Category archives for

– Business Innovation –

7 Key Attributes for Working Outside of the Box

by · March 3, 2015

Most traditional organizations are not setup to foster independent action or even collaboration. Teams, hierarchies, and silos can inhibit employees from realizing their full potential. There are often legacy systems and a labyrinth of company processes, which can prevent teams from working together.

I am very thankful that here at SME Digital things work differently than most consultancies or agencies. For starters, our entire team works virtually, and we see each other (in person) only a couple of times a year. Also, we lack set work hours and don’t even have a vacation/PTO policy…well at least not like anything you have ever heard of (learn more here.) And in my time here, I have noticed certain attributes in our employees that help us thrive.


9 reasons your social recruiting strategy sucks

by · March 2, 2015

Author’s note: I am cold and tired of winter. This post is particularly cranky

Social recruiting has been around for quite some time. In fact, I remember developing my first social recruiting strategy about 9 years ago and it involved MySpace (hello, dating myself!). And sadly, not much has changed in this time. Social media is such a huge missed opportunity for recruiting. With over a billion people using social tools, the chances are really solid that your purple squirrel is out there and they are using one of the many social channels.


Strategies for Legally Generating and Monitoring Online Reviews

by · February 12, 2015

Businesses of all sizes and in all industries must embrace online reviews if they’re not doing so already.

Consumers are regularly crowdsourcing for the scoop on products and services, in particular reading online reviews. According to quarter three data from 2014, Yelp averaged 139 million monthly visitors.

And consumers are increasingly relying upon these reviews. According to Nielsen’s 2012 Global Trust in Advertising survey, featuring responses from more than 28,000 people globally, online consumer reviews are the second most-trusted form of advertising.

But the information contained in online reviews is often not factual or a business’s review page may simply not be representative of actual customer satisfaction – whether overly negative or even inflated positively.

Thus businesses cannot turn a blind eye to online reviews, as these reviews are often quite influential and can impact the success of any business, fair or not.

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Top 6 Google Analytics Deep-Dive Recommendations

by · February 10, 2015

Ultimately, a deep-dive report measures changes in customer behavior, consideration, and conversion. Metrics are chosen in order to answer why changes are occurring. There are many valuable insights to be had from these reports that serve to validate or adjust campaign strategy and implementation. After analyzing various client data reports, I’ve put together a list of the most common opportunities that present themselves.


Listen To This: Fake it Til You Make It, from Startup

by · February 6, 2015

Which is better: doing one singular thing really, really well, or branching out and applying your talents to new territory? It’s a question I have been asking myself a lot over the past couple of years, and it’s at the center of this week’s episode of the Startup podcast. When I started my own business back in 2012, I was faced with this very question. How did I handle it? The way a lot of startups do; I told everyone that I could do (rather, would do) anything and everything. And as a solo shop, it rang true. If I could bill for it, I would figure out how to do it. Now, however, as a member of a larger team, a company that cannot live paycheck-to-paycheck, “yes” just can’t always be the answer.

So how do you navigate the waters of choosing singular excellence or growth, monomaniacal focus or staying ahead of the curve, or of simply choosing one path vs. another? Spoiler alert: there’s no right answer. But here are a three ways to find out:

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Agencies, Partners: It’s Time To Let It All Hang Out

by · February 5, 2015

How transparent should agency and client partners be with one another? Transparent enough that when an organization asks you to co-present with your client at a committee meeting on how you two work together to create a successful partnership, you can confidently accept. And transparency with others starts with being fiercely honest with yourself.

Now, let me explain.


You heard the very expensive crickets. Now, hear this.

by · February 3, 2015

Much has been made of real-time or agile marketing. In fact, I wrote a little post about it myself some time ago. But recently, agile has come up time and again and it is something that we are actively adopting and training on here at SME. So what is agile, you ask? Well, agile is inspired by the agile software development principles of evolving requirements and solutions through collaboration. It is about flexibility and responding to changing audience needs and requirements. Think learn -> ship -> learn -> ship and so on. In an agile environment, you move quickly and respond to results based on data and direct feedback. These same principles are being adopted in the discipline of marketing as well. What may have been called real-time marketing a year ago is agile marketing today. It is flexible and always learning. It is about being nimble in your approach and constantly optimizing based on results.

My friend and colleague, Danielle, recently shared this article: “How to Craft an Agile Marketing Campaign”. It’s a solid how-to piece that you should read. But when I think about these principles for a large-scale enterprise, agile has a few hurdles to cross before it is widely adopted. Which is a huge risk for large-scale enterprises. The risk is this: Your scrappy competitors will beat you to agile and will know more about what works faster, giving them a competitive advantage.


Is making magic killing our careers?

by · January 29, 2015

Over the long weekend, I had some time to reflect on last week’s post on how hard it is for organizations to keep high performers because they make magic. I’ve come to realize that making magic might actually be a career limiter. Never once in my career making magic have I thought that it could be holding me back. Reason being: magic is magic, and people in the C-suite don’t speak magic. They speak profit and loss. It is a common problem with marketers in our relationship with the C-suite. We do not speak the same language. So, it begs the question, is the magic a reason we are not elevating to the C-suite as quickly as other disciplines?

We’ve all read the reports that tell us that CEOs don’t trust marketers (unless they are marketers who measure). In fact, AdAge pointed out that in 2013, of the 9,800 board seats at Fortune 1000 companies, only 38 are held by CMOs. And I am relatively sure that the number hasn’t grown 60 fold in the last two years. So, could it be the magic? Let’s explore some of the ways conjuring is holding us back.


Why Every Project Needs to Start with Conditions of Satisfaction

by · January 28, 2015

Can I get a virtual show of hands: How many of you have traveled down the road of implementation quite a ways before realizing you don’t know exactly what it is you should be accomplishing? I’m embarrassed to admit that there has been a time or two (maybe more!) in my past where I have been part of a team that has invested so much time and energy into a project only to present it to the executives who no longer share the same “vision”. Out the window goes resources, budget, and a chunk of pride.