Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Rise of Independent Workers & E-Ployment

The UK’s Daily Telegraph ran a feature this past Tuesday October 28th, 2014,  on the growing trend of people living and working where they want, as independent workers, through the use of cloud based tools. These global digital nomads are becoming an increasingly important part of the global shift in employment economics and cities and countries are having to consider the best ways to attract and retain these people as new residents. Daily Telegraph Article A new book covers the topic called E-Ployment: Living & Working in the Cloud. e-book-4 copy The book makes the point that globally there is a dramatic shift taking place in employment norms. We are seeing a large rise in the number of self-employed people around the world. Not all of them wander the globe either. Some observers in the US have called this the rise of the 1099 economy, a term derived from the form Americans fill in and and file to the IRS (US tax authorities) to denote their self employed status in their annual tax assessment. This 1099 economy is predicted to count for a large and growing proportion of the total US working population within the next decade. Although the US self-employment rates are a topic that are debated, some commentators predict that self employed people will account for a major proportion of the US total workforce. In an article on GIGAOM, a US blog that follows technology, Gene Zaino, CEO of MBO Partners, predicts in a report from his company that there will be 65 to 70 million independent workers within the next decade. The same report also states that the majority of people in independent work chose it, and had not been forced into it, and that a large number of those in traditional employment are considering moving across to work independently because of the lifestyle benefits and because of a lack on fulfilment with traditional employment. This rise in the number of freelance workers obviously raises a number of different issues with regards to insurance, healthcare and pensions etc. These issues vary greatly depending on where in the world you are located. As an independent worker in Sweden for example, provided you are paying your personal tax, the governmental systems for health and pensions will cover you.   E-Ployment Living & Working in the Cloud is available on Amazon.    

3 Lessons in Place Branding Excellence

I was recently fortunate enough to one of the judges on the PlaceBrander of the year awards in Sweden. The ceremony event was held at the very modern and stylish Copperhill Mountain Lodge resort in Åre, Sweden. The very worthy winner of the event this year was Umeå, which is the European Capital of Culture.   Umeå winners It was interesting in reviewing the various entries from around Sweden and to reflect on what made for an outstanding entry. The official criteria, which are extremely valid, were a Place Branding project that led to the growth of the destination in terms of tourism, inward investment, residential growth or an increase in activity such as congresses and exhibitions. The three things I look for But what more was I looking for as a judge? What else was important to see that went beyond these initial worthy criteria? 1. One of the striking things is that too many place branding activities are ‘campaign focused’. Campaigns in my mind tend to be too short term. Places are difficult things to market and create strong brands for. Branding takes time and a campaign tends to be a shorter term, one off, event. I think part of the issue is that traditional advertising agencies themselves are very campaign oriented. Traditional advertising agencies aren’t terribly good at dealing with the greater complexity that Place Branding really demands. Equally the place or destination itself needs to clearly identify goals with definable long term strategic objectives. What is the place trying to achieve? What are their goals in terms of either inward investment, tourism or residential growth. Too often these are missing and even when present, tend to be expressed in generalities. Each place is different and demands a different, long term, set of objectives. 2. Once these longer term goals and objectives are identified the focus should be on creating a really distinct positioning. The art of marketing is the art of branding. The art of branding is the creation of a distinct positioning. Being number one in your chosen category. It is the hardest thing to get right. We did it wonderfully well with the work we did for Stockholm – as The Capital of Scandinavia. A simple and clear proposition.  A distinct positioning means being just that – distinct. You can’t be all things to all people. You need to stand for something and that will probably lead to some people not liking it. But if you produce wallpaper that doesn’t stand out, odds are you won’t offend anyone- but equally you won’t stand out either. 3. Communications that really communicates. Beyond the branding elements I obviously look at the communications thinking and increasingly a good mix between traditional media and activities and social media use.  I think nearly all places and destinations engage in some form of social media activity nowadays, but unfortunately too much of it is disjointed and sporadic. The world of marketing has been turned on its head in the last ten years and nowadays customers are in control of what they want to see and experience. They can get more information, and form opinions about places, and brands, without ever looking at your website or following your social media posts. The whole focus nowadays should be built around attracting the right customers to seek you out and the way you do that is with great quality Content and strong Inbound Marketing programmes. If you are not using this approach in your marketing yet, odds are you are producing lots of content but it is probably being wasted, and measurement of results is not being utilised to refine messaging and campaigns. The key is creating great quality content, without it being overly sales oriented. It firstly needs to be great quality content on a topic. Approach it as you would a relationship with a person. On the first date you don’t normally offer to get married and have kids. You get to know each other and gently build the relationship. It’s like that with marketing and especially content and inbound. If you have not yet started thinking about Inbound, give us a call or visit the Inbound page on the UP THERE, EVERYWHERE website. We have teams of Inbound experts globally who can advise and help.