DivvyHQ Book Club: Digital Sense by Travis Wright & Chris Snook

 In Content Marketing, Organizational Change, Social Media Marketing

“The game has forever been changed.”

Though this subheading may seem ominous, nestled within the preface of Travis Wright and Chris J. Snook’s recently released book Digital Sense, it’s meant to convey an organizational opportunity rather than doom.

Such staggering statements as “three billion people globally will enter the digital space in coming years!” convey just how rapidly our digital landscape will soon change, and serve as a call-to-action for leaders within organizations to either shape up or ship out. Infused with humor, fascinating case studies, and personal anecdotes from Wright and Snook, Digital Sense is a compulsively readable tome encouraging readers to make use of their Experience Marketing Framework (EMF) by blending customer experience, social business strategy, and marketing technology.

The Four Personas

Since it’s always good to start a book with some character development, Digital Sense first introduces four typical personas that live within any organization:

Influencers: Dubbed “the masters of human persuasion”, these folks effortlessly lead and the world follows. Only 3% of the population falls into this category, and they command the energy in every room they’re in.

Amplifiers: These innately ambitious folks (10% of the population) have what it takes to become Influencers, but they tend to be short-sighted and get frustrated.

Motivatables: The largest persona of the four (60% of humanity), these are the tried-and-true people pleasers, and are happy just blending in and staying in their comfort zone.

Zombies: 27% of the population, “combining Debby Downer with Negative Nancy”, these are the gossip-mongers and the poisonous leeches who will destroy your organization given the chance.  Don’t be offended by the name-calling, because if you’re reading this blog post, you’re definitely not a Zombie.

The Experience Marketing Framework

Once readers are armed with this segmentation, Wright and Snook walk through their Experience Marketing Framework, which is reasonably complex, but aims to help organizations deliver exceptional customer experience in a digital world. Here’s a quick breakdown, layer-by-layer.

Insights (Research) layer: This piece of the framework probes you to take a closer look at your organization via many different exercises: persona mapping, understanding your competitive landscape via the BCG Matrix or Gartner Magic Quadrant, a market trend questionnaire, and more. Taking a deep look at your customer and position will help you determine if your organization’s business model is viable or on the fritz.

Vision (Strategy) layer: This layer presents the opportunity to state your vision into a social business strategy by conducting thorough audits of both your business goals and your customer’s journey map, via an in-depth journey map touchpoint exercise. Conducting these exercises will get you to a place where you have the decisions made to put a plan in place.

Success (Execution) layer: This layer gives you the tools (performance media tactics, audience/intelligence systems) to implement the processes you need to meet those business objectives you stated in the Vision Layer on time and within your budget.

Next, the book introduces ways to apply their social business strategies to your marketing, HR, sales, and customer service initiatives, followed by their specific marketing technology (MarTech) recommendations.

Story Time

Digital Sense is at its strongest when it points to specific examples as encouragement to implement their methodologies, like the Mercer CandidateCare and Mercer Match services that emerged out of Mercer’s Innovation Hub, an initiative across the organization to encourage ideas. This story neatly summarizes how a company that was hardly on the cutting edge was able to innovate brilliantly by keeping customer experience at the forefront.

Digital Sense is specifically targeted to the decision makers of companies, but even those lower on their organizational totem pole will undoubtedly enjoy the wry and irreverent tone that Wright and Snook infuse with the clear, keen business sense they’ve gleaned from their combined forty years of marketing experience.

One of my favorite funny lines was Snook’s nickname for all of us in this digital age of opportunity: “ProSumerTribuDucers”. Bits like that make for a highly entertaining read!

Executives in organizations both big and small that feel overwhelmed by the changing digital landscape of their world would be wise to pick up a copy…or risk their internal Zombies eating them alive.

(P.S: look out for an endorsement of a certain content marketing platform on p. 137…Thanks Travis & Chris!!!) 

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