Orchestrating User Adoption from the Innovators to Laggards

Words like change, transformation, and automation will always generate a wide range of reactions throughout the rank and file of an organization, and our reaction to these words are good indicators as to which group we belong to on the adoption curve.

Innovators and early adopters tend to be motivated by change and late stage adopters and laggards tend to resist it.  Paradoxically, both groups have roles of equal importance in the user adoption process.

Knowing where users and people belong on the adoption curve and organizing them into user groups will enable a phased approach to managing the user adoption process. This approach to user adoption is preferred and will provide a more seamless diffusion of your innovation throughout each stage of the user adoption process. Furthermore, this will ensure that by the time it reaches the laggard group, the bugs will have already been worked out.

Successful innovations will reach a tipping point – which is the point that it is widely accepted and adopted by laggards. However, by the time that happens, count on the next innovation already being in play, and have a plan in place to repeat the cycle of innovation again.

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Documenting business processes, conducting frequent business process reviews, building and running knowledge management and collaboration portals, establishing a talent management program, and investing in the professional development of your people will have a direct impact to continued success of any future business transformation initiatives in the future.

As companies transform, it is important to retain a high level of diversity across the organization. Take into account the tacit knowledge that could be lost when choosing to acquire new talent.

Make the language of change pervasive throughout your organization and create a business culture that is comfortable with change and ready to adapt to it.

On a personal level, be prepared for change, because change will happen. Invest time in your own professional development. Always be learning and be willing to step out of the comfort zone.

For more on this topic, I suggest reading the following two books:

“The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big difference” by Malcolm Gladwell.

“Diffusion of Innovations” by Everett Rogers

Follow my blog at Social2Direct.com

When to Buy Data

The quality of a company’s data will have a direct impact on the performance of its people, process and technology. Maintaining the quality, timeliness, and completeness of a company’s data will often require working with external data suppliers.

The decision to buy data should only happen after a data assessment, gap analysis and cost benefit analysis have been completed…

The Data Assessment – is an iterative process that aligns to company’s data strategy and go to market plan, and involves:

  • Identifying all data sources
  • Reviewing the data collection procedures
  • Interviewing those responsible for data and analysis
  • Analyzing sample data for quality
  • Setting segmentation based on personas
  • Documenting business process

 

Data assessments provide qualitative and quantitative insights into data’s…

  • Reliability – Data provides stable and consistent collection processes and analysis
    methods.
  • Validity – Data should clearly and adequately represent the intended result.
  • Timeliness – Data should be available at a useful frequency, should be current, and should be
    timely enough to influence management decision making.
  • Precision – Data have a sufficient level of detail to permit management decision making.

 

Gap Analysis – A gap analysis will identify missing, incomplete or inaccurate data through the data assessment process. Below are examples where data may need to be acquired:GapAnalysis

  • Information missing pertains to specific individuals (i.e. email addresses, phone numbers,etc.)
  • Behavioral information like purchasing patterns, memberships and affiliations, technologies used, etc.
  • Credit score and risk rating
  • Online search history unavailable (cookies, device information, etc.)

 

cost_benefit_analysisCost Benefit Analysis – Justifies the decision to buy data using the findings from the gap analysis and data assessment. It is a comparison of the costs of all options against their total anticipated benefits.

DataQualityWhen to buy data | Cleanse, Enrich, Acquire?

Quality data continues to be a challenge for companies today, and buying data does not guarantee its quality. When using purchasing data from a new supplier start small, inspect the data, and test performance.

Work with major data vendors that are known suppliers of quality consumer and business information. Major suppliers like D&B, InfoGroup, Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, Acxiom, and TeraData are able to provide consumer or business level intelligence that includes their interests, spending patterns, financial information, demographics, firmographic information, and so on.

 

Managing User Adoption from the Innovators to Laggards

Words like change, transformation, and automation will always generate a wide range of reactions throughout the rank and file of an organization, and our reaction to these words are good indicators as to which group we belong to on the adoption curve.

Innovators and early adopters tend to be motivated by change and late stage adopters and laggards tend to resist it.  Paradoxically, both groups have roles of equal importance in the user adoption process.

Knowing where users and people belong on the adoption curve and organizing them into user groups will enable a phased approach to managing the user adoption process. This approach to user adoption is preferred and will provide a more seamless diffusion of your innovation throughout each stage of the user adoption process. Furthermore, this will ensure that by the time it reaches the laggard group, the bugs will have already been worked out.

Successful innovations will reach a tipping point – which is the point that it is widely accepted and adopted by laggards. However, by the time that happens, count on the next innovation already being in play, and have a plan in place to repeat the cycle of innovation again.

imgres-1

Documenting business processes, conducting frequent business process reviews, building and running knowledge management and collaboration portals, establishing a talent management program, and investing in the professional development of your people will have a direct impact to continued success of any future business transformation initiatives in the future.

As companies transform, it is important to retain a high level of diversity across the organization. Take into account the tacit knowledge that could be lost when choosing to acquire new talent.

Make the language of change pervasive throughout your organization and create a business culture that is comfortable with change and ready to adapt to it.

On a personal level, be prepared for change, because change will happen. Invest time in your own professional development. Always be learning and be willing to step out of the comfort zone.

For more on this topic, I suggest reading the following two books:

“The Tipping Point – How Little Things Can Make a Big difference” by Malcolm Gladwell.

“Diffusion of Innovations” by Everett Rogers

Follow my blog at Social2Direct.com

SO YOU WANT TO BE “ALWAYS ON”

SO YOU WANT TO BE “ALWAYS ON.” by Charlie Tarzian

Two things happened to me in 1997 that changed the way I viewed the possible. The first was reading Regis McKenna’s book, “Real Time: Preparing for the Never Satisfied Customer.” At the time, this was the seminal book about marketing automation before there was a vibrant, web-based marketplace to attach it to. Regis was THE pioneer that told us that it was possible – that you could connect the dots across a marketing landscape in ways that have people like Larry Ellison proclaiming today – that Oracle truly is a leader in real time marketing – or “Always On” marketing as we now call it.

The second thing that occurred that year was a visit to the UPS Command Center (nuclear hardened at that) in Northern NJ. There in the bowels of a very sophisticated logistics center was the makings of Always On: a map of the US with thousands of lights and lines moving across with data streaming as crawlers and alerts popping up with men and women responsible for timely conveyance arrayed in front of large screens, headphones on, watching intently as a good amount of American commerce flashed across the screen.

THIS was real time, baby!

I was absolutely amazed at how UPS was managing its business – in real time – in 1997. Flash forward 17 years and here we are – finally conceptualizing our own versions of an Always On company. The days of linear campaigns, manual processes, fragmented communications sans governance are coming slowly to a close.

In its place we have real time bidding and data driven digital media – 50 billion impressions a day strong. We have incredibly smart companies inhabiting the LumaScape, creating value in an eco-system that did not exist a mere 3-4 years ago. We have marketing automation players – that have created logic and decision trees that can support Always On activities. We have data and cookie syncing and device and canvas finger printing and we have those evil ever cookies.

It is all there, right before us. And we have an enormous task at hand. Like the RTB guys who had to create the plumbing and pipes for the programmatic revolution, we too, must create the standards that will transform some wicked smart tech stacks into an Always On eco-system. So, while two years ago it was incredibly important to onboard your data so you can target your customers across the Internet (mission accomplished, kind of), now we must lay the pipes, the logic and the creative thinking to take the great effort of the last 5 years and turn it into a real time marketing infrastructure.

That means figuring out how not only to push, compress, sort and analyze data in real time, but also to do something with it – to allow that data to inform just about everything we do – across everything we have that allows for the bidirectional communication flow that is modern marketing and sales.

I am shocked, for example, when colleagues in our industry tell me they really are not doing predictive analytics against multiple data sets that are right there in front of them. With all that investment in pulling social media, page indexing, buying preferences, shopping cart abandons, white paper downloads, etc… very few have integrated it into one seamless whole – producing the empirical environment for Always On.

But we can – and we will. I am just not sure it will be the likes of Larry Ellison or any of the big dawgs that will get it done. I think companies like Oracle will be very helpful laying the pipes but will not be the ones driving the innovation. Which reminds me: I had a very interesting conversation with an incredibly bright architect for a leading B2B publisher who was talking about how they made the decision a year ago to use Blue Kai (Oracle) as their DMP. So I asked him the obvious question: how has that worked out? He smirked and said: Blue Kai doesn’t even know what Blue Kai is – we are using it as a garage right now – parking data. And he laughed.

While that is a ding on Blue Kai – it is a ding on all of us. Walking around with a new lexicon does not a new era of marketing make. This is tough stuff. In the end – we will get there – I am sure of it.

Stick to the practical and take the baby steps first. But never stop dreaming big. That is how you will get to being Always On.

Oh, and the reference to Jimi Hendrix? I think the answer to the question: So you want to be Always On? Is a question itself and is the title track of his seminal album: Are You Experienced?

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Build Personas, Know Your Customers

Buyer personas are like sketches of the customers to whom your company serves. When creating a persona, it’s best to focus on one customer segment per product/service at a time. Once you’ve selected a target audience, you want to identify the influencers and decision makers within those companies and then create your persona around them.

Five Steps to Build a Persona

Step 1: Define their current situation

  • What are their priorities and what are they doing to meet their goals today?
  • What alternatives could be in place or are they considering?
  • What problems are limiting their success?

Step 2: Define their demographics

  • Job title
  • Years in current position and place in career – whether they’re young and just starting out or have spent most of their career with the same company and can provide insight on risk tolerance, influence increasing change within the company, etc.
  • Company size and revenues
  • Industry

Step 3: Identify their attributes

  • Role – Their place in the company and who they answer to.
  • Responsibilities – What or who they manage and what outcomes they must achieve.
  • Threats – what could derail the deal?
  • Motivations – both professionally and based on company objectives – could also be what they want to avoid.
  • Influencers – who can aid in affirming the project or stall it from moving forward?

Step 4: Understand their preferences

  • Where do they spend time online? Offline?
  • How do they participate with social media? Do they?
  • What keywords, phrases and search terms resonate with them?

Step 5: Draft the buyer persona value statement

  • I need to solve [FILL IN BLANK], in order to achieve [FILL IN BLANK].

Speak to people and use third party data to help complete your personas. A few examples follow:

Use Business Intelligence Portals:

  • Search by industry, size, title.
  • Assess profiles, click through to review LinkedIn profiles.
  • Use at least ten profiles to identify common themes.
  • Access the industry information to gain insight to challenges and opportunities.
  • BI portals also offer in-depth research on specific industries, helping you to define priorities and challenges quickly.

Talk to Salespeople:

  • What areas of the business are they focused on?
  • Who are they speaking with?
  • How do prospects frame the problem?
  • Who else do they have to convince?

Talk to Customers:

  • What problem did we solve?
  • What else did that enable?
  • Why did they choose us?
  • What obstacles did they have to overcome to buy?

Knowing your audience and having a personalized business plan is a foolproof formula to create new business leads, and strengthen old ones.  If you know what companies need or want, and develop a marketing plan tailored for them, you will be more desirable to them than a marketing company that has not done their homework.

Infographic: Buyer Persona Process

Persona

Build Personas, Know Your Customers

Buyer personas are like sketches of the customers to whom your company serves. When creating a persona, it’s best to focus on one customer segment per product/service at a time. Once you’ve selected a target audience, you want to identify the influencers and decision makers within those companies and then create your persona around them.

Five Steps to Build a Persona

Step 1: Define their current situation

  • What are their priorities and what are they doing to meet their goals today?
  • What alternatives could be in place or are they considering?
  • What problems are limiting their success?

Step 2: Define their demographics

  • Job title
  • Years in current position and place in career – whether they’re young and just starting out or have spent most of their career with the same company and can provide insight on risk tolerance, influence increating change within the company, etc.
  • Company size and revenues
  • Industry

Step 3: Identify their attributes

  • Role – Their place in the company and who they answer to.
  • Responsibilities – What or who they manage and what outcomes they must achieve.
  • Threats – what could derail the deal?
  • Motivations – both professionally and based on company objectives – could also be what they want to avoid.
  • Influencers – who can aid in affirming the project or stall it from moving forward?

Step 4: Understand their preferences

  • Where do they spend time online? Offline?
  • How do they participate with social media? Do they?
  • What keywords, phrases and search terms resonate with them?

Step 5: Draft the buyer persona value statement

  • I need to solve [FILL IN BLANK], in order to achieve [FILL IN BLANK].

Speak to people and use third party data to help complete your personas. A few examples follow:

Use Business Intelligence Portals:

  • Search by industry, size, title.
  • Assess profiles, click through to review LinkedIn profiles.
  • Use at least ten profiles to identify common themes.
  • Access the industry information to gain insight to challenges and opportunities.
  • BI portals also offer in-depth research on specific industries, helping you to define priorities and challenges quickly.

Talk to Salespeople:

  • What areas of the business are they focused on?
  • Who are they speaking with?
  • How do prospects frame the problem?
  • Who else do they have to convince?

Talk to Customers:

  • What problem did we solve?
  • What else did that enable?
  • Why did they choose us?
  • What obstacles did they have to overcome to buy?

Knowing your audience and having a personalized business plan is a foolproof formula to create new business leads, and strengthen old ones.  If you know what companies need or want, and develop a marketing plan tailored for them, you will be more desirable to them than a marketing company that has not done their homework.

Infographic: Buyer Persona Process

Persona

Brand fatigue and brand affection across the globe

#Brand fatigue is a challenge #marketers face on a global scale. #Local is more important than #global for global marketers. Which is a reason why #location based advertising is heating up.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Content Marketers

By Karen Weber

Axonn Media’s marketing director Karen Webber spoke at the Figaro Digital Conference as part of the Digital 21 series in April 2014 on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Content Marketers. 

The operative word in Karen’s title is “Effective”. This is Worth sharing, so please pass it on.

Marketing Leadership – Team Building

We all know how powerfully effective teamwork can be in delivering higher levels of performance. Managers need to focus constantly on developing and expanding the capacity of each team member and must always make sure that everyone is working cohesively. Developing how teams work is a key skill requirement for every manager, especially in highly competitive environments which tend to encourage more individualistic behaviors. The standard performance management model used by most organizations today is based on management by objectives, and it can drive the very behaviors contrary to good performance. Contrary to common knowledge, the sum of the parts will not always add up to the whole. Oftentimes, the successful completion of personal objectives by individuals, as formalized in the annual appraisal process, does not equate to the company being better off. High performers are needed; effective team work is mandatory for companies to succeed today.

Many organizations are matrix-formatted, where within these structural settings people depend on the input of many contributors to be effective. The matrix formatted organization is substantially more complex for international organizations where teams spread out geographically, speak different languages, work in different time zones and have different cultural mindsets. In these environments, command and control through top down management techniques will not work. For these organizations to be successful, leadership has to be more inclusive and focused on leveraging the strengths and capacities of all team members, whatever they may be and whatever their cultural background or organizational roles may be.

Apply the following five leadership principles to build high performing and effective teams:

  1. Build a shared sense of community around a vision, set of values, common direction and objectives.
  2. Build, encourage, reward and recognize the sharing of resources and skills, knowledge and best practices throughout your team.
  3. Share your leadership by empowering team members to take responsibility at all levels.
  4. Encourage, never blame.
  5. Stand by and defend your team members and promote solidarity and responsibility at all times.

There are everyday examples of what effective teamwork looks like. Take the example of why a flock of geese fly in V formation. Because Mother Nature teaches the art of effective teamwork. We can take a lesson from their example and instill these skills in our own everyday business acumen.

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Happy Marketing!