Companies and people are not going to change as quickly as we are hoping for. This is human nature and we face resistance on a daily basis. This is a reality with new media, blogging, social networking and many new WEB2.0 programs. So traditional roles need to “fit in” new technologies. We can look at recent and past changes in work habits to extrapolate how quickly people are going to fit in new skills and change old habits. A a harsh reality for people and organizations who want faster change is how slowly some things really change. Another way to see change is simply the conservatives’ way of holding just a little longer to tradition. Whichever way you come to this understanding traditional roles are going to stay. Instead of thinking on how to change them let’s think of how to fit in. Take a look at the following roles:
Operational marketing roles: mar-com managers and creators, marketing writers, marketing graphic designers, sales and marketing support (see below), content editors and managers.
Operational sales and channel roles: channel sales managers (supporting VARS, distributors and representative firms.) Direct sales managers (corporate and field.) Technical sales managers (application, deployment / strategic customer support, proof of concept installation and embedding into legacy systems.)
Marketing strategists, product definition, market research, sales support workers: market researchers, competitive analysts, marketing writers(collateral) and distributors of marketing material / sales support managers.
These roles need continuous internal communication between departments. They are the glue and pipelines between different company internal and external people. They create and distribute a mix of static information such as: price lists, sales policies and product information, with dynamic information such as: quotes, market news and changes in stock or strategic customer news (sudden availability or shortage of products, price reductions, big customer win or strategic order.) Finally, most of the information is generated on the fly by the workers themselves. Each channel manager and sales manager writes information on products and policy change, until now it all went into e-Mail messages. Now comes the option to put this on a blog, a social network or a wiki (a static self managed web site.) The only difference is where the information goes, how long it says there and how easily it is accessible. A blog for product prices and discount policies is more useful than a collection of e-Mail messages. It is all in one place and the linear historical format, which is more useful than a series of e-Mail messages, can be shortened into message header. Set-up and used correctly blogs are excellent way to organize tactical sales information.
Marketing and sales people also spend time on the phone exchanging information. Some calls are useful for more than one person so they are made over and over. Phone calls are even less formal than e-Mail messages. Good blog examples of informal messages can be found on blog sites (blogger, Movable Type, Type Pad,) Twitter and Facebook. Almost all social networking sites also have good examples of comments which are very similar to short phone conversations. Calls can be recorded and posted on a blog or summarized as an article. Comments are easy to add, both audio clips and text can be handled by blog programs. Fitting into the existing way of doing business is a shift. The shift from e-Mail and phone messages to blogs is not a big one. By helping with the posting and commenting with a content manager or a dedicated editor, usage can be stimulate quickly (especially with the slower adopters.) If you have a conservative group of users think of making one or more an editor. There are plenty of examples of external blogs and social networks, internal ones are not visible so you have to figure out how to use visible examples. Showing new users how others are doing it is also useful in stimulating experimentation. The examples here focused on the sales and marketing and internal blogging and social networking. This is only one place where the current technology use is effective.