MAD Perspectives Blog

Let Your Customers Help You Tell Your Story

Peggy Dau - Monday, May 17, 2010

Once upon a time...  These are the infamous words that start many a fairy tale.  But, it is also mean we about to hear a story.  George Lucas used similar words to launch a trilogy and then a prequel of stories about a galaxy far far away.  His Star Wars movies are considered some of the best stories of my generation.

We read stories to our kids before bedtime.  We go to the movies to become enthralled with drama, comedy, horror or adventure stories.  We go online to watch webisodes of programs created specifically for Internet consumption. How do you tell your story? The most common methods have been to write product briefs, whitepapers, case studies and press releases.  However, the past few years have shown that customers want to be part of the story.  The ability for customers to comment on products, blogs, facebook or twitter, has give customers a greater share of your public face.

This is good news! Your customers have a unique perspective of your company and it's products or services.  I've learned a lot about how to tell my story, both personal and professional, by listening to my partners and customers.  My customers want me to tell my story in a way that integrates with their PR strategy.  That's ok for me, my services are complimentary to the services offered by most PR firms and, in fact, should help drive incremental revenue for these firms. 

My customers want me to share my background in high tech and in communicating in B2B environments.  By including my background as a core part of my story, they realize that I can relate to the challenges they face.  They want to understand how I made the decision to leave corporate america and pursue independent consulting as this helps them understand my motivations.  They find comfort in understanding that I too, had to figure out how to tell my story, just as I'm helping them figure out what solutions will help them tell their story.

It's also about how to tell your story.  Do you tell you story on your company website?  Via your personal blog or industry analysts or in press releases or webinars or online video?  Depending on how your customer consumes information, your story can be told in many ways...and many times.

Listen to your customers.  They will provide you with great insights on what parts of your story are interesting to them, or not! They will help you prioritize your efforts and perhaps help you reduce some aspects of your marketing budget.  They will let you know who they listen to and perhaps influencers you should also listen to and influence.

Are your customers helping you tell your story?  Share your experiences with me!

What's your perspective?



Key Learnings from Marketing Profs B2B Forum 2010

Peggy Dau - Thursday, May 06, 2010

IMG_2522 by MarketingProfs Live.


I attended Marketing Profs B2B Forum 2010 in Boston this week.  For anyone seeking new ideas, validation, case studies, real life examples on how B2B companies are integrating social media into their overall marketing strategy - this is the event to attend!  (note:  I am not paid or in any way compensated by Marketing Profs).  While the event focuses on all aspects of B2B marketing (lead management/generation, SEO, Pipeline management, conversion rates, social media), I was most interested in the social media and content publishing topics.

The sessions were all led & hosted by B2B marketeers sharing their real life experiences.  Some key takeaways:

    - Align your social media strategy with your overall marketing strategy.  You've likely invested in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and defined keywords.  Incorporate those keywords into your social communication.  Align your overall editorial calendar.

    - Think about who your customers are and how they consume content. Do they want to read a detailed whitepaper or do they want a high level overview?   What part of the buying process are they in as they seek, access and consume content?

    - How do you track success of your marketing programs?  Do you invite feedback from your sales team and customers about the value of the content you  provide?

    - Think about how you can repurpose existing content into social media channels (i.e., blogs, tweets, slideshare, video).

    - Gain some insight into your company's social reputation as you define your strategy.  Who is mentioning your company or products online?  What and where are the sharing their thoughts?  Who are the key influencers in your industry and do they mention your company?

Humans are social.  Your employees are human. Ergo, your employees are social at least at a personal level.  They may enjoy being social, within company defined guidelines, on behalf of the company.  As a result you may learn more about external perceptions of your company that may help you refine your marketing strategy, communicate more effectively and positively influence the buying process.

The bottom line is that business buyers are investigating solutions to their business problems online, before they engage in active discussion with your sales team.   Your company has the opportunity to influence buyers via a wide variety of distribution channels.  Know your customer.  Know what content they need, when & where.  Adopt the right tools for the right conversation.

What's your perspective? 

 



Enterprise Video

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Video has been utilized by Fortune 500 companies for many years.  The benefits it provides are numerouse and number of vendor, providing video centric solutions to small, medium & large companies, continues to grow.  That said, many companies don't necessarily use video to its best advantage and/or don't measure the ROI or don't align their use of video with key goals. 

I'm a big fan of enterprise use of video as there is no other medium that provides the same value as video.  Video is far more memorable than text.  Studies show that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.   People remember 50% of what they see and hear vs. 10% of what they read. With that said, there are still many companies that don't have a strategy that incorporates video.

The Aberdeen Group recently released a complimentary report, "Business Class Video", that provides some excellent insights on how video is being utilized, what Best in Class companies are doing that differentiates them from the rest and recommendations for incorporating streaming video and/or video conferencing into your business strategy.  You can download the report on their website, but here are a few tidbits:

- 100% of Best-in-Class companies can measure the ROI for their video solutions vs. only 36% of Industry Laggards being able to measure ROI

- Learning & Development departments lead the way in the use of video solutions

- Lack of organized strategy is the top challenge for companies considring business video

This aligns with MAD Perspectives goals to help clients align their strategy for digital media with their business goals.  (And, in case you are wondering, there is no paid relationship between MAD Perspectives and The Aberdeen Group).  Defining relevant metrics (i.e., cost savings, reduced carbon footprint, qualified leads) based on the goal  (i.e., reduce travel, going green, increase sales) will enable companies to easily justify the investment in in-house, hosted or Saas video solutions.

Check out my FAQ section for more information on different types of video solutions and vendors.

Do you use video?  How do you incorporate video into your business?  Can you measure your ROI? 

What's your perspective? 



What was Hot or Not at NAB 2010?

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, April 21, 2010




I went to the NAB show in Las Vegas last week.  My reasons were twofold.  Reason #1 was to see what's new and intriguing in the technology addressing the broadcast and studio markets.  It is always exciting to see what's going on in this industry and as you can imagine, the buzz word was 3D!  In addition, there is a lot of attention being paid to multi-screen content consumption and how to enhance the online viewer experience.  As often happens, sports is the target market for a lot of the enhancements that will soon be available for online video.  ESPN has been a leader in how they incorporate technology into the viewing experience and many small vendors are uniquely focused on making the online experience as interesting and compelling as the living room experience.  Pay attention as local sports comes online.  By local, I mean the town little league teams or soccer/football teams.  It's exciting and accessible!

Why is this relevant for MAD Perspectives?  Well, what happens in the M&E space usually is adapted, in some way, by other industries.  while the demands from M&E are quite high, companies in healthcare, manufacturing, green tech, oil & gas and other industries are using video more frequently in their messaging and communication strategies.  In addition, video or imaging is increasingly a core part of their information gathering or business process.  Understanding where video trends are heading, can help these industries provide enriched services.  Imagine the benefits of 3D medical imagery!

What are some of the key things I learned?

-enabling multi-platform content consumption is HUGE (manage, encode, transude, protect, distribute, display)

- encoding bitrates have made big improvements (meaning, less bandwidth required for delivery of MPEG2, SD and HD content)

- telcos are FINALLY enabling CDN services (why let Akamai have all the fun?)

- 3D is super hot (and you shouldn't try to make a project if it wasn't shot that away originally, quality does matter)

- camera prices are decreasing, meaning UGC (user generated content) quality will improve


Reason #2 for heading out to Vegas was to check in with the myriad of vendors with whom I have relationships based on my past life at Hewlett-Packard.  I was interested to see what new products they had to offer but also to understand why they don't leverage digital media more effectively in the way they tell their story online.  These are vendors who live in the digital media market.  Their solutions focus on every nuance of the moving image, yet only a few of them tweet, blog or even use video on their websites.  These companies have interesting and compelling stories about how they have solved problems of encoding, content management, broadcast automation, storage, asset management, content distribution and more.  They understand the power of video.  They understand the importance of personal relationships.  Yet, they haven't "crossed the chasm" to utilize various digital media solutions available to them to make their stories come alive.

I think the challenge for many of these companies is the understanding of how to leverage social media, in particular, in a B2B market.  We all understand social media as a person to person medium and have even seen the benefits in B2C markets.  Yet, B2B lags behind.  This is primarily due to:

- lack of time and resource - many companies have thinned their marketing staffs and are concerned about the time it may take to tweet or blog

- risk management - companies fear employees misrepresenting the company, sharing confidential information, or exposing compone networks to viruses

- traditional marketing mindset - these companies are still in a push marketing mode where they control the message

I believe we will see a shift in B2B adoption of digital media to tell their story as we move through the next couple years.  The economy is slowly turning, as evidenced by the increased attendance at NAB this year vs. 2009.  I think we are also seeing other indicators (i.e., strong earnings reports, flat unemployment, upward movement in the stock market).

Yes, it takes time to define a digital media strategy.  However, your customers are spending more time online researching, learning and comparing solutions.  You need to be memorable and share your story in a meaningful way.  You need to reach out to your customers via the channels that they use (and the "millennials" are visual and social). 

What's your perspective?



Managing through the Digital Transition

Peggy Dau - Thursday, March 18, 2010

I was at the Digital Hollywood/Business Week 2010 Media Summit, in NYC, last week.  I was inspired by the thoughtful comments from keynote speakers and panelists.  The mainstays of the NY media industry (advertising, publishing and broadcast) are all in the midst of great upheaval as the internet, online video and social media pose challenges to their traditional business models.  I've become a huge fan of the NY Times for reasons far beyond having been a dedicated reader since I was a child.  While advertising and broadcast are faced with ongoing monetization challenges, they already leveraged the concept of a "network".  However, the newspaper biz is a truly analog business.  We consumer content by buying a physical product, get ink stains on our hands and recycle the product after consumption.

The demise of the newspaper business has been debated for several years and many papers have had to close their doors in the last few years.  There is no argument that the model must change and in full recognition of this, The New York Times dedicates a large portion of its R&D budget (YES, they have a R&D group!!) to digital.  The New York Times is focused on leveraging existing and emerging digital channels to reach their customers (and allow their customers to reach them).  The lessons they are learning as they evolve are meaningful for the publishing industry brethren but also for non-media industry businesses challenged by the plethora of digital media options available to them.

I would like to share a few of my takeaways for their keynote:

- Stay true to your customers.  Remember what you have promised be it innovation, quality, integrity, entertainment, reliability, humor, etc.
- Your content should support your promise.
- New Media is an opportunity, invest in it.  Define a 3-5 year plan.  Yes, it will change as new platforms, technology and cultural standards shift.
- Acknowledge what you don't know - it's OK!
- Alternative business models will continue to emerge but profit is still the bottom line
- Keep an open mind:  test, learn, adapt

There are pros and cons to sticking with what's tried and true versus jumping on the latest technology bandwagon.  Take the time (but don't get stuck in analysis paralysis) to figure out how these technologies can benefit your business.  Thanks New York Times Company for being a role model!

What's your perspective?




Social Media facilitates customer retention

Peggy Dau - Monday, March 15, 2010

Last week I talked about how social media can facilitate the sales process.  Let's take that one step further and talk about how digital media can help you improve customer retention.  We touched on the topic of customer support as part of the sales process.  This topic is even more critical when it comes to customer loyalty.  A happy customer can become your best advocate

What is a happy customer?  Simply put it is customer who have not defected to a competitor.  It is customers who intend to purchase more goods and services from you.  It is a customer willing to recomment your company and its products to others.  It is a customer making incremental purchases or increasing their average order size.  It is a customer sustaining customer support or renewing their warranty.

business people by Business Planning Software.

What does customer support entail?

Customer support is more than enabling customers to contact you when they have a problem.  Customer support is getting ahead of the curve and proactively notifying customers when their are issues, product changes, special offers, in person events and more.  The goal once you have attained a new customer is to encourage them to buy more or for your cusomters to recommend you to their business colleagues and partners.

A few facts about B2B buyers:

- they depend of 3rd party feedback in purchase decisions
- they want to be part of the product or solution development process
- they trust colleague opinions particularly where those colleagues are using the target product or service

How does social media fit here?  Social media = an objective 3rd party opinion.  In addition, social media allows and enables real-time interaction.  It fosters an environment to inform while building trust and creditbility.  Whether it is a LinkedIn group around a specific category of product or the customer support forum on your company website, ad hoc interaction with your existing customers allows you to get honest feedback regarding customer satisfaction, IT needs, purchasing plans.  Companies can use social platforms to alert customers to supply chain issues, product releases, training sessions and more.  Being proactive is an element of the authenticity often mentioned around social media.

Your ability to LISTEN to your customers as they participate in online forums or to invite their feedback regarding product performance or features, enhances the relationship. Extend your conversation with your customer beyond the actual sale. Acknowledge, respond and champion their involvement.  It can turn customers into influencers of product roadmap and new purchasers.  Social platforms allow companies to have direct, immediate and interactive communication with many accounts.  Take advantage of these tools to sustain your customer base.

What's your perspective?





Sales and Social Networking

Peggy Dau - Monday, March 08, 2010

The art of selling has evolved over the years, but the basic premise is unchanged.  A company has a product or service that it sells to its customers.  The product is sold directly or via a channel such as a retailer, reseller or the internet.  The goal for both the direct or indirect channel is to get to the key decision makers or influencers for the entity buying the product.  Once they have identified this decision maker, they want to provide them with the facts about their product that differentiate it from its competitors, fulfill the needs of the customer, and address extemporaneous goals. How has social networking helped or hindered the sales process?

The past 10 years have seen the internet accepted as both a sales channel and an information portal.  For the sake of this discussion, we are not going to focus on sales via the internet.  We will focus on the traditional sales model of a sales person calling upon an established set of accounts.  Many sales people that I have spoken with are aware of social media, but mostly from the consumer perspective.  Their initial thought is that social media is Twitter and that all it is a random set of meaningless thoughts. They may be on LinkedIn, but they are uncertain as to its benefits other than as a "virtual Rolodex".   Given that sites like Twitter,Facebook or YouTube did evolve from a individuals point of view rather than a business perspective, it is understandable that sales personnel may have some concerns.

In addition to some healthy scepticism, there is also a cultural issue.  Many successful sales people are successful because they have built strong relationships with their customers.  They have wined and dined, played golf or attended sporting events.  They have built business based social relationships. they feel that social media is not personal due to the lack of face to face interaction.  However, the new breed of sales will include those very individuals around whom these social platforms were built.  These millenials are familiar with the tools and understand the potential.  As many sales people have adapted to CRM (customer relationship management) software and updated order processing and order management systems  they will now figure out how, where and why to use social media.

Shaking hands by mr.curtispope.

Here are a few thoughts:

1.  Listen to what your existing and potential customers are saying online.

It is extremely likely that your clients are online.  They are exploring websites, industry forums, blogs, customer support pages and social networking sites to learn more about the vendors they work with.  As a sales person, you can gain insight into their pet peeves, challenges and concerns by "listening" to what they are saying online.  Using tools such as Google Alerts, you can define keywords around topics such as your company and its products plus the names of your current or prospective clients.  You will be able to see, at least at a high level, what content your client is placing online as it relates to your company.

In addition you can perform searches is Twitter and Facebook, again using keywords, to see what they are talking about.  If you want to get more sophisticated, there are subscription based tools from Radian6, TelligentVisible Technologies and others.  Once you have these tools set up, the time investment to scan the news becomes a habit rather than a huge time commitment.  Remember, 20 years ago email was not present in the corporate sector and now our email in boxes are packed while voicemail has reduced.

BTW, you can also listen for information about your competitors!

2. Find key decision makers and influencers

Many of us are familiar with a rolodex, business contact, or CRM systems.  We collect business cards from our client, at networking events or trade shows.  We follow up on those with whom we had compelling conversations and we hold onto the rest of these cards.  The goal is to have a suite of contacts with whom we can pursue business. 

In addition, sales people often have primary contacts within a business that are in purchasing, IT or marketing, but they may not be the key decision makers.  they may not even be influencers.    Most sales people will leverage their primary contacts to increase their visibility within the account, with the goal to gain access to these decision makers.  Of course, if you can get inside the head of these decision makers you can shorten the sales cycle and win more business.  Social networks can help with this process.  Using LinkedIn as an example and remembering the theory of six degrees of separation, your LinkedIn contacts may be connected to that key decision maker you desire to meet.  An introduction from a business colleague who can speak to your experience and reputation, from a trusted contact, can go a long way to easing that first conversation.  In fact, LinkedIn can give you a little insight into their background and what makes them tick.

3. Educate your customers

Part of the sales process always includes providing updated information about your company and its products.  With increasing focus on managing travel expenses, sales people can become frustrated by not being able to be in front of their customers as often as they like.  An alternative mechanism to sharing information with clients is to use podcast and webcasts to provide information.  They enable the company to share information to broad audience in a cost effective manner, while enabling potential customers to interact and ask questions during the presentation.  In addition, in many cases, the information is available for a limited period in an on-demand manner, allowing customers to access the information as their schedules permit.

If this solution is deemed too impersonal, then think about the incredible advances in video conferencing.  At the low end their are simple, free (yet not secure) tools such as Skype.  On the high end their are video conference environments such as Cisco Telepresence or HP Halo that visually connect participants in virtual conference rooms using advance camera, lighting and networking technologies.

In addition, invite your customers to join LinkedIn groups, company blogs, RSS feeds, etc.,  that may be sponsored by your company.  The goal - make it easy for your customers to get the information they need!

4. Customer Service

It is often the case that once the product or service is sold, that the sales person moves onto the next opportunity.  This is understandable.  However, in today's world where social networking is so prevalent, it is important to keep your customer's happy.  An unhappy customer will tell 10 colleagues about a bad experience, while only telling 3 colleagues about a positive experience.  Sales people need to stay in touch with customer service.  If your company has a customer service forum, check in to see if your customers are participating and at what level.  Are they satisfied?  Are they facing a challenge? 

Happy customers are loyal customers and will recommend you to others.  Customer retention has become an increasing focus for many companies as their products and services become commoditized.  Your customers want to feel as if they have a voice.  Enabling them to participate in customer support forums, rewarding them for solution suggestions, listening and responding to their questions is all part of the extended sales process.

It's a new world for sales people.  They are faced with a broader view of their customer, but that's a two way street.  Their customers have access to far more information about vendors than ever before.  Social networking and digital media solutions can augment the sales process and facilitate access, education and support.  Make these tools are part of your daily habit!

I want to thank Chris Brogan and Joseph Jaffe for their insights on these topics.  Information in their blogs helped me solidify my thoughts.

What's your perspective?



Olympic Inspiration

Peggy Dau - Monday, March 01, 2010

Well, the Games of the 21st Winter Olympics are closed.  I'm sad.  It was a great two weeks of athletics, competition and digital media.  Hmmm...  You're wondering about that last bit.  I truly love the Winter Olympics.  I love the beautiful locations, the fabulously fit athletes (although I may have seen the beginnings of a beer belly on a bobsledder), and the edge of your seat competition.  This year, more so than any previous Olympics, we were able to experience the Olympics on TV, Internet and social networks. NBC is the official U.S.  broadcast network.  Not only did they provide coverage on TV, but we could also follow events, blogs, and twitter feeds at www.nbcolympics.com.  We could become fans via Facebook.  They invited us to participate in the games, virtually.

In addition, we could find a perhaps more global view from the International Olympic Committee on their site, www.olympic.com; on Facebook and Twitter.  And, of course, we could interact with our favorite athletes as they tweeted and posted comments.  For those of us who could not (or did not want) to go to Vancouver, we were able to feel a little bit closer thanks to online videos and the instant and honest comments made by attendees and athletes.  We could commiserate in their disappointments or celebrate in their achievements.  We could share our own thoughts with friends and fans as our favorites pursued their dreams.

I've always felt the Olympic games were a phenomenal opportunity for international sport, but always felt a bit removed (except in 1988 when I was lucky enough to go to the Calgary winter games - what a great experience!).  Perhaps this is how customers have felt about the companies from whom they purchase products.  They can admire the company and its products, but never feel like they have a true connection.  They can speak to their sales representative and ask questions about features, functionality, benefits, manufacturing, etc, but they don't have any influence.  Digital media through the use of online video and interactive webinars, social networks to enhance communication and connectivity or customer support forums to prioritize and address key issues, allow companies and customers to have a voice.  Companies become more approachable and customers have an increasing number of communication avenues.

Let's be inspired by the Olympians and their fabulous experiences and by the Olympics themselves as they continue to become more interactive.  My congatulations and thanks to EVERY athlete who participated in Vancouver, each of you provided 2 weeks of inspiration!

What's your perspective?



Developing a 360º Perspective

Peggy Dau - Tuesday, February 16, 2010

As I was watching the women’s mogul skiing competition at the Winter Olympics on Saturday, I saw how they bounced down the moguls, taking great care to maintain the correct form.  Then they would flip head over heels with in layout positions or skis crossed or spin 360º, only to land and ski through more bumps.  I thought about how companies struggle to integrate digital media solutions into a 360º interaction with customers.  What do I mean by this?  I’m thinking about how companies reach out to their customers or business partners via their website, press releases, events, in-person or online training or customer support.  There are new solutions for managing your access to or accessibility by customers, emerging every day.

Does digital media make this easier?  Harder?  Or just more confusing?  Hopefully it makes it easier, but it does require some thinking on several topics.  First, think about who your customers are and how they prefer to consume content.  While face to face meetings are always preferred, depending on the information being shared it can be equally effective, and less costly, to reach a geographically dispersed or broad range of customers through live and on-demand webinars.  What level of interaction do they prefer?  While some webinar solution allow for instant messaging or audio interaction, others don’t.  Or, perhaps a webinar is too broad and complementing in person meetings with video conferencing makes more sense.

Second, think about the kind of information you are sharing.  We have been in the mode of pushing content, through formal, relatively static channels, to our customer and business partners.  With the variety of solutions now available, we are increasingly sharing content in a more casual manner.   How can the information being shared be best presented?  A simple, concise press release can inform a very wide audience, but does not allow for interaction.  On the other hand, using social networking platforms, to reinforce the press release and listen for feedback, does enable interaction.  The goal is to strike a balance across the variety of communication channels. 



Simplistically, you can consider the following
         
  •  Company website:  informative content about your company and its products
  • Press Release:  announce compelling news about your company, its products, partnerships, customers or   executives   
  • Interactive Marketing:  online advertising and promotion of your company
  • Online Video:  one way communication of information about your company and its products
  • Webinars:  communicate targeted content about the company and its products with the ability for structured   interaction between the presenter(s) and participants
  • Video conferencing:  live interaction between a defined set of participants; enable geographically dispersed participants to meet more frequently
  • Events:  targeted representation of your company and its products based on the focus of the event; enable face to face contact
  • Social Networking:  less formal communication with a broad audience with the ability for immediate feedback

    • How do you connect with your customers and partners? Who and where are they?  Where are your competitors and how are they connecting?   How does each element of a communication strategy enable you to connect or collaborate more effectively?  Think about developing a strategy to allow your customers or partners to get a 360º perspective of your business.  In return, you will gain a 360º view of your customers and their needs.
    • What’s your perspective?

     



    Adjusting your Organization Structure with Digital Media

    Peggy Dau - Monday, February 01, 2010

    So you’re thinking about jumping on the Enterprise 2.0 bandwagon.  You’re not only thinking about incorporating social networking into your marketing plan, you are thinking about how Web 2.0 and social networking platforms can facilitate the way you do business.  You may be thinking about enhancing your customer support capabilities through customer support forums.   Or, you may be considering how you can create an internal social network to simplify the ways employees connect, collaborate and communicate with each other.  Or, you may be considering a plethora of other ways that you can enhance the way your business works.

    If you believe that Web 2.0 tools and platforms can help your business, you are right!  However, be prepared to invest the necessary time to build a strategy and consider the organizational impact.  OK, now you’re thinking, am I biting off more than I can chew?  No!  It’s only that in many ways implementing these solutions can change the way your current business processes work.  In fact, it can streamline many of them.  This is why it is important to think about how these solutions may change existing formal or informal organizational structures and processes.

    The organizations that we work within have evolved based on number of norms.  These norms are institutional, social, community and individual.  They informally define how we process information and interact with others.  They are the underlying factors that drive the structure of an organization   Look at the differences between how Baby Boomers and Gen Y work, learn and motivate:

     

    Baby Boomer (born:  1946- 1964)

    Gen Y (born: 1978-1994)

    Work Style

    Time management

    Multi-tasking

    Learning Style

    Instruction

    Experience

    Collaboration

    Collaborative

    Independent (resists collaboration)

    Motivations

    Independence

    Competition

    View on Authority

    Respect for others is earned

    Respect for Authority

    Structure

    De-centralized, non-hierarchical

    Centralized, hierarchical

    Information Access

    Access for all

    Access to those in power

       Source:  http://ekarine.org/wp-admin/pub/IAMOT_DN_2008.pdf

    Today, much of corporate America reflects organizational structure and business processes that reflect the influence of the Baby Boomer mindset.  However, with the increasing adoption of digital media solutions which inherently broaden communication, increase collaboration and expand employee connectivity, traditional structures will need to adapt.  There has been much talk within the Fortune 100-500 in the past decade about the Adaptive Enterprise.  This term was coined by Stephan H. Haeckel in his 1999 book the Adaptive Enterprise.  Much of Haeckel’s theory resonates today when speaking of sense and respond organization.  However, have organizations really adopted employee empowerment,  de-centralized hierarchy and open communication, only to retrench to what is familiar and comfortable.

    Digital Media, through its use of video, instant messaging or chat and blogging, increases the capacity for any company to quickly understand shifting market trends, customer concerns, product adoption, technology innovation and more.  When moving forward with digital media solutions think about the impact on your information systems, organization culture, communication practices, employee abilities and reward structures. 

    The knowledge you can gain as a business and as an employee is increases dramatically when using social networks.  As the saying goes, “knowledge is power”.  Think about how to engage to gain beneficial insights and how this will shift the conversations in your business.  How will it impact your organizational structure?  How will it provide process improvement?  How will it improve employee productivity?

    What’s your perspective?