Moving from the brand side to a consulting role has really helped shape my perspective on how companies develop, align and execute their digital strategies.
As a Marketer, I would focus much of my energy on leveraging digital to generate buzz and drive awareness. Meanwhile, the folks down the hall in Services had their own digital agenda, and were busy building out online artifacts designed to help customers solve problems quickly.
Of course, we weren't alone. The Sales folks were investing in digital to meet their objectives, as was Channels, and so on.
Like good soldiers, we would all march towards the organizational objectives in which we were assigned. While we'd come together every-so-often via a 'Steering Committee', the discussions usually centered around jockeying for IT resources.
By no means is this an uncommon scenario. Unfortunately, by taking an organizational approach to digital engagement, companies risk convoluting the very experience that these functions are trying to protect.
It's a bottoms up approach to the challenge - or opportunity - at hand.
What I've come to realize is that, while there are departmental level objectives that drive local strategy, there's also a common thread that usually spans functions. What do these folks have in common? They're all trying to delight the customer.
The most rewarding discussions I've had in the last year are when I'm able to bring leaders from each of these functions (and more!) together to talk about the opportunity at hand. While we always start off talking about the micro, we inevitably get to the macro opportunity.
Magic inevitably happens when people in the room realize they're chasing similar goals, and begin to rally around a common vision.
Unifying teams around common objectives and measurements can truly elevate the discussion to the right place - Building engaging, effective and measurable experiences that cater to the one person that matter most here - The customer.