Social Business: There and Back Again

Social Business: There and Back Again image socialrocket1Social Business: There and Back AgainSetting the stage to do social well in any organization is no small feat. Setting the stage inside a mature company that’s largely new to marketing is yet another. I have a dual mandate here at Rocket, both daunting and exhilarating.

First things first…

I’m tasked with fixing a broken online presence. Our web site exists as many entities. The corporate site and a couple microsites sit in one instance of one CMS while over a dozen branded microsites sit in unique instances of another CMS. Certainly not ideal.

Complicating things we’re mid-flight through a project to deploy marketing automation and CRM systems across a global enterprise, while training marketing and sales resources to follow best practices and collaboration techniques.

It gets better. We have an underperforming intranet, a support portal bursting at the seams, a wonderful wiki and knowledgebase and employees teeming with collaborative energy just waiting to go social.

I take solace in knowing all of these activities are new to an org that is figuring out marketing as we approach our 23rd birthday as a company. I feel even better knowing I’ve seen these problems in previous roles. I know we can’t fail being surrounded by very motivated team of utility infielders.

So… I certainly ain’t complaining. I have before me the holy grail for a digital strategist in 2013.

But where to begin?

The good thing is Rocket is full of willing co-conspirators. The vibe and culture here are second to none, with folks at all levels willing to help. My original mandate to “fix the web site” is on track. A wonderful digital agency is on-board to help us take our web site to the next level. By literally starting from scratch, I get to build the mother of all user experiences. We’re holding nothing back. The architecture is being purpose-built for growth. We’re taking advantage of federated search. We’re building for mobility. Best of all, we’re wagging marketing’s tail by positioning the web site to speak to customers in terms of their needs and goals and how our solutions can help.

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Make no bones about it. Rocket is going digital in a big way.

A Confluence of Opportunity

Here’s where some real excitement takes hold. Rocket is beginning a transformative chapter in our ability to speak with one voice. All those systems I mentioned at the top of this post? We’re evaluating what each means to our audiences and working toward integration and collaboration. We’re aligning every facet of this project with lead-gen and support systems. We’re building a data-oriented approach to what we do. No longer will we ask customers, partners and employees to seek out information from umpteen sources. No longer will we go online without goals to motivate us and metrics to validate us.

The Problem I Aim to Solve

Here’s a great visualization of what I’m challenged with. It comes from Altimeter’s Brian Solis. He’s used it in a couple of thought pieces in the past year and I just love it. This “influence loop” is affected by digital activities in many ways, be they web visitors, tweets, CRM notes or email campaigns. We have the means to drive awareness and build relationships anywhere (and everywhere) along the customer journey.

Rocket might have lagged behind its peers until now. But in 2013, we’re laying the foundation to become a truly digital enterprise. Come along for the ride.

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