Welcome to the (fashionably late) November edition of the Monthly Review.

Amongst other news this month, we’ll be looking at the difference between consumer and employer brands, how to attract and retain the best digital talent (no blank cheques required) and how we might consume advertising in the future (Clue: Think Minority Report)


Let's go!

10 Steps to Plan Your Employer Brand Activation Strategy

Ok, so I think we can agree that 2016 hasn’t been one of mankind’s finest years. But as another January rolls around, you should start to think about how you can make this year your best year yet.

One way of doing this is by jumpstarting your employer brand strategy.

Our very own VP of Inbound Marketing, James Ellis, has put together ten top tips based on research and examples spanning several different companies. There’s a heap of useful information here, including why we need to be thinking outside of the box when it comes to distribution. He argues that simply sharing your stories on Facebook and Twitter isn’t going to cut it in 2017 and suggests some other avenues for you to explore instead.

James also tackles why you should be taking Snapchat much more seriously and whether it’s really worth paying for promotion.

Employer Brand Vs Consumer Brand

Your employer brand is not the same as your consumer brand. Your consumer brand is what customers see. Your employer brand is how you are viewed as an employer, not just by existing employees, but potential candidates too.

To put this theory into practice, we can use Alfonso’s. The hypothetical, family-run, quirky little Italian place down the road, serving authentic Italian dishes (just like-a-mama used to make) and run by the adorable Alfonso and his sweet wife, Maria. The consumer brand is all about tradition: a warm and rustic Italian restaurant, serving delicious food and headed up by the dependable Alfonso and his wife.

But head out back to the kitchen to hear what employees are saying and it’s a very different story. The chefs moan about poor facilities and the waitressing team whine about unreasonable working conditions.

All of a sudden, Alfonso’s consumer brand and employer brand seem like worlds apart.

In this interview, Kirsten Davidson, Head of Employer Branding at Glassdoor explains why you should work towards aligning your consumer and employer brands. She also gives advice on the very first steps you can take to make sure you have an employer brand that’s worth shouting about. And uses an example of a business that is absolutely nailing it.

100% Today and 1% Every Day

Have you heard what Patagonia have done off the back of Black Friday?

The outdoor clothing specialists have pledged 100% of their Black Friday sale profits to small, local organisations that work tirelessly to improve the environment so the next generation can appreciate our wonderful planet. Patagonia recognises that the financial support they can provide is crucial for the success of community ongoing environmental projects.

This Black Friday donation isn’t just a one off.  Routinely, Patagonia give away 1% of sales profits to grassroots organisations (a figure that currently stands at $74million).

Find out more about onepercentfortheplanet.org and see how you can make a difference to your local community too.

Facebook and LinkedIn Job Opening Features

Facebook made yet another play into LinkedIn’s space with a new jobs feature that allows businesses to post job alerts onto their page and invite potential candidates to apply.  

Interested parties will submit their application through Facebook’s messaging system, although this raises the risk of job applications and regular messages getting muddled up.

Attracting and Retaining Talent in The Digital Age

According to a report from the House of Commons, published earlier this year, businesses are facing a digital skills crisis. Nothing new there then.

A surge in the need for digital talent has resulted in this skills gap costing the UK economy £63bn a year in lost additional GDP.

It’s a frightening figure, but there are ways that companies can hang onto their best talent. One of the most interesting strategies the article highlights is, ‘mining your own organisation for hidden talent’.

By assessing the talent that already exists in your organisation, you can see what existing skills can be built upon to best match the competencies that are in demand. Employees can be up-skilled and move laterally in the organisation, incentivising them to stay.

Google's collaborative workspace in their Soho office

It’s also worth considering employee share schemes. These have already been adopted by large organisations, such as P&G, Google and Amazon. Employee share schemes allow candidates to rotate around businesses, working on projects. Not only does this keep employees engaged and exposes them to new experiences, it allows businesses to welcome workers in who will have a fresh perspective on projects and the wider business.


Remember Minority Report? Every blink produced a different advert to the blinker, depending on where they were and what they were doing.

Back in 2002, that kind of technology felt like light years away, if it would ever materialise at all, so you might be surprised to find out that it’s arrived. Well, sort of.

The guys at Wired headed onto the London Underground to road test, or rather underground test, special eye tracking goggles. The goggles and the tech that goes with them takes the Minority Report scenario one step further.

Rather than just solely presenting suitable adverts, the tech utilises changes in temperature to skin, analysing this data and then builds a picture of the viewer’s thoughts and feelings as they look at certain adverts, signs and objects.

John Lewis

No November update would be complete without a nod to this year’s John Lewis Christmas advert.

Reader, I’m not talking about the Animals of Farthing Wood trampoline reunion, here - I’m talking about the non-official-John-Lewis-advert-that-everyone-thought was official: The Snowglobe, created by 18-year-old student, Nick Jablonka, as part of his A Level coursework.

The Snowglobe bears the hallmarks of all the best John Lewis adverts, which are always served with lashes of whimsical sentiment. In fact, The Snowglobe gained such admiration, that many viewers thought it was the genuine thing.

And *whispers* some even say it’s better than the real John Lewis ad. (But don’t tell #BustertheBoxer.)

The public lauded Nick’s digital skills and off the back of The Snowglobe, creative agency W communications, offered him a position at their agency, based in London for him to start now or when he completes his degree.

So that brings our November Review to an end. What are your thoughts on virtual reality advertising? Is this the future of advertising? What about hard and soft skills? Do the findings in this article match what’s in demand at your workplace?

Let me know what you think on Twitter or in the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Bids & Marketing Executive

Josie co-ordinates TMP's marketing efforts across Europe. She is responsible for managing EmployerBrand.com, implementing the agency's social strategy and co-ordinating events around the UK and across Europe.