Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blackberry Enters the Tablet Fracas

Battle over corporate mindshare of mobile heats up. Battle over disgruntled talent should drive corporate knowledge capture arena. Hottest areas for talent are hybrid roles that previously didn’t exist.

In case you missed it, Research in Motion, best known for its best-selling Blackberry corporate texting and PDA devices announced Monday that is has entered the tablet computer arena. The Blackberry Playbook will target corporate users (no surprise) and will get a leg up on the Apple iPad in at least one important area for business marketers – it can display Web pages that are created via Adobe Flash oftware, something that iPad currently cannot. Our prediction is this: B2B marketers will look first to reach target customers on whatever device they’re using, regardless of who makes it or how snazzy the features. The battle for the corporate share of the mobile marketplace should be a great one to watch as that will likely determine the flow of ad dollars in the B2B arena. We’re hoping for a long-hard fought battle that will raise the bar for innovation and make mobile advertising and sponsorship, a must-have on everyone’s budget by 2011.

“Take this job and shove it”…OR…”Shove that job, I’ll take it”?

Speaking of the corporate marketplace, as we mentioned last month, there’s lots of work to be done, but most organization lack the confidence to hire full-time, salaried, highly-benefitted workers to do it. Thanks, Rick Telberg, of Bay Street Group Research, who shared his take on a recent Hewitt Associates study that showed workplace tensions are at a 15-year high. Seems even those lucky enough to be employed, are running out of motivation and energy as they do two or three people’s former jobs for the same old compensation (or less).

If you’re in the career advertising or executive recruiting game, you’ll have a perfect storm of opportunity on the horizon as disgruntled workers will be jumping ship in droves as the slow recovery continues and companies will be scrambling like crazy to replace them with the long-term unemployed and underemployed. And guess who else has a great window of opportunity right now? That’s right. Those of you in the CRM, ERP, and knowledge management sector. Why? Because when long-term talented employees leave, they take an awful lot of institutional knowledge with them. It doesn’t matter how tight your confidentiality agreements are (see our Sept. 7 piece "Shot Hurd Round the Tech World").

2010 has clearly reflected a rebound for executive search in the media and marketing business, according to Ed Koller, managing partner of New York-based search firm, Howard Sloan Koller Group who shares his firm's client newsletter with us regularly. While the folks at HSK told us their data was anecdotal more than scientific, they found their clients “continue to report positive movement within their businesses, and candidates are truly excited about the energy and buzz they feel in the market and the possibilities they see ahead.” More than ever, digital roles seem focused on building innovative products, said HSK.

Here are some highlights of HSK’s latest report from the media and marketing recruiting trenches:

Companies continue to reorganize with great frequency to seek efficiencies.
• Much of the hiring is for entirely new roles -- positions which didn't exist previously, and often haven't even been thought of or planned for.
• Hybrid roles -- combinations of multiple disciplines -- are cropping up everywhere.
• Broad-based marketers are in greater demand than ever before.
• Many companies are showing increased emphasis on mobile, social media and apps, requiring a mix of specialized skills.
• Bonuses, perks and raises are still hibernating, and are likely to stay this way for the foreseeable future.
• Many candidates are (shockingly) receiving multiple offers simultaneously. "Buyers" must act quickly.
• Internal promotions and newly created roles are being used by companies as a means for retaining talent.

Our take? With digital apps improving almost daily and highly versatile “corporate decathletes” getting more responsibility instead of the politically correct org-chart-climbers, this slow painful recovery we’re supposedly in may go down as the golden age of Web 2.0 ideas, execution and positive paradigm shifts for B2B marketers.


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