21 November 2019

Digital Cloud Marketing: the skills needed to be competitive on the market

We speak with Antonio Grillo, Managing Director of the Digital Cloud Marketing area of mashfrog Group.

Being competitive in the new economy

In today's digital economy, businesses depend on the effective use of technology not only to support ongoing business processes, but also to guide new sources of competitive differentiation. 
Digital Cloud Marketing is a sector that has been growing exponentially in recent years, and the web is now an indispensable channel for reaching customers.
The figures. Some data emerging from a recent Istat survey show the extent of the phenomenon well. The research concerns the e-commerce, retail and e-learning sectors, and provides us with extremely important data to help understand the direction in which Italian companies are moving. In 2018 alone, the costs and investments in the digital marketing sector grew by almost 80%. This figure really underscores the extent of the phenomenon. 
Italian companies are making increasingly important investments in digital marketing, which is finally being seen as the present and future in terms of increasing profitability and economic growth. 
In these cases, the channels and approaches are united by the need to acquire new customers. 
At present, the most innovative companies are acting in this landscape, with increasing attention being paid to details that, until a few years ago, were seen as something unnecessary or even superfluous. 

Living and leading the change

The sector employs professionals with very different backgrounds: from IT technicians to economists, from graduates in Literature and Communication to engineers.
In the era of new emerging professions, such as Digital Transformation Managers, we wanted to address some of the important issues with Antonio Grillo, Digital Cloud Marketing Managing Director of mashfrog Group. 
Antonio began his professional career in mashfrog in 2009 as a PhD student and over the past 10 years he held various roles, ranging from collaborator to Project Manager, from Operation Manager to TMP Administrator, until eventually taking on the leadership of a core business area for the company. As well as his own important personal and professional growth, Antonio also lived through the most significant transformations of the Group during this decade, including the evolution of the labour market and the digital business. 

What is Digital Cloud Marketing?

At mashfrog, we use the term Digital Cloud Marketing to mean a broad spectrum of skills aimed at ensuring complete control of our clients' digital needs in relation to their stakeholders, whether they may be employees, end customers, investors, etc. To meet these needs, mashfrog has created various areas of expertise, such as communications, front-end marketing development and back-end development. These work together synergistically to complete the tasks entrusted to us successfully.

The main responsibility of this area's Managing Director, Antonio tells us, is "to guarantee that the technical and management skills of the professionals who comprise the mashfrog workforce are not only adequate for what the market asks of us today, but also for what will ask of us in the future." 

The role can be summarised in 3 keywords: 
• Identification: "to recognise the best potential in technology and people undergoing continuous change." 
• Evolution: "to prepare and guide people through growth pathways aimed at developing skills and competences consistent with the company's strategic direction." 
• Expression: "to create and maintain the necessary conditions that allow the skills and competences to take on value for our customers and therefore for the company."

What are the main complexities of your role today?

The company has consistently forced me out of my comfort zone by progressively modifying the perimeter of my competence. Every time I felt that I had control over the responsibilities entrusted to me, the perimeter shifted, training my ability to dominate change. The complexity I am faced with today is completely different from that of the early days. In addition to the technological component that monopolised the challenges before, the relational component has progressively taken on importance, both with internal and external people, significantly increasing the complexity.

In which direction is digital business evolving?

The world in general has a very high absolute speed, but the world in which mashfrog works is moving even faster. The global macrotrends will have a very marked effect on the business of tomorrow, and predicting winning models this far in advance is a very difficult task. 

I personally believe that the ability to succeed will be increasingly linked to dynamism. Being dynamic requires going beyond the ability to see change by adding the need to dominate the change. 

In order to do this, it is not enough to understand how the world will be tomorrow, but rather how the competitive landscape mashfrog will be acting in will react to this change.

How is a winning team formed?

The area for which I am responsible has a vital need for professionals who are perfectly aligned with the group's DNA. Technical skills are fundamental in a group that operates within the technological sector, but it is crucial they are also accompanied by relational skills. Building a company's success by only focussing on soloists is unthinkable. Success must always be seen as an expression of a collective effort. Awareness of this plurality is of vital importance for a professional starting out in their professional career, and I believe it is the first accomplishment to strive for once their education has been completed.

What is the secret to remaining competitive on the market?

Mashfrog Group is now an international OneCompany with offices in three continents and a turnover exceeding 30 million euros. It includes startups and companies that have distinguished themselves on the Italian and international markets because of their diversified skills and the interdisciplinary approach they take in relation to one another. 

The mashfrog formula can be summarised with the word "balance". The challenge that the group faces every day is precisely that of making both dimensions coexist in one single space. The solidity and reliability of a large company must coincide with the dynamism and initiative of an innovative micro-enterprise. The secret is to ensure that these two souls intermingle in a healthy and profitable way by ensuring that the methodical approach of large companies is balanced with the spark of innovative micro-enterprises.