In our new report – Freeformers: Mapping the digital future – we delve deep into the challenges faced by businesses as they navigate through the fast-changing digital economy.
The launch of Aqueduct’s new website is accompanied by a report detailing our latest thinking, titled Only Human, which you can download now.
As a digital agency, this title might seem initially counterintuitive. But our experience from working with clients, along with how we have seen the market evolve, leads us to be surer than ever in one of our core beliefs – that people are the answer to approaching technological change.
However, a belief without proof is often little more than a hunch. So to argue our case, we’ve sourced case studies, market data, and research from both business and academia and brought them together along the following lines.
- Big data needs big context
- Communities power conversion
- Transformation is about people more than technology
In Post*Shift’s blog, they discuss some of the insights from the first interviews from their latest research project: Alternative Approaches To Developing Digital Strategy. They are uncovering some fascinating input, but the investigations are still in progress. If you are responsible for digital strategy at your company, and would be interested in participating and receiving a free copy of the final report, please get in touch.
You would be hard pushed today to find a FTSE500 company that doesn’t have a digital strategy. With the threat of start-up disruption, competitor innovation, and the rising power of the customer who can ruin your reputation with a single viral tweet, executive boards across the globe have responded the way they know best: Vision 2020 roadmaps and digital transformation Gantt charts.
The problem is, we know that these don’t work. They are 20th-Century tools designed for developing and executing strategy in a predictable, stable world. They lack the flexibility and feedback mechanisms to work in an unpredictable digital era where nailing jelly to the wall doesn’t even begin to cover it.
As if that wasn’t enough, not only are companies using the wrong tools, they are also struggling to get everyone on the same page. Senior stakeholders often have differing ideas of what a “digital strategy” means. CEOs reduce the dissonance by giving ownership to a sole C-Suite member. This leads to a narrow view taken, depending on the outlook and functional experience of that executive. It also has the effect of leading the rest of the C-Suite to believe that either they don’t need to engage, because “oh, John’s got that”; or if they have a differing view, to go off and create their own solutions.
Many in-house digital teams are under resourced and under appreciated. But moaning isn’t going to bring about change. Fortunately, there are positive steps you can take.
Start a User Experience Revolution at your place of work
Few of us get to work for a Silicon Valley startup or a digital giant like Facebook. Most of us work in more traditional organisations. Organisations whose management are struggling to come to terms with digital. Management who still don’t appreciate what it is we do.
But sitting around waiting for our management team to ‘get it’ is not going to achieve anything. We need to act. We must either fight for change or move on. Either way we have nothing to fear as we are much in demand.
If you do decide to fight for recognition, here are 7 practical steps you can take today. Steps Paul unpacks and adds to in his book the User Experience Revolution.
There are threads of commonality woven through all high-performance teams. Here they are, with a focus on how marketing teams can use them.
These days, it can seem like the term “marketing teams” is somewhat of a misnomer. After all, most advice about marketing strategy tends to come from just a handful of marketing rockstars.
And get this: Most of those marketing rockstars aren’t actually part of teams. They are their own brand, and they’ve mastered the art of marketing themselves as marketers.
It’s a beautiful craft, really.
…But what about all the crucial factors of communication, commitment, and collaboration it takes to be a high-performance team? What about this truth?:
A group of individuals who all know the crazy fast ways do not make a tight-knit marketing team.
Laura-Jane Parker @ Post*Shift
Eight years ago this week, I started my first real job, for a global financial institution. It was in the wake of the financial crisis, so banks weren’t exactly “employer goals”, but to be honest, I was just grateful to be getting a regular income. And my role? My job was to facilitate the process for checking that people had completed “Project Request” forms correctly. I literally spent my days reviewing MS Word documents to see if grown adults could follow instructions. And my boss? My boss’s role was to check that I had checked the forms. I have no idea what her boss did, but I shudder to think.
Looking back, now that I work somewhere where autonomous, accountable and open working is paramount, this situation seems unbelievably comic. The very idea of paying someone to check up on your employees for doing something they should be quite capable of doing themselves is the definition of ridiculous. Yet, in 2009, it seemed not only acceptable, but necessary.
We have lost our way. Big time. We are so focused on what we do and how we do it, that we have lost sight of why we do it. If, indeed, we ever knew. The irony is, when it comes down to it, it’s not about What or How, it’s all about Why…
…This Why? is a huge question for our industry – the finance industry. What’s our Why?, our collective motivation? Why do so many folk awaken in the wee small hours and trudge into the City of London or Wall Street jammed like sardines on hopelessly unreliable trains day after day? It’s not because of the wide open spaces and abundant greenery or the excellent work/life balance, and it isn’t the friendly, chatty atmosphere…
It’s that time of year again; the days are shorter and the nights are colder. But there is always a silver lining, or in this case, a red and green shiny lining. It’s Christmas and the time for Christmas parties!
This year Drewnion were given the chance to plan the Drew Christmas party.
Stephen reminded us of something we at Drew have always been a big fan of: random acts of kindness. So we went back to the drawing board and started to brainstorm how we could make this a part of our Christmas day. This Christmas, Drew have decided to do something different, something exciting, and finally, something to give back to the community.
As organizations discover that they need to proactively and effectively manage their information assets at the enterprise level, this report explores the evolving role of Chief Data Officers in the global financial services industry and how it’s transforming from senior data marshal and steward to strategic business-enablement leader and innovator.
The current state of the digital marketing skills landscape.
The results from our survey of over 700 marketing professionals are in! The responses have allowed us to develop a picture of the current state of digital marketing skills. They come from across the UK and US, but were predominantly from UK marketers, so help us to accurately understand the digital skills landscape of the UK marketing industry in 2016.
Marketers tend to fancy themselves as fairly skilled in strategy, content marketing and social media marketing. Although interestingly no one area had over 50% ranking themselves as skilled or highly skilled, and a considerable 38% also said they wanted to improve their strategy and planning skills. This was the skill marketers were most likely to say they wanted to improve.
At the other end of the spectrum, there is a real shortage of more technical expertise like coding, mobile marketing and graphic design. A lack of coding and graphic design knowledge may not be an issue in larger businesses with dedicated departments, but for marketers in small organisations it’s useful to at least know the basics so things can be tweaked and the operation doesn’t grind to a halt when a specialist member of staff is off on his or her holidays.