We are delighted to once again be featured in EMR’s annual Market Report on the marketing industry. Below is our article from their publication and here is a link to download the full report.
Marketing leaders are often faced with a seemingly intractable problem: their CEO demands that they achieve more, while their CFO expects them to spend less. The business environment has become increasingly complex and uncertain. As a result, marketers are required more than ever before to justify all expenditure and maximise the business advantage created by each activity.
To be effective in today’s environment, a team needs to be purposeful, creative and collaborative. A strong purpose allows the team to mobilise around a shared focus. Creativity is essential for marketers to develop value-creating ideas that punch above their budget. And in a rapidly changing environment, marketers need to collaborate effectively to make the fullest possible use of the range of skills across the team and beyond to solve business challenges.
As a marketing leader, how do you develop your team’s talent to deliver the best possible results in today’s business environment? And are your learning and development programmes also helping you to attract and retain top talent?
At Pimp My Cause we understand the dilemmas faced by marketing leaders. Pimp My Cause was created by marketers who believe that marketers and good causes have a lot to learn from each other. The pro bono marketing opportunities that we’ve created support over 2,000 good causes and have generated over £18 million of social value for the beneficiaries of the causes. At the same time we have supported marketers in becoming masters of marketing efficiency and effectiveness by exposing them to some of the toughest marketing problems in the country.
This has led us to create our ‘Challenge’ talent development programmes. In our programmes, corporate teams stretch their skills by tackling the marketing challenges of charities and social enterprises, which have smaller budgets or in some cases no budget at all.
When marketers work to solve big challenges that are very different to their day jobs, it allows them to develop a greater confidence in their own abilities and those of their colleagues. When supporting a cause partner they are required to use creativity to get results, rather than high budgets. By supporting the work of good causes they find deeper inspiration and a new appreciation of how their skills can contribute to society.
The Nectar partnerships team at Aimia, for example, was tasked with creating loyalty engagement plans for five causes including Sky Badger, which provides support for families with disabled children.
Laurence Stock, Director of Nectar partnerships, said, ‘We created the Loyalty for Good Challenge at a time when we were reinventing how Nectar works and needed the team to develop their entrepreneurial skills. It enabled us to mix up teams and break down any silos we may have had and also created a flat structure so that everybody on the team had the opportunity to lead.’
And it achieved breakthrough results for Sky Badger as well. Their work with the Nectar team led to a 570% increase in schools participating in their awards programme, which helps to reduce the bullying of disabled children.
Sony Mobile has run two Challenges with Pimp My Cause. Catherine Cherry, the Marketing Director of Sony Mobile, North West Europe, said, ‘Getting the chance to work with good causes has been a great inspiration for our marketers.
And applying their marketing skills in a new context has been a useful way to further develop the talent we have in our team’.
After participating in a Challenge, marketers from the Sony team reported that they enjoyed working on more strategic marketing and business briefs then they were usually faced with in their day job. They also gained a new appreciation for their own budgets after experiencing what charities have to accomplish with so little resource.
Paul Skinner, Founder of Pimp My Cause, said ‘Investing in your team’s talent development and achieving a positive social impact through a cause partner is a great way to attract and retain the best talent.’ In addition to running team challenges, we also support individual marketers who are interested in stretching their skills by working with good causes. With over 2,000 good causes in our network, we pride ourselves on finding the right cause match for any individual or team to fit their learning goals and their interests.
Challenging yourself or your team to become great at marketing on a shoestring could be the best investment you’ll ever make.