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5 Ways to Weather “Digital Disruption”

digital disruption

 

…And How Dream Factory Helps You Do It

 

“Digital disruption” is the shift that occurs when advances in technology affect an industry’s business model and impact the value of its goods and services. While this isn’t a new concept (when was the last time you went to a Blockbuster?), digital disruption has become more and more urgent in recent years as the digital landscape continues to change at a rapid rate.

 

To see the impact of digital disruption, just look at the grocery retail industry. Between e-commerce and robotic fulfillment centers, the technological landscape of this market looks very different than it did even five years ago.

So how do you deal with digital disruption to ensure your company doesn’t fall behind?

 

1.) Imagine the Ideal Business Model

This seems like an idealistic question, but hear us out: if you could design your ideal business model, what would it be?

In a perfect world, what would your salesperson’s day-to-day look like? How would you generate, track and respond to leads? What information would you want to see on your dashboard? What metrics would be valuable that you currently don’t have?

This “pie-in-the-sky” thinking has a point: it helps you understand the direction you want your company to go in the long-term. Knowing these goals helps you better prepare towards meeting them, and helps you understand which directions will help you reach them and which will not. Keep these ideals in mind as you move forward, so that you’re consistently moving towards the best future for your company.

 

2) Embrace the Integration of Processes and Data

With the above in mind, investigate your current processes and ask yourself if they’re fully optimized. This is easier said than done; it can be hard to re-assess something that has worked for your company for decades. Still, it’s important to audit your systems and ensure everything is optimized.

For example, there are plenty of systems out there that approach different things—you could be paying for an ERP, CRM, and CMS—but if they don’t integrate in any way, you’re missing out on a powerful tool: data integration. Without this, you can’t easily combine data from various sources to gain larger insights on both your clients and your company performance.

When it comes to the integration of processes, it’s useful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I using my current technology and platforms to their fullest potential?
    • It’s common for CRMs especially to be under-utilized when they have the potential to be powerful lead generation tools.
  • Am I paying too much for multiple systems, when an alternative exists that can achieve the same results with lower overhead?
    • For example, the Project Management Software we use at Dream Factory includes a chat feature, so we no longer had to invest in using Slack.
  • Do I have ways of integrating my current processes, and if not, what would be the most efficient way to achieve data integration?
    • Without this, you’ll lack valuable insights about your company and your clients that can spearhead your marketing and sales efforts.

 

3) Understand the Logic of New Competitors

It’s easy to dismiss start-ups that emerge seemingly out of nowhere, especially when they’re focusing on an industry that you’ve specialized in for decades. However, when an entrant introduces a different business model to your market, they’ve often found a way to either offer the same products and services at a lower price, create higher customer satisfaction or better use their existing resources.

The question is: how?

Examine what it is about your competition that allows them to adjust their business model in this way, and then determine which assumptions that have prevented you from trying a similar approach. While it’s possible their ideas aren’t sustainable, it’s also equally possible they’ve stumbled on a new way of revolutionizing your products and services.

If it’s the latter, you can’t afford to let that go unnoticed.

 

4) Be Patient and Plan Ahead

There is no “quick fix” to digital disruption. The best way to weather it is to plan ahead with a clearly thought-out strategy for the future, while paying attention to everything that’s going on around you in your industry.

Carefully and deliberately choose which technologies to invest in based on what will give you the best return-on-investment and integrate the most with your proven processes. Don’t just choose the flashiest new interface at the lowest price; select something with the financial backing and forward-thinking potential to last your company a long time.

Investing in new technology and processes can be a painful and frustrating transition, but it pays off in the long-term by streamlining your processes and giving you insights into what your clients expect and what the tangible results of your efforts are. If you do this right the first time, and don’t rush, the result should be that you’re much closer to your dream business model.

 

5) Don’t Assume You Have to Go Alone

Is this all overwhelming to think about? Wish you had someone to bounce ideas off with? Call us up at Dream Factory.

We’re solution-agnostic marketing agency. That means we work with whatever technology our clients feel comfortable with so that we can develop and create custom marketing solutions for your unique industry and business model. Whether it’s SharpSpring or HubSpot, we can support our clients with marketing automation that aligns with their sales, and we work to assist you in scaling your business for growth.

 

Want to know more about Dream Factory’s analytical, results-driven marketing solutions? We’re here to provide the strategies you need.

 

Contact Us

and learn what options are right for you.

 

 

How to Make Your Employees Your #1 LinkedIn Advocates

B2B Strategies to Increase LinkedIn Social Presence

 

LinkedIn has been the best social for B2B social presence for some time now, and it’s not hard to see why: LinkedIn is all about business.

 

On Facebook and Instagram, you’re competing with cute cat photos and posts about friends and family, while on Twitter, your voice is just one of thousands talking about the latest news and events.

 

On LinkedIn, though? You’re keeping up with industry trends and listening to tips from thought leaders and innovators in your field. That’s where you want your B2B business to be heard, loud and clear.

 

What’s a simple way to get your LinkedIn noticed? By making your employees your biggest social advocates. Read on to learn how to do just that.

 

Step #1: Do a “Social Survey” with Your Staff

Everyone has a different idea of what’s acceptable behavior on social media, and everyone has different levels of experience with it. Doing a company-wide survey can give you insight on which of your employees are social media savvy, and which are barely ever online. It also helps you understand important points you’ll want to make in a company social policy (which we discuss more of below).

 

One example of a good social media usage survey is this one from the American Marketing Association. This information gathering is useful for knowing what you need to explicitly discuss with your employees, and might even make you aware of concerns you didn’t realize you had before.

 

Step #2: Build a Company Social Policy

Social media is great when used properly, but inappropriate behavior online can be disastrous for your company. Don’t let that happen to you: create a company-wide social media policy.

 

You care about how your employees act on the phone and on company emails, and social media is no different. For example, Adidas allows its employees to associate themselves with the company when posting, but requires proper copyright and reference laws to be followed. Employees also must make it clear that the content they’re posting is personal and their own, rather than endorsed by the company.

 

Spend some time considering what you’re most concerned about, then establish a clear company policy to protect yourself. Once you’ve done that, you can begin encouraging your employees to “get social” with your company.

 

Step #3: Signing Up with LinkedIn

Now that we know your employees’ current social media presence and have a policy in place, let’s start with the basics. Are your employees signed up on LinkedIn yet? And if so, are they following your company?

 

Chances are, not everyone is. A way of improving this is by making “social media training” a part of your employee induction procedure, with a tutorial that reminds them of the company social policy and what networks your company is currently on.

 

Even this little addition to your following can help increase the credibility of your company’s accounts. If you have fifty employees who all “follow” your company on LinkedIn, you’re starting even a brand-new profile off with a pretty decent audience!

 

In other words, even stopping at this step does a lot to help your company’s LinkedIn look good. Don’t go away, though—there’s more LinkedIn potential ahead.

 

Step #4: “Liking” the Professional Look

Now that your employees have a LinkedIn in place, they’ll want to be aware of how to best present themselves on it. Again, taking the time to train them on this and your “best practices” for posting will make their engagement on this network more impactful.

 

Explain to them what content is LinkedIn-friendly and which isn’t (no hashtags!), pointing again to your policy if it states any do’s or don’ts that need special reminding. This training should include a reminder to fill out the fields on their profile and to pick a nice, professional photo to showcase.

 

So, why does all this matter?

 

In a world of bots and fake online accounts, people want to be reassured that you’re a real human being behind the screen. Having a photo boosts your credibility and makes people more willing to connect with you. If you’re a generic blank face with a forgettable name, no experience, and questionable posting history, you’ll have a tough time getting anyone to take you seriously.

 

 

Step #5: Getting Connected

Speaking of connections, start making some! If your employees are new to LinkedIn and don’t know where to begin, have their co-workers “connect” with them online.

 

Whether it’s friends, coworkers, or clients, it’s a good idea for anyone to start building their network on LinkedIn right away. It’s polite to give a brief message before connecting with someone that reminds them of your connection with them. And when someone connects with you, don’t forget to say, “Thank you.”

 

Why are we connecting with people on LinkedIn, anyway?

 

First, you get to keep up with the career growth of people and companies you care about. Secondly, every time someone likes, shares or comments on a LinkedIn post by your company, they’re vastly increasing its audience and reach. Even if that person is a company employee.

 

You’ll see a large jump in impressions any time your post gets engagement, so the wider your employee-wide network is, the larger net you cast.

 

Step #6: Talking the Talk

The advice we’ve mentioned so far is pretty passive. Signing up, connecting, and “liking” a post every few days has an impact, but the biggest thing you can do as an employee for your company is to be involved in your industry’s conversation. That’s why they call it “social” media!

 

How do you engage on LinkedIn? It depends on what you’re most comfortable with.

 

LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups are a good way to keep up with other people in your industry who share the same concerns and thoughts you do. You can quite literally find a group on LinkedIn about anything, from trade shows to expertise. (For example, I just typed in “Content Marketing” on LinkedIn Groups and over 1,500 search results popped up!)

 

Find one you like and just click “Ask to Join.” Chances are, a few of your connections are already in a group where you’d fit right in. When you’re there, you’ll be part of a larger conversation about your field where you can ask questions, share advice, and make valuable connections along the way.

 

LinkedIn Pulse

Fancy yourself a writer? LinkedIn Pulse is a publishing platform that puts your articles directly on LinkedIn, making them easy to find and be shared by your audience. It’s a great way of getting your name out as a thought leader in your industry. Sometimes a blog post does better on LinkedIn Pulse than it does on your website!

 

SlideShare

Going to an event and want to make an amazing presentation to share? Why not share it on LinkedIn’s SlideShare so that your audience can see all the insights you’ve presented? People love to engage with visual content, so if you’re a presentation whiz, don’t ignore this powerful tool at your disposal!

 

Write Comments

Looking for something simple? There’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned comment on a post that interests you. Follow and keep up with companies and publications that talk about your industry, and occasionally leave your thoughts in the comments.

 

As long as you are respectful, thoughtful and helpful, people will appreciate hearing from you (and some might go out of their way to connect with you and your company!).

Ready to get started on LinkedIn?

 

This is just a basic walkthrough on the benefits of an increased LinkedIn presence from your staff. For a more in-depth discussion on engagement and advertising opportunities, ask Dream Factory to conduct your guide to using LinkedIn to its full advantage in B2B marketing. From sponsored content to InMail, we can make social simple for your business.

 

Want to know more about Dream Factory’s analytical, results-driven marketing solutions? 

We’re here to provide the strategies you need.

Contact Us

Learn what options are right for you.

Wood Group Postcard

Wood Group

We have created a direct mail piece for one of our power generation clients, Wood Group. This dynamic die-cut mailer explains all about Wood Group’s 7FA plant capabilities and how they can not only improve performance, but also lower life cycle costs.

Our custom made styling provides an eye-catching alternative to the typical mail piece, and intrigues readers to open it and then take action which bring more leads to a marketing campaign.

QuantumFlo Magazine

QuantumFlo

Client: QuantumFlo

QuantumFlo is a company that designs, manufactures and delivers the best packaged system technologies in the pump systems market.

Project Name: QuantumFlo Brochure

Project Description: We created an eight-page brochure to explain the custom, packaged variable speed pumping systems to QuantumFlo’s customers. This brochure includes product descriptions and new information about their Custom UL508A Industrial Controls Division as well as, how they are integrating green into more of their technology.

Honest Logos

Honest Logos

“An idea for a series with honest logos, revealing the actual content of the company, what they really should be called. Some are cheap, some might be a bit funny, some will maybe be brilliant.” –Viktor Hertz

These logos in our opinion are even better then there originals. Viktor the creator of these “re-brands” shares with the world his views on our most easily recognized brands. It is so refreshing to see some of these brands being presented at face-value. Here at the office our personal favorite is Apple as “Appearance Matters”. What about you?