As many marketers know today, both digital marketing practices (the channels that can be used, ways to communicate, etc.) and technology advances are evolving more quickly than marketers can keep up with in this ever-changing world.
The word 'integration' has been a hot topic at technology and marketing conferences around the globe, but the harsh reality is that this very thing that most companies are striving to achieve isn’t happening easily.
In working with executive teams in many different verticals, the basis for the problems in creating this integration is that brands aren’t taking a close look as to what is happening inside of their businesses.
The changes needed to take place to initialize integration actually need to happen on the inside of companies first in order to help collaboration and the connectivity on the outside.
And, collaborations with internal and external audiences are becoming more and more complex as time moves on.
There are many questions to solve for when thinking about enhancing current strategies in order to create integrated experiences for all target audiences and business partners.
Whether the focus is in the CIO or CMO departments, executives need to ask things such as:
- “What are ways both marketing and technology sides of the business can enhance yet simplify collaborations and help stakeholder experiences become more cohesive?”
- “When focusing on changes that should take place internally, how do we keep overall business goals relevant?”
- “Who will exactly own these implementations, the marketing or technology departments?”
And, those questions are just the start.
Changing internal organizational structures that can help affect outside experiences for target audiences can include looking at many different types of technologies.
For example, to enhance collaboration structures and ease of conversation across the organization, Yammer installations can help amplify knowledge and moves data immediately.
In fact, Microsoft-based companies that are using (and/or implementing) Microsoft 365 will have Yammer as part of this deployment automatically.
Sharepoint is another perfect example of a technology that will move the company in the right direction towards building integrated experiences. This CMS is an intelligent framework that provides the infrastructure to create better external content and conversation sharing across the business (and connect to those outside of the business).
The content distribution and overall business intelligence of a company can be taken to new levels. When a business decides to use this platform, the work that goes on internally to get this done right is the core to making it a successful project.
There are some recent examples of brands that are choosing the Sharepoint solution and providing a lot of content with a design that is simple and easy for audiences.
This first example, Pringles, is great because it has a very social-based look and feel. Pringles has done a good job of providing a lot of content while keeping it fun for consumers:
There is a portion of the site allowing users to create their own label, so this format for the site is still easy on the eyes, but keeps that fun component consistent throughout.
Another good example is the Chrysler Group.
The UX is a little more traditional looking, but the 'behind the scenes' is the area that is most interesting, which is the enterprise content management (ECM), business intelligence, records management, archiving, Intranet/Extranet, and file sharing which comes to fruition in the public-facing websites.
This part can’t be shown, but all of that content comes through to the consumers in the following way:
Build your own vehicle for customization:
This provides a structure that is a portal to products. According to a top Sharepoint blog, Nothing but Sharepoint
As proof of complex SharePoint portals in the corporate world, the following companies consider SharePoint as a 'one-stop shop' for their business: Procter & Gamble, Kroger , Dell (Financial Services), Pfizer (UK site), Kraft Foods, HESS, Chrysler Group, Philip Morris International, and Fluor.
There are a lot of companies that have deployed a Sharepoint solution, but the thought that goes into the creative on top of the platform is very important. The usage and understanding of how the data and backend works though is really the key to creating a successful implementation.
The blog, Top Sharepoint, has an entire gallery.
By looking at changing how the inside of the business collaborates, distributes content, analyzes data, etc., all of these efforts will create better integrated experiences for target audiences on both the outside of the business.
The outcome from bringing both technology and marketing departments together to make these kinds of changes is that it will develop a positive journey for all stakeholders on all touch-points for the brand.