CIM Wales Board Chair, Sameer Rahman, recently featured in a Marketing leaders Q&A with Sitka Recruitment, a Cardiff-based recruitment firm who specialises in marketing management and leadership roles. 

As well as talking about his own career in marketing, Sameer answered some timely questions about the marketing and marketing recruitment landscape. Here are some of the highlights:

Do you think the digital transformation will continue, and what impact will it have on business as a whole?

“Digital transformation has the potential to change the whole business. It’s down to whether you understand what consumers are saying and the pressures they face. If you listen to them you may find the demand is still there, but they want ease of use, quicker delivery.  You have to be very clever to understand what they’re saying and to develop your business in a way that suits their lifestyle. Digital transformation is allowing businesses to do that, but they need to have a vision for that transformation.”

How easy is it to find the right marketing expertise for your team in this market?

“The first thing I look at is whether a CV is tailored to the job. From a junior marketer perspective, I think the calibre is out there. I think what’s lacking is people giving them direction and mentoring them down the right path. So, they get lost and land up in a job that is not for them. It’s difficult, I think universities should be better at helping and mentoring.”

Do you think it’s important that marketing and HR work together?

“Absolutely, especially for internal comms. If marketing is working with HR, they’re doing great internal PR. HR are the voice of the employer and the ears of the employees and they have a very strategic role. This is where CMOs become important in raising the strategic importance.  There are very few organisations using HR as their internal PR and that’s what marketing needs to do.”

What can be done to inspire young people to choose careers in marketing to address the ‘looming talent crisis’?  

“I agree there is a looming crisis and people are moving towards tangible technologies, because marketing is very narrowly defined, and people don’t realise machine learning and AI can be applications of marketing. As marketers, we haven’t marketed ourselves or defined ourselves. The leaders in marketing need to open up and there needs to be more articles defining the wider scope of marketing in the modern digital world.”

Like recruitment, marketing sometimes has a bad reputation. What can marketers do to combat that?

“Defining what marketing is and how it brings value to the organisation. We know why it has a bad reputation, because it is narrowly defined. What we have to do is portray marketing as a profit centre not a cost centre, and in order to do that we need much more commercially savvy marketers and better communicators.”

You can read Sameer’s full Q&A here on Sitka’s website.