Recently I've been learning more about customer engagement, campaigns and analytics in the internet sphere. I've seen how my career has in some ways mirrored the way internet technologies have evolved.
When I worked at I’Anco Products in 2000, a subsidiary of Highland Foundry, which evolved from the once famous A-1 Foundry, I got my first taste of how computerizing non-conformance reports could improve processes. I delved deep into web technologies, helping to organize Vancouver’s first open source web conferences. Even though it was not taken too seriously, application development was all the rage at that time. The thought that open source would have any affect on businesses was scoffed at by technology managers.
Overtime, open source software has taken firm roots in all levels of business, government, not just in technological circles. However, at this stage, it has also overtaken the way project management is approached and is also overturning the way marketing is approached. I think it is only a matter of time before I will also see this shift in our electoral system.
The main differences is the struggle between a top-down and bottom-up approach, is presented by Eric S. Raymond in The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Technology has made possible the shift towards empowering the consumer at all levels of human interaction.
From Marty Neumeier’s book The Brand Flip: “An explosion of connectivity, and the power it gives customers, is turning companies upside down,” says Marty Neumeier in his new book, The Brand Flip. “The question isn’t whether your industry will be disrupted, but when.”
Some of my friends, ask me, why is software always evolving? Is it because people just want to make more money? I would have to say no, my sense is that those working in IT are working hard to keep up with customer expectations and changing human behaviours.
A small example of this is, how a website built just a few years ago might have had a dedicated mobile site and desktop site, these days a responsive site is a must. Why is that? Not just because of the saturation of mobile and tablet devices in the market, but because of the customer adoption and usage, as people get more familiar with their devices. Mobile browsing behaviours are changing rapidly. This affects the way websites are designed and delivered. As some web technologies that might have worked better on desktop, no longer are as effective on a mobile.
At Red Rocket, we have been upping our game with respect to social media engagement. Our recent Facebook campaign (according to Facebook) is performing well, the cost per website click is less than 95% of similar ad sets. Recent initiatives by our team in social media engagement in the first month, have seen a marked increase in our twitter followers and profile visits.
The key elements on thriving in this digital world, is to think not in terms of selling your brand, but belonging to a tribe, to be engaged, and part of the narrative with constant content publishing, engaging your customers and supporters, and to get familiar with the various internet tools; website builders, social media, analytics, to analyze and track trends, and keep involved in the conversation with your customers and their needs and wants.