Marketing People: Charley Stoney
Group Managing Director, Alternatives
With a staff of 18, the Dublin-based marketing talent consultancy Alternatives has established itself as a leading player in the recruitment and supply of marketing professionals to many leading companies.
Group managing director Charley Stoney outlines to John McGee some of the key challenges and trends.
Describe your role with Alternatives
I provide the team with the working environment, structure and positive culture they need to excel at what they do. I’m privileged to enjoy a close working relationship with a number of our clients and senior candidates that keeps me at the coalface of the business and enables me to foresee talent trends and glean key insights. My natural business curiosity and keen interest in marketing transformation has drawn me to spearhead the advisory services within Alternatives.
What marketing challenges does Alternatives face?
Our challenge is in overcoming the misconception that direct recruitment has been made easier because of direct online platforms. While candidates can be attracted through online, some of the best talent remains inert and our skill is in knowing and attracting those candidates.
What are the key trends in marketing recruitment?
Digital has moved away from a hot-housing environment as organisations need to reflect their customers’ channel-agnostic view. We’re seeing a reduction in the number of silo ‘digital marketers’, reverting to ‘marketers’ who need to have digital and traditional skills. However, it does mean that social, content, performance, CX, SEO, UX/UI and ecommerce skills are more important than ever within the marketing function.
In addition, the surge in demand for customer data analysts and scientists as well as CX professionals is a direct reflection of the need to understand and truly relate to customers in this customer-first era. Finally, strategic skills are back in demand again as organisations realise they may have lost some of the traditional competencies associated with more strategic marketing programmes.
Do you think marketing is fully understood in the board room?
Not enough. In a recent survey carried out by Alternatives, only 43pc of respondents believed that their marketing function is perceived as a strategic, revenue driving function with a voice on the board. As the marketing function expands across digital, data, CX, e-commerce as well as the strategic, brand functions, it has become increasingly measurable and accountable. It’s also a key growth engine within the organisation, combining the strategy, creativity and innovation of traditional marketing with the science of measurement and customer analytics as never before.
Marketing leaders are required to take a collaborative, company-wide approach to their thinking, to break down silos to effect transformational growth. We are also seeing a huge opportunity for and an appetite from marketers to earn their position on the board as transformational leaders.
Sunday Indo Business