Content marketing: just a hangover – or does it even really exist?

With so many interested parties involved in the conversation over content marketing, it’s understandable how criticisms – and occasional notes about its limitations – can sometimes get swept under the carpet.

So it’s refreshing to see, in recent days, two well-meaning – if not entirely earth-shattering – counter punches. (more…)

The limits of Mark Zuckerberg’s recruitment strategy

Media recruiting: Facebook logoAt the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this year, Mark Zuckerberg made an interesting comment about what he looks for when making important hires.

“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person,” he said. “It’s a pretty good test and I think this rule has served me well.”

To a large extent, it’s obvious that Zuckerberg’s model has served him well. It has helped create one of the most successful and fast-growing businesses in corporate history. And the principle of wanting to work alongside like-minded people, with whom he enjoys working, is a good one. Who wouldn’t want to work that way? (more…)

Talent mobility: the future of recruitment and retention

Shifting demographics, rapidly emerging markets, and new digital technologies have fundamentally reshaped the way the world does business – but if you think change in the last decade has been acute, then the next few years are likely to blow your mind.

The future is set to look ever more different, particularly in the way the global workforce is sourced, organised, and managed. By 2020, PwC predicts that twice as many employees as today will need to be ‘mobile’ within a business to ensure it has the flexibility to react to shifting times. (more…)

Pearson made the right choice in selling the Financial Times

There has been much hand-wringing about the sale of The Financial Times to Japanese media firm Nikkei. But the deal makes a lot of sense and – in many ways – is the least worst option for the newspaper and its associated publishing interests.

The FT Group has, for some time, been an anomaly in Pearson’s portfolio. In the heady days of multi-interest conglomerates – when Pearson also owned Alton Towers and Madam Tussaud’s – there was no reason why the newspaper and a range of magazines could not be incorporated into a portfolio of interests. But in the years under Marjorie Scardino, and more recently under John Fallon, Pearson has become increasingly focused on a singular vision: to become the largest global educational publisher. (more…)

The five most desired skills when recruiting B2B product marketers

MTA media headhuntersMarketing B2B products can be a highly-specialised affair and, as a result, finding senior leaders in the sector can be a challenge. The knowledge required to become an effective senior B2B marketer can take years to develop; this is particularly true in the business information space where, over the past 18 months, many clients have asked us to help find them top-class product marketing leaders.

Having worked on a number of similar projects recently it has become clear to us at Martin Tripp Associates that there’s an identifiable set of skills that are highly desirable at present. So, if you’re thinking of undertaking a process to appoint a senior b2B marketer, or looking to move into a senior product marketing role, it might be worth bearing in mind the five key attributes we have identified when recruiting product marketers for our clients: (more…)

Digital difficulties mean print still dominates consumer publishing revenues

The consumer publishing sector is expected to see continued strong growth of its digital income over the course of the next five years. However, money from print will continue to form the bulk of revenues, according to research published this month.

Ovum’s Digital Consumer Publishing Forecast said that by 2020 just 24 per cent of overall revenue in the consumer publishing sector will come from digital – currently it’s at 14 per cent – with the remainder generated through print titles. (more…)

Why you should recruit executives who are better than you…

In his 2011 AdWeek memoir on David Ogilvy, the advertising legend, Kenneth Roman tells the following story:

“At one board meeting, he [Ogilvy] gave directors sets of Russian nesting matryoshka dolls. Inside the largest doll a smaller one, then a smaller one, and so forth. Inside the smallest doll there was a slip of paper:

“If we hire people who are smaller than we are, we will become a company of dwarfs. If we hire people who are bigger than we are, we will become a company of giants.

“Hire people who are better than you are. And pay them more than you if necessary.”

It is a great guiding principle. The smart manager hires the best team and revels in its success – a success which reflects well on all of them; everybody wins. The less smart manager hires down, the team struggles to meet targets, and the manager ends up blaming team members; nobody wins. (more…)

Four People Analytics tools and organisations to aid executive recruitment

MTA media headhuntersEstimates suggest paying staff can constitute anything up to 60% of a firm’s revenue, yet when we hire members of our senior team, rarely does the process become technical or subjected to scientific rigour. More often than not, gut-feeling can be the determining factor. Well, all that could be about to change.

Welcome to the world of People Analytics – where firms apply theories associated with the collection and analysis of Big Data to their workforces.

People Analytics is the move to help firms understand their employees better; to know what drives them, what causes demotivation, and to examine how that could change the criteria on which hiring choices are made. (more…)

Native advertising: it’s not just readers that need to know what’s an ad and what’s editorial

As media headhunters it’s common for our conversations with senior editorial and commercial people – at old and new media businesses alike – to regularly address the challenges they face in offering new and compelling solutions to advertisers.

These conversations often revolve around how a publisher can use the editorial skills they have in-house, and a reputation for producing high-quality content, in commercial ways that won’t alienate the readership or damage a relationship that, in some cases, has been built on centuries of editorial rigour.

So how do they do that? Well, it isn’t easy.

A recent editorial candidate told me at their (established) news organisation, they have clear boundaries to maintain the traditional gap between editorial and commercial. But this ‘traditional’ gap is no longer the case everywhere, and some of the UK’s most distinguished media businesses are peering directly into it in the hope of finding new sources of revenue.

Increasingly, media organisations are becoming more relaxed around the separation of editorial and commercial activity and redefining how existing boundaries can work. Under the umbrella of ‘native advertising’, the old lines between editorial and commercial are changing. (more…)

The limits of recruiting executives through your personal network

Every week I talk to dozens of media business leaders about how they recruit senior executives. I ask them what the changing nature of business means for their hiring policies, what their recruitment challenges and pain points tend to be, and I also ask about the measures they take when they’re recruiting executives – the advertising they use, the contingency agencies taken on, and the headhunters they engage.

When I ask these questions I frequently hear the same answer repeated back to me:

‘Oh,’ the business leader will say. ‘I just recruit through my own network’.

The remark is usually qualified with: ‘we know everyone in the market anyway’. (more…)