MAD Perspectives Blog

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?



    Aligning your Digital Media Strategy

    Peggy Dau - Monday, January 25, 2010

    Is there any other word other than “align” that says what we mean when we say align or alignment?  We know implicitly that when we use this term, that something is out of sync.  It could be goals, people, things, projects, budgets or tactics.  A colleague of mine, Kristin Kaufman of Alignment Inc., provides leadership coaching techniques to align individuals and teams to an organization's strategic direction.   She takes a 360⁰ view to align internal and external factors.  Working with Kristin validated my thoughts on the importance of alignment when it comes to establishing digital media strategies.   It is crucial that you look at your “current state” and validate that perspective before planning for your “future state” and aligning necessary resources (people or financial).

    You’re thinking, well sure, we all know what our goals are, we are in agreement on how to move forward, we have alignment!  But do you?   As you’re thinking about the benefits that digital media can provide to your organization, are your goals in sync with those of the other business units that may be impacted?  Does your digital media plan support your key corporate initiatives?  Have others been considering the use of digital media (i.e., video conferencing, social networking, employee generated video, product training videos). If so, do they already have a plan in place?  Do they understand what they want to accomplish and how to track and measure their success?  Have they assessed vendors?  Have they already invested their budget?   

    Digital media solutions can impact several groups within a business.  Here are some thoughts on some of those groups and their role in gaining alignment to a digital media strategy:

    Executive Office –Your C-level executives (or at least one of them) must support and champion new initiatives.  Whether it is blogging, video conferencing or internal social networking, without their support digital media projects may never realize their true potential.  The executive suite will not necessarily be involved in the implementation, but they will benefit from the deployment and use of digital media.

    IT – This group will likely own responsibility for assessing the functionality, features and performance of specific solutions.  They will want to understand the alignment of these solutions with existing infrastructure from platform, operating system, integration, management, security, support and budget perspectives.

    Network (this group may be part of IT in some companies) – this group will want to assess the impact of the solutions on bandwidth and firewalls.  Is the solution internally focused, externally focused or both?  They will want to understand if there will be changes required to the network architecture.

    Marketing/Corporate Communications – this group may be the group leading the charge.  They will probably see these solutions as an extension of the solutions they employ already.  This group understands the impact of digital media in the communication cycle.  However, are they aligned in setting priorities for usage?  Can they define at least 3 use cases or business cases for how digital media will be deployed and how it supports corporate goals?

    Customer Support – If the goals for digital media include enhancing customer loyalty or retention.  This group has the most insight into the challenges customers are facing.  They are the front line providing resolution to customer questions.  Digital media may provide them with alternatives to address some of the most frequently asked questions.

    These are just a few of the internal groups that should be aligned.  Others such as finance, legal, product engineering, R&D should also be involved depending on the focus of the project.    Gaining alignment requires a time investment to review goals, define benefits, review options, assess resources, determine metrics and prioritize tasks. Most importantly, it requires listening and honesty.  By working across impacted groups to gain alignment, teams can move forward with confidence as to plan and implement digital media strategies.

    Creating a digital media strategy is important.  Leveraging the plethora of tools that will help your company connect, collaborate and communicate with bring drive incredible tangible and intangible benefit.  Don’t sabotage your best intentions by forgetting to gain alignment.

    What’s your perspective?



    Is Video Social and do we need to Manage these Digital Assets?

    Peggy Dau - Monday, January 11, 2010

    In early December, I participated in a webinar hosted by North Plains.  The focus of the webinar was about video, social networking and digital asset management.  I want to thank Joshua, George and Robin at North Plains for inviting me to join a discussion that started with basic question.  Is Video Social?

    There are two ways that we can interpret this question.  The first is that video tells a story.  The story can be a comedy, a drama, a sporting event, a news topic or a personal moment.  Regardless of the medium by which the video is viewed (TV, PC, cell phone), the story incites a response.  This is the social aspect of the video.  Back in the old days, we had informal chats in the coffee room or by the water cooler to laugh about the latest Seinfeld episode or to exault about the Yankees latest win.  Today, these thoughts and comments are posted and shared in online communities.  We share our stream of consciousness with our friends and colleagues, enjoying the socialization that evolves.

    The other perspective is that unless the video is interactive (i.e., video conferencing) it is not inherently social.  Social implies a two way conversation with give and take between the parties.  However, this perspective is weak as their is not requirement for social networking to be accomplished in real-time.  Social discussion can take place over a period of minutes, hours and days.  So, we can agree that video is social.

    If video is social, do we need to manage it as we manage our other video assets?  Up until now, Digital Asset Management (DAM) vendors have provided solutions to manage the process (aka workflow) surrounding the creation, storage, repurposing and distribution of Digital Media.  Digital Media is the assortment of photos, audio files, video clips, animations, computer graphics or banner ads created, owned or licensed by a company.  The uses of these assets may be for internal or external purposes. 

    Up until now, most of the video addressed by DAM vendors was created by "professionals", meaning the studio, broadcaster, agency or enterprise itself for their purposes depending on their business model or business goals.  However, as video has become "social" it has become less professional and is created by individuals.  How does these businesses incorporate user generated or employee generated content into their DAM system?  The DAM is supposed to be the key to managing their digital assets.

    In the end, it comes down to policy and governance.  As we move forward and the creation and capture of video becomes easier and less expensive, there will be increasing amounts of non-professional content used by businesses.  In fact, many are already inviting it (i.e., Doritos).  As companies move forward in using video to educate, entice, inform and entertain, they will need to consider guidelines about how the content will be used, who will see it, how it will be distributed, how and where it will be stored, how it will be consumed, etc.  These companies will need to establish guidelines and educate their content creators and digital asset managers on how to incorporate social video into their DAM systems.

    So, yes video is social.  Video will become more casual just as social networking became a more informal method of communicating.  Check out further perpsectives from this North Plains webinar.

    What's your perspective?



    The Five C's

    Peggy Dau - Friday, November 20, 2009

    I recently attended a seminar for women entrepreneurs.  One of the speaker's spoke about the 5 C's (my apologies, for not being able to reference the specific speaker).  They are:

         - Clarity
         - Connect
         - Confidence
         - Communicate
         - Courage

    As I've thought about these 5 C's, I feel there is a strong connection between these comments targeted at building a entrepreneurial business and how businesses define and implement a digital media strategy.  Remember there are many elements to a successful strategy, that include goals, audience, process, content, platforms and metrics.

    Clarity - be clear about your goals.  Write them down.  Think about them.  Edit them, but be clear about what your want to accomplish with your digital media strategy.  Do you want to enhance your brand awareness?  Do you want to attract more customers?  Do you want to augment your customer support capabilities?  Are you focused on a product launch?  Whatever it is, be clear as your success can only be measured if you know what your goal is.

    Connect - once you have defined your goals, you need to connect with the community that can help you achieve them.  This may mean internal resources.  You may need to gain alignment across internal business units or functional teams.  You may want to develop a go-to-market solutions with business partners that requires connection with those partners and relevant technology vendors.  You will need to think of how you need to connect.   Depending  on the audience, there are various tools you can then select to enable the right kind of connection.

    Confidence - move forward with determination.  Investigate your options.  Research your customers, competitors and key market influencers.  Investigate platforms and vendors.  Gather the information you need to make informed decisions.  Armed with this information you can move forward with your plan with confidence!

    Communication - be consistent, be clear, be real.  Sometimes we think we are communicating clearly, but when asking for feedback, we find that our audeince is hearing a different message.  Think about your audience and how they ingest infromation.  Then think about not only what your communicating, but how you will communicate.  Which platofrms (social networks, webinars, video conferencing, podcasts) allow you to communicate most effectively.  Align the content and format based on your goals and your audience.

    Courage - be brave!  Incorporating various forms of digital media will take time.  The results will not be evident overnight.  Do not be afraid to promote and utilize innovative digital media strategies to achieve your goals!  With clear goals and metrics, knowledge of your company, products, market sector and competitors, you will succeed. 

    I'm keeping the 5 C's in mind as I work with clients.  It helps me stay focused.

    What's your perspective?



    Digital Media at IBC

    Peggy Dau - Tuesday, September 08, 2009

    I'm on my way to IBC (International Broadcasters Conference) in Amsterdam, September 10-14.  This conference brings together the global thought leaders and vendors in the broadcast and new media space.  As expected, the conference agenda focuses on those technologies related to the creation, management and distribution of video.  In particular, the delivery and distribution of video content continues to evolve simply because we as consumers desire to access content on a variety of different devices which access content through a similar variety of network protocols.

    Watching the trends in the broadcast industry where quality is of the utmost concern, usually paves the way for understanding options available to the enterprise.  While the enterprise typically does not require a 24x7 broadcast center, they do need to understand the challenges of creating, storing, editing, promoting, distributing and consuming video content.  I'm looking forward to seeing what's new!  I'm also interested to understand how this industry is incorporating social media in a more strategic manner. 

    What's your perspective?



    Welcome to MAD Perspectives

    Peggy Dau - Monday, May 18, 2009

    It's Day One at MAD Perspectives.

    Or at least it's day one on the web!  The idea for MAD Perspectives was born in my mind in September 2008.  I was thinking about what I would do if I left corporate america.  I had been working for Hewlett-Packard for 23+years, at that time.  I had played a variety of roles , traveled the world and learned a lot about how to do business in an ethical, candid and honest manner.  I understood the challenges that large and small companies faced when considering new IT related projects.  I also had been steeped in all topics around digital media for the past 7-8 years.  Could there be a business here?

    After doing some informal market testing with colleagues, business partners, industry analysts and friends, I decided to take the plunge.  After 24 fabulous years working for a company that remains an industry stalwart and the grand daddy of Silicon Valley, I happily departed to create a new consulting business.


    You may ask, where did the name come from?

    Well, check out the the page describing the birth of MAD Perspectives.  Briefly, it's the result of capturing the perspectives of valued friends.  There is power in capturing the mind share of many.  It is this ability to connect, collaborate and communicate that is the cornerstone of MAD Perspectives. 

    While I was lucky enough to host a face to face dinner to facilitate the discussion, the business community is increasingly faced with wide spread, geographically dispersed employees.  How can they effectively collaborate to create greater value for their company?  Fortunately, digital media solutions continue to evolve to allow and enable employees, business partners, customer or consumers to share ideas, educate each other, dispel myths and more.  MAD Perspectives will leverage its knowlege of these solutions and the challenges companies face aligning such solutions with strategic and organziational goals to help companies adopt new models for their use of digital media!

    Welcome to MAD Perspectives!  What's your perspective?