The Digital Marketing Talent Gap


CV evolution
Social Media, Technology

How is technology changing the way we get a job?

Well, from LinkedIn recommendations, infographic-CVs, QR Codes as Business cards, MeVies, video interviews and Social media job ads, the Recruitment industry is evolving within digital marketing.

There are even several sites that will help you to build a dynamic, digital and stand-out-from-the-crowd CV or video. Some recruitment agencies specialised in marketing won’t even look at your CV unless you attach a link with your video presentation. The world is changing and the Millennials are happy, comfortable and excited about it! What better time to show your future employer your skills at posting, editing and blogging than from the very beginning?

In general, all sectors are including digital tools when recruiting. According to Video Interviewing Market Trends 2013, 38% of companies had used some form of video in the hiring process (that number jumped to 42% for senior executives, management and entry level job functions in 2011). Moreover, the use of video interviewing has risen 49% since 2011 with a staggering 6 out of 10 HR managers using it.

And Mobile?

According to Matt Alder, Digital Social and Mobile Strategist at MetaShift, 63% of candidates have searched for a job and 48% had applied for a job on their mobile.

simplyhired.co.uk carried out a survey in August 2013 and found that Mobile users not only click on 60% more job postings, but also they spend 27% longer looking at those jobs, 25% longer on the site and view 25% more jobs.

Also, 40% of mobile candidates abandon non-mobile application forms and surprisingly the quality of mobile applications is actually higher with a larger proportion making it through to interview.

Some examples that show the importance of mobile traffic for job sites are:
• Jobsite’s traffic is 10% from mobile
• Indeed’s mobile device traffic has more than doubled over the past year and a third of its searches are coming via mobile
• Simply Hired reported 30% of its job search traffic came from mobile devices and it expects this number to rise to 50% by the end of 2015.


The main areas in this field are social advertising, social job distribution, referrals, communities and brand reputation. Although is not extensively used, a study carried out by the Institute for Employment Studies found out that 45% of HR decision makers said they were already using social media tools in recruitment.

A clear example of how social media can leverage recruitment is UPS, which made 14,000 trackable hires using their social media channels.


Last but not least, we have Search with an outstanding 37,200,000 monthly searches in Google and search partners for the term “Jobs”, 12,100 for “digital marketing job” and 49,500 for “social media jobs”. What more can you say?!

This statistic is so striking that some scholars in the US have suggested using an internet job search indicator (Google Index, GI) to predict the US unemployment rate.

So what’s next?

What else could we expect to influence the recruitment landscape? Here are some ideas:

• Wearable technology like Google Glass: alerting you of new jobs when you are next to them and making application by just saying “OK glass, apply for the job”
• Pay-per-appointment model for Search ads: with the recruiter paying only when a person is actually appointed from the jobs board

What do you think? How do you see tech and digital tools changing the tech-shy world of recruitment?

Selfie 2013
Social Media, Technology

Evolving Language

According to the Oxford Dictionaries Online quarterly update, “Technology remains a catalyst for emerging words and is reflected in new entries”. Over the last five years, there has undoubtedly been a strong social media influence on today’s social lexicon.

New acronyms like BYOD (”bring your own device”) and FOMO (“fear of missing out”: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere) are examples of how we have change the way we define our environments, daily activities an even ourselves.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a big buzz about the word “selfie” being named the word of 2013. The word Selfie in fact can be traced back to 2002 when someone on an Australian online forum posted: “Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped over and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

But regardless of the big media coverage about selfies being the word of the year, I wanted to know which other new words related to social media and digital marketing were added to the Oxford Dictionary this year.
Here are the ones I’ve found more closely related to the field:
bitcoin – a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank
click and collect – a shopping facility whereby a customer can buy or order goods from a store’s website and collect them from a local branch
digital detox – a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world
emoji – a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication
flash mob – a large public gathering at which people perform an unusual or seemingly random act and then disperse, typically organized by means of the Internet or social media
Internet of things – a development of the Internet in which everyday objects have network connectivity
live-blog – a blog providing a commentary on an event while it takes place, typically in the form of frequent short updates
MOOC – ‘massive open online course’: a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to a very large number of people
Mouseover – a computer function in which an image or hyperlink can be generated by moving a cursor over a specific point on a web page
Phablet – a smartphone having a screen which is intermediate in size between that of a typical smartphone and a tablet computer
Selfie – a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website
Unlike – withdraw one’s liking or approval of (a web page or posting on a social media website that one has previously liked)

I strongly believe the word of the year in 2014 is going to be tech-related and I will be following the new entrances for now on, maybe because of my FOMO? Who knows! 😛

Social Media, Technology

My takings from the Digital Marketing Show 2013

Failing to listen to the conversations in the crowded Content Theatre, I managed to listen to the talk by Kimberley Brind from Oracle: “My Social Journey: The great, the bad and the ugly” in the Social Media Theatre. It was really interesting and therefore I’d like to share the highlights and the key learning bytes:

1. Main challenges for Digital Marketing as a vital division within the companies:

a. Prove ROI: although this has been discussed at length, we know that as marketers this is the weakest link in the area. Also working alongside the sales department in order to probe real added value in each campaign has become the main challenge for all digital marketers in terms of conversions and cash flow for the company.
b. Work in silos: how digital marketing activities can empower the rest of the organisation and boost results is always an underlying question for Marketing managers. Very much related to the previous point, digital marketing cannot and should not work independently but should support all divisions and get ideas from other areas of the company.
c. Culture: according to recent research by Livingsocial, 68% of small businesses are failing to make the most of social media missing out on £554 million each year by not using social media tools fully. Call it a managerial gap, resistance to change or lack of digital skills.
d. Narcissism: corporate narcissism is not only a challenge but a trait that could leave companies out of the game, especially with a constantly changing technological landscape that not only generates opportunities for companies and brands but also threatens some industries and marketing strategies.
e. Content: much has been said this year about how important Content is. Nevertheless, in the most recent research from the Content Marketing institute, only 44% of marketers have a documented content strategy.
f. Skill set: undoubtedly there is a huge skill gap in digital marketing. LinkedIn first suggested that 85% of people who work in social media have been in the industry for less than two years! This alone clearly illustrates the challenge.
g. Change: on a daily basis, digital marketing platforms are evolving; new technologies, tools and even new needs shape the way marketers should solve problems and turn simple reach into profits.

2. Ten key pieces of advice:

a. Key metrics: as studied before in the Google Squared course, focus on Analytics not on reporting. Find the main KPIs and track the performance getting valuable insights to take clever actions from it.
b. Be sales-oriented and know your ROI: put the benefits in numbers and be clear with the financial benefits for the company.
c. Emotional storytelling: everyone knows how powerful a nice story in the media can be. Linking that story to all your marketing touch points is a news story on steroids.
d. Image-Centric Content: A picture is worth a thousand words and I’ll put my neck in the line to say that very soon a video will be worth a million images.
e. Demand generation tactics: for brands seeking to boost sales, receiving mentions and likes isn’t enough; how do you turn good comments into cash flow? Managing the conversion funnel, remarketing and CRM are some useful tactics.
f. Test-refine-Test AGAIN: with the digital evolution and what it implies, testing and refining are constants in the industry. Also the ability to be agile and as seen in Google Squared “Fail fast”, succeed faster.
g. Think mobile: according to the latest statistics, we spend 26% of our time on Facebook on our mobile devices. The multi-screen, multi-channel world has reshaped the way companies communicate and engage.
h. Social relation management: again, likes and follows are just scratching the surface of social media’s potential as a sales vehicle. The key is to develop pertinent content and build relationships with top influencers.
i. Humanising the brand: People like connecting with individuals, not faceless organisations. All this allows the creation of emotional connections or “lovemarks” (emotional attachment with a brand, coined by Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts); undoubtedly great campaigns are built on emotion.
j. Social is organic: business is inherently social and social technologies accelerate this nature and emphasise the need to communicate and express. The question is not “to use or not to use social”, but how to probe the positive effects these activities are having and providing credibility and trust for the industry.

Social Media

Showing up is 80% of life

During the last week, I’ve given myself the task of researching my friends’ behaviour in Social Media (Facebook posts) with the purpose of understanding what motivates their social media postings. To sum up, I’ve come up with five distinct categories:

• Selfies
• Entertainment e.g. Food/Restaurants, Clubs and Parties
• Mood e.g. Quotes, Memes, shared blogs/news or links
• Causes e.g. charity supports, support a cause
• Group pics

According to Paul Fennemore, there are six key drivers of human behaviour: altruism, hedonism, homophily, memetics, narcissism and tribalism. In order to understand each of them, the definitions are below:

• Altruism is defined as the unselfish devotion to the welfare of others
• Hedonism refers to the belief that pleasure is the only or main thing good in life
• Homophily is the tendency of human beings to associate with others similar to them
• Memetics the replication of ideas, habits and beliefs across individuals
• Narcissism is the Excessive fascination with oneself
• Tribalism is a person’s strong feeling of identity and loyalty towards a specific group

In order to make my research simpler, I have grouped together Homophily and Tribalism due to them pertaining to being part of a group. So, for Altruism, I’ll take into account all the causes posts, for Hedonism it’s the Entertainment posts, for Memetics the quotes, for Narcissism the selfies and finally for Tribalism/ Homophily the group pictures.

After checking my Facebook wall and record my friends’ posts during a week, among the five categories, these are the figures:

Research: main drivers social media behaviour

Research: main drivers social media behavior

If we add up the figures for narcissism, hedonism and tribalism/homophily (all related to how good I am, how good I look with others and how much fun I have), it adds up for more than 70%. So, is it all about “me” and my appearance? It could be the case that my circle of friends is a bit narcissistic or maybe can I use this data as a sample to show that we all care much more about how people see us that what we really care about (our beliefs, opinions, causes and interests)?. For brands, this could be a good piece of information when developing a brand positioning or defining a message, our need for social acceptance and our narcissistic nature will define the tone of communication and the selling proposition, but in personal terms do we really care that much about how good we look in front of others? Is it just a western cultural thing? Or is it the modern nature of humans?

The discussion could turn a bit philosophical but this is just up to you. Meanwhile, I’ll think twice when I post in social media 🙂

Social Media

Who took my cookies?

If you are reading this, the chances are you could be worried about your privacy online. Nevertheless, I strongly believe the only time people in general are worried or conscious about it is when there’s breaking news like the “government of the USA spying on us” which happened 2 months ago.


If you use social media, you will have agreed to their “terms or conditions” which is basically them saying “we give you a free service and in exchange we’ll take your data”.


According to the Economist Intelligence Unit report “Mind the Marketing Gap“, some 21% of consumers say they are very concerned about the privacy of information contained in e-mail communications with vendors. My point of view is that people don’t actually seem worried about the fact that all online activity is being recorded by pages, search engines, even email providers. The cookies policy is well-established but according to a survey of 500 internet users by Sequential Media, only 11% percent of users block cookies.

Cookies monitor browsing behaviour. But are there more pros or cons of being monitored?

I have to think very carefully to come up with the pros of blocking cookies: yes, privacy, but what is privacy other than choosing to not share your personal data? If you are determined to be off the radar, simply do not engage in social media or do it anonymously.

My conclusion is that nobody is truly anonymous in the internet. No matter how hard you may try.


Finally, I’d like to ask: Do you feel like you’re being watched? Do you really care?

social media
Social Media

Social or Antisocial

It’s 7am and my alarm clock goes off. I say clock but it’s a white iPhone 4S. I’m a slave to the tech before I’m even vertical. While I’m cradling my little window to the universe, I check the weather, my emails, Facebook and Twitter to see what everyone else is up to at this ungodly hour. May as well get the oh so sincere happy birthday wishes out of the way for my “friends” too. You know. To show I care about them. And for those who aren’t staring bleary-eyed at 57 wall post notifications, I engage their attention with a “HAPPY MONDAY!!” pic on Instagram. Check me out being a social butterfly and stuff! Social? Well it’s almost 8am and I haven’t even spoken to a human being yet despite my husband going through his morning routine in tandem with me. So, here’s a question: are we all becoming more social or more anti-social?

I can’t stop asking myself why, for example, do people in restaurants have their phones on the table. Staring back up at them like a superfluous utensil. Surely there should be some sort of “modern etiquette” in social situations TO BE social! To engage with the people around us and put aside those only reachable via the digital realms. The self-isolation caused by modern technology makes us complete islands in front of “real people” and indemnifies the whole premise of “Social Media” because, in practice, it’s anything but social.  We forgo interacting with actual physical people to “like” a comment about the last kitty meme. This behaviour is prevalent everywhere now. While it’s always been a London thing, for example, to stare down at fellow commuters’ footwear in order to minimise the chances of engaging with a stranger, we’re now equally isolated in situations where we have fantastic opportunities to interact: a friend’s house party, a double-date, a wedding reception. “So how do you know Gerald then?”…..”Sorry. Just retweeting this photo of my manicure. What was that?”

So, why do we become “digitally social anti-socials?”. This flagrant disregard of basic civility in favour of digital self-exile is now the done thing. It’s accepted because it’s so common. But is this acceptance acceptable? Yes, social media has helped connect millions who are miles apart from each other, families and friends to be updated with what is happening in someone’s live. Platforms such as Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram allow us to communicate often, in real time and with little financial cost.

But when your social media interactions get in the way of your personal interactions, nay your civil obligations to your fellow man, it adds weight to the oxymoronic dawning of sociality in society being anything but social. To choose to engage with those far away consciously ahead of those you’re with is tantamount to hosting a birthday party and complaining about those who didn’t make it rather than looking after those who bothered attending. That’s actually too polite an analogy for this very disturbing phenomenon. Prudence aside, it is the height of bad manners when someone is talking to you to give them half-nods and mmm-hmms while clacking away on your phone.

Let’s illustrate our reliance on smart phones with a statistic. A survey by Plaxo Mobile found that 19% of smart phone damage is caused by us dropping our phones in the toilet. Which means that we tend to take our phones to the loo.  Why? Why can’t we perform the most rudimentary of human functions without our beloved phones? We so can’t bear to be without our phones for those magical five minutes that we have learned to scroll with our over-worked thumbs leaving the other hand to…well…attend to matters more pressing. Dare we miss a funny photo on our Twitter timeline because we were doing a number two? At its most basic, this is pretty sad! You could argue that it’s because the ordeal of being on the throne once a day is a bit boring and there’s no harm in a bit of light entertainment. But I put it to you that this need to constantly engage our brains is borne of a deteriorated attention span caused by technology itself. A moment’s reflection is a thing of the past. To get lost in one’s imagination takes second place to the burning desire to find out what Jessie J had for breakfast this morning.

So here are four proposed rules of etiquette for your social life:

1)      Put humans first, phones second. Regardless of location. Excuse yourself in certain situations if need be but the rule here is peeps before beeps.

2)      In restaurants, leave your phones alone. Engage your dining companions. Take pics if necessary but upload later!

3)      If you’re in a noisy place, end the call saying you can’t speak to them adequately. This will mean you don’t need to shout and upset those around you

4)      Don’t  call anyone after 10pm. Allow people to be offline and be offline for the last couple of hours of the day.