Welcome to Velocitize Talks Encore, a new series where we catch up with some of our favorite industry leaders and all-around awesome people who have appeared on Velocitize Talks. In this interview we speak with Holly Tattersall, Founder and CEO of Women in Digital & Digital Talent Company.
Tattersall appeared on Velocitize Talks in June of 2019. Watch the full episode here.
In just one word, how would you describe diversity in marketing leadership roles today?
What are companies in the agency/digital marketing workplace looking for in new employees?
It is no secret that we are in a candidate’s market and it is interesting to see how different businesses are responding to that. Some businesses are throwing money at the problem, trying to outbid other businesses to acquire the best talent. Others are attracting talent with strong branding, an incredible workplace culture and a long list of work perks.
In terms of what agencies and other digital marketing workplaces are looking for in new employees, I have definitely noticed a sharp increase in demand for what I call the ‘generalist specialist’ marketer. They are also commonly referred to as a ‘T-shaped marketer.’
What clients are wanting is talent that have a broad range of marketing knowledge right across the board but also have specialist knowledge in one specific area. And it is a difficult criteria to match as to date you typically have had either a generalist marketer or a specialist marketers.
How do you see the CMO/CDO relationship evolving in the digital era?
All C-suite executives should be working together. Businesses are these robust ecosystems and the idea that you can have C-suite executive teams operating in silos defies logic to me.
This is especially the case for CMOs and CDOs. CDO appointments used to be rare but already 47% of Australian businesses claim to have a CDO in some capacity.
We can assume that CDOs will become a regular fixture in C-suite teams just like a CFO or COO. Digital transformation has no end date as we will continually be evolving, transforming and innovating, therefore making CDOs essential to keep businesses at the forefront of digital advancement.
CDO roles are still relatively new and while the day-to-day of a CDO may look different depending on what business you enter, there is no doubt that the CMO and CDO must work closely and cohesively to produce the best results. Whether the CDO is focused on brand, building demand and growing CX; generating revenue from digital products; or running the resources that deploy digital strategy, the CMO and CDO need to be working from the same book and on the same page.
In the future, I can see the CDO role evolving to be overseeing the strategic decisions of the CMO and CIO as they have a bird’s eye view of how information, technology and marketing all interconnect.
Why WordPress over other content management programs?
Both our Digital Talent Co. and Women in Digital websites are built on WordPress. There are a number of reasons why we have chosen to do that, the main one being that WordPress is the most used CMS in the world and there are an unlimited amount of benefits that come with that.
We are talking about second-to-none community support, large libraries of plugins and themes, WordPress-specific designers and developers, and talent familiar with and trained to work in the WordPress platform (making onboarding a new employee far easier).
I also like software that I can rely on. I think I speak for every business owner when I say we are busy and we want as many reliable factors in our day-to-day as possible. Knowing that WordPress has been around for years and isn’t going anywhere makes me sleep a little easier. Having to migrate a website to a new platform overnight and potentially losing search ranking or brand credibility is giving me a headache just thinking about it.
What do you attribute the success you’ve had in your career to?
“Hands down the number one thing has to be my network. The best thing I did was invest in growing a strong network early in my career. Building a great network isn’t easy and there is no quick fix but it pays dividends.”
In its simplest form networking is about forging quality relationships with people in your industry and that is what Women in Digital is built on. I initially started Women in Digital as a passion project with a focus on connecting high calibre mentors with mentees. Women in Digital has since grown and our key focus is on technical skill development and professional development which presents fantastic networking opportunities for our community.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
That nobody really knows what they are doing, everyone is just making it up as they go along. This was valuable to me as it gave me the permission to be vulnerable in business. This may seem like a bad idea because the business world is often all about confidence but I think there is a special kind of confidence that comes from being real. The things you do know you can confidently speak to, and the things you don’t you can own and get partners and employees to assist with.
This is particularly important when it comes to innovation and thriving in a knowledge economy — you need to check your ego at the door and be willing to ask the ‘dumb question’ that will lead to unique outcomes.
When do you go “off grid”?
All the time! I love nothing more than getting outside on the weekend to go horse riding, hiking or just to enjoy a wine-fueled picnic.
To learn more about Holly Tattersall, connect with her on LinkedIn.