You need to consider your culture stack, not just your tech

Culture and technology are equal parts the challenge and solution.

You cannot just install a new tech stack to solve a problem in your organisation, you must also design the new way of operating. This works most effectively when teams feel that they have contributed to and helped to design these new ways of working.

We see this situation with content and social media operations at many brands, especially those who have invested in developing content globally. They’ve jumped from being specialists in an emerging media space, combining creative, data, community management and editorial skills to great effect, to being asked to scale their efforts to ever larger teams and budgets.

To their aid have rushed martech firms of various types – social listening, content management systems, evaluation specialists and publishing systems. The temptation, not least for the technophiles in the industry has been to grasp at the ‘solutions’ being offered. It’s been claimed that CMOs will outspend CIOs in some companies but – whatever the truth of that claim – do they have the skills and experience to make the right decisions?

It may be that CDOs and CMOs, the leaders of content and social media marketing organisations need to learn new approaches to making technological and organisational change work better for them.

At Brilliant Noise we’ve worked with digital marketing leaders tackling the challenge from all angles. The approach we have developed from these experiences is called ‘connected customer marketing’. Agile content and social media teams that connect to other parts of the organisation, that can respond to the opportunities to reach customers who are more connected than ever.

We worked with one global financial services organisation to design a new approach to their content marketing in 160 countries (the pilot began with just two). We followed the content through the existing processes, looked at the ways that teams in different countries were planning, creating, publishing and managing content and how customers were responding. After designing the new processes and creating cross-functional teams to deliver the work, we were able to develop a requirements brief for the technology to support it. We knew what would work for their ways of working and the culture of the new team – we just needed the tools to make it go faster.

With several other clients we have started from the other end. They have invested in a collection of tools – a loose ‘tech stack’ – and have a loose coalition of teams and specialists in different places helping to create the content and social media programmes.

That’s why we talk about ‘tech stack’ and ‘culture stack’. At first both seem loose and not necessary stable or coherent, but with careful planning, tinkering and connecting of processes, strategy and measurement we can get them to work together. Strong pillars on which a digital brand platform can be built.

If you would like to talk about your organisational transformation get in touch.