An original version of this article was posted on the Elcom blog last week including a link to the ‘3 Drivers of Change in the Modern Workforce’ eBook – highly relevant content and research for this topic. And I wanted to share more details including two video interviews, so here we go.
Brady Barksdale of Elcom and I attended MediaPost’s Cross-Channel Marketing Insider Summit in Tahoe in late August. As usual, the Insider Summit Team provided an incredible forum to learn, connect with key people, enjoy and take information nuggets back to the office to share with colleagues. A big thanks to Steve Smith, Jon Whitfield, Ken Fadner and the entire MediaPost team!
One key takeaway from the event is internal collaboration and real-time information sharing is critical for cross-channel marketing success; a number of speakers referenced below echoed this sentiment.
Cross-Channel Marketing Challenges and Opportunities
With more communication and marketing campaigns to manage across a wide variety of internal and external channels – and a distributed workforce including employee and contract resources – the challenge to manage content, campaigns, operational insights and customer experiences continues to push the limits of even the most progressive, well-funded teams. Fact is, a cross-channel marketing strategy with silos can be counter-productive. And when silos are disconnected in terms of information flow, that’s a formation destined to be a non-sustainable business strategy.
Many of the conversations at MediaPost Cross-Channel Marketing Insider Summit revolved around how to organize, collaborate and make decisions in fast-paced, distributed work environments focused on integrated strategy. Here are observations from a number of experts and thought leaders from global brands, technology companies and agencies:
Ryan Deutsch, DVP Digital, Sears Holdings Corporation discussed the use of a cross-channel marketing framework to help employees and contractors, from a wide variety of operations and disciplines, to be more effective. Ryan highlighted 4 steps, including:
- Tiger Team – reorganization is not always easy; create a Tiger Team
- Customer/Member Segment – cross-functional alignment requires focus
- Member Journey – map the cross-channel journey; highlights the scope of the effort
- KPIs That Hold Them Together – traditional KPIs are usually channel specific
Learn more about Deutsch’s cross-channel marketing success point of view in this brief video, below:
Loren McDonald, VP Industry Relations, IBM Silverpop gave a keynote that focused on why to own the customer experience, and do so while coordination is often lacking. McDonald suggested that we should think and act like we’re engaging a segment of one. To achieve this, we have to collaborate not around traditional marketing calendars. Instead, be in a position as a cross-functional team to proactively do what customers want.
Molly Garris, Digital Lead, Neutrogena said, “50% of all sales can be influenced by digital.” With so many different kinds of digital channels, she recommended building a “digital self” with help from customer ratings and reviews. These same ratings and reviews created online by customers can be repurposed in print and at point of sale. Garris also recommended that all cross-functional teams apply a ‘mobile-first’ strategy to address an increasingly mobile audience interacting with brands on multiple channels.
Joe Mandese, Editor in Chief, MediaPost hosted a panel about content marketing. Mandese said, “over 5,000 brand messages per day are delivered to every consumer.” That’s a lot content noise in the market so it’s extremely important to know what customers and prospects respond to in the most favorable ways for your organization.
Shannon Marcotte, Marketing Manager for Audience Reach, New York Times said, “We take a very personalized approach. We’re targeting people based on what we know they have a thirst for.”
Jennifer Tan, Senior Director Brand Marketing and Communications, Experian provided an interesting comparison of how Experian used to be organized and have since made changes for better cross-functional collaboration and customer experience. Jennifer said, “Experian used to use ‘swim lanes’ from an integrated marketing management perspective and that created silos. Now, we’re applying a ‘Centers of Excellence’ approach and think more like ‘synchronized swimmers.’ This is an important shift in strategy because a customer is a customer no matter where they come from or where they interact with the brand.”
Mary Eustace, Marketing Manager, Modell’s Sporting Goods was a panelist in the attribution modeling and collaboration session. Eustace said, "Flexibility; it’s really important to mold and to grow with the change that is happening. I don’t think we can set ourselves on one model and say that this is going to work forever. You have to see what’s happening in the world, what’s happening in your business, and with the customer And see what’s the best thing for that time, and being able to adapt to that.” Eustace’s point of view reinforces the need to manage highly agile and collaborative workforces both inside and outside corporate offices.
Isaac Amala, Marketing and Communications, Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies joined Brook Greb, Marketing Manager of Audience Engagement, Allrecipes.com to discuss how to make technology decisions in an environment with so many choices and a fair amount of ambiguity. Amala suggested that cross-functional teams apply a design process when making decisions about technologies that are intended to attract, engage and empower your target audience; both internal and external. We talked about a design thinking point of view in this brief video:
New eBook: 3 Drivers of Change in the Modern Workforce
Throughout the MediaPost Cross-Channel Marketing Insider Summit, we heard from experts and thought leaders that organizational change and collaboration are essential for cross-channel marketing success. Clearly, the modern workforce is going through a significant transformation including: technical innovations, distributed workforces, baby boomers transitioning out and millennials – with their markedly different expectations – transitioning in. Are the required digital communications, content management and mobile strategies in place to empower your workforce and customers?
All these issues plus the challenges and opportunities surrounding cross-channel strategies requires that we think and act in different ways. I'm proud of new and related content that a cross-functional team created and I invite you to download the #WorkforceSuccess15 eBook to help you understand key workforce changes underway and how to address them.