Tag Archives: Web Usage Optimisation

Digital Conversations – Science or Art?

One of the things that I find so fascinating about social media, is that it transcends the traditional artificial barriers that we have erected in business, letting us do things we never thought possible, or that in the past were more trouble than they were worth.

For example, an Interactive (web 2.0 enabled) Intranet means that now a marketing project can span the boundaries between HR, Marketing, Finance, Project Management and Operations, because they can all collaborate with each other on the success of the project, not just report to each other on their progress.

Social media also negates the barriers between organisations and employees. Employees are becoming an integral part of the corporate brand and customers are interacting more directly with the individuals in an organisation. I have direct relationships with many of my business partners and clients on Linked-In and we IM each other on Facebook, rather than going through the company switchboard.

Social media transcends the barriers between the public and private self; your private behaviour on-line is now part of your professional brand. When you Google someone you can find out a lot more about that person than his professional profile on the company website.

We can micro analyse niche groups and still have to contend with the “law of big numbers”, which means that mass community behaviour is not an aggregation of small communities of interest.

When communicating with our customers on-line, we can participate in their conversations. Their behaviour and personal networks are much more explicit than in the past. We can experiment with certain triggers to see what influence they have on consumer activity and we can analyse and detect quantifiable patterns and improve our product design based on what our customers are doing and saying on-line to whom etc.

But our ability to do things we have not done in the past brings about a requirement for a new type of skill, we have to become generalists, rather than specialists, both right and left brain thinkers. Although our ability to measure initiatives and behaviour on-line has greatly improved, because of the breaking down of barriers and the fact that our customers are dynamic and participating in the market on their own terms, we are going to have to find ways to skill ourselves up on understanding the intangibles, like behavioural drivers and the psychosomatics of our audience too.

Social media requires us to become both artists and scientists, an interesting challenge which I look forward to.

About Digital Bridges

Digital Bridges creates high performance organisations by unlocking the business value of the web. We create digital strategies, user requirement and functional specifications for Intranets, websites and web applications. We also develop and implement social media strategies and create powerful digital brands using eMarketing and Communication and manage brand conversations with consumers.

Digital Bridges approaches the web from a management consulting position and relies heavily on rigorous academic thinking as well as business experience. It is headed up by Kate Elphick who has a Law degree and an MBA from GIBS. Kate has spent the last fifteen years of her career on the business side of the IT industry with companies such as Datatec, Didata, Business ConneXion and Primedia.

Digital Bridges has a broad range of experience working with significant, successful clients in the Financial, Gaming, Tourism, Pharmaceutical, ICT, Legal, Airline, Professional Services, Media and Public Sectors.

To find out more about Digital Bridges, please visit www.digitalbridges.co.za or contact Kate Elphick on katee@digitalbridges.co.za.

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Filed under Business, Digital Communities, eMarketing, Enterprise 2.0, HR Intranet, Interactive Intranets, Web 2.0, Web Marketing

Using BI to analyse organisational networks provides valuable insights

Organisational network analysis is the use of Business Intelligence (BI) on the relationships, processes, workflow and exchanges between employees. It can be used by businesses to identify potential opportunities or disruptions.

Work is routinely conducted between employees, partners and customers without a clear understanding of the roles that people play in the organisational network or quantifying the exchanges that occur.

Interactive Intranets provide employees with their own profiles and access to web 2.0 apps such as wikis, blogs, instant messaging, document sharing and other collaborative tools. Companies that have interactive Intranets, can capture and analyse data as their employees work and use it to understand the hidden economic patterns within the organisation.

Organisational network analysis explores the constraints, connections, communication and information flows between individuals, or nodes, in a network. Businesses can use organisational network analysis to develop strategies by identifying, amplifying and exploiting business patterns and capitalising on opportunities that emerge.

There are three variations of organisational network analysis that organisations can use to develop strategies.

  • Employee Analysis

Determines which employees are critical to business performance, overcommitted or bottlenecks to getting work done, or untapped sources of insight. Companies can identify which employees are maximising their performance by collaborating effectively across the functional silos in the organisation.

They can also understand the real processes as they actually manifest themselves during the employees’ working day, rather than as they are designed to work. Very often employees adapt processes to work for them, this may suggest more practical ways to get the work done, but it might also indicate hidden risky practise.

  • Influence analysis

Here we identify influential people, associations or trends. This can help an organisation understand which employees are most influential or competent so that they have a higher presence in the organisation. It can surface recruitment and attrition patterns which could influence the culture of the organisation and the effectiveness of its design.

  • Economic Analysis

This examines the transactions and relationships that create economic value. It can help an organisation understand which stakeholders in their value networks (suppliers, partners, coalitions) are meeting their performance commitments. The relationship between value and time can be examined and greater efficiencies be built into the work environment.

This is analysis can be used to optimise the allocation of people, processes and information as new patterns emerge. It also supports a performance-driven culture, by focusing on lead indicators and using measurable results to drive behaviour.

Organisational network analysis provides intelligence about the networks on which businesses depend to achieve performance goals by providing tools with dashboards that summarise key parameters.

About Digital Bridges

Digital Bridges creates high performance organisations by unlocking the business value of the web. We create digital strategies, user requirement and functional specifications for Intranets, websites and web applications. We also develop and implement social media strategies and create powerful digital brands using eMarketing and Communication.

Digital Bridges is technology agnostic and partners with great technology companies in order to ensure that our solutions are fit for purpose and deliver on organisational strategy.

Digital Bridges approaches the web from a management consulting position and relies heavily on rigorous academic thinking as well as business experience. It is headed up by Kate Elphick who has a Law degree and an MBA from GIBS. Kate has spent the last fifteen years of her career on the business side of the IT industry with companies such as Datatec, Didata, Business ConneXion and Primedia. Her skills include innovation and growth through marketing, communication, collaboration, knowledge management, human capital, performance management, process engineering and BI.

Digital Bridges has a broad range of experience working with significant, successful clients in the Financial, Gaming, Tourism, Pharmaceutical, ICT, Legal, Airline, Professional Services, Media and Public Sectors.

To find out more about Digital Bridges, please visit www.digitalbridges.co.za or contact Kate Elphick on katee@digitalbridges.co.za.

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Filed under Digital Communities, Enterprise 2.0, Interactive Intranets, Semantics, Web 2.0

Pulling the Levers

Websites and applications are becoming more mainstream as marketing tools. Marketers are starting to realise that the modern website is becoming the strategic backbone to all their marketing activities and requires extensive investment in terms of thinking and management.

A couple of years ago I went to Palo Alto to understand what was going on in leading edge the world of web 2.0. I interviewed a Ramesh from a company called PB Wiki, and he talked about “pulling the levers”; testing different combinations and variables to see which elicited the best response from their target audience, and optimised their web application’s usability.

With the modern web enabling our audiences to participate in our business world using the web, there is also a high level of risk if we get our digital marketing wrong. It is therefore important, not only to ensure that we get the right people to find our website, but also to have it optimised so that the target market’s behaviour is most beneficial to our company in terms of sales conversions, loyalty or even just ensuring that they get the information that they need.

In internet marketing, multivariate testing is a process by which more than one component of a website may be tested in a live environment to determine which of multiple content variations performs better.

Multivariate testing is used in order to ascertain which content or creative variation produces the best improvement in the defined goals of a website, whether that be user registrations or successful completion of the buying process.

Dramatic increases can be seen through testing different processes, workflow, content, form layouts and even landing page images and background colours. However, not all elements produce the same increase in conversions, and by looking at the results from different tests, it is possible to identify those elements that consistently tend to produce the greatest increase in conversions.

Testing can be carried out on a dynamically generated website by setting up the server to display the different variations of the site in equal proportions to incoming visitors. Statistics on how each visitor went on to behave after seeing the content being tested are be gathered and analysed.

Multivariate testing allows website visitors to vote with their clicks for which content they prefer and will stand the most chance of them proceeding to a defined goal. The testing is transparent to the visitor with all commercial solutions capable of ensuring that each visitor is shown the same content on every visit.

Some websites benefit from constant optimisation as visitor response to creatives and layouts differ by time of day, week or even season.

Multivariate testing is currently an area of high growth in Internet marketing as it helps website owners to ensure that they are getting the most from the visitors arriving at their site. Areas such as search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) advertising bring visitors to a site and have been extensively used by many organisations but multivariate testing allows internet marketers to ensure that visitors are being effectively serviced once they arrive at the site.

About Digital Bridges

Digital Bridges creates high performance organisations by unlocking the business value of the web. We create digital strategies, user requirement and functional specifications for Intranets, websites and web applications. We also develop and implement social media strategies and create powerful digital brands using eMarketing and Communication.

Digital Bridges is technology agnostic and partners with great technology companies in order to ensure that our solutions are fit for purpose and deliver on organisational strategy.

Digital Bridges approaches the web from a management consulting position and relies heavily on rigorous academic thinking as well as business experience. It is headed up by Kate Elphick who has a Law degree and an MBA from GIBS. Kate has spent the last fifteen years of her career on the business side of the IT industry with companies such as Datatec, Didata, Business ConneXion and Primedia. Her skills include innovation and growth through marketing, communication, collaboration, knowledge management, human capital, performance management, process engineering and BI.

Digital Bridges has a broad range of experience working with significant, successful clients in the Financial, Gaming, Tourism, Pharmaceutical, ICT, Legal, Airline, Professional Services, Media and Public Sectors.

To find out more about Digital Bridges, please visit www.digitalbridges.co.za or contact Kate Elphick on katee@digitalbridges.co.za.

1 Comment

Filed under Digital Communities, eMarketing, Enterprise 2.0, Semantics, Web 2.0, Web Marketing