Professional Marketing Trends – Creating Engaging Digital Experiences

I attended the “Engaging Digital Experiences” webinar on March 3, 2020 to see what I could learn about crafting more engaging digital experiences.

Make the most of the current situation

During the dot com boom/bust the big players now were investing big in digital: Apple, google, etc. Let’s take this time and really invest in digital. Take advantage of the opportunity this virus gives us. Leapfrog the competition.

Make sure you measure along the way

How do you measures your results? Customer Data is the customer journey. What are all the touch points and engagement points? What is the content? The expectation from our customers on content has changed.

The main goal

If customers can get their goals with your company they will stay with your company. If we keep customers, that is profitability. Strengthen the brand and use technology to augment our brand. Invest enough in digital to survive.

Why do you need a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)?

Meaning of content has changed. Users are engaging with us through different fields. Augmented reality or virtual reality are two new options to connect. Augmented is a real thing and has advance into something called mixed reality. This allows for a transaction in reality.

How do we put plans around that to find out how to engage and immerse ourselves in this journey?

  1. Create a strategy – where is our content? Where does it go? What destinations do we need to come into contact with?
  2. What is our content? What destination is most optimized for what contnet? IG is good for video. Twitter is good for text heavy. Image heavy. Linked in is where you post articles.
  3. Create content on purpose that is optimized for that destination.
  4. Manage the content life cycle. To make sure what we have on there is relevant and fresh and helps our users accomplish their goals.
  5. Amplify that content. Drive traffic back to our source content. Connect the dots. Make the connections between our content management hub and who it will be distributed to.
  6. We don’t always have to look back what what has happened. We want technology to prescribe to us what kind of content needs to be established to what channel. It’s beyond what has happened, it’s now to this is what should happen. Get to that point.
  7. Manage that content life cycle.
  8. Measure and provide guidance to what we have next.

Once you have this going, use the tech to get us where we wan to go. Content Management System is decoupled from the front end.

Tag things. Have an image repository. Things the end user will not see. Grow the separation out. It doesn’t have to be a one to one relationship. You can build up tech info and then farm it out.

Don’t just keep your content on your website. Push it out to the destinations you have. Twitter, IG,  and your website are each only one channel. You need to push out your content. You need to control the journey that your customers go on.

Digital signage is big now

Control that content from a central location – your Content Management System. Billboards, hospitals, advertisements, this is one of those elements that we can take a look at and say this bridges the gap between digital and physical. We physically see the signs but we can bring the content digital.

Progressive web applications – next evolution of responsive web. If the device is a mobile device, I will reposition the content to fit on that mobile screen.

We don’t want to read an entire article on our device. We might want to transition to a different device to read it on a different device. We change the code of the content. We transition that content and optimize it for that device.

Push notifications – cannot be done with webpages
Have offline mode – cache your experience, if in dense spot or connect to network, you can still participate in that Progressive Web App (PWA) experience.

FT, twitter, NASA, have PWA experiences.

Transform the browser into something palatable.

Immersive Technologies

Immersive technology – Warby Parker, try on glasses without receiving glasses.

Augmented reality – we need to feel like we have a physical element in a digital world. Mixed reality.

Chatbots – was cool before but them leaves. Chatbots now have capacity of machine learning adn AI capabilities. We can gather data from other sources and provide that info in a chat. Allows us to accomplish things without human intervention.

Wearables – Realize how often you access data from that little screen. Even withpout adjacent devices. Don’t even need phone near me to access the data that I need if I do it from my Apple Watch.

Can enhance that experience through desktop or tablet or through mobile device.

Evolution of technology:

Social media – 2010 facebook dominant, tiktok, lasso, other platofrms – how is your digital experience on your social networks. Do you have a plan? Is all the style and tonality similar on our social media?

Big Questions:

  • Do we have a direct Call to Action (CTA) to drive users to a specific result?
  • Do your ads lead to an e-commerce platform? Make a click and have a sale and we are shipping a product to them?

“You want to be a little unpredictable.”

To have a different methodology: how are we taking our plans and experiences in ways to apply them to the customer expectations? They want seamless experiences wherever they go.

Develop and agile methodology for extensibility

How do we bolt things together to expand our footprint? How do we integrate with other partners?

Shoptalk conference – how do you know what people want? We don’t know what people want or what the next big thing is. But we are constantly putting things out, measuring the changes, and recording the results. Seeing what works – this works with tech, applications, messaging, etc.
Get our heads aroudn this, how do we get stuff out, test build, design, plan launch, = this is the agile methodology – fail fast technique.

Look into the cloud for tech.
We are still doing things on site. cloud allows to not set up infrastructure, we can initiate the output we are looking for. Saas tech, paas, get up and running faster if we do cloud based tech.

Mar Tech – Marketing technology – growing indusrty

Microservices – been aroudn for a while but gaining
One tasker = does one thing sreally well,
Rules or logic or workflow – this is a microservice.
Connect to personlization services
Electronic transactions – how do connect website to transaction capabilities (paypal visa, stripe, etc)
Lightweight and set up to use fast
Containerized – no need to spin up entire stack
Purpose built applications/services to accomplish goal and expand capabiliites.

CDP = Custoemr data platoform (REALLY SEE THIS AS BENEFIICAL)

Strategy to pull all this tech together

  • All starts with a modern CMS
  • Store your content and have it available
  • Content management to a digital epxerience platform
  • Make a better journey
  • Make more sales
  • Have more control over the digital experience
    This is where the matruity level compes in by integrateing all that we know

Ask yourself – Are you able to push your content from wordpress to your twitter, facebook, etc. To get your content out and so it is not jsut a webiste and it lives in multiple places.

Website activity to connect to better places and more engagment.

Wordspress post to out put and push it out to multiples.

When we get into the framework of how things are constructed and how they interact with each other

Digital eXperiecen framework is our guide to how to define a strategy.

Need data sources to tap into
CMS, ERP, CRMs, are data sources. Need to have them well defined, where they are and whatr they do. then we need to connect them.

When you fall in love with the process you can be satisfied anytime your system is running

What have you been doing to de-stress? My go to de-stressor has been running. During high school I slacked off in gym class and frequently ran 13 minute miles. We’d walk when the teacher couldn’t see us. Now I’m running 5 miles every other day.

In this blog post I’m going to discuss how the habits in James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, have helped me re-frame running. Now running is a fun activity that I really enjoy and even look forward to.

I’m surprised that I’ve latched on to this hobby as much as I have. I’ve been running 5 miles around Kapiolani park every other day for weeks now.

Why do I run? I love it. Not the run, but my ability to get my shoes on, get outside, and start running.

“When you fall in love with the process rather than the product, you don’t have to wait to give yourself permission to be happy. You can be satisfied anytime your system is running.” ― Clear

I’ve set the goal to get downstairs every other day. The run runs itself. I just have to take the smallest action then I can hang back and just let it happen.

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.” – Clear

I read online that we should be taking this opportunity to form new habits so we will be even better off once the Corona virus situation has concluded.

“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results.” ― Clear

As long as I’m downstairs with my shoes on in the morning I consider it a win.

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” ― Clear

What kinds of habit systems are you developing during this forced downtime? Contact me I’d love to hear about it!

The situation calls for us to become increasingly better improvisers

We’ve all had to wear a number of different hats over the past 3 weeks. I’ve had to learn how to wear the “making breakfast for my daughter” hat under the “attending a website-accessibility webinar” baseball cap under the “washing the dishes” top hat under the “researching live chat solutions for our website” fedora.

That’s a lot of hats.

It’s not so much the number of new tasks that need to be taken care of as the pressure of doing all the tasks simultaneously with the same quality and care as they were done before Covid-19.

The situation calls for us to become increasingly better improvisers.

Keith Johnstone, the father of improvisation describes why perfection is so difficult to achieve through improvisation:

“If you improvise spontaneously in front of an audience you have to accept that your innermost self will be revealed. The same is true of any artist. If you want to write a working class play then you’d better be working class. An artist has to accept what his imagination gives him, or screw up his talent.” – Johnstone

We’re good at tools when we’ve become experts. It takes a long time to master a tool. How long will it take you to master Zoom?

It’s hard to write this blog post because my daughter is crying in her pack and play next to me screaming that she needs “more wah bah” before she takes her nap for the day.

Maintaining focus is the hardest thing. There is no option to work at the coffee shop. There is no, “I will work on this when I have some time to myself.”

We need to work with each other in new creative ways because we need to keep our composure to retain the peace we need to survive.

“One who excels in employing others humbles himself before them. This is known as the virtue of non-contention; this is known as making use of the efforts of the others. To know, yet to think that one does not know, is best … the sage does not hoard.” – Johnstone

We need to be the first to apologize.

“The actor or improviser must accept his disabilities, and allow himself to be insulted, or he’ll never really feel safe.” – Johnstone

Think about that. Really think about that. We need to allow ourselves to be insulted or we will never truly feel safe.

Covid-19 requires us to relate to each other in new ways that may have felt uncomfortable or unsafe before. We need to get better at solving challenges together. We need diverse collaborators.

“What matters to me is the ease with which I free associate and the skill with which I reincorporate.” – Johnstone

But we can’t take too long to take action.

“I don’t deny the importance of thinking, inventing, or planning, but if you have to improvise on the spot, and that’s exactly what we have to do, you must act and not think. It’s action we must have – wise, foolish, or naive, simple or complicated, but action.” – Johnstone

We have to improvise. New tech is a dance of improvisation. We’ll have to find the steps and incorporate them into our daily rituals before we can truly learn to dance.

My nephew used to get down on himself at baseball practice. He’d compare himself to the other kids who had been playing baseball for years.

I’d keep telling him, “Don’t worry about not being good with it now. The only difference between you and the kids who do this well is experience. They’ve had 100 at bats. They’ve just done it more than you have.”

The best way through improvisation is over-communication.

Over-communicate to let your colleagues know you got their email. Open yourself up to new ways of communicating your solidarity through this tough time.

Virginia Satir is a well-known psychologist who’s written many books on people-making. She stresses the primary importance of communication:

“Once a human being has arrived on earth, communication is the largest single factor determining what kinds of relationships he makes with others and what happens to him in the world about him.” – Satir

During these tough times, it can be easy to write people off and focus on how their communication style clashes with yours. The important thing to remember is that it “takes the whole city to raise a child.”

We need to find commonalities and focus on our similarities to develop the relationships we desire:

“If humans never find their sameness, they will never meet; if they never meet their differentness, they cannot be real or develop a truly human and zestful relationship with one another.” – Satir

We need to rely on each others strengths right now. We need to allow for differences. We need to recognize that we are in this together and use this opportunity to reconnect and rediscover our shared humanity.

Contact me if you have any stories about how you pushed through difficulties to over-communicate and thrive during these Covid-19 times.

If you want people to do the unexpected, you go first

Covid-19 is a lot to deal with. The entire world is stressed out. When people are this stressed out they don’t show the best version of themselves.

This week I wanted to discuss the de-escalation techniques I learned in Mark Goulston’s book, “Just Listen.”

During these chaotic times you will have to deal with agitated people. Use these tactics to understand the situation, keep your calm, take care of yourself, and get what you need while staying safe.

Taking care of yourself and your loved ones, keeping your cool, and phrasing your words in ways that are effective and get you what you want, when you want, from whom you want are the most important skills you can have right now.

“You will deal, every day, with people who have mirror neuron receptor deficits because the world isn’t giving back to them what they’re putting out. Understanding a person’s hunger and responding to it is one of the most potent tools you’ll ever discover for getting through to anyone you meet in business or your personal life.” – Goulston

It’s easy to keep your cool when the problem doesn’t affect you personally. But when bad things like this happen they affect everyone.

“When bad things happen, if you resist the temptation to do anything that will make matters worse, you will discover valuable things about your company and yourself that you would never have learned had you not taken the hit.” – Goulston

How do you deal with panic?

“One absolutely crucial element in moving your brain from panic to logic is to put words to what you’re feeling at each stage.” – Goulston

Get the person to talk out how they feel. Have them talk through their feelings. Make them feel felt. Above all refrain from coming across like you are attacking the person.

“Every time you protect yourself from being attacked, the other person feels as if you’re on the attack.” – Goulston

Why are people being so mean right now?

“The greatest single cause of dissonance is the fact that people behave their worst when they feel most powerless.” – Goulston

So how do you calm someone? Do something unexpected. Listen to them.

“If you want people to do the unexpected, you go first.” – Goulston

Above all stay calm.

“When you stipulate a potential problem or flaw, do it in a confident and unselfconsciousness way. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed the person you’re communicating with will be – and the easier it will be for both of you to focus on your message.” – Goulston

Unfortunately there is no fast track from pain to calm. The only path is through.

“The more we allow people to have their feelings and become sad or angry, the quicker it passes.” – Goulston

So what can you do now?

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Agatha Christie

Set yourself apart by staying calm.

“If you’re the one who stays in control when everyone else is falling apart, you’ll earn the respect and confidence of the people above you.” – Goulston

According to Goulston, here is the step by step process to calm people when they are angry:

  1. Say, ” Tell me what happened”
  2. Then say, “I need to make sure I heard you right.” And summarize what they said.
  3. Wait until the person says, “Yes.”
  4. Then clarify by asking, “And that makes you feel angry/frustrated or what exactly?”
  5. Follow up with with a leading question, “And the reason it’s so important to fix this or make this better now is…”
  6. Lastly, now that you’ve allowed them to vent their frustrations and understand that you are on the same page, illuminate the path out.

Now that you have the 6-step plan in mind go ahead and start putting it into place with people facing challenges.

“Make people feel interesting, make them feel important, and above all, make them feel felt.” – Goulston

Has this post change how you deal with people? Contact me if you have any questions!