Your Customers Changed. Did Your Marketing?

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Tue, Nov 04, 2014 @ 10:55 AM

Tags: content, adapt, agile, agility, marketing, marketer, environment, process, customer, experience, team, success, change, platforms, executing, strategies, roles, organization, solution, people

 

whoami 

 

Contributed by Guest Blogger, Shawn Herring, VP of Marketing, Proof HQ

The evolution of customer experience is a topic that marketers cannot ignore any longer. It seems as if customers are exposed to a new way of doing something, finding something, or interacting with someone on a daily basis. From a customer standpoint, this is great. From a marketers standpoint, this poses an opportunity for some and a problem for others. What makes the difference between a marketer seeing the glass half full or half empty when it comes to customer experience? Their marketing agility.

Before we dive in, what are some macro-level changes causing changes in customer experience?

  • Global smartphone usage increasing more than 25% from the year before
  • More than 74% of adults online are now using social networking
  • Content production is continuing on an explosive growth curve

The constant change in mobility, connection, and content gives you an ever-growing number of ways to gather data and engage as a marketer. This can happen in real-time and either confirm that your plans are headed in the right direction, or tell you it’s time to “tweak” what you wanted to do. If you have the ability to capitalize on this, then you are clearly at an advantage. This is where agility becomes paramount.

After stepping back and looking at how agile marketers have responded to the ever-changing environment, most marketing teams are focusing on three core areas: people, processes, and platforms. Each area requires a different type of adjustment that has internal and external implications, so there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution that everyone can implement. It must be tailored to each company’s objectives, target market, and resources.

PEOPLE

Marketing teams are taking on more responsibilities and the roles are becoming more specialized. When you look around at your own marketing team, you should be able to see it. Is everyone on the team capable of making changes to the website, running a trade show event, designing graphics, and writing up thought leadership? If your answer is, “yes, everyone on my team could do that,” my challenge to you would be — should they? 

Each marketing channel, especially in digital, requires a depth of knowledge in order to make it truly effective. People should know WHAT they are doing, WHY they are doing it, and HOW they do it. More often than not, managers are providing the WHAT and WHY, while waiting for the generalists to figure out the HOW. Without specialization, generalists are having to figure out the HOW every time they attempt to complete the task / initiative. Thus giving you both an inefficient process and ineffective results.

My recommendation — Figure out how each person on your marketing team can specialize in a function that is tied to your overall marketing objectives. It will pay off in both the short and long term.

PROCESS

When the environment around people changes, it inherently changes how they work with others (i.e. the process). The manner in which today’s marketing organizations plan, iterate, and execute on projects has already changed and is not going to stop any time soon. Why does this matter? Because it increases the potential of friction between people.

By definition, more friction means more resistance. Friction is increased when you constantly try to do the same thing over and over while everything else is changing. The result is poor quality, increased rework, and/or missed deadlines. Instead, look at each initiative through a new lens and determine what needs to change with your process based on the other variables impacting it.

My recommendation - Reduce friction by assigning specific responsibilities to people and have a plan that is adapted to the current initiative. Never accept the response “this is how we have always done it.”

PLATFORMS

When you begin to understand who should be working on something (i.e. the people) and how they should be doing it (i.e. the process), you can now work toward automating it. From marketing operations all the way through the creative process, there are software solutions designed to streamline specific solutions.

So if there are solutions for all types of problems that marketers are facing, what is the issue? Picking the right solution to implement, not just the familiar one. Everyone has heard the phrase, “If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail.” This is the unfortunate truth when executing on marketing strategies. Teams constantly try to figure out how to make their existing systems work to fit the new and evolving needs of the people and processes. Since it is hard to justify allocating resources away from immediate top line growth, teams absorb the inefficiencies. If it is not addressed, this inefficiency builds project after project until… well, you know where I am heading with it.

My recommendation - Once you specialize roles (or at least certain functions) and begin implementing a process that is adapted for each project, look for a system that fits your specific team needs. Do not settle.

Becoming more agile in today’s marketing environment is imperative. Marketing agility is a must have as teams are required to know more, do more, in less time, and achieve better results. By taking a proactive approach to your people, processes, and platforms, your team’s ability to capitalize on the new customer experience is significantly improved. 


Why You Need to Manage Your Social Media Images the Right Way, Right Now

Posted by NAPC Marketing on Fri, Aug 01, 2014 @ 11:22 AM

Tags: database, social network, social media, DAM, digital asset management, content, search, images, Google Images, CMS, BAM, CDN, Community Managers, Bloggers, photos, photography, search engine, subject matter, digital assets

digital asset management

Not too long ago, a Community Manager for a large and popular company grabbed an image off the web and posted it. “Well?” you wonder, “What’s so news-worthy about that? We do that all the time, where I work.” Turns out, that image was not in the slightest what that person thought it was. Not only was it not a colorful image depicting an historic U.S. celebration, but rather a tragic moment of national horror captured on film.

No doubt, by the time the news broke and a sick feeling started to sink in with the company’s CEO, that Community Manager was already long gone. It’s a guarantee that he or she will never work in their industry again. But that was just the beginning. The ripple effect from that one seemingly insignificant event cascaded a torrential wave of hate and doubt on the entire company, brand and all. Stocks plummeted, jobs were lost and a reputation was forever marred.

Whether this company will ever, ever regain any credibility remains to be seen, as they will forever be Googled as the company that royally f*%# up.

And all of this happened simply because they did not have a system in place for gathering, organizing and storing images for their social media.

Blindly entering criterion into a search engine like Google Images is just not the way. You’ve got to properly mind your store. And if you’re not the one managing your database of photography, then you need to set firm guidelines for the person who is.

Blogs, Facebook, Twitter...sound familiar? If you use them (and of course you do), then you need to set yourself up immediately under any one of these solutions; Content Management System (CMS), Digital Asset Management (DAM), Brand Asset Management (BAM), or Content Delivery Network (CDN).

These can help you safely and effectively create a stockpile of amazing images that are just what you need, ready at a moment’s notice. No more guessing what they are, or where they came from. No more last-minute, frantic searches.

If only that Community Manager had known, we’d have an entirely different theme for this blog.

But sometimes it takes a mega-error to help us reflect upon what we’re doing, and not doing right.

Stop the risk here and now.

Find your perfect digital management solution.