It’s fair to say the effects of the recession on the financial services market in the North of England were akin to those of a large neutron bomb. With the major employers fleeing, key regional players such as Alliance and Leicester forced into surrendering to takeovers and mass redundancies becoming the norm, we had a fully-blown general retreat on our hands. As growth was stunted across the region, the financial services landscape was left almost completely barren. But when the night is at its darkest, the dawn is approaching...and that dawn has now arrived, bringing with it investment, growth and renewed hope.
After the bombardment, the banks, insurers and niche FS organisations are starting to put that market back together again. Indeed, the last year has seen them rebuilding their marketing, product and digital teams, inch by inch, brick by brick, person by person.
Just as the economic outlook in the North is starting to look more positive, so are the prospects for financial services marketers. As the counterattack gathers momentum, opportunities are increasingly abundant for everyone from foot soldiers to generals. Whether you’re a junior or middle manager, or a senior head of department or director, your region needs you.
Indeed, certain skills are particularly in demand in this brave new world. As FS organisations seek to identify, understand and exploit consumer trends and make sense of the recovering market around them, they’re increasingly looking to recruit candidates with technical skill sets including product management, proposition management and research.
If you’re an FS marketer who’s been hiding away underground with your dreams put on hold while you wait for the bombs to stop dropping, now might be the perfect time to dust yourself off, emerge from the darkness and fight back. As the haze of uncertainty over the North of England fades away, those opportunities will start to become more and more visible as 2014 progresses. First it was about surviving, now it’s about rebuilding – for employers and for job seekers alike.