Digital Marketing

Lights, Digital, Action: In the age of A.I. marketing, telling a compelling story through digital video matters

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In the age of A.I. content marketing, telling a compelling story is now a video experience

Author: Mark Daniel

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is enabling a new toolset for marketing that promises to increase your visibility with potential customers. People walking by your business or some location selling your products will soon be getting a message or informational video selling them on the benefits of your goods and services and perhaps offering them a special discount.


While there has been a huge investment in perfecting these AI offerings, most businesses still have difficulty telling their story once they have an audience. If the person gets an informational video that doesn’t make sense, takes too long to tell or is just plain boring, customers will probably remember NOT to buy from that vendor in the future.

Businesses need to learn how to communicate with their potential customers in the digital world before they make mistakes that can ruin their brand. Many are turning to professional video and filmmakers to tell their story. Unfortunately, most of those filmmakers don’t know how to tell your story and will produce a useless and sometimes harmful video that sets your business back instead of moving things forward.

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Finding The Story


Lights, Digital, Action - Before you think about producing a digital video for your sales and marketing efforts, you need to know how to build your story:

  • What is the problem that your goods and services solve (people are hungry for a tasty sandwich)
  • Why are your goods and services the right solution for them (Our sandwich is tasty, quick to buy, inexpensive and easy to eat on the run)
  • What are the benefits to the customer (You’ll stop being hungry while loving the sandwich you are eating. In fact, you may want another!).

Sounds simple, right? Then why do so many businesses put out confusing or uninteresting
videos that do nothing to generate interest in their products?

The reasons are many, but one of the biggest is that telling the right story in the right way can be hard for most people. Also, much of the messaging done today, especially video, is done in a manner that cannot be quickly and easily absorbed by the customer. Videos become longwinded explanations best suited for trade shows or become too quick and cryptic to allow the customer to understand why they should bother with you in the first place.

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Positioning The Story


AI is helping us move beyond the “search and find” world of the internet and moving to
becoming our personal concierge.
The way that happens is to make content available to the
customer without waiting for serendipity to happen.

To position the content in the right way, every message you create must be accompanied with detailed metadata to will allow the AI tools to pick the right messages for the right people.

Today’s content is usually metadata poor and cannot be used to target interested customers. It’s the metadata about the story that helps find the interested potential customer and the story itself that helps get the business.


It really is no longer a matter of putting a video out on YouTube for the customer to find or to be linked to from your web page.

Most informational videos will soon be pushed to the viewer through AI. Those viewers may never go to your web page ever. That’s good news for you if you have the right story ready for them. It’s bad news if you have the wrong story.   

Ready to find your right digital video blockbuster?  For advice and digital strategy for more effective engagement, Let's talk! 

 

For 2018: Top 5 Practical Insights to achieve Digital Business

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Framing the digital business journey

"Skip the hype - digital business is about change, plain and simple" Sitting down this week with CEO Rob McGillen, founder of Practically Digital, we ask his insights that business leaders should understand on digital business and transformation. 

"Digital means something different to every person, and every company" observes Rob McGillen.   "Many times, tech companies and consulting firms are sharing digital visions about the future 3 years from now - without any clarity on what you can do now to get to that future.     

We see it differently.  Working across industries, we sense clear business trends and digital investments that make a major difference.  That is what we focus on with our clients - finding better choices and helping them on the digital journey now."

2 years on, business is growing rapidly for Practically Digital.  Part of the growth success is the intentional focus of Practically Digital's services: 

Practically Digital:  Focusing on digitizing the business processes that matter

Practically Digital: Focusing on digitizing the business processes that matter

"Many companies are daunted by digital 'moonshots' which take years and millions to achieve.  These big bets are risky and impact growth. " shares Rob.  "Our focus at Practically Digital is to help digitize the common business practices all companies face.   

This approach helps build confidence, delivers incremental value quickly, develops change skills on digital business, and establish a 'digital first' eco-system for the business.   When everyone is thinking and working digital - it is much easier to go for the moon, and much less cost and time."

 

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the top trends in digital business that make the difference

Looking across all of the clients and talking with hundreds of business leaders, we see the following 5 trends making a difference:

1) Stay hyper focused on the digital / real world customer.  The customer experience remains key, and needs to be continuously aligned with.   Journey mapping the customer experience (B2B or B2C) across your real world and digital touch points with your brand and service / solutions makes a major difference as you adopt digital solutions.  Bring those touch points and insights back to a cloud based CRM / relationship system.    

2) Digital Sales Enablement is the secret weapon to digital growth.  Digital marketing and social media are 'table stakes' activities - you need to do it, your brand absolutely needs the visibility, and- it has become a commodity.   Digital Sales Enablement - integration of 'facilitated sales platforms' and CRM solutions is becoming the major capability that companies can leverage to increase sales and growth.    

3) Artificial Intelligence has reached a maturity stage, where smaller players who are specializing and partnering.  You will see A.I. embedded in over 1/3 of your products and platforms in the the course of the next 24 months.   It is now found in part on chips in the newest iPhones, and more importantly - the cloud-enabled platforms are embedding and making possible for customer service, sales support and analytics, relationship builds with customers, and even tailored customer intake processes.  

4) Robotic process automation (RPA) is ready for the prime time.  As more companies are struggling with outsourcing (either visas, quality, or contract renewals) - the alternative that is now commercially viable is RPA.  Over 20 solution providers now exist in this space, and you will see the major consulting companies and outsourcing / system integrators will be offering this as a strong / lower cost alternative to the traditional BPO / ITO solution.  Get ahead on this curve and decide which makes sense for your company.   

5) Digital collaboration platforms (with video and content targeting and sharing)  that work on mobile are becoming a major supercharger for corporate speed and decision making, and engaging field / remote team members with a core corporate center.  We are finding companies who leverage these new generation are finally making a difference in the area of collaboration.   

 

A final insight from Rob McGillen. "These 5 digital activities are not hard efforts to rapidly prototype and bring online if a company is ready to make the journey.  The right thing to do is tackle one or more of these initiates together that enhance the collective value to the company. 

If you want to engage the customer better - focus on Sales, Marketing, transactions.  If you want to improve efficiency and growth within - collaboration and video engagement are great choices.   It depends on your business goals now and next. 

The key point is 'don't wait' for the digital moonshot opportunity.  Be practical and get moving! "

*  *  *  *

To learn how Practically Digital can help your company on digital transformation and capabilities you might consider, get in touch!

5 Practical Insights to achieve Digital Business

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Making a digital difference for companies ready to skip the hype.

Sitting down this week with CEO Rob McGillen, founder of Practically Digital, we ask his insights that business leaders should understand on digital business and transformation. 

"Digital means something different to every person, and every company" observes Rob McGillen.   "Many times, tech companies and consulting firms are sharing digital visions about the future 3 years from now - without any clarity on what you can do now to get to that future.     

We see it differently.  Working across industries, we sense clear business trends and digital investments that make a major difference.  That is what we focus on with our clients - finding better choices and helping them on the digital journey now."

2 years on, business is growing rapidly for Practically Digital.  Part of the growth success is the intentional focus of Practically Digital's services: 

Practically Digital:  Focusing on digitizing the business processes that matter

Practically Digital: Focusing on digitizing the business processes that matter

"Many companies are daunted by digital 'moonshots' which take years and millions to achieve.  These big bets are risky and impact growth. " shares Rob.  "Our focus at Practically Digital is to help digitize the common business practices all companies face.   

This approach helps build confidence, delivers incremental value quickly, develops change skills on digital business, and establish a 'digital first' eco-system for the business.   When everyone is thinking and working digital - it is much easier to go for the moon, and much less cost and time."

 

5-Insights-DB.png

the top trends in digital business that make the difference

Looking across all of the clients and talking with hundreds of business leaders, we see the following 5 trends making a difference:

1) Stay hyper focused on the digital / real world customer.  The customer experience remains key, and needs to be continuously aligned with.   Journey mapping the customer experience (B2B or B2C) across your real world and digital touch points with your brand and service / solutions makes a major difference as you adopt digital solutions.  Bring those touch points and insights back to a cloud based CRM / relationship system.    

2) Digital Sales Enablement is the secret weapon to digital growth.  Digital marketing and social media are 'table stakes' activities - you need to do it, your brand absolutely needs the visibility, and- it has become a commodity.   Digital Sales Enablement - integration of 'facilitated sales platforms' and CRM solutions is becoming the major capability that companies can leverage to increase sales and growth.    

3) Artificial Intelligence has reached a maturity stage, where smaller players who are specializing and partnering.  You will see A.I. embedded in over 1/3 of your products and platforms in the the course of the next 24 months.   It is now found in part on chips in the newest iPhones, and more importantly - the cloud-enabled platforms are embedding and making possible for customer service, sales support and analytics, relationship builds with customers, and even tailored customer intake processes.  

4) Robotic process automation (RPA) is ready for the prime time.  As more companies are struggling with outsourcing (either visas, quality, or contract renewals) - the alternative that is now commercially viable is RPA.  Over 20 solution providers now exist in this space, and you will see the major consulting companies and outsourcing / system integrators will be offering this as a strong / lower cost alternative to the traditional BPO / ITO solution.  Get ahead on this curve and decide which makes sense for your company.   

5) Digital collaboration platforms (with video and content targeting and sharing)  that work on mobile are becoming a major supercharger for corporate speed and decision making, and engaging field / remote team members with a core corporate center.  We are finding companies who leverage these new generation are finally making a difference in the area of collaboration.   

 

A final insight from Rob McGillen. "These 5 digital activities are not hard efforts to rapidly prototype and bring online if a company is ready to make the journey.  The right thing to do is tackle one or more of these initiates together that enhance the collective value to the company. 

If you want to engage the customer better - focus on Sales, Marketing, transactions.  If you want to improve efficiency and growth within - collaboration and video engagement are great choices.   It depends on your business goals now and next. 

The key point is 'don't wait' for the digital moonshot opportunity.  Be practical and get moving! "

*  *  *  *

To learn how Practically Digital can help your company on digital transformation and capabilities you might consider, get in touch!

Digital Transformation: 3 questions that help focus your digital journey

Digital Transformation: 3 questions that help focus your digital journey

an excerpt from our "Practical Guide to Digital Transformation" 2017 edition

Digital is about speed” is the prevailing opinion held by many strategy shops and consultants.   The common playbook includes chapters on knocking out steps in the supply chain, decreasing decision making steps, implementing cloud platforms to ‘leap frog’ historic infrastructure, and ‘enabling’ the business teams to do more (usually with less human intervention and lots of info graphic reports).  

What is often missing in most of these assessments is the impact that digital transformation can make on your customers (velocity), and the value creation that results.    Done right, you can magnify the value of the change 2x and 3x when you execute a digital transformation campaign that takes into account the bigger picture of business and customer growth.

What ‘digital done right’ looks like

First, be clear on slogans, tactics, and strategy.   “Being a digital business” is a slogan or advertisement for change – it is neither action or direction itself.   We have seen a growing number of first generation ‘digital transformations’ stumble on the slogan-heavy, change lite approach to digital transformation.  

Digital transformation is a campaign process (with multiple sprints of effort within) and change journey that focuses on the human, process, and platform changes in concert to ensure the digital journey sticks.   Like most change programs, digital transformation efforts go through cycles (hype, disappoints, and acceptance), and requires a steady hand and a sense of company ownership to achieve the desired results. 

Clear away the digital jargon and take a focused, practical look at your business.   Three questions we often ask clients to consider as they envision digital transformation:

1. Start with your leading indicators.  What areas of your business are flattening or trending poorly (new customer acquisition, transactions per cycle, days to sales close, marketing engagement factors) as an indicator of an opportunity for digital transformation?    These leading indicators usually point to an opportunity for incremental digital change, with a 1 to 2 quarter transformation time frame possible with the right strategic choices.   

2. What new market entrants (competitors) are trending upwards, and what digital techniques are they deploying to differentiate?    Differentiation at scale (think 5x to 10x impact difference in brand awareness or competitive marketing impressions) is possible with digital techniques and new models including digital marketing and sales enablement processes.    

3. Which areas of your business face the customer most, and are your customers receiving the best experience on those channels?     

A quick way to find out whether you are hitting the digital mark with your customers is an informal customer discussion (invite the top 10 and bottom 10 customers to a coffee, meeting, or meal) on how they are finding their experience.   Explore for aspirations (‘we wish you would …’ dialogs) and consider the art of the possible. 

If a digital answer exists (or could be brought forward in the near term) – consider the economics and effort it would take to prototype.   Most times, you will find a test case and pilot evaluation leads to a new way of work / customer service that can digitally transform your business.  

Tactics and techniques can help

There are several macro-trends in digital transformation that you should consider on your digital journey:

Customer journey mapping, combined with next generation business process management solutions, can drive digital experiences to a new level with the right team.   Customer journey mapping helps you identify how and where there are touch points, and opportunities for digital experiences that make a difference.    Automating those journeys with BPM platforms can ensure consistency and measurable results, allowing for continuous improvement (read on!)

Design thinking and rapid prototyping a solution for a customer, aligned with the proposed customer journeys, brings together a better roadmap for digital success.    Design thinking, a method favored by many high-tech companies and pioneered by leading companies like Apple, use a rapid prototype and feedback process ensures you are getting ‘closer and closer’ to the ultimate customer experience without waiting months to years for a final product (or change) to reach market.  Doing so with digital experiences helps you evaluate the effectiveness and market acceptance of change, both key factors in digital transformation success.

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To learn how to better align your business strategy with digital opportunities, get in touch with us!