Richmond Events News - August 2018

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After 10 years, business still has a job to do on its reputation, David Smith, Economics Editor, The Sunday Times

It is 10 years since the global financial crisis rocked us to the core, the banks almost went bust and governments were forced into a massive rescue operation. The legacy has been a long one. The Bank of England has only just raised interest rates above the emergency level established them to deal with the crisis. For some sectors the hangover has endured. Manufacturing output has yet to climb above pre-crisis levels even though, demonstrably, industry was not at the heart of the crisis.

Perhaps the most enduring legacy, however, has been the effect on the reputation of business. Debates over capitalism and its supposed faults, which might have been expected to evaporate once growth returned, persist. We have a shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who declares that his ambition is to overthrow capitalism, and gets away with it.

The CBI has detected a gentle improvement in the reputation of business as time has gone on. Roughly two-thirds of people think businesses do a good job and have a positive relationship with their employer, which is far from a bad result. On the other hand, only 50 per cent understand how companies work and 69 per cent think that the people who run big businesses are out of touch with ordinary people’s concerns.
The Institute of Business Ethics has found that only just over half, 52 per cent, trust businesses to behave ethically. The big issues affecting the reputation of business are corporate tax avoidance, high levels of executive pay, exploitative work contracts, a lack of work-life balance for employees and a perceived inability for employees to be able to speak out when they witness wrongdoing. These results are not terrible but nor are they particularly encouraging. 

One of the most frequent complaints I get is that nobody was adequately punished for their role in the crisis. They have in mind the bankers but there is often a sense that even business people who were nowhere near the crisis have a case to answer. Once the voice of business was welcomed in the national debate. Now, anybody who sticks their head above the parapet risks having it shot off, particularly if the subject matter is Brexit.

BREXIT – A Customer’s Opinion

Richmond Research re-visited Brexit opinion in July and here is the full report.

Opinions are very divided with a majority being less positive about Brexit, anticipating generally less revenue, lower confidence and greater difficulty attracting and retaining EU employees post Brexit.

One Richmond customer submitted the following rather different view:

I thought your article on Brexit was balanced and I share your frustration! But of course we can't negotiate if the EU is intransigent. 

As a specialist in manufacturing and supply chain planning, I have just written to the Institute of Logistics about Brexit as follows: 

I don’t know whether it is newsworthy, but I was a guest on radio 5 live this morning. I was putting the economic points for industry on Brexit. This was part of a debate about Donald Trump’s comments that if the UK aligns itself with the EU, trade agreements with the USA will be difficult.

My assertion was that British industry will have a big opportunity in the long run if we disassociate ourselves from the EU and align with the developing economies. (I also said that USA, like Europe is a spent force so not so important).

The statistics I presented were that:

  • EU growth rate is under 2% pa with a static population size
  • India’s growth rate is about 7.7%pa with a growing population
  • China’s growth rate is about 6.7 %pa with a growing population
So, for the sake of our grand-children we need to be aligned to growing economies to maintain our standard of living and not be hampered by EU trade barriers.   

The background is that we rely on our Manufacturing Exports, Overseas Financial Services and UK Tourism to support our economy and the increasing NHS bill. 

We have a trade deficit with the EU (particularly Germany) so our negotiating position is strong. [The deficit is about £60bn out of about £300bn]. There are no statistics for imports from the EU which originate from the far east and then get transferred into the UK which we could buy independently and probably cheaper (including basic food) This means that the true cost of the aligning with the EU economies is significantly greater and prices are higher. All we know is that worldwide goods transferred to the UK via Rotterdam cost us about £5bn each year.  

Top issues for industry

The conference programmes at Richmond forums are designed not as a theme or topic each year, but rather as an overview for senior executives, of those issues that are top of mind or of most importance to individual sectors each year.

By way of example we compare those subjects that our research shows are of most interests to three different disciplines in the UK this year: Human Resources; Learning, Development & Training & Communications.

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT & CHANGE MANAGEMENT are of paramount importance to all three disciplines, although from a training perspective there is an emphasis on organisational and cultural change.

MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP is a top issue for HR and LDT – not surprisingly, along with talent management, learning methods and performance.

In Communications, CORPORATE REPUTATION, USING DIGITAL MEDIA PLATFORMS & LATEST DEVELOPMENTS (in both internal & external Communications) were prioritised.

All these topics will be highlighted at our upcoming forums.

If you feel there are important topics that we have missed, please let us know.
If you want details of our events, please have a look at our forum portfolio

The list of top topics for each forum is as follows:

Employee engagement/wellbeing
Management and leadership development
Change management
Performance – how to measure it, how to use your data, how to increase.
Key current issues: Brexit, Apprenticeship Levy, Gender Pay Gap, Diversity, GDPR

Management and Leadership
Employee engagement: team motivation in the multigeneration workforce.
Developing strategies for organisational transformation and cultural change
Talent management - finding, growing and retaining talent - optimising human performance, the repercussions of Brexit
Learning methods: blended, social media, digital, technological advances

Employee engagement: your employee brand: recruitment and retention of top talent.
Change management
Using digital media platforms internally and externally
Developments in Internal and external Communications
Corporate reputation: crisis communications and/or corporate citizenship

Impact of digital ad fraud on marketers, Dr Augustine Fou, independent thought leader in ad fraud, digital strategy and integrated marketing

Marketers, you’ve heard of digital ad fraud, right? Of course you have. And it is simple to understand that your budgets are wasted when your ads are shown to bots (software programs) and not to humans. 

Marketers think ad fraud is “someone else’s problem”

Unfortunately, far too many marketers still think that ad fraud doesn’t affect them and that it is “someone else’s problem.” There’s a number of reasons for this. For example, media buying agencies keep telling them “everything’s fine” and “don’t worry about it.” And the fraud detection technology companies they use may also show low to no fraud in their reports. But does that actually mean there’s no fraud? Let’s dig deeper.

What if your digital marketing campaigns run on ad exchanges that claim to use “every flavor” of fraud detection but when you turn on a campaign, you see a 100,000% increase in Android mobile devices, but few additional iPhones, iPads, or Windows devices? What if there are more clicks than there were ad impressions? What if you got absolutely no sales or conversions despite very high number of clicks? Do these sound normal to you? 

Do you think your digital marketing campaign worked? Well, no. But marketers keep spending more ad budgets in digital programmatic advertising. Every single scenario mentioned above (and many more) was observed in recent, live client campaigns, despite use of fraud detection tech in quadruplicate -- marketer, agency, ad exchange, and even publisher all pay for fraud detection. 

US Business Panel Research on social media

36% of organizations do not currently spend any budget on social media.  Of those that do, the average percentage of departmental budget spend is 3.9%.  

42% of the panel are likely to increase their spend on social media, 36% moderately and 6% drastically.

LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform for both personal use (in their role) as well as organizational use. 64% of the panel use it within their role, whilst 75% of organizations use it.

In terms of measurement, 21% say they are measuring their social media activity, 7% strictly and 14% for some of the channels.

A further 27% are also doing so, but it’s more of an approximate science.

LinkedIn and Blogs are viewed as the most effective social media channels.

The most popular area for employing social media within organizations is brand promotion. This is followed by general marketing and building web traffic.

At the other end of the scale social media is used far less in terms of customer complaints, employee communications and market research than anecdotal evidence might suggest.

In over two thirds of organizations the marketing department is responsible for social media content.
Organizations report on average 7% of their employees use social media as part of their role.

78% of the panel have not come under attack via social media, whereas 22% have.

The panel agrees that social media will continue to evolve and grow, with slightly more of the panel feeling it will do so at a rapid pace as opposed to a slightly slower pace. 

For further information please contact David Clark

Why Richmond customers attend our events – research from the research industry

Feedback from attendees at the RICHMOND UK INSIGHT FORUM, explains why attendees find it valuable to attend.

“A fantastic opportunity to have meaningful, relaxed conversations with clients from a wide range of sectors, in a comfortable, pressure-free environment.”

Delegates’ main reasons for attending are interest in the conference topics and almost as importantly, the chance to investigate potential suppliers

They have valuable meetings with suppliers which they were unlikely otherwise to have had

They get a lot of new ideas and thinking

They subsequently:
Arrange further meetings with prospective suppliers
Investigate new suppliers
Request specific pitches
Review relationships with current suppliers
They commission work from suppliers they meet

Overall, they are improving the service that they are receiving from their suppliers.

“FANTASTIC. best one yet. I think we have five super good leads, one of our delegates has beat me to it and emailed me before I contacted them, and we have a meeting booked for this afternoon. As always, the event was so well organised, and I recommend it to any one I can.”