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Practice Snapshots — Marketing : Digital : Corporate Affairs : Professional Services : HR

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Marketing
by Dimitra Fourtzis

Marketing has continued its course of expansion from a brand and communications function to a business growth function with data, digital and of course, the customer at the fore.

Marketing was previously defined as engaging customers in the need for a product, and leveraging the brand as to why that product satisfied a customer need. In today’s reality, it’s more around designing journeys and delivering experiences throughout the customer lifecycle. How to turn the dial from customer acquisition and demand generation to a wider customer engagement approach is becoming key.  

Customer engagement has never been more important to marketers looking to share their brand message. And to do this, leveraging deeper data insights has become critical to ensuring customer loyalty in an increasingly competitive digital landscape. Data disruption is becoming as transformative and game-changing to customer engagement as digital disruption.

In essence, three key areas of focus are recognised for the performance of marketing over the next 2-3 years :

(1)   Leveraging data better and smarter than ever before to develop customer centric insights and strategies

(2)   Customer centricity – human centred design methodologies will become part of everyone’s DNA

(3)   Innovation – the focus will be on building capability and ensuring people have the ability to be more customer-centric through innovation, product design and channel optimisation

The customer is still King however data is certainly royalty.

 

Digital
by Inci Kaylan Drerup & Emma Hanlon

Trends are showing that it’s not enough to just have a digital strategy, it needs to be really impactful. You can waste a lot money and time developing and executing strategies across digital platforms with very little ROI.   Digital marketers need be really focused on ROI. Online analytical functions are easily available and should be greatly used to see where you can spend your money more wisely. Social media is the number No. 1 way of getting a brand out there but only if it’s done properly.

Linkedin and Twitter are both really key platforms for businesses to have a presence on but any content you post must be hugely engaging, it must really add value to your customer’s journey, bring them to the next stage of their journey. There are four main touch points on the customer’s online journey, browse, trigger, experience and convert. If you don’t reach your customer through your messaging at any of these points, there will be very little ROI. On these platforms we have the potential to reach such a huge audience that we need to inspire, educate, entertain and convince. We need to be curious and stand out. We need to think about creating the moment within the moment, the feel good factor for customers that make them have an affinity to our brand and want to be part of it. We need to put our customers at the heart of our story.

 

Corporate Affairs
by Tim James

2015 will be remembered as the year mobile devices began to reign supreme giving rise to the neccessity for multiple platform usage when storytelling and building reputation.  Yet again we witnessed just how the digital landscape is influencing how, what and when organisations communicate in order to engage and influence targeted and measurable audiences.  Rather than targeting people on the individual to mass continuum, communications now is equipped to target smaller groups and communities.

Whilst Corporate Affairs continues to influence what people think both internally and externally, in order for this business critical function to provide it’s ultimate value, it must have a relevant and substantial seat at the table.

As we future-gaze, we’re almost certain to see a further amplification of mobile, social and video trends. The neccesity for synergy and cohesion between Corporate Affairs and Marketing will remain at the fore and it will be a case those that succeed, will be the ones who are prepared to adapt. It’s an exciting time to be in Corporate Affairs, albeit a fast moving one.

 

Professional Services
by Will Dunn

Recruitment activity in 2015 within the professional services sector has remained relatively stable and consistent, with movements across all levels of seniority. The last 12 months has seen a demand on the Marketing and BD functions to demonstrate how these activities are contributing to the bottom line, whether it’s through the more direct routes such as tenders, client relationship management and strategic pursuits, or those which are further removed, such as marketing insights and analytics teams, digital, and even the communications function. Interestingly there has also been a steady trend in firms looking for ‘leftfield’ candidates, who bring commercial awareness within a specific industry sector, but not necessarily proven experience within a professional services environment.

 

HR
by Lloyd Lazaro & Hayley James

Deloitte unveiled its Global Human Capital Trends 2015 report, outlining the trends HR can expect to see – and handle – key trends which are “reshaping the nature of work and the ways organisations approach talent management”.

Leadership: Why a perennial issue? 

Companies are struggling with leadership development at all levels, leading many employers to invest in new and accelerated models.  Creating excellent leaders remains highly important – the second biggest priority for HR. 

Learning and development: Into the spotlight 

Companies need to be actively exploring new approaches to learning and development as they confront increasing skills gaps.  The need to transform and accelerate corporate learning was the third most important challenge to HR.

Culture and engagement: The naked organization 

Organisations are continuing to recognise the need to focus on corporate culture and dramatically improving employee engagement as it threatens to bring a crisis in engagement and retention.

Performance management: The secret ingredient 

Traditional performance management is being replaced with innovative performance solutions.  In today’s world of work, the need to rethink organisational management – including managing, evaluating and rewarding people – is one of the biggest necessities. 

Reinventing HR: An extreme makeover

HR is undergoing an extreme makeover to deliver greater business impact and drive innovation.  The need to reskill HR itself weighed in as the fourth biggest issue.  There is an increasing trend for CEOs to bring in non-HR professionals to fill the role of CHRO.

HR and people analytics: Stuck in neutral

Too few organisations are actively implementing talent analytics capabilities to address complex requirements for business and talent.  HR should make “serious investments” in leveraging data when it comes to making people decisions. People analytics – a strategy which has been evolving over the past several years – has the potential to change the way HR works.

People data everywhere: Bringing the outside in 

Over the next year, many organisations are expected to expand their HR data strategies by harnessing and integrating third party data about their people from social media platforms.

Simplification of work: The coming revolution 

In response to “information overload” and increasing system complexity, companies are predicted to simplify work environments and practices.  We are entering an era of “doing less better” rather than “doing more with less”.

Machines as talent: Collaboration, not competition

Cognitive computing—the use of machines to read, analyse, speak, and make decisions—is impacting work at all levels. Some believe that many jobs will be eliminated. HR teams must think about how to help redesign jobs as we all work in cooperation with computers in almost every role.

The report also had six “key findings”, which outline the changes HR will need to manage in 2015:

  • “Softer” areas such as culture and engagement, leadership, and development will continue to be urgent priorities.
  • Leadership and learning have dramatically increased in importance, but the capability gap is widening.
  • HR organisations and HR skills are failing to keep up with business needs.
  • HR technology systems are a growing market, but their promise may be largely unfulfilled.
  • Talent and people analytics are a high priority and a tremendous opportunity, but progress is slow.
  • Simplification is an emerging theme; HR is part of the problem.

 

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