New media and web technologies offer many terrific benefits for companies. While many companies in South Africa still sit on the sideline waiting to see how things will evolve (this is not an option we recommend) others are sometimes too eager and, worse, they don’t involve themselves in the process preferring a completely outsourced solution.
Unless your company has someone in-house who knows what they’re doing and is prepared to take ownership of new media activity for you company (sorry, but an ad or design agency-appointed account manager doesn’t fit the bill – especially when their strength lies with traditional media), we’d like to afford these eager corporate beavers five pieces of advice:
1: Make it your priority to understand online marketing and new media technologies. The best way of doing this is to get onto the web and start researching and experimenting with the different web channels yourself. While this is sometimes not always possible, it’s fundamental to at least speak to people in the industry who can afford you non-sales-related advice. Best of all, hire them to join your team.
2: Decide how your brand will use these different web marketing channels for the sake of benefiting your target audience. As an example, developing a social network site without a clear intension of user benefit makes no sense. The same applies to incorporating bandwidth-intensive rich media on your site. How will your user use it to their benefit? Having it there for the sake of making your site look pretty can cause more harm than good.
3: Similar to the above, decide how your brand will use all these additional (and awesome) new generation activities to benefit your own business. Outline which areas of the communication and marketing strategy they will aim to fulfill, and then measure it against predetermined pillars of success. Remember, thanks to the very nature of the Internet and its users, these strategies must be ready to evolve and change on the fly.
4: New media and technologies can be a powerful way of attracting consumer and media attention, building valuable relationships, and generating more leads. Determine how you will deal and engage with this added attention before going “live”.
5: Create internal new media advocates within your company. Involve as many people from within your organisation and make them aware of your new web strategies and why you’re using them. From the sales people and call centre agents to the receptionist and switchboard operator, anyone who has the possibility of being in contact with your potential web user must understand and support these activities and their objectives. Don’t forget the CEO and senior management.
Adopting new media within an organisation takes time, patience, and a lot of knowledge. It also required team work and out of the box thinking. When done properly, the benefits are huge!