When I look at the start of my working life (a lot further back than I care to remember), things seemed to be constant. There was a very set way of doing things.

I’m not sure when the pace of change started to ramp up, but somewhere in the mid to late 80s would be my guess. We witnessed and incredible technological revolution. Computing speeds raced exponentially ahead and the Internet reared its head. Change accelearted to an unbelievable pace.

Change In The 80s

As it happens I was working in recruitment at the time, IT to the City. And the first apparent change was email usurping the fax machine. When we received CVs by post or fax, there was a very limited amount of times a candidate could send out his or her CV. So, agencies tended to specialise and that was how they had a unique selling point to their clients.

However, email meant a candidate could suddenly send their CV to two hundred agents at the push of a button. Suddenly every agency had every CV. Uniqueness gone in an instant.

A Different Perspective

So, it was quite interesting to talk to Doug Bates at Intelligent People about the pace of change in Digital and Online Marketing. Having experienced this funamental change in the recruitment process I wanted to find out if similar changes have taken place since I walked away from the business.

“No, I don’t think so”, he says thoughtfully, “not in the recruitment process itself, wqe are still in that same footrace to present candidates but we try to differentiate in other ways”.

Go on, Doug.

“We are very diligent in the type and mnature of the business we take on. We have an outstanding market reputation and we won’t just take any role on. We will meet with a new client, understand him, his project or business domain, the client environment and then propose a solution to the problem the client has. We’ll normally only work on exclusive business. We are, I guess, more of a boutique agency”.

“Of course, we do this to achieve higher fees and to take the competition out. But, when we engage we have a 73% success rate, so our cliewnts come back for more and become very loyal to us. Often a client will come to us via a strong recommendation or after they have failed using traditional methods and / or agencies”.

“But, that is just our preferred modus operandi. The change we have seen since we started out in 2002 is within Digital Marketing itself”.

The Change In Digital Marketing

How has the market changed?

“Well, we have seen huge increases in the power and effectiveness of technology coupled with the move to cloud computing and SaaS applications.This had made technology, very powerful and highly functional technology available to a whole new raneg of businesses. But it’s also spurned a whole new raft of actual functions with Digital marketing. This coupled with general advances in the Digital space and companies learning how to make the best of the digital space. It’s made the market totally alive with change happening aty an incredible pace”.

Can you give me an example of that change.

Job Function Change

“How many would you like?”, he smiles and takesa a sip of coffee. “Let’s look at CRM, back in 2002, CRM systems were basic and morfe or less just databases for emailing at best. Now all sorts of analytics hang aropund the CRM, the customer journey is measured, customer engagement is measured and tracked and related products pushed. Location marketing springs from this as does online performance marketing and online trading. So, we see not just CRM jobs and vacancies but also all of these other highly demarked, deep niche if you like, job functions as well”.

So, in essence job functions have become much more specialised?

“Absolutely, ten years ago, we were not recruiting growth hacker jobs for example. Digital and Online marketing jobs were very linear and covered a broad remit. Nowadays, they are far more specialised and demand very deep and specialist skills in these critical new areas of online marketing”.

Last question then. What’s your buggest area of hiring.

Product Manager Jobs, without doubt. We have a specialist team that deals withj all things Product Management and that is one of our most succesful areas. We have an enviable reputaion in this market, which is good because its very profitable”, he smils again.

Many thanks Doug for your time and knowledge it was a very interesting hour.