As a continuation of our leadership talks, Grace Blue were delighted to welcome Russ Shaw to our office this week. The founder of Tech London Advocates & Global Tech Advocates talked us through the fast-changing tech landscape and the importance of marketing and brand positioning to companies in this sector.
Coming off the back of a very successful London Tech week, the UK remains one of the world’s leading centres for technology. Indeed, the UK and London already accounts for over half of the 72 tech unicorns globally (a unicorn being a privately held start-up company valued at over $1 billion) with UK examples including Deliveroo, Revolut, and Monzo. In addition, the UK is the number one Fintech hub globally, and has a very fast-growing footprint including Deep Tech (AI, Robotic learning), Retail and Creative Tech. Current Prime Minster Theresa May predicts that UK tech companies are set to attract more than £1.2billion inward investment from around the world this year, its clear the sector will continue to grow in importance to the UK economy.
Given the UK’s future success is integrally linked to the success of our tech businesses, Russ outlined how the most successful entrepreneurs, brands and investors will put marketing at the very heart of their business. UK tech businesses must have strong brand and customer propositions in order to succeed on the world stage.
Testament to this, over the last few years we have witnessed a real shift in what technology brands, start-ups and platforms are looking for in their leadership offering. Increasingly, tech companies are recognising the value of bringing in leaders from outside of the immediate tech fraternity. Nicola Mendelsohn joining Facebook was one of the first marquee examples of this shift. The critical experience requirements of these fast-emerging tech companies include deep understanding of brand / customer proposition, change agents, commercial leaders and true innovators. To find these tech companies should be open to leadership talent which has the desire to migrate from different sectors – media, entertainment companies, agencies, FMCG brands – meaning complementary skills can be brought in to best effect.
As the UK tech sector grows, so too will the number of great leadership roles within these new businesses that will shape our future. The people that fill those roles though will increasingly come from other sectors of our leadership talent pool – all smart senior leadership teams looking to turbo-charge their businesses with brilliant branding will have their eyes open to this.