives are still struggling to see through digital transformation initiatives. </p> <p>More specifically, 78% said that they have experienced difficulties during the implementation of their digital transformation project, with a fifth of those organisations finding executing their digital transformations projects ‘extremely difficult’.</p> <p>Despite this, marketers remain committed to completing plans, indicating a number of compelling reasons why. Overall, companies are largely motivated by a need to catch and pass competitors, as 56% of respondents admitted that they think they are behind their competitors when it comes to digital marketing. </p> <p>Lastly, 71% also said that - despite the immediate challenges - they believe digital transformation will give their business far greater freedom to innovate.</p> <p><strong>More on digital transformation:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69598-four-steps-to-successful-digital-transformation" target="_blank">Four steps to successful digital transformation</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69281-digital-transformation-it-s-not-a-destination" target="_blank">Digital transformation: It's not a destination</a></li> </ul> <p><em>To learn more, check out Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/digital-transformation-in-practice" target="_blank">Fast Track Digital Transformation Training</a></em></p> <h3>The majority of consumers would pay more for ethical brands</h3> <p>A new study by Media.com has found that consumers particularly value brands with <a href="https://www.retailtimes.co.uk/corporate-values-matter-consumers-are-willing-to-spend-more-with-brands-that-give-back/" target="_blank">strong ethical principles</a>, with the majority stating that they wouldn’t mind paying more for their products.</p> <p>From a survey of 1,000 consumers, 67% of respondents stated that they would pay more for environmentally-friendly products, while 68% said the same for products that do not test on animals. 60% also said they would pay more to brands which give back to the local community.</p> <p>Meanwhile, consumers also want brands to be held accountable, with 81% saying that brands should take responsibility for their environmental impact. 88% also say they expect companies to take action in order to tackle plastic waste and pollution. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">So happy I've discovered <a href="https://twitter.com/_thesoapco?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@_thesoapco</a> Genuinely love their exfoliating wild nettle &amp; sage soap. Not as much as I love <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Edtech?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Edtech</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/scifi?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#scifi</a>, but almost as much. Definitely recommend. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SocialChange?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SocialChange</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/greatcustomerexperience?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#greatcustomerexperience</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/greatgiftideas?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#greatgiftideas</a> <a href="https://t.co/zEKJPkiZxy">pic.twitter.com/zEKJPkiZxy</a></p> — Nina Iles (@NinaIles) <a href="https://twitter.com/NinaIles/status/1003701267384979456?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 4, 2018</a> </blockquote> <p><strong>Related reading:</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69702-five-brand-campaigns-that-took-a-stand-on-social-issues" target="_blank">Five brand campaigns that took a stand on social issues</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/69401-how-lush-delights-customers-with-brand-marketing-strong-values-and-digital-innovation" target="_blank">How Lush delights customers with brand marketing, strong values and digital innovation</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70083 2018-06-08T11:37:07+01:00 2018-06-08T11:37:07+01:00 19% of retailers cite data-driven marketing as top opportunity in 2018 Nikki Gilliland <p>This is just one of the most interesting takeaways from Adobe’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2018-digital-trends-in-retail/" target="_blank">2018 Digital Trends in Retail</a> report, which comes from a survey of 600 senior retail leaders.</p> <p>So, why are retailers suddenly so excited about data strategies? Here’s more on that, plus a few more snippets from the report. </p> <h3>A data-driven mindset</h3> <p>It is clear that many retailers are starting to realise how data-driven strategies can set them apart from the competition.</p> <p>However, while there has been a marked increase in the number of retailers citing it as an exciting opportunity, this also tells us that it is perhaps still an aspiration rather than a reality.</p> <p>So, how do retailers bring this vision to fruition?</p> <p>Internal capabilities are certainly a big part, with roles ranging from chief data officers to web analysts being key for data-focused companies. </p> <p>Additionally, internal training is important, as is a ‘data-led mindset’, with leading companies now making this a company-wide and cultural change rather than a team-specific one.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5142/Data-driven_marketing.JPG" alt="exciting opportunities retail 2018" width="760" height="556"></p> <h3>Data to enhance CX</h3> <p>Another motivation for improving data analysis capabilities is to better understand the customer’s needs. 69% of retailers cited this as a ‘very important’ factor in delivering a great CX.</p> <p>It comes above and beyond other factors, such as the 53% that said the same about optimising internal collaboration between creative and marketing teams, and the 51% that cited improving content marketing through immersive storytelling.</p> <p>Interestingly, even when retailers aren’t explicitly referencing data, it’s still key to over-arching priorities. For example, targeting and personalisation lead the way in both North America and Europe as the top digital-related priorities for 2018.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5143/Internal_factors.JPG" alt="internal factors for CX" width="760" height="474"></p> <h3>Real-time experiences</h3> <p>Looking ahead, the report suggests that retailers are increasingly thinking about targeting ‘in-the-moment’ rather than based on past behaviour. 37% of retailers cite real-time personalised experiences as the most exciting prospect in three years’ time, with companies seemingly ready to embrace predictive analytics to help convert prospects into customers.</p> <p>Next up on this list is artificial intelligence to drive campaigns and experiences which, technically, can also be viewed as real-time personalisation. Machine learning can help retailers analyse vast quantities of data to provide relevant content and recommendations to consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5140/real_time_experiences.JPG" alt="exiting retail trend three years" width="760" height="518"></p> <h3>Ongoing investment</h3> <p>Finally, the report suggests that ongoing investment in technology and marketing will be key to future success. </p> <p>As the lines between offline and online channels continue to blur, brands that neglect investment in integrated digital marketing run the risk of creating a disconnect between themselves and the consumer – regardless of perceived loyalty.</p> <p>Research suggests both good and bad news. Positively, 73% of respondents said they plan to increase digital marketing spending during 2018 – a higher percentage than the average across all sectors.</p> <p>However, 24% of retailers will be ‘making little or no investment’ in upskilling their staff, which – despite previous spend in this area – means many might lag behind the competition in the long run.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/5141/Investment.JPG" alt="investment in digital marketing" width="760" height="530"></p> <p><em><strong>Subscribers can download the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-intelligence-briefing-2018-digital-trends-in-retail/" target="_blank">2018 Digital Trends in Retail</a>  report now.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4803 2018-05-23T12:40:00+01:00 2018-05-23T12:40:00+01:00 Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2018 Digital Trends in South Africa <p>The <strong>2018 Digital Trends in South Africa </strong>report, based on the eighth annual trends survey conducted by Econsultancy and <a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/marketing-cloud.html">Adobe</a>, looks at the most significant trends that will impact South African companies in the short to medium term.</p> <p>The research is based on a sample of almost 230 digital professionals based in South Africa who were among around 13,000 respondents taking part in the annual Digital Trends survey.</p> <h3>The following sections are featured in the report:</h3> <ul> <li>Current state of digital maturity</li> <li>Customer journeys are the priority as channel choice increases</li> <li>Social media remains king but content is chasing the throne</li> <li>Design-led thinking impeded by a lack of internal process and tech</li> <li>The future is personalised, but not yet automated</li> <li>Fit for the future: five areas South African marketers should focus on</li> </ul> <h3>Findings include:</h3> <ul> <li> <strong>Perceptions of digital maturity may have become more realistic.</strong>  Only 12% of companies claimed to be digital-first this year; a drop on last year’s 17%. Compared to last year, respondents are less likely to describe their organisations as design-driven, with those responding as such dropping to 54% from 69% last year.</li> <li> <strong>Optimising journeys across channels is a priority, but it’s hindered by technology.</strong> Optimising the customer journey across multiple touchpoints is the most important factor for companies responding to the survey: the vast majority (83%) said this was ‘very important’ to their digital marketing over the next few years.</li> <li> <strong>Mobile focus does not yet equal mobile traffic.</strong> South Africa is mobile-led, with over 75% of internet traffic coming from mobile. However, only 9% of companies said mobile optimisation was a top priority for 2018, compared to 20% of agencies.</li> <li> <strong>Social media remains a focus as companies optimise their content efforts.</strong> Social media engagement is the top digital related priority for companies and agencies in 2018, selected by 27% and 39% respectively. Seven in ten (71%) company respondents see 'optimising creative workflows to facilitate the rapid creation and deployment of content across multiple platforms' as very important for CX success over the next year.</li> <li> <strong>Use of emerging technology remains a distant future for the majority.</strong> South African companies are, relative to their international peers, more likely to be using artificial intelligence, though this group is still the minority (20%). Almost half have no plans to use AI, due to a lack of knowledge and resource (42% each), while a larger proportion (47%) haven’t put thought into how they could use the technology in their business.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Econsultancy's Digital Intelligence Briefings, sponsored by <a title="Adobe" href="http://www.adobe.com/marketing-cloud.html">Adobe</a>, look at some of the most important trends affecting the marketing landscape. </strong><strong>You can access the other reports in this series <a title="Econsultancy / Adobe Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefings" href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/quarterly-digital-intelligence-briefing">here</a>.</strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70041 2018-05-23T12:00:00+01:00 2018-05-23T12:00:00+01:00 A day in the life of... CMO at TotallyMoney Ben Davis <p><em>(Don't forget </em><em>to check out the <a href="https://jobs.econsultancy.com/?cmpid=EconBlog">Econsultancy jobs board</a> if you're looking for a new role yourself.)</em></p> <h4> <em>Econsultancy:</em> Please describe your job: What do you do?</h4> <p><strong><em>Nathan Levi:</em></strong> I am Chief Marketing Officer for TotallyMoney. We make credit better by giving customers control of their data and helping them make smart borrowing decisions. I am responsible for the marketing function at TotallyMoney and manage our channel vertical teams including TV, CRM, paid search and social, content and PR</p> <h4> <em>E:</em> Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL:</strong></em> I manage a team of 10 and I report into our CEO Alastair Douglas, and work closely with the whole management team to grow our business and make it successful. The marketing team works across the business and team members are part of various cross functional squads, including the creative, data and eCRM squads.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL: </strong></em>The primary role of any CMO is to create a customer centric culture. This is one reason we launched our free credit report last year, which helps our customers improve their credit outcomes and adds real value to their daily lives. The skill of a marketer is not to assume what customers want, but find out; admitting you don’t know what customers want is an underrated skill.</p> <p>The other skills required for the CMO role are very broad, including those in strategy, branding, acquisition and creative. Like any senior role you need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and get buy in from other stakeholders. You also need to appreciate the different lenses of the business, especially tech, commercial, product and finance, where you’ll need to tackle for lots of meaty negotiations.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Tell us about a typical working day… </h4> <p><em><strong>NL: </strong></em>Having a performance marketing discipline I look at the numbers every morning. I do a quick sweep of how we’re doing against our targets and sense check anything I don’t understand. The rest of my day will be split between working with the management team on strategic projects (GDPR, open banking) and with my direct reports on marketing strategy and tactics.</p> <p>As we’re a small business I’m just as involved in the operational side of marketing as I am in strategy, I enjoy this balance. Today I’ve met new agencies who are pitching for some creative work, written an award entry, worked on a repositioning strategy for a partner, caught up with our head of search, Henry, and written this. Tomorrow will be different.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4602/nathan_levi.jpg" alt="nathan levi" width="615" height="308"></p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What do you love about your job? What sucks?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL: </strong></em>I love the people, they love what they do and are a passionate and committed, it makes being at work a pleasure. I’ve always enjoyed managing and mentoring teams, especially bringing in graduates and nurturing talent. This is a very rewarding part of my role.</p> <p>I enjoy growing the business and working on the really big marketing challenges we’re all facing today. I enjoy being involved in the day to day activities of the marketing team, we have stand ups every day to understand what we’re all working on. I encourage and foster an open culture, we have a ‘no <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68080-it-s-time-to-reinvent-the-hippo">HiPPO</a>’ policy, everyone at any level is free to voice their opinion or come up with an idea. I want everyone in my team to feel they are all contributing and part of the massive success we’re having.</p> <p>I love working with data, and being accountable for the numbers. I love working for a brand which is growing quickly and on the way to becoming a household name. I love working out what our customers want and talking to them about our fantastic service.</p> <p>What sucks? I’m impatient and always want to move faster, so waiting for stuff you want to happen sucks.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success? </h4> <p><em><strong>NL: </strong></em>We have business objectives and marketing objectives which sit underneath these. Every year we set at least 3 business objectives – this year we have some large acquisition targets. My job is to work out how we can scale marketing to hit these big numbers and be cost effective at the same time. Each member of my team will have a specific set of goals for their discipline. They also all have ‘moonshots’ which are aspirational or larger than life objectives. We have already achieved three of these this year – winning Moneynet’s Best Credit Report Provider in January certainly got us off to a good start.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL: </strong></em>I’m a big fan of Slack, we use this as our internal company communications tool. It’s increased knowledge sharing across the business tenfold. We’ve also recently implemented Looker as our data visualisation tool. This means anyone in our business can have ready access to data in any format, essential for all fast paced consumer businesses today.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>How did you land in this role, and where might you go from here?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL: </strong></em>I used to work agency side but got frustrated with seeing only part of the picture and not being in charge of the strategy. I also felt I had achieved as much as I could agency side and saw a lot opportunity around Silicon Roundabout. My ambition was to join a business to help grow it significantly.</p> <p>I moved to a very early stage start up before I took the role at TotallyMoney. Whilst that particular venture wasn’t successful I learnt a lot about what I wanted and more importantly, what I didn’t want. It’s really difficult to move from an agency background to a client side role, especially at a senior level. My advice on this is to make as many contacts as you possibly can. I was attending meet ups, going to networking events and start up events. Most of it was fruitless but it’s really important to do because you never know who you’re going to meet.</p> <p>I want to make TotallyMoney a household brand, and be part of creating a service which transforms the way people think about and borrow money. We are on the path to creating one of the most personalised and intelligent financial service consumer products by unlocking the power of big data for UK consumers. We have also just launched our second TVC featuring none other than Anthea Turner.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Which brands do you admire for their customer experience?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL: </strong></em>I’ve been using Freeletics for two and half years and can’t recommend it enough. It’s changed the way I think about exercise and their app is amazing. Ocado has an incredible <a href="https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/70005-nine-less-obvious-brands-offering-great-customer-experiences">online and offline experience</a> – they justify their higher prices based on this experience. I have to mention Amazon &amp; Apple (the obvious choices). I think Pret A Manger have an outstanding offline customer experience.</p> <p>The thing about all these brands, small or big, is that they have consistency across their customer experience you actually grow to expect it from them. This helps them justify the higher prices that most of them charge. They also benefit from the network effect of having so much data with which to personalise their service and make the experience meaningful for each of their customers.</p> <h4> <em>E: </em>Do you have any advice for people who want to work in fintech?</h4> <p><em><strong>NL: </strong></em>The exact same things are true when deciding whether you want to work for a fintech as they are for any company. Choose a company where you share the same values as the people who work there. Don’t get drawn in by hype as there is a lot of that in this space right now. Be prepared that you are taking a risk by joining this industry, there are many new players and they won’t all succeed. Learn about fintech, a lot of people have misconceptions about what it means. Become a user of great fintech products, like our free credit report!</p> <p><em><strong>Further reading:</strong></em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69782-fintech-propels-quicken-loans-above-wells-fargo-in-mortgage-originations">Fintech propels Quicken Loans above Wells Fargo in mortgage originations</a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/70004 2018-05-10T10:05:00+01:00 2018-05-10T10:05:00+01:00 Why career progression is broken in digital marketing agencies Clark Boyd <p>Solutions are prioritized over questions; ‘quick wins’ over long-term thinking; and meaningless titles over genuine knowledge.</p> <p>We want simplicity without enduring the necessary complexity to get there. But if we’re always grabbing ‘low-hanging fruit’, true progress will remain beyond our grasp.</p> <p>During my years at digital marketing agencies, I observed some interesting phenomena in this regard. The agencies I worked at differed greatly in their size and sophistication, which provides a useful frame of reference.</p> <p>As a relatively nascent discipline, there are no set guidelines for managing the progression of what is quite a sizeable digital marketing workforce. I felt this on a personal level, but I witnessed it across large groups of colleagues too.</p> <blockquote> <p>Where will the PPC account managers of today be in 40 years? Is ‘client strategy’ a 50-year career?</p> </blockquote> <p>Not everyone can be CEO by 30, so we need some new ideas to keep people motivated and moving forward.</p> <p>Predictably, we tend to reach for easy answers rather than engaging directly with a problem that won't just go away.</p> <p>People are promoted before they are ready, just to appease staff in the immediate short-term. </p> <p>I have recently enjoyed a varied and rewarding year working for myself, and in my attempts to re-skill and move into more ambitious areas like data analysis and teaching, I have a lingering sense of disappointment with the lack of progress I achieved in my last permanent role. Yet, I also have an increased sense of understanding when considering some important questions. </p> <p><strong>Namely:</strong></p> <ul> <li>How can we balance accelerated career progression with increased maturity and leadership skills?</li> <li>Are we acting in staff’s long-term interests by promoting them so quickly?</li> <li>Is it truly possible to specialize and master one area of digital marketing, then transfer to a ‘cross-channel’ role?</li> <li>How much time should we spend addressing our weaknesses, as opposed to accentuating our strengths?</li> <li>What constitutes effective leadership in a culture that demands instant reward?</li> </ul> <p>I questioned these areas while working as a full-time employee, but was too close to the scene to consider it with anything other than pure subjectivity.</p> <p>Moreover, the experience of working at digital marketing agencies remains fresh enough for me to root any ruminations at least partly in the empirical rather than the purely ideal.</p> <h3>How we got here</h3> <p>We are all finding our feet in the digital world, but not everyone cares to admit it.</p> <p>This is an industry built on promises to answer long-lasting questions, such as the true return on marketing spend. It makes for great sales speak, but as an industry we have not questioned the underpinnings of our work nearly enough. </p> <p>A healthy dialogue is emerging though, as we wrestle with the challenges of accurate attribution, click fraud, and the true meaning of a ‘customer-centric’ digital business model. Search, in particular, is becoming a much more interesting discipline as AI leads us towards accurate visual and voice search.</p> <p>In short, the industry is growing up. </p> <p>Many traditional marketers have moved into the digital space, but many others have entered a digital marketing role straight from college. </p> <p>This sizeable workforce plays host to a range of uncertainties and imbalances. For example, some of the most knowledgeable digital marketers within a company are also those with the least work experience.</p> <p>This occurs because they have specialized in an area of digital and are abreast of the latest developments, while those further up the chain simply do not have the time to do so. This younger generation also does not even recognize a distinction between the digital and the analogue. </p> <p>Simultaneously, the significance of digital continues to grow. This places greater emphasis on the skills that digital specialists possess.</p> <p>The historical models for career progression no longer fit, as a result. In their place, nothing of true merit has been proposed. I have worked at agencies that have discussed the ‘industrialization’ of digital marketing within their workforce, which remains a spectacular missing of the point.</p> <p>Turning people into machines won’t work; nor will the reverse. Something will always be lost in transition.</p> <p>Throw in the stereotypical (but oft accurate) view of the younger generation as more demanding than their older counterparts and we end up with 25 year-old heads of department.</p> <p>There is nothing innately wrong with this and some of the typical objections tend to come from those who simply wish they had been granted the same responsibility at such an inchoate stage of their development.</p> <p>We do, however, have a duty to nurture careers and create rounded leaders with a broad range of skills, especially the softer skills such as people management. Throwing people in at the deep end as ‘reward’ for excelling at their specialism is short-sighted and possibly even negligent.</p> <p>I have experienced this first-hand and do not pretend to have the right answers. That said, I’ve certainly encountered some of the wrong ones.</p> <p><strong>The core question that sits with me is: how can we take a specialist in one area of digital marketing and turn them into an expert in multiple channels, with the ability not only to set cross-discipline strategy but also lead a team?</strong></p> <p>It is a question requiring a thoughtful answer, because this situation is rarely just hypothetical.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0009/4501/Clark_Boyd.png" alt="clark boyd" width="600" height="300"></p> <h3>‘Branching out’</h3> <p>A marketer that performs exceptionally in one area of digital - paid social, for example - will reach a point where they inevitably want to ‘branch out’ and become more ‘holistic’. </p> <p>If that sounds vague, it’s because it is. It’s also the best we have and I would posit that it’s not good enough.</p> <p>In lieu of an agreed and effective language to discuss these challenges, we are left with platitudes and nebulous promises of progression.</p> <p>If one is promoted to head of paid social by the age of, say, 25 years old, there is still a lot of road left to run in that particular career. Having received so many promotions in so few years, expectations have been set high. Such an ambitious person will naturally start looking for the next rung on the ladder and will not want to stay in situ for too long.</p> <p>A convenient answer would be that this is an ever-developing field and new opportunities will always open up. Paid social will keep evolving and new specialisms we haven’t even thought of yet will spring up, too.</p> <p>That is overly convenient, however.</p> <p>We need to tie progression to more than just a hierarchy if we are to prepare people to avail of an uncertain, but potentially lucrative, future.</p> <p>Perhaps the most worrying trend I have seen in relation to career development in this industry is the creation of ‘cross-channel’ teams without any genuine thought on how staff will be prepared for these roles. </p> <p>In the immediate short term, this can satiate the desire of high-performers to progress their careers.</p> <p>At some agencies, senior managers prefer to take the easy route rather than act in staff’s long-term interests. Promotions and titles are handed out at the slightest hint of restlessness, which actually can put staff at something of an impasse. Many interview elsewhere but are rejected due to their lack of knowledge, or offered less senior roles in line with their actual experience. As a result, they end up staying.</p> <p>Perhaps some founders do not know better and are just unequipped to run a business, but therein lies another challenge. Anyone can start an agency and get a few clients, so many do so in the hope a lucrative earn-out down the line.</p> <p>The real problem here, from my perspective, is that this brazen greed stunts the development of so many young professionals. Once people reach that glass ceiling of ‘director’ or ‘head of’, the next objective is to work on other areas of digital marketing. The wish is easily granted, but this is often done myopically.  </p> <p>It is the responsibility of managers to advise their staff and sometimes the best advice is for them to stay in their departments, hone their craft, and learn to nurture other people’s development. </p> <p>The challenge here is that the employee may simply take the opportunity to ‘branch out’ at a rival agency, for more pay and a better title.</p> <p>Of course, providing a sense of purpose beyond the material will help to engage staff and boost retention rates. As simple as that sounds, many agencies have not yet realized this. Such an approach buys time, and with time can come development. </p> <p>However, on the whole, we seem to have bought into the narrative that we specialize first, then generalize soon after. Analyst -&gt; Account executive -&gt; Account manager -&gt; Director -&gt; Head of -&gt; [Insert title with either ‘client’ or ‘strategy’ in it].</p> <p>That may be fine in and of itself; but if it is inevitable that this is the path people will tread, how can we ensure that they do so successfully? </p> <p>After all, the gravitational pull of our original specialism is hard to resist, as we innately know that this is where we can add most value.</p> <p>I have attended many meetings with a client services director (or similar) and one can detect within the first five minutes what their true specialism is. They have simply been re-badged ‘holistic’, but they are in fact a PPC expert with additional responsibilities.</p> <p>When negotiating contracts between agencies and clients, it is ironic that ‘Client Strategy’ is the line item I have most frequently been asked to remove. One would imagine that this would appeal instinctively to clients, but many are skeptical about what exactly this person will add.</p> <p>It is important to note that this is not born of an a priori reality. These opinions are the result of lived experience, of ‘client services’ reduced to the role of note-taker, meeting-room-booker, next-steps-coordinator.</p> <h3>How can we overcome these challenges?</h3> <p>To my mind, the answer lies in a more enlightened approach to what we do and how we do it. Creating a culture of curiosity, of an enjoyment in the pursuit of knowledge over its saleable acquisition, is key to achieving this.</p> <p>We also learn by doing, of course. I have taken on projects in a range of digital marketing disciplines in the last 12 months and have learned more through this approach than I would have from reading articles or listening into meetings. I have also been able to take in-depth courses without having to worry about my timesheets.</p> <p>The problem is that this is not a luxury that would have been afforded me at many agencies. Staff are billable hours; time spent figuring out how to run a display campaign is not particularly bankable - at least not when the learner is also on a hefty pay packet.</p> <p>We must deliver outcomes, all the time.</p> <p>One potential answer has lain in the field of data analysis.</p> <p>By developing a base level of data literacy across an organization, there is at least a common vocabulary for discussing ideas in a reasonably objective manner.</p> <p>It would also be possible to send staff on an external ‘boot camp’ to boost their skills in the shortest possible time. I do think this type of training has value, but only as part of a broader plan. It delivers a ‘good ROI’ in a spreadsheet, but we are dealing with intangibles here and intangibles do not fit so readily into Excel.</p> <p>Perhaps there, we have our answer. </p> <p>When I have raised these questions, it has been rare to see a senior leader lift their head from their laptop. It has been rarer still to witness or participate in a rewarding discussion. If we only want shortcuts, we’ll end up with lesser experiences.</p> <p>I wrote an article like this one a few years ago and was asked by a CEO, "But what's your point? Summarize it for me." Sometimes, a situation is beyond salvation.</p> <p>The aim is not to be the world’s greatest expert in all areas of digital. That would be fantastic, but it would be impossible to maintain this heightened level of knowledge across so many ever-changing disciplines, if it could ever even be attained.</p> <p>Rather, the aim is to satiate an innate passion for knowledge and channel this into the development of sophisticated critical faculties. That seems as ‘future-proof’ a plan as any.</p> <h3>What I’ve done</h3> <p>When I left my first digital marketing agency, where I had spent five pretty happy and successful years, I had vague ambitions of ‘branching out’ beyond SEO. </p> <p>I did not need to leave in order to fulfil that ambition, as it would have been possible to move into a cross-channel team in the relatively short term. Simply changing title does not equate to possessing new skills, however. I didn't think I could do justice to such a role just yet.</p> <p>Perhaps I required some space to reflect on what exactly it meant to move into such a role, beyond simply taking on a new title that I would be ill-equipped to justify. Perhaps I needed a new environment and a fresh start.</p> <p>Personal pride is a factor in my desire to work on my development in isolation. When one has developed into an advanced professional in one area, it is difficult to assume the role of the beginner again. </p> <p>Without starting from the bottom, it is also impossible to understand the details of each practice. This has been easier to do on my own than it would have been within a large company.</p> <p>From an agency perspective, this is an understandably difficult paradox to resolve. It may even be insoluble, placed in a wider societal context. Healthy discussion and an emphasis on developing both hard and soft skills will only help, I believe.</p> <p>In a minority of companies, however, to pose questions without also providing answers is to be ‘troublesome’. If one knew the answer, one wouldn’t pose the question, but that’s precisely what some leaders want.</p> <blockquote> <p>Questions put strain on a straining infrastructure.</p> <p>Answers - even wrong ones - are comforting in their certainty.</p> </blockquote> <p>This is, unfortunately, entirely lost on those who claim their business is built on ‘disruption’ and ‘challenging the status quo’. Nothing could be more conformist than some of the digital agencies I have observed. One wonders why they would truly want things to stay as they are, other than to prop up their own positions. </p> <p>Since I am no longer obliged to spew platitudes (not that I ever did so with conviction), there is room to ruminate, to question, to accept that there need not be a ‘quick win’ or ‘actionable outcome’ at the end.</p> <p>Ironically, it will lead me to better answers. My life is infinitely richer for that.</p> <p><em><strong>Needless to say, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/">Econsultancy offers a range of training courses</a> if, like Clark, you are looking to branch out.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/69938 2018-04-12T13:00:00+01:00 2018-04-12T13:00:00+01:00 Agencies, do you win business by accident or design? Ben Potter <p>The challenge lies not so much in winning business, per se, but in winning the ‘right’ business. ‘Right’ is a subtle but strategically important distinction to make. The ‘wrong’ business impacts the longevity of client relationships, staff morale and ultimately, the success, or otherwise, of the agency. </p> <p>Whilst a certain amount of client churn is inevitable in the hyper-competitive digital space, agencies don’t help themselves when they fail to treat business development, from positioning through to pitching, as an ‘experience’. It is a function of the agency that is rarely approached with the same level of intent or purpose as service delivery or account management, for example.</p> <p>So, what does a well-designed approach to business development look like? And how does it help an agency win the ‘right’ business? </p> <p>In my experience, you win business ‘by design’ when…</p> <h3>1. Positioning drives your new business strategy </h3> <p>When business development is designed, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68869-why-your-agency-s-value-proposition-probably-sucks-and-what-to-do-about-it/" target="_blank">positioning sets the agenda</a>. Agencies that are clear in their purpose and have a current (or attainable) advantage over the competition, will probably find business development more straightforward than a ‘generalist’. </p> <p>Why? Because they have greater clarity on who they want to work with and how they make a difference to the people, businesses and markets they serve. They worry less about the work they’ll miss out on and instead concentrate their efforts on what can be gained by ‘narrowing their focus’ (to steal an expression from <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/big-idea-2015-expand-your-focus-tim-williams/" target="_blank">Tim Williams</a>).</p> <p>Focus helps avoid a ‘spray and prey’ approach to lead generation. Decision making on the right blend of inbound and outbound tactics is made significantly easier.</p> <h3>2. You put business development at the heart of the agency</h3> <p>Agencies that approach business development with purpose do so collaboratively. Accountability and good internal communication rule. Successes are celebrated for what they are – a team effort - and losses commiserated likewise.</p> <p>This often means breaking down barriers and putting aside misconceptions. People only shy away from business development because they don’t understand it. Yet, when you look at the breadth of skills and behaviours required to win business, everyone in the agency can (and should) play a role. As such, when the agency <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/69283-10-things-agency-owners-can-do-to-help-their-business-development-manager-flourish/" target="_blank">hires a business development manager</a> they are considered part of the solution, not THE solution.  </p> <h3>3. You say ‘no’ just as often as you say ‘yes’</h3> <p>If you think of qualifying as a series of ‘filters’, positioning communicates who the agency is best equipped to work with and why. It should therefore help to attract on-profile prospects and (hopefully) disqualify others. </p> <p>But that doesn’t mean every organisation in your chosen market is right. When business development is designed, agencies profile their ‘ideal client’ in terms of company attributes and the type of people they want to work with (attitudes and behaviours, for example).</p> <p>This second filter is used to efficiently disqualify prospects when they don’t meet the grade. Even when the pipeline isn’t looking too rosy, the agency stays true to themselves, taking the long view over any short term, financial benefit.</p> <h3>4. You make things happen</h3> <p>Your dream client is unlikely to just land in your lap. In my agency days, we might have received one or two leads per year that were absolutely ‘on the money’.</p> <p>Otherwise, it was initiative, resourcefulness, motivation and a dose of patience that opened doors to the brands we really wanted to talk to. </p> <p>A well-designed approach to business development is evident when an agency knows their audience inside and out; the roles they are targeting; the challenges they are likely to be facing; where they spend their time and how they tend to digest content, for example.</p> <p>Lead generation is therefore not overly reliant on one channel or a <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/win-new-business-stop-looking-silver-bullet-ben-potter/" target="_blank">mystical ‘silver-bullet’</a>. Perhaps most importantly, plans and processes ensure lead generation activity is ‘always on’, rather than a reaction to an empty looking pipeline.</p> <h3>5. You’re in control </h3> <p>Agencies too often allow the prospect to set the terms of engagement during a pitch process. From unrealistic deadlines to full-on design concepts, expectations are often unrealistic and unfair. </p> <p>Agencies with a well-designed approach to information gathering and qualifying seek to own the process as far as they possibly can. They do not bow to every request and whim.</p> <p>They identify red flags early, such as the prospect failing to give up their time, share insight, be challenged in their thinking or demonstrating a willingness to change.</p> <p>Agencies that approach business development with intent don’t take the bait or <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/have-you-ever-lost-pitch-incumbent-agency-heres-why-ben-potter/" target="_blank">end up as ‘pitch candy’.</a></p> <h3>6. You don’t try and sell anything…</h3> <p>…not during the early stages of the relationship anyway.</p> <p>Agencies with a well-designed approach to prospecting don’t try to sell anything over email. And having landed an appointment, they don’t walk into a room, get their laptop out and present their creds (unless they are specifically asked to).</p> <p>Instead, they put the prospect first. Email is used to share relevant and timely insights. Meetings lead with interesting, often challenging questions that seek to uncover where the prospect is trying to get to, the challenges they are facing and what success looks like.</p> <p>Only once this information has been gathered do they try and sell their solutions, ideas or their agency.</p> <h3>7. You know your numbers</h3> <p>It is said that business development is a numbers game. This is both right and wrong depending on the context. Firing out a thousand generic emails and hoping for the best? That’s not a numbers game, it’s a fools' game (even more so, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/hello/gdpr-for-marketers/" target="_blank">with GDPR around the corner).</a></p> <p>Setting <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria">SMART objectives</a> (and ensuring there is adequate resource in place to meet them) is a numbers game. </p> <p>Tracking leads, qualified opportunities, pitches and conversion rate, is a numbers game. </p> <p>Understanding the value of your pipeline, having in place a system to ‘weight’ opportunities and using this insight to plan resource, is a numbers game.</p> <p>When business development is designed, the accuracy of data, reporting and regular reviews ensure an agency can easily identity any failings and focus their efforts accordingly.</p> <h3>8. You don’t rest on your laurels</h3> <p>I speak to a lot of agencies who mistake a winning streak for a winning approach to business development. They’ve won a few clients in a short space of time, they’re busy and all is good in the world. They’ve got this business development thing licked.</p> <p>But a few months later, the work dries up, the pipeline is looking thin and they’re back at square one. </p> <p>When business development is designed, the ‘machine’ never stops. Business development is never ‘nailed’. There is a continuous cycle of review, learn and improve.</p> <h2>Maybe I’m wrong?</h2> <p>You might be reading this and thinking <em>‘we don’t tick these boxes and we still win our fair share of new clients, you’re talking rubbish’</em> (it has been known).</p> <p>There are of course scenarios where some of this goes out the window, exceptions to the rule if you like.</p> <p>But think about it. Do you and your team really enjoy the work you are doing? Are your relationships based on what really matters to the client, not what you perceive to matter in their monthly stats reports? Are you impossible to replace? Do you have a high retention rate…of clients and staff?</p> <p>Business development impacts all these things, and more. Answering ‘no’ to any of these questions are all symptoms of a poorly designed approach to new business.</p> <p>So, ask yourself the question again – do you win business by accident or design?</p> <p><em><strong>For more on agencies, readers can check out <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/top-100-digital-agencies">Econsultancy's Top 100 Digital Agencies report</a>.</strong></em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4748 2018-03-20T17:00:00+00:00 2018-03-20T17:00:00+00:00 Career and Salary Survey Report 2018 <p>Building on our inaugural Career and Salary Survey in 2015 (previously called The Salary Survey), Econsultancy has collaborated with sister brand Marketing Week to survey over 4,000 people across the marketing, digital, design and advertising industries.</p> <p>With Econsultancy's  Modern Marketing Model (M3) in mind, this survey data goes some way towards showing how well the gap between digital and general marketing is closing, and what still needs to happen before digital thinking is embedded into all aspects of business strategy.</p> <p>Some of the key findings highlighted in this year's report include gender pay gap and diversity and inclusion issues within the industry. </p> <p>The main objective of this research is to give a guideline of how marketers are remunerated and what the trends and variations are across different industry sectors in the UK, but also to understand how they rate various remuneration packages, what benefits they receive, what their expectations are and how marketing departments evolved in the last 12 months.</p> <p>We are confident that this report provides real practical value for those working in the marketing industry who want to understand how their peers are remunerated.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:Report/4716 2018-02-13T12:35:00+00:00 2018-02-13T12:35:00+00:00 Digital Intelligence Briefing: 2018 Digital Trends <p>The <strong>2018 Digital Trends</strong> report, published by Econsultancy in association with <strong><a title="Adobe" href="https://www.adobe.com/uk/experience-cloud.html">Adobe</a></strong>, looks at the most significant trends that will impact companies in the short to medium term.</p> <p>The report is based on a global survey of nearly 13,000 marketing, creative and technology professionals in the digital industry across EMEA, North America and Asia Pacific.</p> <p>As part of this year’s study, we have also identified a number of <strong>top-performing companies</strong> in order to<strong> assess how they are focusing their activities and investments differently compared to their peers</strong>.</p> <p>High-performing companies are those organisations that exceeded their top 2017 business goal by a significant margin, and who have also significantly outperformed their competitors.</p> <p><strong>Key insights</strong> from the research include:</p> <ul> <li>Companies continue to focus on the customer experience (CX), as well as the content required to facilitate this. Organisations committed to CX are shown to outperform their peers.</li> <li>We are entering a ‘design and creativity renaissance’, with top-performing companies recognising the importance of these capabilities to complement data and technology excellence.</li> <li>Investment in technology and related skills is paying dividends, with integrated platforms fast-becoming a prerequisite for success.</li> <li>AI is set to play a growing role in helping marketers to deliver more compelling real-time experiences.</li> </ul>