Category: Business

How Jack & The Beanstock & Your Intranet Are Related

I recently replied to a Internal Communication LinkedIn group question and wanted to share it with a larger audience in hope others would be able to benefit and reply to it.  Evidently others liked it so hope you do as well.  Don’t forget to comment on it so we can all learn from one another!

The question: “What messaging and tools have you used to convince the non-believers that your intranet site will benefit them.”

My answer: “This may not help you and you may have done much of this, but I’d start with asking your users what new and existing features on your intranet site would/do benefit them the most. If you need a quick answer another option is to look at your site analytics to tell you much of what users are going to today and look to improve upon that.

I see our intranet as the “one stop shop” for global communications so the more you can aggregate global communications to show value (while still retaining usability) may help. So many employees have to check email, the Intranet, hard copies, voicemail, calendar, tasks, and more which takes time so find a way to aggregate those conversations to one location and make it dead simple. Post communications that are going to provide value as well because if you are not careful the communications your Executives ask you to communicate sometimes is not what your audience finds useful or relevant so never forget to focus on what your content consumers want and need to read.

Make your intranet social so your audience is more engaged and if possible implement features which allow the audience to share, subscribe to, and filter so the content is more valuable and applicable to them. Part of the reason society likes Facebook and Twitter are they are giving us very personalized content from sources we want to get our information from (except all that Farmville and Mafia Wars stuff).

Keep your content fresh and add polls on your site which engage your audience and at the same time allows you to get insight into what they want. Think about Facebook for instance, they have polls and applications surfaced on them all of the time and they can use that information to better target advertising to you and ultimately be successful (make money).

In Jack and the Beanstalk Jack found some magical seeds which grew the giant beanstalk right? I think of the beanstalk as the Intranet. I feel there are 4 essential things for beanstalks to grow which are soil, fertilizer, water, and sun. I see the soil being the infrastructure, the fertilizer being new Intranet functionality, the water being its users/audience, and the sun being your company’s culture. The only problem (at least one of them) with my analogy is eventually Jack’s Beanstalk was chopped down and the giant fell with it. :)

Now its time for the full disclaimer which is I wish I could take my own advice! Hope to hear from everyone else…”

Outta My Way I’m Going To Starbucks!

I was at a Starbucks drive-through when I noticed the license plate frame of the car in front of me.  The license plate read “Outta my way I’m going to Starbucks!”.  The reason I took the picture was it was interesting to me that I was in a long line of cars for a $4 latte and the car directly in front of me loved the company so much they proudly displayed it on their license plate.  What does it say about a company when people (not companies) make and sell license plates which allow you to display your affection for a particular company?

I don’t think it is too difficult to create a company people will love and respect so much they will tell the world about it.  Companies of course try to attract customers to get them in their door but are some companies simply looking to get customers in the building, or are they looking to build relationships with their customers?  I think you can build a relationship with your customers through your brand, transparency, serving the community it serves, customer service, quality products, and differentiating products.  I think if you do any of those things to a high standard (not too difficult these days) customers will come back and they may even be so passionate about your company they will tout it on their license plate.  Is there a recipe for the success of a company?  If you were to make the perfect recipe for a company you love so much you wanted to share it with the world, what would it consist of in your opinion?

Standing Out In A Crowded Marketplace

This FastCompany Magazine (one of my favorite magazines by the way) video discusses Voodoo Donuts in Portland, OR as well as Zipcar which are two business who have been able to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

How I Did It: Omniture’s Josh James

Photo by Ed McCulloch

I enjoyed the Inc. Magazine article on Josh James, one of Omniture’s co founders who “says he has no special love for technology. But he has long seen its possibilities. In 1996, he and a college classmate launched a webpage-building service when businesses were just discovering the Internet. Fueled by tens of millions in venture backing, James built Omniture, based in Orem, Utah, into a thriving Web analytics and online marketing company whose software tracks Web traffic for companies such as Toyota, Gap, and JetBlue. James took Omniture public on his 33rd birthday, in 2006. Last October, Adobe purchased the company for $1.8 billion.”  >> Read the full article