'Our industry is in the greatest shape it has perhaps ever been'

In the final week of my brand’s financial year, my days have been dominated by activities that have little to do with winning last-minute business, but nonetheless have been important.

Secret Marketer

First, I have been searching for a new senior marketing manager. I always enjoy recruiting as I get to see and hear fresh ideas. It’s also rare to be recruiting externally at a senior level, since I prefer to promote from within. But this is such an important hire that I’m determined to recruit a first-rate marketer at the top of their game - both to do a cracking job and to act as a role model to the rest of the team.

I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the applications. Whether this is a consequence of the economy stifling movement or simply that the bar has got higher, there are incredibly talented individuals on the market.

But, and this is my point, the quality of the applications we received made it difficult to decide who to shortlist. To be honest, the people we invited for an interview were those whose applications had been best presented and gave us less reason to reject them.

Then, I was asked to do online judging for some industry awards. I always enjoy doing this as I get to see the strategy and logic behind campaigns. But this year, perhaps more than before, I was bowled over by the quality of the submissions. The standard in every category was astounding - from the initial insight, the chosen campaign strategy, the creative execution and, critically, the results obtained.

And, much like the CVs, it was difficult to choose between them.

I shortlisted those with the best presented submission, who had best described how they had reached that conclusion, whose return on investment figures were the most easily explained, and generally gave me less reasons to dismiss them.

Both cases have led me to believe that our industry is in the greatest shape it has perhaps ever been. The quality of the resources at our disposal, and the way in which we are using those resources, is quite simply outstanding.

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