The look on her face said it all. Here was the brand she had worked so hard to build on the world stage being made a mockery of. What was worse her own employees, her senior staff were part of the conspiracy.
“How could this, happen…?” the normally unshakeable Chief Executive Officer stammered.
On the projector screen in front of us was a reworking of one her key brand assets lampooned on Twitter, being passed around and mocked. At least one of the CEOs most trusted managers was involved.
It was at that point, she understood what I had tried to explain, by not being interested in Digital Marketing and allowing her staff free rein without direction she had lost control. Up until that point Social Media, Apps and Digital Video had been something ‘the kids’ in the business tinkered with. It wasn’t taken seriously. However, as this CEO began to take note of who was now mocking her carefully constructed brand image and she realised their influence with prospective customers panic set in.
“I’ll fire him… I’ll sue her… I’ll…” a multitude of expressions from frustration, to anger and fear came out.
“First, tell me why are you feeling this way?” I asked the CEO.
“I don’t know..” came the uncertain response.
“After all you told me that this wasn’t something that concerned you. Why should a Round Robin joke on Twitter bother you?” I asked more that a little provocatively.
In silence she looked at the names on the lists that had seen the brand mockery. As she viewed them her mouse clicks exposed who they were linked to, who they worked for and she realised just how interconnected they were. The penny began to drop, Social Media mattered as did the rest of the companies Digital Marketing.
“They are destroying my brand.” she said simply.
It was time to pull this back and give the CEO control of her Digital Marketing.
“I doubt they see it that way.” I replied quietly
The look the executive gave me told me to continue.
“Twitter, a lot of Social Media, is just like any other network, physical or virtual; it is all about who you are connected to and the relationship you have and the context of how you share content. The trouble with Social Media, unlike physical networks, is that you can easily forget that your ‘in-jokes’ are often shared with the whole world. I very much doubt that any of what you are now viewing is malicious. The good news is that although the experience can be negative it can also be very positive. The right comment shared by a client who is happy with your work, might just encourage another prospect to pick up the phone and book you.”
“What you have to get right though is the level of control and understand the strategic role Digital Marketing plays in your organisation.”
So began the serious work of deciding what Digital Marketing meant to the business. We began with the business aims and the 3 Sheep team had to work through a large number of Social Media accounts and other systems to find out exactly what was and wasn’t already going on. It was a complex rescue case but at the end there was a clear strategic purpose to the Digital Marketing within the business and the CEO had created policies to guide staff on its use.
No one got fired. The CEO saw it as her responsibility to give guidance. She now understood that the Manager that had joined in the brand mockery was actually just trying to connect with customers and colleagues. Not in the way she wanted but then she hadn’t given any direction, so the manager was not to blame.
When 3 Sheep had finished working with the client they had decided to focus primarily on Email, Web, Social Media and Mobile Apps as their four key areas of Digital Marketing. Social Media was linked to clear business objectives and managers and staff in general were given guidance on its appropriate marketing use.
The CEO had control.
The UK Digital Economy is failing. One of the key reasons is because not enough executives take Digital seriously. It is left as a random activity, in the hands of juniors or interns.
When discussing the Digital Economy failure I was recently told by a senior manager “… but we don’t have the knowledge to make it work “. No, outside of the Digital Sector, few senior executives and managers will have the knowledge, Social Media, Apps, etc. it is all new. However you do know your business and that is the key thing. The knowledge can be gained to make the right decisions to support your goals.
3 Sheep run a Senior Executive Digital Strategy Workshop. Where we review your existing strategy (or help you create one from scratch). We use our understanding of the technology and it’s business and marketing uses to help you strategically apply it to your objectives.
The workshops are entirely bespoke to a particular companies needs and confidential. This means we can really speak openly about the best way to use Digital Technologies in your business.
A half-day workshop for up 6 team members held on your site starts at just £549.00 (ex VAT) and could help make sure you stay in control of your Digital Marketing.