Get your head down, the woolly mammoth hunters are about…

Posted on: November 12th, 2013 by Staffan Engstrom

What a great dinner at the Business Services Association yesterday. I met a lot of really interesting people, but they all seemed to be talking about a similar critical theme that shook me to the core… let me explain!

First I spoke to the CEO of an interim recruitment agency. She was telling me about how quite a lot of marketing professionals on her books had become out of date in just the last couple of years. Business to Consumer marketing has totally changed as a result of social media, and unless you have a real grip of it, your marketing techniques just don’t work anymore. As she told me about these new wooly mammoths (heading for extinction), I sank back into my chair and realised how easy it would be to do the same! I have been telling people how much I dislike Twitter and Facebook (I can just about manage LinkedIn!). Well the news is, either get in there and start liking it or find yourself in the position of the woolly mammoth – starved out and hunted down.

The next person that I spoke to was marketing director for a big travel company. Well they are using social media to answer peoples queries and issues when they are travelling, but the great thing is that 80% of the queries are answered by the public! So you don’t need a huge call centre! Only a few people are needed to respond to just the tougher questions, and they can do it a lot faster than if they are on the phone.

Then it started getting silly… the very next person told me about global outsourcing of HR and Finance services for mega-corporations. The latest big players in outsourcing are using social media to manage their own HR issues in big call centres in exactly the same way… with staff answering each others queries and a much reduced support cost for the critical questions.┬áIn his view the writing is on the wall for off-shoring of HR and Finance services, because more and more services will be automated, and the few people that you then need to run your processing centre will be better off here.

As I sat on the train – hoping to avoid the new neanderthal (?) hunters – I downloaded my Twitter App again, logged on, and said ‘hello’ to my long bereft followers once more…