Social business software (SBS) cuts through the scattered complexity of marketing campaigns by bringing together multiple work streams in an observable and social way, thereby facilitating more efficient collaboration and improving campaign outcomes, says GYS KAPPERS, WyseTalk CEO.
Marketing needs SBS
Marketing, advertising, PR and other campaigns are distributed and complex, involving multiple media channels, agencies, subcontractors, freelancers and contacts within the client hierarchy, all collectively engaged in numerous co-creating workflows but interfacing via different touch points.
Traditional collaboration methods e-mail, web-conferencing and endless meetings have bedevilled the outcome of campaigns: their technological shortcomings render them ineffectual islands in the stream of campaigns, leading to rampant waste of resources (time, cost and duplication of efforts) as well as sub-optimal teamwork.
Social business software, on the other hand, reaches across organisational, functional and programme divides to bring together multiple work streams some extra-organisational on a common Web-hosted platform, making it easy to track campaign processes and delivery in distributed work scenarios. Yes it is possible for agencies to get input on campaigns from the clients sooner, avoiding costly resource investment and having to go back to the drawing board. It is possible for clients to get closer to the creative output and avoid the frustration of last minute deadline misses. It is also possible for clients to effectively manage the input of all their agencies, acting for a common purpose. No more playing the blame game between agencies for not delivering a piece of work paramount to the success of the overall campaign and deadline.
Social platforms use social media techniques that flatten typical enterprise hierarchies and promote participation, speeding up project initiation and on-boarding, ideation and collaboration in project groups as well as issue-based sub-groups. In ordinary language this means creating communities that collaborate around discussion topics, topics that broadly correspond with functional streams within the same overarching marketing campaign such as strategy, web and app design, SEO, creative, copywriting, design, media platforms, PR.
Once a community has been created, members can join groups and participate without fear or favour, using tools like document sharing and multi-media, which promotes effective and efficient collaboration and brainstorming in real-time. Always working off the latest version of copy, design, wireframe, document, campaign strategy, research data, video or other content.
In addition, SBS provides an effective communication platform, in which members gain kudos for contributing to the health of projects with timely, relevant information. So, for instance, an agency that picks up a potentially damaging media report that enables the company and all its marketing to collaborate and respond in a coherent, professional and considerate way.
Another activity that can benefit immensely from using SBS as communication is when a campaign brief changes mid-stream. Done well, using SBS in this way gets all suppliers and stakeholders on the same page quickly and often provokes further discussion that may feed into future campaign efforts. You can change course instantly, irrespective of where people are based.
Gumtree, the local online classified ads site owned by eBay, recently inadvertently featured an ad for a baby. On being alerted to this, a sales rep posted it on the company’s SBS platform. Three members in different cities were up to speed in no time, deliberating on a way to manage the crisis. In another example, Nandos, the feisty company admired for its market responsiveness, can easily be emulated by using SBS as a communication and collaborative platform.
In copywriting and creative projects, version tracking becomes a cinch with the help of SBS topics that ‚’bubble up’ new comments on the latest version and catalogues discussions around previous versions. E-mail, by comparison, is cumbersome and time-inefficient.
By adopting SBS, IBM Software Group consultant Luiz Suarez reduced his e-mail from 800 per week to only 16, freeing up time for even more social collaboration that removes ineffectual copying and forwarding that accompanies the use of e-mail.
Companies that seek the relevance of Nandos, the freedom from e-mail tyranny of Luiz Suarez, or the responsiveness of Gumtree should break free from traditional tools and embrace collaboration and communication tools that exist in social business software.