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#dylantalks Why The HR Director is The New Marketing Director

September 30th, 2011   By   Filed Under: #dylantalks

This was Toms war cry as he stepped onto the stage at our latest Dylan Thought Leadership Event. The same can be said of companies approach to what they spend their money on within the business to motivate their employees. It’s not enough to just have a great looking brand. If the company isn’t as authentic on the inside as it is on the outside then inevitably recruitment and retention will be a problem.

There is no coincidence that everybody wants to work at Innocent, Google, Facebook, and Virgin Atlantic. The correlation here is they all live their brand values inside and out and they’re all fantastic at marketing their company ethos as well as their products and services. They intrinsically understand that if you get your employees excited and passionate about the company that they work for then they become complete advocates…hell, almost evangelical about ‘their’ company. Look at Apple, Steve Jobs has basically created a new religion. 

When someone truly believes in something then there is simply nothing more powerful than that. It’s up to the leaders of the business to set that vision and rally everyone to collectively get behind it.

Now I am not trying to do myself out of a job here but if business owners understand this then they will find culture building, talent retention and ultimately talent attraction will become far easier.

For all those reading this who don’t understand the context of my rant, I’ll take it back a step…

We recently held the latest of our thought leadership events, #DylanTalks, at Soho Hotel where we welcomed Tom Fishburne aka Marketoonist (you may have seen his cartoons in Marketing Week) all the way from sunny San Francisco.

The big focus of Toms talk was how the best brands and businesses “market from the inside out”.  We all work in marketing, no matter our functional expertise.  Everyone in the company has the ability to impact the brand, whether they work in accounts payable or marketing. That means that the HR Director is the new Marketing Director.  Recruitment is as important to how a brand is marketed as creating a marketing plan.

Our brief to Tom for our event was inspire and educate. Needless to say Tom delivered on both.

I wont bore you with the results from our feedback survey but thank you to all of you who fed back. In short all but 1 person thought the afternoon was awesome so we must have done something right.

Needless to say building an excellent culture is not just a branding exercise. There are so many things a company can do to motivate their workforce but ultimately the best examples are one’s that are born out of their values.

Two examples of this are Google’s 20% rule. It’s no surprise to know that a core principle at Google is ‘Innovation’ but to incubate this they allow all engineers within the business to spend 20% of their working week on ‘other projects’. These can be anything and many of the great Google innovations like Google Earth and Street View have been born out of this.

The other example is one of our own. We realise that we work with grown up professionals and therefore we allow people to take as much holiday as they like. The principle factor being that we trust people will work when they have work and holiday in the slower periods. It’s a little alternative but we like that and guess what…it works.

I recently read a blog from one of the places in London that inspires me the most ‘The Tate Modern’, asking ‘How much is your work influenced by the space you work in?’ Now this was aimed at artists but in my opinion we’re all as influenced by our working environment and as an artist we need to feel inspired by the place we come and spend the majority of our day in.

We realise this at Dylan and that’s why we spend so much effort making our office look good . Did we need to spend £7k on a light that replicated sunlight? No of course we didn’t but hopefully it makes the guys a little bit happier on those dark winter afternoons in the office.

Our mantle at Dylan is “Love What You Do, Never work again”. We truly believe that is the fundamental ingredient to a successful, happy career.

Ok that’s enough from me. You will have seen that you can watch Tom’s talk in the video heading up this blog and at the end there are some photos from the event too.

So now you’ve read this (thank you for your attention) and you’re asking how do I get involved with #DylanTalks and what type of people come along? Well the simple answer is anyone’s welcome but generally you will be surrounded by a bunch of like minded people from the world of HR, Marketing and Media. If you’re keen keep an eye on our #DylanTalks page  for upcoming events and to sign up for alerts. Or get in touch with me on

Thanks for listening.

Here are some pictures from the event, for more from the event and to see other photos from Dylan go to:

Leave a comment (2)

  1. Laura says:

    This was a great event, can’t wait for the next one!

  2. S Masiello says:

    As a Marketing Director i have found the opposite … Where ive become pseudo HR

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