By , Head of Strategic Research
After our recent membership seminar, I was asked by a number of people if we have any techniques for getting senior stakeholders to take digital seriously and release budget for digital projects.
The answer is yes, and of course the easiest way to secure buy-in and get cross-organisational support is to employ an agency like us to cut through internal structures and politics in a stakeholder engagement exercise that delivers a digital roadmap for the future. However, getting to the point of commissioning work like this is often too fraught with internal obstacles. I can say though that having worked with many very complex and multi-faceted organisations, it is evident that there are similarities between them which can be used as catalysts for change.
Where to start?
A digital vision needs to be owned by the whole organisation, which means it has to have buy-in from the top. However, as we all know it is often difficult to get the idea of a cohesive and holistic digital strategy across to those who are likely to release the budget to produce it. This is to say that unless your CEO is a digital evangelist, you will have to prove the benefits of digital first in order to get the idea of a digital future on the agenda.
director at the IET, entertained and enlightened attendees at our membership seminar last week. Here Adrian Porter tells you what you missed at our first membership seminar.
Attendees at Thursday’s seminar to launch our new sector report, Membership organisations: big challenges, digital answers? were both captivated and entertained by Michelle’s account of how the Institution of Engineering and Technology is embracing the digital world.
In her role as Membership and Professional Development Director at the IET since 2006, Michelle has overseen a real life digital implementation journey that has its roots in the IET’s strategic vision and objectives for the 21st century.
Michelle started her talk by revealing a visualisation of the IET’s strategy, a remarkably concise and instantly understandable diagram that rather impressively represents the consolidation of a ’72 slide deck’!
Despite not being one of our clients, and with us not knowing exactly what Michelle was going to say in her presentation, the resonance between the approach adopted by the IET to their digital development and the recommendations contained in our report was quite deafening. Michelle showed us how consideration of the IET’s strategic priorities combined with an understanding of her members’ life stage engagement with the IET has manifested itself in an innovation roadmap which directly translates into a series of digital initiatives.
By , Commercial Director
In our digital finance report Integration or Isolation? and subsequent digital finance forum we showed a range of great examples for social engagement in financial service organisations. This included the @RBS_Economics insight tweets, @SkandiaTeamGBR’s digital curation of its own content and other relevant information sources and @Zopa’s really personal customer service approach. We also looked at Fidelity’s proactive Facebook page and how some firms such as Investec are starting to maintain their LinkedIn company pages.
At the forum the biggest single issue shared with us during the roundtables was the challenge of compliance. Feedback from the event stressed how much marketers were looking to Precedent and similar digital agencies to answer their compliance challenges. Clearly we can’t alone answer what are often complex regulatory challenges. Keen to take on the challenge we proposed a roundtable event under Chatham House Rules to get marketers and compliance professionals together to explore these issues and hopefully find some positive recommendations.
By , Head of Digital Marketing
Missed the last month’s Precedent Digital Finance Forum? To our delight, the roundtable discussions quickly sparked participants swapping success stories for overcoming compliance restrictions and old fashioned thinking towards social media and blogging.
Here are just a few of the tried and tested solutions cherry picked as highlights from those roundtable talks. Have a read through and let us know your own experiences in the comments.
1. Thought-leadership and social media: the perfect match
Rather than use social media and blogs to push products, offering helpful and impartial information hasn’t just proved an effective strategy for major players like City Index or Lloyds TSB, it’s also bang on trend.
Stats from Google Insight reveal that DIY-style searches are significantly on the rise as users discover that adding ‘how to’ to a search string lets them skip the sales pitch and get straight to the content.
2. Softly-softly catches management approval
If you’re working at a less digitally forward-thinking institution, members of the forum found starting with a small and easily approved by compliance piece of digital activity gave them the stats and evidence for management to green-light larger initiatives.
The bottom line being if you’re speaking to management, talk return on investment and not blogs or Twitter. This means setting up the right tracking in advance – whether it’s Google Analytics for your website, buzz monitoring for the web as a whole, or bespoke tracking for your social media profiles – and knowing what metrics to track and how to interpret them.
Adrian Porter – Head of Strategic Research
As promised, here is the first of a short series of follow-up blogs on our second Digital Finance Forum. Please feel free to comment below, and let’s keep the conversation going using #PrecSem.
After our initial forum in September last year we anticipated that compliance issues would be high on the agenda for delegates attending the forum yesterday at the Merchant Taylors Hall in the City.
With this in mind, as those of you who attended yesterday discovered, we attempted to recruit two, or three people with experience of dealing with compliance to help us facilitate a panel debate on the subject.
The irony was of course that none of the people we approached could get the clearance from compliance to participate. Excuse this use of text speak but, – LOL!
However, we were determined to embrace the subject and tryto focus on positive approaches to common problems, rather than turn the morning into a ‘compliance-bashing exercise’.
By , Head of Research
I remember sitting with the Head of Marketing at a top English university a few years ago talking to her about the challenges she was facing at the time.
One of her grudge bears were technical problems regarding source material. In effect, she wanted the course database to be a single source containing multiple versions of programme descriptions that could be used according to audience and requirement. So for instance, the same source could be used in a printed prospectus, a departmental flyer, on the university website, a departmental website and could be used as the programme specification. Her frustration was that with multiple-person access to this database and in some instances more than one database, descriptions were often changed without notification.
One of her other challenges was an old chestnut that I’d heard before about how to ensure that academics were ‘happy’ with her interpretation of their courses. She cited a conversation with an academic who had asked her to up the marketing-ante with regards to his particular course as his student numbers were low. She said that she wanted to say that it was because “his course was ****, not relevant anymore, and that he had not let her edit in any significant way its description in the prospectus”.
By , Head of Digital Marketing
As highlighted on Mashable, artificial intelligence (along with some truly remarkable voice recognition technology!) is coming to the iPhone 5 in the form of iPhone assistant and it’s going to mean big changes for businesses who aren’t already actively engaging in their wider web presence.
The iPhone Assistant has an eerily smart ability to take verbal, casually worded requests and turn them into search terms it then sorts and rates for you based on existing criteria. To see the old version in action, check out the YouTube video by Siri, a start-up acquired by Apple last year, who’s original app has been in development ever since in preparation for today’s iPhone 5 unveiling.
Because the assistant feature uses user generated web content to assess search results, whether or not someone liked your business on Facebook or put a favourable review for it on Qype will suddenly have the power to determine whether the assistant feature even bothers to show your listing to its human master.
By Adrian Porter, Head of Strategic Research and report author
Those of you who have known Precedent for any length of time will be aware of our very successful seminar series. On Friday we took a departure from our usual two speech and breakfast format to host a whole morning of finance-related presentations and workshops at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Six of our experts provided insight from our recent report into the online landscape for UK financial service firms covering every aspect of digital strategy. In the interactive breakout sessions delegates and our consultants discussed how various digital channels are being used and took time to share the challenges that they all face. It became clear that the big issue for people working in finance communications and marketing is the lack of dedicated digital teams and the ever-present shadow of compliance that often make the real-time nature of channels like Twitter and Facebook difficult to use effectively.
In this, the fourth of a six part column contributed by Precedent to PSMG magazine, talks through some deadly sins of social media, while giving three simple rules to help you succeed in the social space.
Before I get into the nitty gritty of how to capitalise on social media, I’ll do the obligatory ‘why social media?’ for any remaining naysayers: put most simply, social media is where your users live online. For anyone still questioning this, look at networks like LinkedIn and its growth rate of 100% per year, or Twitter and its over-representation of professionals, politicians, journalists, and generally high-profile, influential people tweeting and conversing every day.
Essentially, not engaging in social media is now the business equivalent of skipping your next 500 networking events.
Deadly sins of social media
Firstly, please put those press releases down and back away from the Twitter feed. Posting press releases to social media is like walking into a cocktail party wearing a sandwich board of your services and shouting your latest achievements into a megaphone at the buffet queue.
By , Head of Research
It is with a sense of relief, and not a little gratitude to my colleagues, that I can formally announce the launch of our latest sector report: Integration or isolation? – The digital landscape for UK financial services.
I have been producing big reports into various sector websites for over ten years and the title of this one had me reflecting on the process that we undertake to get these reports ‘to press’.
As always the research and data collection is really the easy bit. It can be done in isolation. Just put me in front of a computer, leave me alone for a few weeks with a spreadsheet and ‘the job’s a good ‘un’!
It’s the concept, design, proofing and coordination of the people who help me bring the reports together that presents the biggest challenge – the integration.