Helping to IGNITE our Clients’ Content Programs
Since becoming Syndigo this January, we’ve wanted to create a premier client event to provide a venue to share successes and learn. This August, we unveiled IGNITE, our inaugural client conference featuring an information-packed day of learning and networking.
The sessions were devoted to sharing our collective creative ideas to make the most of our eCommerce programs in 2020 and beyond. During the engaging event, clients, consultants and Syndigo executives shared their successes and insights for the decade to come.
Here are some of the top takeaways from this year’s IGNITE:
1. It starts with developing people.
Every company seeks to hire the best. But having ‘leaders’, ‘self-starters’ or ‘top talent’ are only the beginning. As Steve Jobs once said, “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do.” It requires relentlessly developing your talented employees. Guest speaker Sterling Hawkins helped drive that point home by challenging participants to embrace the unknown and learn how to grow from it.
2. Work for organizational alignment.
Most companies have a vision, a mission statement, or some sort of cultural hook that defines what they do. But is every department aligned to that mission? When resource constraints are a reality, how (and who) chooses how to allocate them? And more important, how much time and energy is spent debating? That may be a sign of corporate misalignment. Efficiency can be created with alignment, as fewer resources are wasted discussing ‘what’ to do or ‘whether’ to do it. With shared understanding comes organizational alignment.
3. “Lean in” on investment.
We’re familiar with the sentiment of being present, being prepared and stepping up when the situation arises. But is that how we invest our capital? Or do we employ a risk-first strategy, which has the effect of investing only when it becomes absolutely critical? The conference was a good eye opener on how sometimes opportunities can be missed if we don’t step up. Being aligned across the organization is obviously one way to do this.
4. Strategic partners.
It’s hard to go it alone, especially for small and medium size businesses. And even though large multinationals generally have more resources to bring things in house, partnering with experts in other fields can help leverage expertise beyond the realm of a single organization. In building an end-to-end process for content management and distribution, Syndigo can be such a partner, to help businesses reach their eCommerce objectives with shoppers.
5. Every brand is different!
There is a lot of sameness in the industry. This is not surprising – smart businesses follow successful implementations and learn from them. However, looking for successes and replicating them is different than pure copying. In order to be successful, brands need to differentiate, by emphasizing the things that make consumers want to come back again and again for your product.
6. Adapting to each retailer’s process.
Flexibility is key when dealing with multiple retailer partners, and it was made clear from many of our discussions that being able to adapt is a primary driver for success in the supply chain. One size does not fit all. What is important in this case is working with retailers to understand the nuances to their processes and aligning with them. With integrated platforms and syndication capabilities, Syndigo’s Content Experience Hub is one way to accomplish that objective.
7. Shopper comes first!
Many Ignite speakers referenced how the shopper must be at the core of our actions. Tim Madigan from Tyson Foods put it best when he called out the point that many of us tend to get pulled into the weeds with data analysis without staying focused on what consumers want at the end of the day. Keeping the shopper at the center of any plans help to ensure the results are aligned.
8. Quality over quantity.
The size of our retail network is important for clients, but what we really challenge ourselves on is having the most complete and accurate information. After all, data without context is overhead. Speaker Dan Bracken from Church & Dwight shared how his department helps to turn information into insights that lead to actionable results, which generated good conversation around the need for quality across the industry.
9. Governance framework.
We talk a lot about Taxonomy here and that certainly aligns with governance. It’s one of many standards that are important for efficient transfer of content among partners. Laura Creekmore, Syndigo’s resident expert in taxonomy and content, highlighted this in her presentation, as did several of our clients. The learning here is that marketers can’t assume that consumers will shop online in the same manner as the store, requiring different ways of categorizing and merchandising items when online.
10. Accelerating everything you do.
Whether or not you’re a fan of Ricky Bobby, we all know that speed is an advantage. At Syndigo, we’re are fond of the Mario Andretti quote: “If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.” In our current environment of industry evolution, the first mover/fast follower model is very real. And by considering all these takeaways – being comfortable with the unknown, being aligned as an organization, leaning in – we will naturally have a bias for action, which is needed to thrive in today’s evolving industry.