DC White Paper on the Digital Gap


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Filling the digital skills through cultural change or How to make your whole workforce social media-savvy and inject digital into the DNA of your business

by Patty Keegan, Director, Digital Chameleon

Published in: Business, Technology
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DC White Paper on the Digital Gap

  1. 1. Filling the digital skills gap through cultural change OR { { How to make your whole workforce social media-savvy and inject digital into the DNA of your business By Patty Keegan, Director, Digital ChameleonPage 1
  2. 2. Tame the socialmedia beast ... ... or it could come back to bite your business on the bottomlineb y the time you read the following statistics, they will have changed. In fact, they were out of date by the time pen reached paper. Still, they’re worthrepeating if only to remind ourselves ofthe enormity of the digital era’s mostaggressively growing beast – social media– and why feeding it must become part ofyour company’s culture or you risk beingleft behind. So here’s food for thought; Facebookhas 800 million users worldwide. That Meet the monster:isn’t just people who have registered social mediawe’re talking active users. And thoseactive users are behind two billion postsper day and 250 million uploaded photos.That’s pretty ‘active’. Let’s talk about the little program that interests, issues and, of course, brandscould; Twitter. The first tweet was on and products. THe21 March 2006 and came from co- This deep engagement with social NUMbeR OF THe beAST:founder Jack Dorsey. On 11 March 2011 media, and the digital platforms and FAcTS AbOUTa staggering 177 million tweets were devices that deliver it, has helped to spark SOciALtweeted across the world. In all, it took just three years, two months riots, revolutions and flash-mobs, and given us all a little too much insight into MeDiA » FAcebOOk: 800and one day for Twitter to hit the one billion Demi and Ashton’s marital woes.tweets a week mark. But it has also drastically shifted MiLLiON We won’t even mention Linkedin, the once paternal nature of brand- active users world wideYouTube (now the second largest search consumer relationships (‘brand talks, » TwiTTeR:engine on the web), Google +, Flickr and soon. Each have added their own million andbillion figure statistics to help form a critical consumer listens’) and re-configured the conversation (beyond ‘brand acts, consumers talk, brand listens’ 177 MiLLiON tweets tweeted across the world on 11 March 2011mass of social networking that has become to ‘communities talk, brand engages,embedded in our cultural fabric and is, individuals decide, brands listensalong with mobile technology, creating a and responds’).generation of digital natives. These shiftshave created a series of And yet, as social media users have gaps for businesses struggling to keepgrown, and more and more people have up, let alone harness the horsepower ofbecome digitally connected, they have social media’s growth spurts. They aresplintered off into micro-communities, holes that can be filled with short-termdriven by individuals (did we mention solutions, but which can’t be completelythere are nine million bloggers – a number closed without companies going through Why you can’t hirewhich also grows daily) engaged around a cultural shift that embraces social your way out of thesocial groups, friends, subjects, topics, media as part of their DNA. problemPage 2
  3. 3. Who’sminding thedigital skillsgap?Individuals can fill it, butonly a deeper strategy canfuture-proof your businessHere are some other telling statistics; in a recent DigitalChameleon survey of on-the-ground media sales staff, zeroper cent said they were ‘very familiar’ with social media AUSTRALiANmarketing opportunities. Only 7.7 per cent felt ‘very familiar’ MeDiA SALeSwith providing multi-platform solutions to clients, and 64.5 per TeAM SURveycent admitted they needed to know more about social mediaand digital skills. only Meanwhile, in a Mumbrella.com.au survey about whichcapabilities Australian and New Zealand CMOs believe theyneed to improve at over the next five years, social media rated ameagre 12 per cent. 7.7% felt ‘very familiar’ with providing multi-platform The disconnect is indicative of the gap within organisations solutions to clients, andbetween managers that don’t have the time, desire, resources or 64.5%say so of their board to address social media, and younger staffwho already live and breathe it. It’s a gap that businesses have tried to bridge with individuals,a quick fix solution of hiring single social media gurus and digital admitted they neededevangelists. But while individuals may have impact, it’s rarely a to know more about social mediasustainable, cross-departmental, long range impact – lone gunsdon’t win the war, armies with good strategy and command do. A strategic approach aimed at injecting social media intothe corporate body’s DNA via enterprise-wide training andincentivising exploits the potential ROI of social media and,just as importantly, future proofs businesses against the highexpectations of the millennial generation: Meet the millennials .... demanding digital natives and your clients-to-be...Page 3
  4. 4. 5 THiNgS yOU NeeD TO kNOw AbOUT The millennial generation 1 They are the combined might of Generation Y 2 They believe technology is what defines them as a 3 They are ‘digital natives’ who inhabit a world where smart (born between generation phones, Facebook, 1981 -1991) and Twitter and YouTube Generation Z are just part of (1991 -2001) everyday life 4 They are advertising, marketing and media savvy and 5 According to a survey by warc.com 80% of them talk are exposed to more about brands online of all three on a daily regularly basis than any other generation – they expect brands to be transparent, honest and responsivePage 4
  5. 5. The evolution of socialmedia skillsFrom individual experts to enterprise-wide engagementNot every company can be as agile as it might like, leaving the response to the social media revolution an evolu-tionary one for most businesses. CEOs, marketing departments and HR directors have largely felt their way to-wards short-term solutions in a digital landscape moving so quickly that long-term strategising feels like a luxury. Along that evolutionary ladder, four transitional ‘ages’ have emerged which most companies are still workingtheir way through:1wALkiNgwiTH THewHiTe cOATSIn the early days of search marketingand newly emerging digital channels, theWhite Coats often elected themselves asgatekeepers of the new technology. Theirknowledge seems almost mystical andthey aren’t keen on sharing it. While theychampion going online, they firmly closethe gate on sharing their understandingof SEO and SEM, preferring instead tomaintain a monopoly on digital skills andknow-how. tPage 5
  6. 6. 2THecOOL kiDSeRAAs digital and social media grew andbecame too valuable to keep in the WhiteCoats laboratory, companies could seethe need for a different approach. Thecall for gurus and evangelists who wouldbe publically anointed and expected topreach to the unconverted within thebusiness grew. Relying on individualsbrought in specifically to try and changewider company practices works to alimited degree, but spreads resentmentand often means that the true keepers ofthe company’s IP – the rank and file – areoverlooked. And no matter how gifted andenthusiastic your guru is, there is only oneof him.3SURvivALiSTSARe DOiNgiT FORTHeMSeLveSThe fact is, if a salesman sees that socialmedia can help generate leads and thathis competitors are doing just that, heis likely to take matters into his ownhands. Enter the Survivalists, people whounderstand that the dividends of usingsocial media can potentially pay, but arefrustrated by the lack of managementsupport or the chance of getting any airtime with the company gurus. Why notjust start talking to customers themselvesvia whatever channels customers areusing? The result is everyone doing theirown thing because there is no clear,company-wide strategy and that meansthe danger of rogue activity that triggersbad publicity.tPage 6
  7. 7. 4 LikeSMeLLSTeAMPLAyeR SPiRiTA team player can only really comeinto their own when there is a team toplay for. This final evolutionary stagemeans that harnessing social mediamust become part of a company’sdaily habits, across all departmentsand functions, to create a communityspirit within an organisation, whichin turn creates a single brand imagebeing projected externally via socialmedia channels. Not surprisingly, it’sthe hardest stage to get to, and themost difficult to implement as it meansclosing the digital skills gap so tightlythrough training that social media is nolonger a risky or scary proposition. Where is your business in the social media skills scale?Page 7
  8. 8. Where is your business in thesocial media evolutionary scale?Highly effectiveacross entirebusinessEffective ordamagingin isolationEffectivebut stymiedby silosIneffective Scientist Cool kids Survivalists Team Spirit How making social media part of your business can deliver real returnsPage 8
  9. 9. Strategy +training =salesHow social media can workacross your businessInevitably, the profession that has felt the greatestimpact from the growth of social media has beenmarketing (including PR and communications), which is WE GoT ExpErTSwhy the marketing department has an evangelistic part In To HElp uS WITHto play in the roll out of social media skills across the SoCIal mEdIa,business. buT GuruS dIdn’T But it is the HR department that has the greatest role nECESSarIlYin creating true cultural change rather than a piecemeal undErSTand ourapproach of giving a handful of chosen individuals buSInESS.”access to training and hoping they share. Australian media sales director A forward thinking HR department can change thegame by providing enterprise-wide training that isongoing, relevant and based in practice not theory. More than any other digital tool, social media requirestraining not just to mitigate against the risks of gettingit wrong but to transform employees from individualswho know their way around platforms like Twitter, toemployees who use it as an effective tool relevant totheir daily tasks and overall business objectives. And if marketing and comms aren’t the only players inthe social media team, other departments can suddenlyadd their weight to the social media push and achievemuch greater ROI. Learn how social media can work in key departmentsPage 9
  10. 10. CustomerServiceSitting on the front line between the company and thecustomer, the customer service department has thechance to share insights from customer conversationsthroughout any organisation. The immediate nature ofTwitter makes it an ideal platform for customer serviceto engage with the happy and the unhappy. The result: aT dEll, WE HavE ComplETElY EmbraCEd Productivity goes up because your team are able SoCIal mEdIa and to field more questions and react to more issues CHanGEd our EnTIrE than if they were using the phone or email CorporaTE CulTurE Staff can see the immediate impact of how To SuCCEEd. To they deal with a customer if that customer can bEComE a TrulY SoCIal react instantly, it makes staff more accountable, buSInESS, You HavE more engaged and forces your brand to be To makE a ComplETE more transparent CulTural CHanGE ... IT They can react in real time to avert any bad IS THE fuTurE of doInG customer experience and avert potential PR buSInESS.” nightmares so the PR department doesn’t have to Damien Cummings is the Online & Social Your customer service representatives Media Director for the Consumer and SMB suddenly have a name and a face, or at least a Division at Dell, based in Singapore in an thumbnail. They are human, making customers interview with SAJE Communication more likely to respond well Conversations can easily be tracked and provide useful insights into how the brand and products are viewed. Social media, e.g. a locked who is doing Facebook page, can be used for customer service to quickly share information with other it smarter? Dell created various Twitter departments profiles, one of which is Happy customers share their good experience their customer service and via social media building positive brand support profile, DellCares. Its awareness purpose is to help customers with issues in real time with personal responses. It’s part of a company-wide Dell social media strategy which includes a Listening Command Centre that monitors thousands of Dell- related posts each day.Page 10
  11. 11. ProductdevelopmentProducing new products and improving old ones is thelifeblood of any brand. But it is an expensive processin which the focus group has been the main method ofgathering insights and information. Not only are focusgroups costly to run, but they are a small window intothe customer that could easily provide a wrong turn or IT’S lIkE a lIvEconflicting conclusion. But social media can open the foCuS Groupdoor to honest customer feedback that does not take THaT nEvErmonths to gather. The results: CloSES...If You HarnESS THE Less focus groups and market research are poWEr of THIS needed, leading to budget savings CommunITY, You Customers can be invited to provide reviews, WIll bEnEfIT. If ratings and feedback on existing products 24/7 You Turn Your i.e. your fans and followers are an extension of baCk on IT, You your R&D department GET furTHEr and The budget roadblocks to developing multiple furTHEr ouT of projects is removed – you can do more research TouCH” Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce. with less money com, which provided the platform You can choose specific users to actually test for mystarbucksidea, talking to new products and provide feedback buzzmachine.com Social ‘listening’ around keywords gives an idea of the sentiment around a topic, brand or product Competitions can be run to encourage customers to get involved and actually come up who is doing with new product ideas and innovations for you it smarter? In 2008 Starbucks created a site, mystarbucksidea, which is a call to action to customers to help shape the future of the company and its offering. In the first year it generated 70,000 suggestions, including free coffee for Gold Card members on their birthday, a VIP card and splash sticks. Not only has it created a community, it’s tapped into an endless source of development ideas.Page 11
  12. 12. SalesSocial media tools may not bring the target-hitting quick winsthat drive many sales teams, so they have to be implementedby companies that understand their application in the salescycle and have clear deliverables and ways to measure suc-cess from the outset. It’s no good teaching your sales team touse Twitter, then getting on their backs because they didn’tconvert sales on day one. But if you train and incentivise salesstaff to use social media, results may be long range, but theyare more than worthwhile: The number of potential customers your sales team can reach is suddenly huge Say goodbye to cold calling for lead generation, social media produces active engagement by people I SEE mY rolE aS interested in your brand and products i.e. it’s like the CHanGE manaGEmEnT. telephone directory calling them a dIGITal dEparTmEnT Social media heightens awareness of a brand and IS SomEWHaT product prEpoSTErouS, People constantly offer up information about IT’S kInd of lIkE themselves online, information which can readily tell aIr and WaTEr, ITS you whether they are a prospect for your product or not EvErYWHErE.” Social media facilitates conversations, and Ben Edwards, VP of digital strategy conversations facilitate relationships that, if handled and development at IBM, talking to well, can last streetmedia’s Arun Sudhaman. A good experience with a product or sales process means referrals, and lots of them If sales people are listening to customer conversations, they have an opportunity to join in, provide a solution and close a sale who is doing The barrier to the kind of cultural change that would it smarter? IBM has developed a strategy see all departments silo-free and working in concert to transform its US sales using social media is, as ever, the existing culture. team into what it calls ‘digital Many CEOs still consider Twitter and Facebook time sellers’ who are empowered wasting games their kids use. to use Twitter and Linkedin as It means that selling a social media training solu- part of their every day jobs. Some sales reps even have tion to them has to be scalable, measurable, cost- their own Facebook pages effective and, most of all, proven to work. If you can’t and blogs. measure success, you probably aren’t succeeding. Your staff are social media friendly. Why aren’t you?Page 12
  13. 13. ‘Like’ or ‘unlike’it, social mediais here ...... and your employees arealready using itHere are some final, startling statistics; 31 per cent ofcompanies ban employees from using social media 1.6sites such as Facebook at work. Meanwhile, a survey byIT services firm Telindus found that 39 per cent of 18 to24 year-olds would leave a job if access was denied. Switching the connection off is the type of knee-jerk,head-in-the-sand approach that ignores the fact that1.6 billion people worldwide are online, and a majorreason for them being there is to stay connected viasocial media. bIllIon pEoplE Outlawing it at work is pretty much like WorldWIdE arEdisconnecting the phone lines, shutting off email andbarring the door to the post room. Or saying that onlya few, trusted employees can have access to these onlInE, and a major‘modern mediums’ at all. rEaSon for The reality is, enterprise-wide engagement isn’t a THEm bEInGnice to have, it is a must have – and it is happening THErE IS To STaYwhether companies like it or not. ConnECTEd vIa SoCIal mEdIa.”Struggling There is an effective and fast way to fill your digital skills gap ....Page 13
  14. 14. w Struggling with a digital skills gap? Digital Chameleon has the solution digital Chameleon is the only digital media and marketing learning company to combine modular self-paced e-learning with customised face-to-face workshops and training sessions for media and marketing professionals. We help you stay ahead of the competition by enabling your organisation to adapt to the ever-changing digital, social and mobile landscape rapidly and within budget. Whether you are working to integrate digital into your business or have staff that need more advanced social media marketing and online sale skills, we have a course that will deliver results. our modular approach is: » Scalable – you can roll bring whole departments or your entire workforce up to date with their digital skills quickly » Cost effective – access to our online modules won’t blow your budget but will get your teams using digital channels to drive revenue and engagement » Measurable – you’ll know our approach is working because we will back it up with metrics that show how much your teams have learned and how well they’ve learned it » Up-to-date – the digital world changes rapidly, and we are constantly responding to those changes with new courses and materials To speak with us about how to fill your digital skills gap call us on +61 2 9997 4417. Or for a free trial go to www.digitalchameleon.com.auPage 14