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Thimon de Jong runs over the past ten years has consulted with leading organisations such as Ikea, Deloitte, Aon, Samsung and GDF Suez, on sharpening their business strategies to sync with wider socio-cultural trends. Thimon runs his own company, Whetston, a strategic foresight think tank. He also teaches at Utrecht University on how sociocultural trends can be used to improve business strategy. He will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 8 October 2015 IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business - what would they be?

TDJ: Develop a digitally balanced business strategy

IMI: What does this mean? TDJ: Society, human behaviour, business: our world is rapidly getting more and more digital. But parallel to this development, the need for the real, the personal and the unconnected is growing. In the future, a successful strategy will cater both these trends with a digital balance in any part of business: products, services, marketing communication, HR etc. IMI: Where should we look for further information? TDJ: This fall, I will release a series of articles on this, published via LinkedIn and my website: NMC 2015 A4 HEADER Thimon de Jong is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 8 October. This event has now reached maximum capacity however if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email your contact details and company name to [post_title] => "Develop a digitally balanced business strategy" Six Word Wisdom from Thimon de Jong [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => develop-digitally-balanced-business-strategy-six-word-wisdom-thimon-de-jong [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 20:39:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 20:39:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 19265 [post_author] => 11 [post_date] => 2017-04-07 11:15:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2017-04-07 11:15:47 [post_content] => [post_title] => Calling Time on the Digital Advertising Party! [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => calling-time-digital-advertising-party [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-18 07:29:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-18 07:29:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4773 [post_author] => 13 [post_date] => 2013-07-25 13:04:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2013-07-25 13:04:17 [post_content] => In the space of the last 10 years the world of marketing has changed. confusedmarketing Marketing and advertising have always been a highly dynamic space. But we’ve now entered hyper-speed. I recently graduated from a Masters in Marketing and I am nearing the end of my 6 month Internship Programme at the Irish Management Institute before moving on to a new marketing role next week. imi_luke cropped_mini My experience of the Irish marketing jobs market? It’s been challenging to say the least. When I began my 3rd level education, Facebook had barely launched worldwide and YouTube was a mere 7 months old. To put things into perspective - I am 27. Social media, digital and now mobile channels have turned the marketing world and the expectations organisations have of marketing functions upside down. On top of that, there are large graduate numbers but a small number of jobs – I recall an internship that I applied for that had over 200 applicants (and that was unpaid!). All this means that recruiters and companies are increasingly advertising for specialist skills. Where organisations used to look for ‘Marketing Executives’, more and more I’m seeing ads for specifics like ‘Digital Marketing Executive’ or ‘Brand Specialist’. Branding yourself in order to stand out from the rest is a must for Marketing Graduates. The sheer breadth of today’s marketing sphere implies that you cannot be an expert at everything. So what does this mean for the budding marketer today? In my experience two things are necessary. Firstly, anyone looking to take up a role in marketing needs to decide ‘Am I going to be a generalist or a specialist?’ and they must make sure that the organisation that is hiring them understands their own requirements. Secondly, once the role has been established continuing to develop your skills is key. The latest consumer trends dictate that core marketing competencies can be deemed out-of-date within an extremely short period. At IMI I spent time working on social media and took the time to brush up on some of my digital marketing skills by sitting in on modules of the IMI Diploma in Marketing Strategy with Digital Marketing. So does the pace of change mean the death of the all rounder ‘Marketing Executive’? Yes and no. Marketing disciplines are changing. But while your current role may require you to act as a specialist, where you may be having a conversation about LinkedIn one minute and about viral media the next - it is important to remember that it is an understanding of the core marketing practices that should guide your decisions regardless of the channel. In the long run, you will fail in any marketing campaign unless you are guided by a fundamental understanding of the organisation’s offerings. In summary, today's marketing graduates need to brand themselves as specialists in the short term but retain the core capabilities of the generalist that will allow them to become the marketing executives of the future. It's this type of flexibility that's required to future proof your marketing career. Luke Bellew has been working with the IMI Internship Programme. If you are interested in working with us on this programme get in touch at Internship Programme. [post_title] => Are we seeing the death of the ‘Marketing Executive’? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => are-we-seeing-the-death-of-the-marketing-executive-6 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 21:38:24 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 21:38:24 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
Rachel O'Leary

Rachel O’Leary

17th Jan 2018

Rachel O’Leary is an associate faculty member of the IMI and delivers the Marketing module on our Mini-MBA programme.

Related Articles

"Develop a digitally balanced business strategy" Six Word Wisdom from Thimon de Jong
Calling Time on the Digital Advertising Party!
Are we seeing the death of the ‘Marketing Executive’?

DIY your way to Digital Transformation

If you are a marketer drowning in a sea of digital, why not brush up on your digital skills? There are excellent Digital Marketing courses available online that are not only FREE but that you can do yourself, in your own time and can get CERTIFIED by platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Google. These are all available in easy, visual formats that make them ideal for poolside reading and watching. With this digital up-skilling guide you can kick back and actually enjoy your DIY digital transformation.

Social media (Photo source)

Break it down

The term Digital Marketing is all-encompassing. Break it down into its various components and then identify what areas you want to focus on.  I suggest exploring these 3 areas:

1.Social Media Marketing & Advertising

2.Web/Online Marketing & Advertising

3.Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing & Email Marketing

Social Media Marketing & Advertising

What do you need to know?

  • Advertising on Social Media platforms
  • Social Media Optimisation (SMO)
  • Scheduling software like Sprout social or Hootsuite for insights and measurement

What courses are available?


Twitter has Twitter flight school where you can get your wings and get certified by Twitter. Initially launched for ad agencies, it is now available to all marketers to learn how to build buzz, launch products, drive sales, and connect with your audience on Twitter. This interactive platform provides consumer insights and research, in-depth product tutorials and Twitter case studies. Downloadable presentations are available to develop campaign ideas.

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook brings us Facebook Blueprint. Facebook Blueprint is a global training and certification program teaching you all you need to know about growing your business through Facebook and Instagram. It includes:

  • Blueprint eLearning which focuses on best practices of advertising on Facebook and Instagram.
  • Blueprint Certification is a certification program that measures your understanding of Facebook advertising products and services.
  • Blueprint Live is an in-person training program that teaches you how to implement Facebook and Instagram advertising principles in your marketing plans.


LinkedIn’s Sophisticated Marketer’s sessions is your one-stop shop to optimise your B2B Marketing Strategy on the platform, promising to build your brand, raise awareness and generate leads with LinkedIn. Resources provided include cheat sheets, infographics and video that showcase the latest LinkedIn tips, insights and best practices including client case studies.

Web/Online Marketing & Advertising

What do you need to know?

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Google analytics
  • Online advertising – Google Ad words, PPC, display ads, re-targeting)

What courses are available?

Google provides with three great online resources that all provide digital certifications from Google: Google Garage, Google Partners and Google AdWords:

Google Garage provides free online tutorials on everything from website design to online marketing. You can dip in and out of specific courses, or complete the whole online course for a certification from Google and IAB Europe.

Google Partners gives you free access to Google product training events in AdWords Fundamentals, Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising and Shopping Advertising with Google. Each course. At the end of each course, you can opt to take an online exam for your Google certificate in the area

You can become a Google AdWords Certified professional when you pass 2 of the AdWords certification exams. This is a paid exam however.

Inbound Marketing, Content Marketing & Email Marketing

What do you need to know?

  • Content creation
  • Content flow charts
  • Email marketing
  • Fundamentals of blogging

What courses are available?

There are a number of online resources out there to support you in this area. I frequently recommend the Hubspot Academy as it offers courses in pretty much everything to improve your ‘Smarketing’ strategy. Easy to follow modular training videos are available on Inbound, Email, Content and Contextual Marketing. You can take an exam at the end of each course to earn your Hubspot certification. Resources include certification courses, blog style guides, and case studies to help marketers and sales professionals.

Rachel O’Leary is an associate faculty member of the IMI and delivers the Marketing module on our Mini-MBA programme. Rachel is a Marketing Consultant with 20 years’ experience in the financial services, on-line retail, not for profit and education sectors.  Rachel specialises in Marketing Strategy, Social Media, Corporate Communications, Sponsorship, Event Management and Corporate Responsibility.