Bringing it all together. Making digital happen

Bringing it all together. Making digital happen

You know what it’s like.  You go to a conference and you return to work upbeat and enthused about what is possible, all the really interesting things you’ve been talking about and how this is going to make a real difference in your organisation.  There comes the interesting bit  – your organisation – and how to actually make things happen in a ‘real organisation’ with all that entails.  Including the stuff that seems to stand in your way.

Earlier in the year I presented the closing session at the annual IDM/DMA West Digital Marketing Conference. Following the key note ‘The Digital Landscape 2009’ we heard from a range of expert practitioners across search, email, mobile and display.  My session, based on a case study covering our work with Visit Wales dealt with some of the more  practical lessons learnt – the ones we learnt while making digital happen in a real organisation.  Here are some of the big ones.

  1. When you are kicking off something new keep a low profile. Ironically big budgets can sometimes work against you. Test and learn. Build your case and present the facts.
  2. Doing digital well is still fundamentally about people and being smart rather than technology or media spend. Your team, internal and external, are always going to be your biggest asset.
  3. Ensure everyone is working to their strengths. Focus on what you do best and work with others who are doing the same. Yourself, your team, your agencies and suppliers.
  4. New models require new ways of working. Managing digital is as much about managing change as it is about managing digital. You need to plan for that change.
  5. Ideas rule. But don’t be seduced by ideas. You agency knows how to help you develop your business, but remember – you know your business best. Be challenged but trust your instincts.
  6. If you head up digital be prepared to spend some serious time influencing those above you.  Your challenge is to fill that gap between what your team know and what those above know.
  7. Keep it simple – never underestimate the power of the fag packet diagram or the lift shaft summary.   But let those above see all the numbers – they will ask silly, difficult and important questions.
  8. The list of things to do will never stop getting longer. The way you prioritise that list is critical to your success. Beware the opportunity cost.
  9. Don’t let anybody tell you any different. We are all still learning.
  10. I’ll let you know …

You can check out the slides I used to illustrate the stuff I mentioned above;

PS 2002 (2 years BFB) = two years before facebook. Yep, that long ago …