communication channels tree

 

A brand relies on many different methods to get noticed and build trust, engagement and equity.

A sure-fire way to tear down momentum and damage the brand reputation is failing to communicate effectively.

There are numerous factors that make content potent, including the following:

  • Segmented Audience
  • Relevancy and Value
  • Voice and Visual
  • Quality of Content
  • Flow and Patterns
  • Form and Framing
  • Personalization
  • Timing
  • Call to Action
  • Respect for Privacy

Continue reading “Communication Essentials – Intrigue, Elevate, Evoke & Hook”

cloud-services-in-digital-network

 

A significant element of digital transformation is shifting to serverless cloud computing to leverage services, storage, and processing capabilities. 

Businesses are assessing their technology and recognizing the many advantages of cloud solutions, such as:

  • Cost efficiencies
  • Structural flexibility
  • Cohesiveness of event-driven performance
  • Ease of operational management
  • Real-time data processing
  • Integrated systems and applications
  • Compatibility with different languages
  • Automated scaling
  • Quicker deployment
  • Reliable support for databases, dev/ops, and AI programs

By moving to the cloud, many complexities of a back-end system are removed. Another benefit is eliminating the need to estimate usage. Often, projecting demand can cause unnecessary expenses when reserves and resources are idle.

Continue reading “The Merits and Momentum of Cloud Services”

social-puzzle-icons

 

Social Media has become a key component of business development and brand engagement for companies across industries and of every size. Because business models and objectives are unique, there are logically a wide number of strategies employed to attract attention, create opportunities and connect with the target audience.

While we fully expect social interactions and activities to be different, there are tactics and trends that can benefit all kinds of organizations in pursuit of brand lift and higher profitability.

Tip #1  A Bridge, with no Toll

Use social media as a customer journey bridge.  As you develop touch points and test campaigns, use social platforms as a means to bring people from one interface to the next. A barrage of email reminders or website pop-ups can be annoying, whereas creative social posts that are boosted and shared will have greater appeal. The more visually compelling the better.

Tip #2  Love Thyself, and Social Media

Smart marketing has a foundation of evolving strategies, utilization of influence and persuasion to garner attention, balancing efforts across channels, and continually aiming to strengthen relationships.

The primary value of social media includes:

  • create moments that delight, inspire, inform and engage
  • opportunity to listen to customers
  • build credibility
  • develop a community around your passion and purpose
  • turn customers into advocates
  • expose your brand to new customers
  • offer ease of actions (to shop, to access, to request assistance)

At the start of every week, set tasks that will advance each of these values.  Progress in a brand’s social presence and potency is a measure over time and offers significant long-term gains.

Continue reading “Tips for a Profit-Bearing Social Media Program”

brand-elements-structure-color-pencils

 

Our new digitally driven business landscape is rapidly changing how consumers interact with a brand.  Because sentiment is key, now is the time to reassess the elements and structure of your brand to ensure they are evolving alongside shifts in societal values, focus, intent and ambitions.

Precedence

Brand equity relies on a company creating its own distinguishing benefits and signature. The gelling factors are the magnitude of the messaging, the authenticity of the voice, and the relevance of what the brand offers.

Questions to ponder…

What is the brand’s strength and how will you illustrate its significance?

What aspects of the brand stand out as influential? 

Do consumers believe that your product or service is essential?

Brand Tenets

Along with a strategy to expand your brand prominence, take time to go through other critical brand tenets including:

  • Drivers
  • Characteristics
  • Indicators
  • Expression
  • Differentiation
  • Positioning
  • Performance

Continue reading “Brand Anatomy Part III – Elements and Structure”

spool-of-purple-thread-needle-thimble

 

My love for digital commerce is much like a clothing designer’s passion for trendy wearables.

Outfitting a company for digital growth requires several garments such as data, business intelligence, automation, agile project execution, iterative campaigns, multi-device performance, interactive media and omnichannel experiences.

Like fashion itself, one’s digital ‘style’ says everything. Engagement, activation and triggered events occur when your presentation is undeniably attractive.

An effective digital strategy requires stitching together meaningful touch points, including social channels, editorial sources, search engines, web platforms, communication avenues, micro moments, and brand experiences.

Much like apparel that has a myriad of patterns, countless brands and endless fads, a target audience is wide-ranging with unique needs, interests, requisites and restrictions. Motivation to make a purchase is best understood by defining the persona of the buyer and tailoring your message to activate their reasoning and response.

In digital marketing, being vogue means knowing if the spectators have an appeal to bohemian, chic, grunge, casual, vintage, or couture. A sensory connection is critical, as well as having the brand’s value proposition sewn into the fabric. The aim is to be digitally distinctive.

The real catalyst for any consumer is believing your brand is the right fit. Generating enthusiasm and instigating a sale, service or subscription requires skillfully shaping an influential and value-driven experience.

To be optimally executed, digital initiatives rely on a foundation of tools, techniques and technologies. The past practice of threading together promotions, taglines and incentives won’t cut it.

Bottom-line, use this period of digital transformation to assess your IT wardrobe. Empty the closet and start re-assembling the technology stack piece-by-piece, maintaining a clear goal of raising efficiency, expanding capability, strengthening security, and reducing costs.

Be ambitious and a little audacious. Every Monday is the digital start of fashion week!

digital landscape

 

The buzz is everywhere. Broadly described as “digital transformation”, companies of all sizes are contending with the need to shift their model and way of doing business. 

The concept itself is dynamic, with complex features such as cognitive technologies, distributive data, cloud services, rapid iterations & experiments, workflow logic, business intelligence and a stack of software solutions.

For many, this pivot appears daunting, lengthy, expensive and uncertain.

My suggestion is to take a micro-to-macro approach. This begins with incremental steps towards an agile culture.  Once agility is achieved, there will be far greater confidence and competency to facilitate the transformative process.

Continue reading “10 Steps to Accelerate Agility”

steel cogs team goals plan develop

 

Often departments are structured as silos with very little common ground or joint efforts.  Digital transformation requires intersecting disciplines and removing traditional barriers. The ethos of a company depends upon shared ownership of functional, operational, strategic and innovative capacities.

IT is a company’s heartbeat, overseeing technology and securing scalable internal systems.

Marketing is its persona and customer conduit, designing a value-driven brand experience.

Making headway in your digital presence, engagement and earnings relies on an alignment and synergy between these sources.

At the core of the two branches is data.

  • IT = how data is assembled, structured, stored, secured and dispersed
  • Marketing = how data is utilized, analyzed, modeled, made actionable and measured

Strengthen your Infrastructure and Marketing by developing blended strategies, projects and metrics. And optimize your investment by no longer operating them as cost-centers, but instead as engines for revenue augmentation.

Continue reading “Two Drivers of Innovative Growth: IT and Marketing”

panoramic-clouds-and-lake

 

Cloud services and computing are rapidly becoming a major part of how organizations operate, manage data, and perform digital transactions.  IaaS (Infrastructure as a Software) provides broad opportunities for small companies and mid-size enterprises to take advantage of capabilities that would normally be unavailable or too costly within an integrated backend system.

The benefit of moving to a cloud includes a significant reduction in costs by utilizing shared resources, greater efficiencies with on-demand usage, and a wider pool of services for auto-scaling.

The greatest challenge is understanding the range of cloud services in order to select the best framework for both your current state and future state.

Key considerations are:

  • What is the business case for modifying the current infrastructure by partially or entirely moving to the cloud?
  • What are the critical requirements that must be met based on the company’s business model, technology stack, data composition, system complexity, budget, resources, etc.?

To fully define needs and essential services, start with an audit and evaluation of the following:

  • Storage and Usage Patterns
  • Interface
  • Applications and Computing Needs
  • Databases
  • Operations
  • Systems and Processors
  • CPU, Physical RAM and Virtual Memory
  • Network and APIs
  • Users and Accesses
  • Governance and Security

Continue reading “Head in the Clouds? Insights & Tips for Cloud Services.”

Marketing Strategy Street Sign

 

Marketers have a pivotal role and a fundamental responsibility to contribute to bottom-line numbers. To be an earnings asset, a marketing leader must execute auspicious projects.  

Attaining an optimal ROI requires advanced planning and a rigorous process of framing the initiative.  When creating a campaign, producing new content, generating a channel mix, preparing a go-to-market plan or designing an experience, the team must first tackle the ‘why’.

Finish the statement – We are investing time and resources in this project because ….

Be clear on the answer, which should include the benefit to the company and the value to customers.

Next is alignment. Does the project support business objectives and current priorities?  Is there alignment to the buyer’s reasoning and requisites? There needs to be specific orientations, meaning that you define the project alliance with company objectives and customer intent, and identify the priority association.

Continue reading “Profit-Producing Projects – Beyond the Buzzwords”

black-sunglasses-with-water-droplets

 

The Brand Lens

These the elements that shape and influence how people perceive your company through a variety of communication practices, forms, networks and conduits. 

The key component is to infuse points of parity with a distinguishing presence, which set a precedence for profitable interest through targeted engagement.

First step is a Brand Audit to evaluate and compare existing assets, equity, angles and content mix.

A good exercise is a candid SWOT Analysis – of just the brand, not the business.  Identify only 2-3 for each quadrant [strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats]. List them in order of priority and then set strategies for reinforcement and optimization.

Continue reading “Brand Anatomy – The Brand Lens (Part II)”