Digital disappointment

'When are we getting fibre optic?!'
Every year the capability of technology is growing faster and so are our expectations of it. The gap between what we know to be possible and what we experience is only widening. Our children are growing up in a world where all screens are interactive and every service is cloud-connected, where any song or movie ever made is at their fingertips, yet our disappointment only grows. My children are always surprised when a surface isn't touch screen or when I can't quote the exact time that Mummy will be home!

Why is changing this hotel booking taking me two hours on a clunky website interface? Why is this film not available for streaming? Why am I using a printed ticket? How can this website be down? Surely this town should have 4G by now?

What can make this disillusionment even worse is the plethora of systems we are expected to use at work and at play. Some new, some old but all them with their own eccentricities. I have found in every place I have ever worked that the lack of integrated software systems can be very frustrating. Often I am met with companies owning many systems which either have very similar functionality (one place I used to work had 5 CRMs!), are so new that no-one is using them to their potential, or are so old that they require an 11 year old browser in order to run!

With this in mind Kier have been putting a lot of effort into a programme called 'BOOST' where we consolidate all systems into one supplier to help with software integration, less intensive training requirements, and ultimately, a reduced cost.

In our team we have also been working to bring all of our Marketing solutions for the business together in one place. For example, we have a digital asset library, a corporate presentation and various branded templates but simply listing them all on our intranet is not enough. This is because sometimes such assets need to be accessed by external design agencies or third party suppliers.

One essential feature of our new 'Marketing Hub'  is a homepage which is frequently updated with the latest videos, photos, brochures etc. we have produced with links to where the business can find them. This communication is key if the work we are doing is utilised fully in either winning work or attracting the best new staff. It goes without saying that we will carefully monitor the analytics of this interaction.

This internally integrated Marketing communication allows all new starters to familiarise themselves with the brand and our positioning. It also gives them ready access to all of the assets they may need in their day job.

Importantly, an online briefing form allows them to log any requests for new microsites, posters, banners etc. By only accepting briefs in this way it ensures that the end agency has all they need to complete the work and we can monitor all requests and intervene if required. We then have a 360 degree view of all submitted requests and can flag up any duplicate work or causes for concern with the originator. Most importantly it allows us to have oversight of the type of collateral the business requires and then write this into our future plans.

This Hub will become the primary channel for keeping the brand alive alongside our regular webinars, site visits, working groups and email updates. With 24,000 staff on the books having one go to place for all marketing related matters is essential.

Living the dream!
Of course, my main challenge is avoiding any user frustration with the interface and to make it work on all browsers and devices. Otherwise the aforementioned digital disappointment will kick in and users will become like those people with instant hot water taps in their kitchen who now get frustrated waiting for a kettle to boil!
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