The future for you, your staff and digital

The future for you, your staff and digital

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Learnings from our Thought Leadership Breakfast – Future Talent & Skills

The stunning view from KPMG’s offices over Victoria Harbour with the early morning sunshine set the scene for an open and honest Thought Leadership Breakfast on Future Talent & Skills on 25 November 2014.

Our three panellists: Erica Kerner, VP marketing & communications Asia Pacific, Tiffany & Co., Adam O’Conor CEO, Ogilvy & Mather Group Hong Kong and Nick Marsh, managing director executive search APAC, Harvey Nash spoke candidly about their views and thoughts on the challenges of talent recruitment and management in the marketing industry plus relayed their own insightful perspectives on the rapid change taking place for CMOs and the marketing industry today. Over 40 senior marketers listened to the lively panel discussion and had plenty of questions for the panellists.

Nick Marsh set the scene on the evolving landscape set by digital. Organisations are using digital as a means of ‘leaping forward’ ahead of the competition and in customer conversations. CMOs need to be proactive and grab hold of digital leadership. Digital expertise is needed at the highest levels. Adam O’Conor highlighted the growing trend for hiring people from unusual places, rather than the obvious or traditional, so long as they are the right people. Though the marketing scene is ever-changing, some truths remain the same: real consumer insights are still key and being a consumer champion is still the role of marketing.

Erica Kerner spoke on the evolving role of the CMO. The CMO and Chief Branding Officer are not necessarily the same thing. The CMO role is expanding to look at areas such as new market entry, advising the CEO, mobility and seeing across multiple geographies. While the CMO function is being split across other roles. The future of the CMO role is an interesting question.

Key learnings and insights included:

The growing role of the CMO is consistently underpinned by customer centricity

  • A CMOs average tenure is 18 months. So how does one stay on top of one’s game? Constantly re-evaluate and know your customer, even though customer’s change so quickly.
  • Surround yourself with the best people, have a team who challenge and inspire you.
  • The CMO needs to bring the voice of the customer into the whole business – into the products, sales channels, etc.
  • Young team members have mentors. As a senior leader, you need a younger mentor to help you understand the digital mindset and the ‘Millennial’.

Next generation workforce

  • Millennials have a very different mindset and behaviour pattern. They’re hugely promiscuous, from a job perspective. They hop around categories, industries, countries etc.
  • Millennials have to have different remuneration. Treat and promote them differently. Adam spoke of ‘spiking’ special people up a couple of levels if they have potential… don’t make them trudge through each level in the organisation ‘because they have to’.
  • Consider how to make your workplace a great place to work. Ogilvy turned their annual dinner into numerous events throughout the year to which millennials responded well and, importantly, reduced staff churn.

Is digital a tick box or a must?

  • Some organisations still, incredibly, think that digital is just creating a website. However, some see digital as a true way forward and tool for transformation.
  • Digital is the catalyst to marketing leadership change in today’s organisations.
  • At Tiffany’s, digital permeates everything they do – whether as a marketing tool, as a channel, whether it’s e-commerce, customer data or just a system that makes the business work.
  • Digital is oxygen. It’s not ‘special’. It’s not a ‘thing’ – it’s everyone’s thing.

The shift in views on Big Data to the visualisation of Small Data

  • There is a huge need for brands to engage consumers in product development and narratives (consumer-generated content).
  • Look for niche opportunities to engage customers.
  • There is a misconception that big data is just ‘large amounts of data’.
  • Nick mentioned an example of the Rolls Royce Airbus 380 flying from London to Australia. There was a problem with the plane mid-flight. The plane was in constant contact sending data back to HQ. By the time the plane landed half-way to Australia, they had already designed the solution.
  • Some organisations are using FB data to cross-refer against their customers details to create profiles and create products based on the customer’s lifestyle.
  • Equally, the visualisation of small data is extremely important. Make the data and information understandable and transform it into something a customer can understand and use.
  • The younger generation understand the value of their data to brands. They will give their ‘preferred’ brands access if you give them something useful in return.

Global mobile workforce and the Asian experience

  • Geography is irrelevant, expertise is everything. Technology is being used extremely well to make location irrelevant. Great communication is the key to making that technology work for you.
  • Two fast growing regions are China and SouthEast Asia. Having experience in Asia will be of use and of benefit. Having Asian experience is critical if you want a global role. It’s an important facet in a global marketing team.
  • As Chinese brands go global, Hong Kong must be the doorway to the rest of the world, not the doormat. Hong Kong missed its opportunity, to a certain extent, when global brands entered China.
  • At the same time, Adam pointed out that many multi-national clients want work out of London because they want the global perspectives. Agencies are changing their business model to service the needs of some clients, especially Chinese brands, who want to go global.

This breakfast was the second in our series looking into the key challenges that were discussed from our 24-hour conversations initiative which took place in March 2014. This global first was a 24-hour continuous telephone conversation between 40 senior marketers, crossing 4 continents and over 10 countries as we asked one question – what is the biggest challenge and opportunity for growth in your market over the next 10 years?

The three core challenges discussed were: Global vs Local, Future talent and skills and The pursuit of the big idea.

Browse more international content in our Clubhouse.

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Author: The Marketing Society
Posted: 11 Jan 2015
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