Game plan

As digital marketers there is a constant need to stay up to date with the latest trends in technology. This is the primary reason why I think this blog has managed to find a following (it can't be for my poor use of analogies and dad jokes). Of course, the temptation for people working in in-house digital teams is to collect a theoretical knowledge of some key techniques which comprises their 'box of tricks'. With these they then are able to deliver some key projects and impress the less digitally savvy colleagues. Yet, eventually they use up all their tricks or their knowledge goes out of date. They're then left with no other choice but to apply for a new job and start the process all over again.

This is why it is essential that you are given the opportunities to practically try new things. If you don't roll up your sleeves yourself you're limiting your shelf life at a company. It also keeps work interesting and exciting as you trial new platforms, streamline your messaging and learn new ways of achieving your end goals.

This may be easier for digital experts working at agencies but for the in-house team there's a danger that you stray into becoming the maintainer and not the strategist. After all, by building intranets, websites and apps we are constructing managed services which need to be maintained. If we're then the people doing all the maintenance we're bound to get rusty!

A new plan for the new year
I've written before about the importance of selling digital capabilities internally. Without any buy-in from senior management you won't be given the resources to try new things. We're now deep into the planning stage of reviewing our priorities for the year ahead and I'm relishing the chance to be more strategic in our thinking. A key part of our three main priorities for 2017 are visiting senior staff to get them brought in to what we hope to achieve.

By communicating our strategy and then setting clear objectives we can acquire the freedom we need  to try something truly different. This communication is two-way as we'll need to fully understand the business to succeed so eventually everybody wins!

It's not just about adding new weapons to your arsenal but also ditching those that no longer work for you. For example, QR codes were jettisoned long ago from our marketing mix and we use apps as sparingly as possible - i.e. only when the native features of the device they're running on are utilised.

So what new things are we looking at? Well, time will tell but in the last few weeks we've sat in on some impressive demos showing augmented/virtual reality, proximity beacons, new social platforms, messaging apps and video. I'm currently plugging these in to our upcoming campaign plan from which we have high hopes in introducing something different to the industry.

Something else completely new for me this year is that I have increased my exercise regime! This all stemmed from the team looking for something we could do to raise money for our new charity partner The Alzheimers Society. I went away for Christmas, ate may own body weight in mince pies and stollen and thought no more of it. I returned to find I'm signed up as part of the team! I suppose I owe it to myself to take part in one last hurrah before my fortieth birthday later this year...

Of course, I've not been able to ignore the lure of technology and am working my way through the excellent 5K runner mobile app. This, combined with my regular kickboxing class and a grueling weekly regiment fitness team session, should have me ready to compete in the Bootneck Challenge on 18th February. I just hope I don't pick up an injury in the meantime running against the sleet on a Monday night.

We'd appreciate it if you could sponsor us - it's for a great cause!
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