On a webinar I was listening to recently, one of the panelists masterfully summed up the future of digital marketing and communications when he said, “What [your customers/clients] want is everything…all the time…from any device.”
As a consultant on the front lines, I can assure you that most companies are not prepared to deliver on this requirement.
But, that doesn't mean they are out of the game entirely.
Even if you work at a company that is stuck in the dark ages, there is always something you can do to start moving into the light.
While the suggestions below are very, very broad, tackling them can at least start you down the road to becoming a more innovative, customer-centric and social business, prepared for this "everything/all the time/any device" reality.
Silos were created for a very good reason -- they provide employees with comfort, security and a distinct sense of purpose. But sadly, in a world that moves and changes quickly, your employee's false sense of comfort, security and purpose are luxuries that are no longer productive or profitable.
While simply abandoning silos is easier said than done, at least start dismantling them by looking at your brand’s external-facing content more holistically to see if you can at least make it flow more easily between silos.
In an always on, two-way communication environment, it is no longer possible (or practical) to put conversations on hold to go debate in an all-staff meeting what you’d like to say in return. Communications increasingly moves at the speed of real-time. You're going to need to move that fast, too.
While simply "moving faster" is easier said than done, at least start identifying and addressing the time-wasters in your company and think of ways you can use technological tools to eliminate them.
The future will belong to those companies who are able to improvise and explore. And, as any good improv performer or explorer will tell you, 50% of every journey involves falling flat on your face.
While simply "accepting mistakes" is easier said than done, at least start desensitizing your company to small mistakes by putting them in a larger context and measuring your rate of successes, too.
With the rise in two-way communications channels, consumers increasingly feel like they should have a seat at your brand’s table, (whether you want them there or not) and access to you whenever they have needs or questions about your brand, (whether at home or on the go.)
While simply "giving them a seat at the table" is easier said than done, at least let your customers/clients know that you care about their needs by making your communications more two-way in nature and more findable online.
Those of us who study digital communications all day, every day can barely keep up with the changes. So, chances are, your employees -- who are sitting in 3-4 status meetings a day and spending their remaining time cleaning out overflowing email in-boxes -- are going to fall behind the learning curve.
While simply "investing in education and training" for everyone is easier said than done, at least start providing external facing staff members with more support to deal with a rapidly changing playing field.
Obviously, these suggestions are just the tip of the innovation iceberg (any one of these five points could be fodder for a blog post in its own right.) Do you have others to add?
I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator, and speaker with more than 30 years of professional experience. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.