Mkt Update

Alternatives Business & Market Update

13 January 2020 by

Alternatives Business & Market Update

Mkt Update

Bernie Keogh Leadership, Digital, Marketing...

Alternatives Business and Market update

As we end 2019 and begin a new year, Bernie Keogh, Managing Director, takes a look at the talent and skill sets in demand from an Alternatives perspective.

Talent in demand

We have experienced significant demand for specialist talent across display, social and search digital, comms (both internal, corporate, consumer & B2B), video, content, demand generation, performance marketing, marketing automation and paid digital media, as well as insights specialists, strategic planners, brand experts, innovation, proposition specialists and product managers, CX specialists, UX and data and behavioural science experts.

There has also been a requirement for EMEA and global strategic and commercial marketing talent from mid to director level in the drinks and foods sectors, due in part to the growth in the spirits markets with lots of new distillers and new brands, as well as established firms setting up their EMEA or Global teams out of Ireland. Key talent areas sought after by the Tech sector are not surprisingly French, German, Spanish and other language and market specific marketing specialists, as well as marketing automation and paid search specialists.

Marketing and HR consultancy

With an increased understanding in the market of the potential impact of strong marketing, we have seen demand from CEOs/MDs and CMOs for input into the role of the marketing function, marketing structures, brand and marketing strategy, marketing effectiveness and ways of working post significant restructuring.

We have also experienced a significant rise in demand for HR consultancy services to advise on employer branding, talent attraction, talent pipelines and recruitment strategies, candidate screening and acting as marketing experts on interview panels for leadership positions.

Permanent recruitment

The market continued to remain very dynamic with most sectors recruiting actively, except for those most concerned about the impact of Brexit or their own market challenges (such as food, manufacturing, Agri, FS and the Motor industry), who were more cautious.

In addition to more established corporates and multinationals, there has been significant growth in the number of small to mid-sized, scaling companies recruiting, with these often offering career opportunities with broader responsibility and a real opportunity to make a difference. We’ve also seen demand from scaling tech companies, where the only barrier to growth is not being able to hire the talent fast enough.

Senior Roles- Search and Selection

The market for senior roles has been less busy than that at mid-level, as one might expect, however there have been a number of director level roles with an emphasis on brand, marketing, commercial, innovation, creative, digital and data leadership, from Board level to functional management.

Some of the international searches Alternatives Elect has been working on recently include a Commercial Director for a new Distillery, Executive Creative Director and MD for a new creative agency, Business Development Director, Commercial Marketing Director-B2B, Chief Marketing Officer, Innovation Director and Strategy Director, so varied opportunities do exist.

Clients are increasingly seeking real diversity as well as gender balance. We are passionate about diversity on every dimension and do our utmost ensure that our talent shortlists are curated to reflect it in all its forms.

Flexible Working

Companies and people continue to embrace flexible talent and remote & flexible working. The gig economy as it is often termed is now a mainstream way of operating. Hence it’s been a busy year for our Flexible Panel of interim managers, contractors and senior consultants, who are working on projects such as building out CX strategies and frameworks in organisations, new brand development in forecourts, new brand and product development in telcos, advising on the future corporate and internal communications strategy and best fit structure, developing differentiated brand and marketing strategies in FS.

We have seen demand for interim managers working across sectors at mid to very senior level on a project basis or covering maternity leave.

Significantly, we have seen a marked rise in demand in 2019 for marketing and digital executives with 2-5 years’ experience on a short term or project basis. Recruiting on a short term basis for this level can be extremely challenging due to the number of permanent roles open to this level and the wide choice of opportunities and companies need to be really realistic about what they have to offer and run very efficient recruitment processes. 

If you would like to discuss any of the above please contact Bernie Keogh at or check out Alternatives