COM0015 Assignment #5 | Socially Driven Collaboration: How Social Business Is Changing the Role of Marketing and IT

Marketing and IT statOn Nov. 19, I participated in a webinar hosted by Social Media Today entitled Socially Driven Collaboration: How Social Business Is Changing the Role of Marketing and IT. As the person responsible for marketing and communications for my organization, I’m interested in any opportunity to learn about trends and best practices related to my field. And, as our organization is incorporating social media more into its communications and business models, I thought this webinar would be a worthwhile experience.

The webinar explored the fact that as more companies are embracing social business activities (e.g. using social technologies to listen, respond, gather feedback and connect with customers and partners), marketing and IT departments are having to work together to achieve social business goals. The webinar focused on how to achieve better alignment between the marketing and IT departments as collaboration improves all outputs/outcomes. The webinar offered five tips for better collaboration:

  1.  Get C-suite buy-in for shared goals.
  2. Understand your peer’s perspective. Understand the needs and offerings of each group.
  3. Be the role model. Reach out to the other department. Make the first move to work together.
  4. Find meaningful metrics to measure your success. Collaboration can yield many benefits.
  5. Avoid tech mistakes by carefully choosing your tools.

The webinar was moderated by Paul Dunay, Global Vice President of Marketing for Maxymiser, and featured panellists Erika Jolly Brookes, Vice President of Product Strategy for Oracle, and Vanessa DiMauro, CEO of Leader Networks. The speakers and participants could all interact with each other through Go to Webinar or on Twitter using the hashtag #SMTLive. Many people, including me, were tweeting quotable quotes from the webinar or asking questions and tagging them with the hashtag. I was happy to see Vanessa DiMauro answer my question. As an organization without an IT department—we have one person on staff for basic support and to liaise with our IT consultants—and as an organization that has a number of small businesses as stakeholders, I wanted to know if the rise of social business was enough of a business case for convincing your CEO to build an IT department into the business plan. Vanessa responded that identifying a business process that could be enhanced or accelerated via social technologies could help make the case for an in-house IT department.

Through the webinar, I gained a better appreciation for our IT consultants and see how it’s important to keep them in the loop of our activities. The message that I took away is: “When marketing and IT collaborate, the results are stronger marketing messages and a reduction in operational costs.” The webinar left me thinking of how I could work more collaboratively with our IT consultants to select or develop tools that will help us become more socially enabled.

Social Media Today offers free, weekly webinars on a variety of topics related to social business. I find the topics relevant to my job, and as they take place over the lunch hour, they’re very convenient. You also get a copy of the presentation, which makes great reference material. I highly recommend these webinars and will be attending more in the future.

What free social business-based webinars have you come across and would recommend?

Image from the presentation Socially Driven Collaboration: How Social Business Is Changing the Role of Marketing and IT by Erika Jolly Brookes and Vanessa DiMauro.

Blog Post 3: Social Media in the IT and Higher Ed Realm

This post is three-fold, and I will discuss all three in a broad way; there is a difference between social media in:

  • the IT field alone,
  • in higher eds alone,
  • IT within higher eds (IT department in a College, for instance)

The IT Field

This one goes two ways – companies are either tweeting the overly technical information (new device specifications – stuff you’d find in a manual, which in my opinion, is the not-so-great use) to the gearheads out there who keep track of all the updated devices and features and operating systems, or they’re posting about wicked new innovations, journeys, or campaigns (I.e. technology developed to move objects with your brain, augmented reality, etc – in my opinion, the better use). Two of the places I follow for the latter (because I’m no techie, and I have no interest in a device’s IMEI or its firmware – no disrespect to anyone who does! It’s just over my head, is all) are FastCompany and Mashable. There are new innovations posted on these two sites daily, our world is moving forward at a rate I’m not sure we even know how to keep up with. I can’t wait to see what ten years from now will look like.

Higher Eds

Based on my observation, higher eds (main identities for universities or colleges) use social media to promote their programs, services available, campus events (or College-related events), as well as previous or current students who are doing great things, and to me, this is what social media is all about – spreading the word about things and people who are making a difference, or at least on their way there) Social media has actually changed a lot of these institutions’ approach to the admissions process. For instance, on MIT University’s admissions page, the first thing you see are these blog posts that are written by students, and they’ve chronicled their journey to and from MIT. What better way to sell yourself? They’ve put all of the admissions babble (I.e. admissions fees, policies, any other relevant babble) subsequent to the most important pieces – testimonials. It’s brilliant.

IT within Higher Eds

If you look at an institution like MIT University in the States, their use of social media in this realm would be much different than ours here at Algonquin, in that MIT is a forward-thinking, innovation-driven, prodigy in advancing information technology and being a force behind many breakthroughs in this area. MIT will often tweet or post pictures, videos, or tidbits of what’s going on in their classrooms with the most advanced technology and most up and coming developers and designers. Not to Algonquin’s discredit, but we just aren’t there. Algonquin, and more specifically the IT department, uses social media to communicate changes to/outages/maintenance to critical College systems (I.e. Blackboard, e-mail, etc). We’ll also use it to retweet content about really interesting things that are commonly known and current within the IT world (I.e. the Google Glass Project), or we’ll use it to help people connect to our wireless infrastructure or configure e-mail on their mobile device. Depending on the issue, we will also use Twitter to respond to complaints or questions regarding our services, and if it’s too complex or requires a work order, then we’ll send them off to the right place.