It’s personal! Customisation, choice, control: consumer-centric strategies for success
Big Data is the game-changer driving growth for today’s successful consumer brands. Gone are the days of generic marketing to broad, socio-economic cohorts. In an age where our digital footprints are left everywhere, we can build individual profiles of customers and engage with them directly, across numerous channels, and with pinpoint accuracy – even predicting future buying patterns. UK consumers are among the most digitally sophisticated in the world. Digitalisation, therefore, is an imperative. Nuanced targeting is only half of the success story, however; your brand proposition must be on point, too.
To thrive in this technologically complex and commercially competitive sector organisations need exceptional leaders with the vision and ability to drive innovation whilst maintaining a strategic grip on business fundamentals. They also need the CTOs, CIOs, CISOs and technology executives with the talent to harness the latest tools for greater operational efficiency and to engage with consumers in the innovative and increasingly sophisticated ways they demand
Seymour John is a strategic partner for high impact talent management in the following subsectors:
- Consumer ProductsConsumer ProductsThe success stories in the consumer product sector are at either end of the market spectrum. They are being told by both discount and luxury brands. Both are leveraging the latest technologies – the former to reduce costs through operational efficiencies, in particular, utilising the latest technologies for more effective management of their global supply chains; the latter to develop their brands through focused marketing and consumer engagement. Technology derived data insight has also become a valuable resource for a consumer-centric approach to product development.In a climate where growth is hard-won, top-line innovation must be aligned with strategic organisational objectives and underpinned by sound bottom-line fundamentals. Operational agility and flexibility are key in responding to ever-shifting global trends. At Seymour John, we develop a deep understanding of our partners’ cultures, position in the industry and business objectives, enabling us to help build the innovative teams necessary to lead them to sustainable growth and profitability.
- RetailRetailIt has been a tough time for retailers in recent years, with a number of household names disappearing from the high street. Striking the right balance between offline and online offerings and ensuring brand consistency across both has been crucial. With tech-savvy consumers demanding always-open service across multiple channels, it is the retailers that have had the agility to evolve who have ridden out the difficult trading conditions. Digital transformation has been key. Our search and selection technology specialists support our retail partners with the innovative executive talent that enables them to harness the potential of data-driven digital engagement to give customers a truly tailored end-to-end service.It is one thing to have the strategic vision, you also need to be able to execute. Whether it is restructuring, the adoption of new technologies or a move into a new market, our people and change practice helps our partners to develop the leadership teams necessary to deliver on your transformation agenda, helping engage, motivate and incentivise your people to develop a high-performance culture that is agile, flexible and that can adapt quickly to change.
- Energy & CleanTechEnergy & CleanTechClean, affordable, renewable: that’s the holy trinity as far as energy consumers are concerned. As demand rises, economies of scale mean costs have been falling, making more established renewables, like wind and solar, increasingly competitive in the mainstream energy market. That said, low oil and gas prices, in recent years, mean providers have had to work even harder to ensure more efficient, cost-effective and consistent supply. Reductions in government incentives, here in the UK, are also posing fresh challenges.Regulatory compliance and a desire for organisations to operate in more environmentally responsible and progressive ways is driving growth in the clean-tech market. It is a sector that requires leaders with an entrepreneurial edge and the vision to commercialise these innovative technologies. Cut backs in the oil and gas industry mean that some new energy providers have been able to leverage the expertise and experience of traditional energy talent to help them scale up their businesses more quickly. This transfer of talent is filtering down through organisations as demand rises for technically skilled executives who can transfer their proven competencies managing global operations.
- Media & EntertainmentMedia & EntertainmentDigitisation has democratised the media and entertainment world. Anyone can now create, publish and distribute content. The natural habitat for millennials, they, in particular, are innovating and disrupting in terms of how it is consumed and monetised. As such, it is an arena that is offering unique opportunities. For traditional media industry businesses, however, it poses significant competition.At Seymour John, we help media and entertainment organisations attract digital-savvy originators who can re-imagine traditional commercial models to open up new revenue streams. In a direct to consumer, app-based environment, organisations need to think consumer-centrically and develop strategies that are focused as much on the ways in which content is consumed as the content itself. Big data and cross-platform experience and expertise will be critical to success.We are firm believers that difference and diversity can be a potent force in the development of innovative and creative teams. We help organisations construct flexible and sustainable talent strategies that adopt a more lateral, imaginative and multi-discipline approach to team-building – our people and change consultants helping integrate young, entrepreneurial vision with traditional expertise and experience.
- Travel, Leisure & HospitalityTravel, Leisure & HospitalityIn an overpopulated market that offers people an array of options, the balance of power has shifted from supplier to consumer. Perhaps more so than any other industry sector, travel and hospitality is subject to popular accountability in the form of online comments and reviews that have the power to shape the way brands are perceived. Disruptors are causing even the most traditional organisations to re-examine the way in which they operate in order to retain their customer base. A consumer-centric strategy that offers people greater choice, control and customisation is crucial in the face of fierce competition.Again, technology is changing the game. In particular, mobile and web apps are giving modern travellers the freedom and flexibility to get information, comment instantly and book flights, hotel rooms or tickets to local attractions on the hoof. Organisations must, therefore, offer a complete end-to-end user experience, integrating impeccable customer service on the ground with always-available digital, social and e-commerce seamlessly. Organisations need leaders who are not only digital business innovators, but who have the traditional skill-sets that ensure every operational area of the business is tight and on point.
- SportsSportsWhether it is an enhanced, Augmented Reality experience on a match day or connecting with fans sat at home with their Virtual Reality headsets on, technology is driving consumer engagement in the sports industry. Content rules, especially if you own it. Mobile and web apps are expanding reach on a massive scale, helping commercially savvy enterprises develop fan bases across the globe. Social media is giving fans unprecedented access to today’s sports stars.TV rights have brought huge sums of money into some sports. Others are having to work harder to commercialise their offering. Whatever end of the spectrum, both are looking to the skills of business professionals to help them develop and grow and make the most of the opportunities digital transformation is offering the industry. It is also offering competition and challenge. The rise of fantasy leagues and the growing virtual sports sector is one to watch.From advertising and sponsorship to broadcasting rights and players’ contracts, the industry is becoming increasingly complex and competitive. Experienced negotiators and innovators with proven leadership skills are, therefore, becoming increasingly influential as the sports industry continues to become big business.
From the attraction, development and retention of talent across all functional areas – including CEO and executive and specific positions in finance and technology – to people and change initiatives, we collaborate with consumer organisations to create the high-performance cultures necessary for sustainable growth.