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Future Of Work Report – Freeformers

 The world of work is changing. Automation threatens jobs while digital transformation creates new ones. Newly-invented roles and responsibilities demand a radically redesigned skillset, but few know what such a set should look like.

In our new report – Freeformers: Mapping the digital future – we delve deep into the challenges faced by businesses as they navigate through the fast-changing digital economy.

Download report

Source: Future Of Work Report – Freeformers

The Investment Management Digital Marketing Survey 2016 – The Financial Services Forum

In this third survey conducted by Kurtosys since 2012, this year we have not only expanded our audience but broadened our survey to include a wider spectrum of topics across digital marketing.

In 2016 many asset managers have digital roadmaps in place – we wanted to ask their marketing folks more detailed questions on the kind of technologies they are implementing, their content marketing strategies, how they handle fund data and how they distribute it to investors.

Topic covered in the 2016 survey:

  • Marketing Objectives
  • Technology
  • Website Design
  • Hosting & Security
  • Data
  • Distribution Channels
  • Content
  • Social Media
  • Plans & Investment

View full report

Source: The Investment Management Digital Marketing Survey 2016 – The Financial Services Forum

7 things to do when stuck in a dead end digital team – Paul Boag

Many in-house digital teams are under resourced and under appreciated. But moaning isn’t going to bring about change. Fortunately, there are positive steps you can take.

Start a User Experience Revolution at your place of work

Few of us get to work for a Silicon Valley startup or a digital giant like Facebook. Most of us work in more traditional organisations. Organisations whose management are struggling to come to terms with digital. Management who still don’t appreciate what it is we do.

But sitting around waiting for our management team to ‘get it’ is not going to achieve anything. We need to act. We must either fight for change or move on. Either way we have nothing to fear as we are much in demand.

If you do decide to fight for recognition, here are 7 practical steps you can take today. Steps Paul unpacks and adds to in his book the User Experience Revolution.

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Source: 7 things to do when stuck in a dead end digital team

How High-Performance Marketing Teams Work Together – The Flow Blog

There are threads of commonality woven through all high-performance teams. Here they are, with a focus on how marketing teams can use them.

These days, it can seem like the term “marketing teams” is somewhat of a misnomer. After all, most advice about marketing strategy tends to come from just a handful of marketing rockstars.

And get this: Most of those marketing rockstars aren’t actually part of teams. They are their own brand, and they’ve mastered the art of marketing themselves as marketers.

It’s a beautiful craft, really.

…But what about all the crucial factors of communication, commitment, and collaboration it takes to be a high-performance team? What about this truth?:

A group of individuals who all know the crazy fast ways do not make a tight-knit marketing team.

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Source: How High-Performance Marketing Teams Work Together – The Flow Blog – Medium

From Analogue Management to Digital Leadership – POST*SHIFT

Laura-Jane Parker @ Post*Shift

Eight years ago this week, I started my first real job, for a global financial institution. It was in the wake of the financial crisis, so banks weren’t exactly “employer goals”, but to be honest, I was just grateful to be getting a regular income. And my role? My job was to facilitate the process for checking that people had completed “Project Request” forms correctly. I literally spent my days reviewing MS Word documents to see if grown adults could follow instructions. And my boss? My boss’s role was to check that I had checked the forms. I have no idea what her boss did, but I shudder to think.

Looking back, now that I work somewhere where autonomous, accountable and open working is paramount, this situation seems unbelievably comic. The very idea of paying someone to check up on your employees for doing something they should be quite capable of doing themselves is the definition of ridiculous. Yet, in 2009, it seemed not only acceptable, but necessary.

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Source: From Analogue Management to Digital Leadership – POST*SHIFT

Calastone research shows rise of technologists at board level

 Calastone, the global fund transaction network has launched a new whitepaper, The accelerating power of technology: lessons for the future of fund distribution.” Within the paper, research conducted by Calastone demonstrates that structural changes are being made to include technologists in the makeup of boards and senior management teams across the FTSE-100. This development, Calastone writes, is due to the ever-growing importance of technology as a driver for business strategy and innovation.

Having undertaken extensive research into the makeup of boards and leadership teams of all the FTSE-100, key findings of the research are as follows:

  • Number of technologists at board level has increased from 2 to 4 over the last 5 years
  • Number of technologists present at leadership team level has increased significantly from 4 in 2011 to 24 in 2016
  • Banks and Financial Services sector firms are beginning to follow this trend with 3 out of the 10 companies listed on the FTSE-100 now having a technologist present at either board or leadership level, roles that did not exist in 2011
  • The emergence of the role of Chief Data Officer now represents 2.2% of technologists at senior management level

Calastone believes that the mutual funds industry needs to continue this trend and evolve with technology at its centre if it is to benefit from the changes it brings. The paper recognises that this continued shift is vital across the whole of the funds industry; making the case that the right skills and expertise at senior and board levels of an organisation will aid the deployment of effective technology, and therefore business, strategies.

Download the whitepaper

Source: Calastone | Calastone research shows rise of technologists at board level

Maximising digital performance for digital transformation – Smart Insights

This is a rather topical subject and we’re planning an event around the topic in the next few months. Team structures are a key enabler or a blockage on the road to aligning your business across a multi channel, user-centric and agile marketing machine.

Reviewing marketing team structures as part of Digital transformation

The latest Smart Insights research study shows how common Digital Transformation projects or programme are today with 30% already having a programme up & running and 31% planning to within the next year.

Yet, digital transformation doesn’t occur overnight. There are a series of steps to go through to get there and the critical factor is the staff. Imagine a world where your Digital Working Party, Digital Group or Digital Collective is in place, they’ve had several meetings and agreed an action plan! What’s next? In this series of posts on digital transformation, I’ve looked at what it is, how to start, getting buy-in and catching up with the competition. In this final post, I take a look at options and examples of how you structure your digital team – see this Smart Insights Expert template for more examples of team structure looking at the roles required in each team.

Creating and managing digital teams

Where does the responsibility for managing digital teams lie? It’s an interesting question and one I’ve had to answer several times. The answer?

It depends.

  • It depends on the size of the business.
  • It depends on the business locations.
  • It depends on the appetite for digital within the business.
  • It depends on the nature of the business – b2c often have to move faster than b2b.
  • It depends on the skill sets within the business.
  • It depends on who the senior team member is and to whom they’ve given the authority to get the job done.
  • It depends on negotiation between departments.

Nigel Fenwick author of the Forrester State of Digital Business report, which polled 1,591 senior business leaders in the UK and US, revealed major disconnects between the marketing and technology sides of businesses, with responses signalling a “digital strategy execution crisis”. He recommends CMOs and CIOs working together to ensure businesses don’t adopt a bolt-on strategy. I’d agree that this is essential, if not, it can go wrong:

It started so well. We all agreed our tasks, a timescale and at the very next meeting, the head of sales said they couldn’t do their tasks because they were busy with sales! I could have screamed!

You may have experienced this and it’s all about getting the team in place before embarking on digital transformation. Jason Mogus, Michael Silberman and Christopher Roy defined 4 types of digital business structures.

The Informal Model

The informal model is where most businesses start or started. One lone voice spreading the digital word in the building!


The Centralised Model

The centralised model tended to follow next as there was a knee-jerk reaction to ‘do digital’ and often separate departments were formed. The challenge with this model, and I’ve seen this first hand, is that other departments adopt a ‘nothing to do with us’ approach. It also means digital is siloed in one area.


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Source: Maximising digital performance for digital transformation

Working Out Loud for Teams and Leaders | POST*SHIFT

Last week, we joined in a co-creation effort with an amazing bunch of colleagues at Bosch and John Stepper, author of Working Out Loud, to adapt the basic idea of WOL (Working Out Loud) circles to the challenge of team development and leadership communication, and we shared the results of this work at Bosch’s first WOL Convention in the lovely Wagenhallen in Stuttgart. It was a lot of fun.

Since the early blogging days, we have talked about the importance of narrating your work as a way to develop shared awareness and a culture of collaboration in the workplace. This became easier with the arrival of status-update tools such as Yammer and Socialcast, and later, Bryce Williams at Ely Lilly coined the term ‘Working out Loud’ as a shorthand for this way of working with collaboration tools in the enterprise. These days, living mostly in Slack, it seems so long ago that people didn’t routinely work out loud, but it is important to remember that most firms are still in a world of email, documents and up-and-down-the-hierarchy closed communication.

John’s book on Working out Loud is great. Based on his own experience of how working out loud changed his role in Deutsche Bank, it sets out some very simple practices individuals can use to develop their networks, their confidence and their ability to work out loud. The organic spread of his approach from circle to circle suggests that the method is helping people change the way they work.

We need people to be more connected if we are to create a culture of dialogue and collaboration, and the kind of collective awareness that makes for a more productive organisation. This can happen now through collaboration platforms and consumer social media tools, but still most communication goes up and down the hierarchy in closed formats such as email, which reinforces hierarchical relations and holds us back from becoming an agile company.

Instead of coordinating through hierarchy, we can coordinate through networks, but as IoT engineers can tell you about sensor networks, this requires network nodes to be talkative. To let others know their status and what they are up to.

Many of us are now living out loud, sharing life events, places, holidays and cute pictures on Facebook and Snapchat, and most of you have probably already come to understand how exposing more surface area like this increases what Dopplr used to call ‘coincidensity’ and creates more opportunities for human connection and understanding. But at work we still tolerate email, closed communication and very primitive forms for work coordination.

Working out Loud is a great technique that is easy to learn and creates a win-win between personal development, more engaged and empowered associates and a more effective and connected company.

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Source: Working Out Loud for Teams and Leaders | POST*SHIFT

Digital budgets: then and now | Blog | Box UK

The growth of digital

It’s clear that now, more than ever, digital technologies offer huge potential for organisations looking to improve the day-to-day running of their operations as well as drive long-term business performance. Armed with effective digital strategies, organisations across all industries have been able to achieve significant process efficiencies, expand their reach globally and tap into new revenue streams, with a recent Salmon and Forrester report showing that 55% of organisations classed as ‘Digital Experts’ (those demonstrating a strong grasp of digital strategy, organisation and technology) have achieved increased competitiveness as a result of their investment.

However digital technologies have also led to the creation of radically new business models and service offerings that, while providing great opportunities for those organisations able to rapidly take advantage of new advances, can present a substantial threat to established brands operating in more traditional, slow-moving markets.

A new way to budget

There’s an imperative, therefore, for organisations to evolve their approach to digital, and we’re seeing initiatives such as digital transformation programmes grow in popularity as a result. Nimbus Ninety’s latest Digital Enterprise Trends Research reflects this movement, reporting that 88% of organisations are undertaking or preparing to undertake digital transformation, while a new Gartner CEO survey has revealed that half of respondents expect to see either substantial digital transformation in their industries, or for their industries to be almost unrecognisable within five years.

Of course, this means that the way digital initiatives are budgeted for is shifting too – and with the rapid rate of change in this environment, it’s likely that evolution will continue apace.

So let’s explore some of the differences between traditional digital budgets and those models that are now emerging, as well as looking at what may lie in store, to help ensure your budgets remain aligned with current trends and demands for the greatest chance of success.

Then: limited
Now: all-encompassing

While once it was only the IT department that was investing heavily in digital technologies, these days departments ranging from marketing and customer support through to finance and operations are looking to take advantage of the latest in digital. Consequently, not only is digital growing as a proportion of an organisation’s budget but it’s doing so to such an extent that many argue the concept of a distinct ‘digital’ budget has become outdated. Indeed, 98% of CMOs already agree that traditional and digital marketing disciplines are merging, according to Gartner.

Looking ahead, perhaps we’ll see digital transformation budgets follow the same path, particularly as the investment allocated to this area is already growing at an incredibly rapid rate. In fact, IDC predicts that worldwide spending on digital transformation technologies will surpass $2 trillion in 2019, and some industry commentators are even recommending that up to 1% of an organisation’s entire revenue be invested back into digital transformation initiatives.

Then: siloed
Now: connected

Typically, budgeting has been managed on a departmental basis, with the financial director approving a high-level organisational budget that is shared out among the various teams. However, as digital becomes more deeply embedded throughout the entire organisation – touching every team, region and customer experience – this model is simply no longer viable. The planning process must instead be undertaken in a collaborative way, to ensure that the final budget addresses the needs of the entire organisation and supports a holistic, joined-up digital strategy that has the customer at its centre.

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Source: Digital budgets: then and now | Blog | Box UK

The average advertising budget breakdown [#ChartoftheDay] – Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice


Not too long ago, broadcast and print reigned supreme, taking up a huge quantity of the advertising budgets. Then, along came the internet and began to shake things up.

The ability to accurately measure how adverts were performing was all too enticing and we have now seen a shift in favour of digital, with an average of 64% of the advertising spend.

Percolate, recently conducted a survey of over 300 enterprise U.S. CMOs, VPs, and Marketing Directors, to dig a little deeper into the hidden costs of marketing.

How does the average advertising budget break down?


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Source: The average advertising budget breakdown [#ChartoftheDay] – Smart Insights Digital Marketing Advice