Mind the marketing talent gap: Don’t derail your digital transformation

As digital marketing moves to the strategic heart of business, physician too many organizations remain unprepared to meet the demands of digital transformation.

My September Guest Blogger Ashley Friedlein CEO of Econsultancy

As digital marketing moves to the strategic heart of business, too many organizations remain unprepared to meet the demands of digital transformation. Even those CEOs and CMOs with the will and vision to remake their businesses for the digital era may encounter resistance from within. Or they may lack right people to create and drive digital change forward.

Ashley_Friedlein portrait EConsultancyOn the other hand, many businesses, led by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, Apple, and Amazon are in a well-funded race to engage consumers. A huge part of their digital investment goes to acquiring and keeping the best talent available. That’s instructive: Even if you’re not in the digital super league, bringing on board people with the skills and experience to take your business into the digital future means quickly learning to acquire, keep, grow and optimize your digital talent and teams. As we recently reported from our HR Roundtable in London, it’s a big job, and the competition for talent is fierce.

So when you can’t offer the kind of perks of a Twitter, for example, how can you build a world class digital team? Here are seven recommendations:

  1. Understand what you need from new talent: Document and pinpoint the gaps in your modern marketing teams.. For key hires, put the specialist skills you really need at the top of your wish list. Tech literacy is essential for transformation – along with proven ability to provide strategic insight, strong leadership and communications skills.  Likewise, people who specialize in areas such as domain strategy and content creation are also likely to need wider business literacy– in online sales, marketing and advertising intelligence for instance.
  2. Be flexible: Be willing to adapt to the operational and strategic changes that new digital specialists can bring. Here, not having an existing digital infrastructure can actually be advantageous.  Without a tangle of inefficiencies, your new staff’s efforts will deliver a faster return. 
  3. Mean digital business: Present your business to prospective candidates as an interesting     digitization challenge, and give them something to get excited about. Show that you are innovative, flexible and energized about the future through attitude, at the very least. 
  4. Be open-minded, and listen: Nurture a dialogue with talented new employees; develop a partnership and appreciate the challenges of their role. It also helps to offer extra training for employees who come from a more traditional background – regardless of department or     experience. 
  5. Break down barriers and let talent lead: Give your team members the scope to achieve. An overbearing hierarchy can be a turn-off, especially for digital natives. Frustrating them with bureaucracy will slow their progress, and they’ll likely be drawn elsewhere. 
  6. Offer a future: Once you’ve hired them, don’t leave digital specialists outside the company’s general promotions structure – particularly from senior management posts. Instead, view their advancement as evidence of a successful digital integration process.
  7. Champion your talent: Encourage top down support for the people you’ve tasked with taking these risks and driving change. This is crucial for achieving your modern marketing goals. By sharing common aims, every department of your business can fully exploit the opportunities ushered in by the new consumer focused, always-on marketing environment.

Join the Live Conversation: How New CMOs can transform existing marketing teams (live CMO Event)

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Four Essentials for Modern B2B Marketers


About the author

Ashley Friedlein is CEO and co-founder of Econsultancy, which provides information and digital
capability development services to digital marketing and e-commerce professionals worldwide. Econsultancy has over 200,000 subscribers with offices in London, New York, Dubai, Singapore and Sydney. Based in London, Ashley speaks at events internationally, actively promoting the interests of digital and marketing professionals. Learn more here:

Web: http://econsultancy.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/econsultancy

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