Posted by Pappas Advisors
I still find it rather interesting that so much conversation and debate still goes into what technologies to deploy within an enterprise searching for an enterprise community and collaboration platform. More often than I care it see, it’s still the case that there are hundreds of meetings around the topic of what technology to deploy in order to “enable” business collaboration and communication, yet there are rarely meetings or discussions that ask what employees actually need to be able to do more efficiently and effectively to continue to be successful in their roles. Instead, the first time many employees find out about the tool after it’s already been deployed across the organization. After all of the case studies from companies who have solutions in place that are operating successfully, how do organizations still find it so easy to forget the people that these tools are meant to impact?
In my experience, forgetting the people happens for a couple of reasons: 1 – It’s seemingly easier to analyze technology that offers a checklist of features and functions than it is to gather and analyze feedback from an entire organization of employees that have different ways of working and communicating; 2 – It’s seemingly easier to simply deploy a technology that professes to offers “the solution” to your business challenges than it is to actually dig in to those business challenges; 3 – Nobody wants to be the person that gathers feedback and then disappoints people when the solution doesn’t fit that individual’s description of the perfect collaboration tool.
When we’re looking at social solutions to deploy, it’s critical to remember that it should be about the PEOPLE first and foremost and enhancing the ways that they work, communicate and collaborate and about the tools secondarily. The technology is, after all, merely the enabler to the collaboration and communication we are seeking to enable.
It’s important for business leaders and technology enablers to understand the people they are attempting to provide a solution for, including their motivations, business pain points, and preferred ways of working in order to influence the solution. Do people need more access to information across the organization (think enterprise search type functionality here)? Are they having trouble finding the right person with the right subject matter expertise (think expertise location)? Do they need a place to share their own information to cut down on emails and phone calls (think central content repository)? Do they want to learn more about other programs and projects across the organization (think open communication)? Do they want to find out who is the lead on a given product, project or program (think resource location)? Do they need additional ideas to add to their roadmap (think crowd-sourcing) Perhaps they want to do something else?
Whatever their needs and goals, understanding their challenges and pain points puts you in a position to help them to solve their problems quickly and efficiently, and enables you to have the right conversations with vendors about how the tool can serve as a conduit for your employees to achieve their goals.
Putting solutions in place without getting feedback and buy-in from the business often leads to adoption challenges down the road because it tends to feel like “yet another technology or tool” is just being forced on people.
For all you that are leading or thinking of leading enterprise collaboration initiatives – remember to engage your stakeholders, gather their feedback and get them involved early on so that you can successfully deploy a solution that they’re already bought in to. Doing so will help you secure them as advocates for the future success of your initiative.
Image credit: Anna Brix Thomsen
Posted by Pappas Advisors
Re-blogged from my contribution to the MITX blog
The evolving technology landscape continues to influence the need for brands to provide consumers with multi-channel experiences across a range of traditional and digital properties, including social media channels. Surprisingly, when it comes to social media, most brands believe they are meeting consumer’s needs and expectations by simply maintaining a Facebook page and a Twitter account. In today’s digital age, this strategy is simply not enough. In an increasingly mobile society, users expect to be able to access information anytime, anywhere, and on any device they choose.
Create Easily Consumable Mobile Content
According to Nielsen’s U.S. Digital Consumer Report, 29 percent of the 101.3 million smartphone owners in the U.S. use their phones for shopping-related activities including price comparisons, browsing products, sharing product photos, and reading product reviews as they are making purchase decisions. With this captive audience at hand, brands have a wealth of opportunity to connect with consumers in a meaningful way by providing easy access to the information consumers are seeking.
This connection and access to data comes in many forms and should include one or more of the following activations: mobile enabled websites, mobile apps, and POS activations such as QR codes or another social media centric call to action. No matter the mechanism, the end result should be the same: enabling consumers to reach more information about your product at the moment in time they need it most. Successful brands will see value in enabling easily consumable mobile content, providing consumers access to further product information, product reviews and comparisons, pricing and customer feedback at the touch of their mobile device or risk being replaced by another brand that does.
Adopting Content Aggregators
Another major shift in the technology landscape that is changing the way brands should approach social media marketing is the adoption of content aggregators, or content curators, to help consumers opt-in to what matters the most to them. Rapidly rising in popularity in order to filter out the unwanted noise, applications such asPostPost, Flipboard, Storify, storyful, Keepstream, and even older apps like TweetDeck and HootSuite have become the norm for consuming content generated in social media streams.
Implications for Marketers
In order to remain successful in this increasingly competitive digital landscape, brands should:
- Evaluate their existing content and communications strategy
- Put an actionable plan in place to continuously evolve their content strategy to meet the ever-changing needs of the digital consumer
- Ensure they are not leaving behind their still present traditional brick-and-mortar consumer base
The key to rising above all the digital noise is listening to your consumers and meeting their needs and expectations through action. Success in this age of anytime, anywhere, any device access to information is engaging with consumers in the location sand with the content consumers are requesting. Brands that do not put into place an effective listening strategy, and then act on that intelligence, will find themselves filtered right out of the content stream.