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LinkedIn – friend or foe?

December 13th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Candidates, Employers, Everyone


I love LinkedIn, not in the love I will have for my first child, but close to it. LinkedIn has revolutionised the recruitment industry. It plays on a very simple emotion, vanity. You may disagree with the vanity suggestion, but if you are on LinkedIn, then you are comfortable with promoting yourself to the world, which is being vain.

Your profile is effectively your CV, it’s a highlight reel of your corporate life, an opportunity for everyone to see what you do and how good you may be.  For companies this is an interesting problem because you know you star performers are constantly visible for all to see and for all to contact.

Recruiters obviously use LinkedIn as a first port of call to head hunt candidates. It allows upfront honesty and assuming that the recruiter is ethical in their approach and respects the persons contact settings (ie, the “open to career opportunities” is highlighted in their contact settings) it is an unobtrusive manner to get in touch. So knowing this is the case, why do companies like their employees being on LinkedIn?


The Emotional Hedge

November 2nd, 2011   By   Filed Under: Everyone

Some time has passed since the Rugby World Cup passed and I have been reminiscing about it now that football has taken over our TV screens. The long and the short of it is that this world cup wasn’t as exciting as it has been in the past for me. This could be due to the fact games were screened at 8.30am (no beer) or the fact that the tournament as a whole lacked any flair. England were shocking, France were France, Wales should have done better, New Zealand won (just) and the under dogs (Italy, USA and co) did what they always do: made lots of tackles, let in tries and put in some massive hits. So I decided to make it interesting!

Now as a proud Englishman who once got “filled in” on the pitch playing a Southern French team, I am very happy to see the French lose. BUT, I got France in the sweep stake at work. So I also decided to stick £10 on France (at 11-1) when they lost to Tonga, to win the tournament and bet my Father £20 (2-1) that France would beat New Zealand (an hour before kick-off).

So going into the final I could have won c£220, and I could have made an average tournament interesting by playing the “Emotional Hedge”. If France lost I would be happy, but if France won, I would also be happy.

Now… we know the result of course, New Zealand won and France lost. I may be £32 down but I don’t have to congratulate my sisters French boyfriend on a World Cup win!

So to summarise my ramblings, The Emotional Hedge is the best way to make sport interesting. It doesn’t matter how dull a game is, if you put a few pennies behind the enemy, you create a little bit of drama and emotion within you!

Digital in Print

October 12th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Digital

Recently we featured our first ad in Marketing Week. It was a quarter page ad featuring a QR code that takes you to the Dylan jobs page. The response rate was great, within 2 hours we had over 100 people scan the QR Code. This got me thinking; do the digitally savvy, the evangelists of online, still buy print? Should we advertise on a non digital platform.

I adopted an I-pad almost a year ago to date. I have several subscriptions to newspapers and magazines that are now I-pad only and bar the Sunday Times (and if I’m completely honest, the odd copy of Heat I steal from my Fiancé when she isn’t looking) I don’t buy print anymore. The only ads I look at are now online. So if the target audience is the Digitally savvy, is there any need to be anywhere outside of the digital world? Well our advert proves to us that yes, we should still cover all platforms, but the way we do it is important. By using a QR code, we engaged with the relevant target audience, those that embrace Digital in all its forms.

Either way, it was a proud moment to see Dylan Digital in print!

I Like Facebook…I Want to be a Social Media Manager

October 10th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Candidates, Digital

I hear this quite a lot. I would go as far as to say that Social Media is the most popular career choice for graduates coming into the world of Digital. I love Social Media, be it Google +, Facebook, Twitter or Yammer I think they all have their place and are terrific Marketing channels. I am also fairly proficient and knowledgeable across them all, but this doesn’t mean I could transfer into a Social Media Managers position. You need more than an interest and profile to work in Social media!

Now that my mini rant is over, how should you go about getting into Social Media?


The Digital Skills Gap

July 15th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Candidates, Employers, Everyone

The current market place for Digital is an interesting space. Over the last 12 months the demand for Digital has doubled. Integrated agencies have worked hard to develop their Digital offering, pure play Digital Agencies are expending their offerings to be 360 in their approach and Social Media, well, I think we all know that that is the new “cool kid” at School.

So how has this affected the job market? Well, it has created a skills shortage. Over the last 6 months we have 3 jobs for every one Planner, AD or Media expert. If you are looking for a role in PPC then it’s your lucky day as there is a huge demand for your skills.

So what does this mean for companies? It means they need to up-skill staff or hire in digital freelancers to stay with the pack. Training is often seen as time consuming and expensive so the freelance route is often taken as a quick fix and easy way out to filling the skills gap. The problem with being reliant on freelancers for your company’s digital skill set is that their knowledge leaves the building when they do.

Freelancers, to an extent, have a stranglehold over the market place. It’s in their interest to keep freelancing as they can earn more than their permanent counterparts and the Digital Skill Gap continues to flourish.

Some companies have responded to this by bringing in senior Digital suits to up-skill their staff whilst working on live projects. A famous International Marketing Agency has done just this. Alongside their Digital offering they have brought in a permanent Senior Digital suit to concentrate on educating the agency on Digital; getting the ‘off-liners’ talking to and thinking like the ‘on-liners’. The initial outlay of bringing in a permanent suit can be expensive but it is a brilliant and necessary long term investment.

Read more about my thoughts in this great article from Marketing “Filling the digital skills gap”


Digital Pure-Play vs Integrated

July 1st, 2011   By   Filed Under: Candidates, Employers, Everyone

I clearly don’t have Miles Young’s experience, nor have I been in the industry for 30 years and seen things come and go, however, I do have the fortunate position to be in the middle of the Digital revolution.

I genuinely believe there is a place for pure-play Digital Agencies. Just like there is a place for PR or SP Agencies. The issue isn’t the silo-thinking; it’s how the silo thinking is integrated into the bigger picture.

We need people who live and breathe Digital, people who are so passionate about the discipline that that’s all they know and/or care for. This is how we progress the discipline. We need agencies of excellence that do nothing else than Digital, offering amazing solutions and exciting Ideas.

What we need to be careful of is who is leading the Strategy. Digital is just another channel. Sometimes it’s the right one to use and sometimes not. There is a need for specialists and there is a need for pure-plays. Marketing is a big puzzle and Digital is an essential piece. Without pure-play Digital agency, we would be missing a huge trick.

Original quote from:

Brands, Principles, Values and Morals…

June 14th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Everyone, Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

Giggs is another star that has allegedly succumbed to temptation. A man famous for his “clean” image touted as a role model for the young and once even asked to keep an eye on Wayne Rooney after he strayed from the straight and narrow. The Media has jumped on this and is seems that there may be more to come.

Now the reason I am interested in this (other than gossip) is the concern of Sponsorship deals and how brands have to deal with the fall-out. Stars are big money for Brands. Looking at Giggs again, it is being suggested that he may lose his £20 million sponsorship deal with Reebok. (Marketing, June 2011)

The Daily Mail claims the brand would not comment when asked whether they would stand by him. Nigel Currie, Director of sports marketing firm Brand Rapport told the paper: “What he had going for him from a marketing perspective was his seemingly clean-cut personal image.”

He continued: “A little like Tiger Woods, he had this untouchable air about him, almost Mr Perfect – he was seen as a model professional and a really good guy…Once that image goes, he’s likely to find his whole unique selling point has gone, too.” (The Drum, June 2011)

Should Reebok drop him? They Sponsor him for being a brilliant Footballer/Athlete, someone kids want to be. Should they be concerned by his private life? Well it comes down to Morals and Values. Does Reebok want to be associated with someone that the Nation value as Immoral?

Making Data Relevant: The New Metrics for Social Marketing

January 12th, 2011   By   Filed Under: Interesting, Weird and Wonderful

Prashant Suryakumar is a Social Media Engagement Manager at Mu Sigma and is currently focused on social media analytics. This post was co-authored by Dhiraj Rajaram, the founder and CEO of Mu Sigma.

Social media has come of age. Marketers now have the ability to augment their traditional marketing approaches with rich behavioral and activity-based targeting that should increase marketing ROI significantly.

However, businesses are facing an uncomfortable truth: There are no “best practices” for measuring a successful social media campaign. Crowd behavior is dynamic and context-specific, and it is difficult, if not impossible, to build a “one size fits all” solution.

A structured approach to capturing, measuring, analyzing and refining marketing strategies in near real time is essential to executing a successful social campaign. Initially, however, companies need to invest in infrastructure to make such a learning cycle possible.

Carry on reading about investing in data, real-time monitoring and more…

4 Job Search Tips For Aspiring SEO/SEM Specialists

November 22nd, 2010   By   Filed Under: Candidates, Employers

four tips for seo and sem

Companies across every industry are competing for top rankings on search engine results. And whether they turn to a marketing agency, SEO firm or consultant, there is an increasing demand for search engine optimization specialists.

Marketing professionals looking to break into this relatively new niche can’t necessarily rely on prestigious certifications or a long background as a SEO specialist to demonstrate their knowledge.

We spoke with SEO firms to get their advice for aspiring SEO specialists who want to impress potential employers and stand out from the pack.

Read on for 4 expert tips…

How Social Media Can Make Us More Productive

November 22nd, 2010   By   Filed Under: Everyone

T.A. McCann serves as founder and CEO of Gist. His past experience includes Vulcan Capital, Polaris Venture Partners, where he was an entrepreneur-in-residence. Prior to Polaris, he held senior positions at Microsoft.

To quote Eric Clapton: ‘It’s in the way that you use it!’

In the constant back-and-forth arguments about Millennials joining the workforce, we’ve heard countless times that managers think social media is a distraction and ultimately a productivity killer in the workplace.

In response, the social media community has fought back by saying that these tools actually help them get things done faster, or bring other value to the business. But there have been few substantive conversations about precisely how social media might help you get things done.

Beyond Millennials, the ‘new workforce’ is being defined by a work style that blurs personal and professional time. That development has spawned professionals that craftily use social media to get things done. Yes, the initial draw was networking, but as those relationships become more essential to your professional responsibilities, social media becomes an area where you can get a lot of work done too.

The trick is to realize that it’s not about the tool itself, but your ability to (more…)