Advertising Association and M&C Saatchi leaders talk about long-term Coronavirus impact on industry
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Advertising Association and M&C Saatchi leaders talk about long-term Coronavirus impact on industry


The chief executive of the Advertising Association, Stephen Woodford and M&C Saatchi managing director, Tom Firth have discussed the longer-term impact that the industry’s response to the Coronavirus will have on advertising as a sector.

Joining editor of The Drum, Stephen Lepitak, the pair spoke about their reaction to chancellor Rishi Sunak’s stimulus packages for independent businesses and what it means for agencies, while Woodford spoke of the ongoing conversations the association has been having with the government.

They also discussed the changing behaviors witnessed within their own businesses in terms of staff operations and in seeking out news business.

Watch the full interview in the video above.



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Creative and biz leaders react to British government paying 80% of coronavirus impacted workers wages
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Creative and biz leaders react to British government paying 80% of coronavirus impacted workers wages


Creative sector and business chiefs have responded positively to chancellor Rishi Sunak’s move to take “unprecedented” steps to save jobs and avoid many companies folding during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Announcing the intention to cover 80% of salaries for employees, up to £2,500 per month each, for an expected period of three months in order to keep the economy from collapsing, Sunak has drawn praise from business leaders.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director-general, describes the announcement as “a landmark package of measures for business, people and jobs.”

She continued: “The chancellor’s offer of substantial payroll support, fast access to cash and tax deferral will support the livelihoods of millions. Firms and employees will respond with relief and determination,” adding that this would be the start of the UK’s economic fightback and “an unparalleled joint effort by enterprise and government to help our country emerge from this crisis with the minimum possible damage. An important day for our country.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also announced that bars, cafes and restaurants would also close from today (20 March) as another measure to stop the spread of the virus, but that takeaway deliveries would remain available. Shops would not be ordered shut he later confirmed.

Sunak also called on businesses to avoid making redundancies in order to save for the short term: “The government is doing its best to stand behind you and I’m asking you to do your best to stand behind our workers,” he stated.

Elsewhere, Stephen Woodford, CEO of the Advertising Association said: “This is an extensive set of measures taken to reassure businesses across all industries that the Government is fully prepared to back employers and their employees through this crisis. The government is listening and we have had numerous conversations with Government this week to provide information to help shape the decisions that have been made. The relief offered to SMEs, in particular, will be received positively by many in UK advertising. Our industry is made up of a great number of small, specialist companies and we have them to thank for the hugely creative and entrepreneurial work they do on behalf of UK and international advertisers.”

He described the last few days since the Coronavirus reached the UK as “seismic” and predicted further changes and challenges to come. “It is particularly urgent to see action next to support the extensive freelance community in our industry and across the economy. Looking at the positives, we have already seen our industry responding and reacting with creative work to back our NHS, our Government, our retailers and other key workers who are working right at the heart of this crisis. I am certain we will see more over the coming weeks of a brilliant collective effort from all in UK advertising to do their utmost to support the people who most need our help in this crisis, in whatever ways we can responsibly do so.”

Phil Smith, director-general of ISBA, described their support for businesses, employees and family incomes as “extraordinary”.

He continued to welcome today’s announcement: “At this moment ISBA stands with its members, their employees, and families. We are pleased with the contact with government and continue to use our regular calls to highlight challenges as they emerge and to ensure that we all, as an industry and society, come out of this unprecedented period as strongly as possible.”

Nick Rhind, chief executive officer of CTI Digital admitted that he was relieved at the measures taken which were “a massive step in the right direction” to protect the future of companies and their employees.

“The loan facility that was offered earlier in the week felt that it could be a Wonga loan to give short term relief but a long term debt we might not get out of and certainly not in six months to turnaround the damage,” he explained.

“The 80% contribution, although capped, will make a huge difference in front line staff. Many can work from home in companies but some front line roles it’s impossible. This allows companies to offset the costs and loss of efficiency they are going to have and not resort to cutting staff to keep the core business.”

Rhind continued: “12-month interest-free loans give an opportunity to all companies to have a chance of survival and plan a longer-term turnaround,” he added of another element of the chancellor’s new financial measures.

“Moving VAT gives companies a chance to sort their cash flow and time to adjust their costs where needed without further in debt where I would hope good employers would protect their staff well being and help with moving to be more remote and the facilities needed to do so and invest in that.”

However, not everyone was entirely satisfied by Sunak’s efforts, with Caroline Norbury, chief executive officer of the Creative Industries Federation, outlining the lack of measures to protect freelance and self-employed workers.

“The chancellor’s announcement tonight that the government will pay wages up to 80% for businesses will be very much welcomed by the UK’s creative businesses, many of whom have had to shut their doors overnight. However, this creates a worrying inequity between those who now have their income secured and the UK’s 5 million self-employed workers and freelancers who are left despondent.”

Norbury claimed that a third of the creative workforce was freelance and that the universal credit allowance would not compensate for their losses.

“We stand by all of the creative industries and, at this challenging time, it’s vital the government stands by our self-employed and freelancers, and mirrors the strong measures put in place for the UK’s employed workforce.”



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Joanna Peña-Bickley on why design leaders need to prioritize inclusivity
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Joanna Peña-Bickley on why design leaders need to prioritize inclusivity


As a precocious kid, Joanna Peña-Bickley enjoyed disassembling things around the house, reconceptualizing them, and then trying to sell her inventions at a garage sale. Not much was safe from her clever engineering: She even once had plans to take the engine from her parents’ lawnmower to power up her Big Wheel.

“Had (my parents) not driven to work, you know what, I probably would have disassembled the car,” says Joanna, who is now the head of research and design with Alexa devices at Amazon. She stopped by the latest episode of The Design Better Podcast to talk about the need for more diverse, inclusive, and empathetic design leadership.

Though Joanna had the playful, latchkey childhood typical of Gen X, it wasn’t straight out of an ABC family comedy. Her path to leadership is rooted in her journey with a learning disability. Her dyslexia caused her trouble in school, and she didn’t master reading until the third grade.

“I over-indexed on learning from an auditory standpoint,” she says. “Listening is one of my superpowers.”

From her own experiences and also really listening to many people throughout her life, she deeply understands the power of empathy. She’s an advocate for “neurodiversity,” or the awareness that people’s brains all work a little differently. Designing for a wide range of people—and not treating them like edge cases—has been the key to her becoming a successful design leader, and she says she’s met many designers who also grew up with some type of learning disability and struggled in school.

As an adult, she realized that it was because institutions like schools aren’t designed to include those who think differently. In her career, she’s tried to tackle this top down by teaching big corporations the importance and benefits of inclusive thinking.

“If you thought our institutions for learning didn’t accept people who think differently, certainly our Fortune 500 companies don’t, and we’re at a time when we really do need to think differently.”

In general, diversity and inclusion is a passion point for Joanna, who identifies as a Latinx Mexican-American Jewish woman. She says her personal mission is to bring diverse people into leadership with her. She says we must have a bias for action for minority outreach—if she looks around the room and sees a homogenous group, she’ll ask why. If she doesn’t receive a valid answer, then she’ll go out and begin networking in underrepresented communities and bring them to the table.

“When you’re sitting at the table as a leader with privilege and you sit silent, you are complicit in the problem,” Joanna says.

While it’s a people problem, it’s also ultimately a product problem. Without diverse representation in design leadership, she says, there’s no room for innovation: You can’t design for people you don’t know or understand.

Want to hear more of Joanna’s experiences? Listen to the full episode here—and remember to subscribe so you never miss a new release.



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Top Marketing Initiatives for 2020 According to Enterprise Marketing Leaders
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Top Marketing Initiatives for 2020 According to Enterprise Marketing Leaders


In January of 2020, Sirkin Research was commissioned by NewsCred to examine the top marketing initiatives and challenges faced by marketing executives and leaders related to marketing work management, such as campaign planning and budgeting, resource management, and performance measurement, to name a few. The Marketing Initiatives for 2020 survey research is based on nearly 100 survey responses from marketing directors and above in enterprise-level organizations, typically $1 billion or more in company revenue.

Marketing Initiatives for 2020 survey summary

Summary graph of Marketing Initiatives for 2020 survey results

The survey insights indicate that being able to measure and prove the impact of marketing efforts and being operationally efficient (maximizing time, budget, and resources) are top marketing initiatives for 2020. The initiatives that ladder up to the top goals, such as increasing output and improving processes, further stress the importance of marketing work management: that is, managing campaigns and marketing efforts in the most effective and efficient ways to reduce the bottlenecks that keep marketing work from getting done faster.

Top marketing initiative #1

90% of integrated marketers cite that demonstrating the business impact of their team’s marketing efforts is their highest priority.

As most CMOs and marketing leaders know, being able to measure and prove the impact of marketing efforts is an essential part of running a team. It’s also a vital component of demonstrating to your CFO that you need more budget and/or resources (another important initiative that will be covered in the next section). In fact, over 60% of marketers face pressure from their CEO or board to prove the ROI of marketing, so it’s no wonder that demonstrating marketing impact is one of the key marketing initiatives for 2020.

Pro Tip: Implement a solution that stands as the single source-of-truth for all of your marketing efforts. This will not only help your team keep track of and measure the outcomes of their initiatives, but it will also give upper management constant visibility into marketing performance.

Top marketing initiative #2

Marketing budget is like the hours you have in a day — there’s never enough so you have to maximize what you have. According to the survey, 100% of integrated marketers say that maximizing their budget is one of the top marketing initiatives for 2020. Maximizing budget for certain marketing-related line items can be difficult. Additional research has shown that content creation is a main budget focus, and in many cases, a challenge. And let’s not forget that Martech spend hit $100 billion in dollars spent in 2019, which means that many enterprise marketing teams are using various, disparate tools that all contribute to budget spend.

Pro Tip: The first step for maximizing your marketing budget is to find out how much you currently spend, and where. Use a centralized marketing platform that allows you to tie program costs to marketing efforts so you can keep track of and better manage your budget.

Top marketing initiative #3

61% of marketing executives say that improving planning processes to accelerate campaign execution is a priority.

The key to running an effective marketing team is to be able to plan and execute campaigns and their supporting content in an efficient, timely manner. So it’s no surprise that the third most important marketing initiative for 2020 is accelerating time-to-market. Rather than wasting time on work about work — sending around a piece of content via email for multiple approvals, for example — marketing leaders need to focus on finding ways to automate the time-consuming processes that typically keep marketing work from getting done quicker.

Pro tip: Use technology to streamline processes and implement documented workflows for getting campaign-related work done. Whether it’s creating content or visual assets from start to finish, a marketing work management platform will allow your team to keep track of and accelerate the production of all elements of a campaign.

About NewsCred

NewsCred unleashes the potential of marketing by unifying and empowering teams to work better together. Purpose-built for the complexities of marketing, NewsCred’s Marketing Work Management software accelerates campaign execution and content production by enabling the entire marketing organization to collaboratively plan, produce, and manage campaigns and content. Used by Twitter, Fidelity, Cisco, USAA, among others, NewsCred also offers the industry’s leading Content Marketing Services to help brands deliver high-performing content at scale. 

Founded in 2008, NewsCred has partnered with hundreds of the world’s best marketing organizations to provide unprecedented control and visibility, enabling them to improve operational efficiency, create exceptional content, and elevate marketing results.

Learn more at www.newscred.com.

About Sirkin Research

Sirkin Research is focused on conducting primary research and delivering rich data insights to guide better decision-making for businesses. Located in Philadelphia, PA, USA, Sirkin research has over 15 years of experience working for some of the largest global technology and financial brands in the world. The firm’s work spans the globe from Copenhagen to London to New York. Sirkin Research is a brand of Arras Consulting, www.arrasconsulting.com.





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The Top 5 Marketing Challenges for 2020 According to Marketing Leaders


With the start of a new year comes new marketing strategies and initiatives. And as is the nature of the beast, with these new plans come a whole host of marketing challenges. In a recently conducted survey by Sirkin Research and commissioned by NewsCred, we set out to find the biggest challenges plaguing marketing leaders in 2020 and offer some proposed solutions. Here are the top five challenges according to the survey results.

Marketing challenge #1

82% of the marketing leaders surveyed cited the inability to attribute campaign or content activity to revenue as one of their major marketing challenges.

Proving campaign and content ROI is the number one challenge for marketing executives. In a survey of B2B marketers published on LinkedIn, only 39% considered themselves at least somewhat successful at tracking ROI. With multichannel campaigns (e.g. social, blog, newsletter, webinar, etc.) leading to multiple customer touch points, it can be incredibly difficult to pin down which content activities are directly attributable to closing a deal or leading to a sale.

Solution: NewsCred’s CMP ties revenue to specific pieces of content, allowing marketing leaders to know exactly which content efforts have impacted sales.

Marketing challenge #2 

80% of marketers say that one of their main challenges is that they lack a single, unified calendar to visualize all marketing campaigns, projects, and content development.

Without a calendar that acts as a single source-of-truth, it can be nearly impossible to keep track of all marketing initiatives, especially if your team is spread across different regions. From events to social and content campaigns, all marketers need visibility into what’s on the docket, and a spreadsheet is no longer efficient enough to track the intricacies of today’s campaigns. A unified calendar will keep your team aligned and can even help to keep duplicated campaign asset and content efforts to a minimum — all of which can become their own marketing challenges.

Solution: Our calendar helps enterprise marketing teams maintain a comprehensive view of all marketing campaigns and big rock content initiatives on a single platform. With visibility into all activity on a centralized calendar within the NewsCred CMP (content marketing platform), the full scope of work is on display and accessible in real-time, empowering individuals to execute full campaigns or facilitate content production and distribution across various channels.

Marketing challenge #3

Only 5% of survey respondents say the inability to measure their team’s operational performance is not considered one of their marketing challenges.

As marketing resources (budget, headcount, etc.) are infamously scant, efficiency is the name of the game. But unless you have insight into how quickly your team is working, you’ll have trouble identifying where things are getting held up and therefore, be unable to maximize your team’s effectiveness. Do approvals slow your team down? Which steps in content production are taking the longest and how can you help your team to streamline those processes? Marketing leaders need answers to these questions.

Solution: NewsCred’s platform provides in-depth operational analytics, giving visibility into team productivity — specifically monitoring the volume of content produced, rate of on-time performance, and workflow efficiency. These metrics help marketing leaders pinpoint bottlenecks and make the necessary adjustments to increase team efficiency and therefore, marketing output.

Marketing challenge #4

Managing ad hoc work requests is a notable marketing challenge in 2020. 92% of respondents say they are currently unable to efficiently manage impromptu asks from other parts of the organization.

Unfortunately, most marketing teams aren’t lucky enough to have a designated project manager who handles the endless ad hoc marketing requests that flood marketers’ daily to-do lists. In fact, according to the survey, most marketing teams don’t have any processes or technology in place to centrally manage and prioritize incoming marketing requests from cross-functional stakeholders. This means that ad hoc requests either impede ongoing work or remain unaddressed — both of which pose marketing challenges.

Solution: NewsCred’s intelligent work intake solution — Marketing Work Requestsis strategically designed to provide an end-to-end solution that unifies the entire creative delivery process: from intelligent intake to content creation and brand approval, through to distribution and digital asset management. With shareable and customizable intake forms that are then intelligently routed to the appropriate team member, it’s easy to keep track of one-off requests.

Marketing challenge #5

45% of marketers say that being able to change priorities is a necessity for being an agile organization, but it is one of the top marketing challenges that they face.

We’ve all been there: you’re focusing on an important campaign when suddenly you get an email from leadership saying that there’s an upcoming campaign opportunity that needs to be capitalized on — and fast. But being able to shift your entire enterprise marketing team’s direction so suddenly can be incredibly difficult, especially if there aren’t any processes in place. The fact is that this will likely happen on a regular basis (we all know how quickly company priorities can change), so what is a marketing leader to do?

Solution: If you have all of your assets and campaign elements in one platform, you can easily take a step back from any initiative and revisit it later without losing any progress. NewsCred’s software acts as a marketing resource management solution, making it easy for teams to be agile and pivot back and forth between initiatives since everything is organized in one place.

Marketing challenges summary

As depicted in the top five marketing challenges, marketers are in need of a centralized place to manage and measure all marketing-related work. Implementing a solution that acts as a single-source-of-truth and provides visibility into all initiatives will help enterprise marketers tackle and streamline their processes, reduce bottlenecks, and decide which campaigns are generating the most ROI so they can continue rallying around those specific efforts.

Request a demo to see how NewsCred’s CMP can solve your biggest marketing challenges, boost your team’s output, and enhance performance.

 

About NewsCred

NewsCred unleashes the potential of marketing by unifying and empowering teams to work better together. Purpose-built for the complexities of marketing, NewsCred’s Marketing Work Management software accelerates campaign execution and content production by enabling the entire marketing organization to collaboratively plan, produce, and manage campaigns and content. Used by Twitter, Fidelity, Cisco, USAA, among others, NewsCred also offers the industry’s leading Content Marketing Services to help brands deliver high-performing content at scale. 

Founded in 2008, NewsCred has partnered with hundreds of the world’s best marketing organizations to provide unprecedented control and visibility, enabling them to improve operational efficiency, create exceptional content, and elevate marketing results.

Learn more at www.newscred.com.

About Sirkin Research

Sirkin Research is focused on conducting primary research and delivering rich data insights to guide better decision-making for businesses. Located in Philadelphia, PA, USA, Sirkin research has over 15 years of experience working for some of the largest global technology and financial brands in the world. The firm’s work spans the globe from Copenhagen to London to New York. Sirkin Research is a brand of Arras Consulting, www.arrasconsulting.com.





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Highly Effective Leaders vs. Ineffective Managers
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Highly Effective Leaders vs. Ineffective Managers


You’ve heard the truism: Employees don’t leave jobs or companies, they leave managers and bosses. (Nearly two-thirds of employees have left a job or plan to leave because of their boss.)

Employees ascribe the following traits, among others, to bad managers: self-absorbed, arrogant, untrustworthy, selfish.

On the other hand, employees describe good managers as leaders, ascribing to them the following traits, among others: supportive, trustworthy, respectful, communicative.

There are consequences to bad leadership, of course, and sometimes unhappy employees are the least of them: Poor leadership can destroy corporate departments, even entire organizations (heck, even entire economies and countries).


The following infographic delves into what makes a good leader, the difference between managers and leaders, the problems caused by poor leadership, and how one can become a better leader and boss.



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