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So What? Change Management and Digital Transformation

So What? Marketing Analytics and Insights Live

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In this week’s episode of So What? we focus on Change Management and Digital Transformation. We walk through where Digital Transformation fits into Change Management and how to think about it for your organization. Catch the replay here:

So What? Change Management and Digital Transformation

In this episode you’ll learn: 

  • What’s the difference between change management and digital transformation
  • Why these two frameworks work well together
  • How to apply these frameworks to your marketing

Upcoming Episodes:

  • 2022 planning

Have a question or topic you’d like to see us cover? Reach out here:

AI-Generated Transcript:


Katie Robbert 0:24
Well hey there Happy Thursday. Welcome to another episode, another episode of so other marketing analytics and insights live show. I also want to say another which is, you know, still proper English but not very understandable. Today I’m joined by Chris and headloss. So we don’t know what happened to John. He might be off fighting crime somewhere like the superhero that he is.

John Wall 0:47
That’s better than Flanders. I was worried I get Ned Flanders

Katie Robbert 0:51
I only knew it was Ted last. So because I figured that was like the most recent pop culture thing with a guy with a mustache,

John Wall 0:57
recent mustache meme.

Katie Robbert 1:03
So Oh, my God, John

John Wall 1:07
Denton. Surprise reveal, here we go.

Katie Robbert 1:13
We’re off to a good start. So today, we’re going a little more conceptual than we are tactical. But the idea is that you can still start to think about how in applying this to your organization. So today, we’re talking about change management and digital transformation. What’s the difference between them? How these two frameworks work together, and how you can apply these frameworks to your marketing. So before we jump into sort of like what they are and how to use them. Chris, John, when I say digital transformation, like what comes to mind for you, and please keep it clean? This is a family show.

Christopher Penn 1:47
But like, what is your consulting fees?

Katie Robbert 1:49
But what is your definition of digital transformation?

John Wall 1:53
That’s right, no job too big no fee too big. It’s a classic Ghostbusters. This is right on the mark for 31st. Yeah, it is funny. It’s like fake news. It’s one of those phrases that everybody throws around all the time, but that nobody ever really sat down to come up with a definition of the thing. So you know, most people don’t know what they’re talking about. Or they’re just kind of peddling smoke and mirrors. That’s my initial opinion.

Unknown Speaker 2:20
What about you, Chris?

Christopher Penn 2:23
To me, digital transformation is the adaptation of the technology, the people and the processes in an organization to be digital focused, or digital first. So you take, for example, a pizza company. It just makes pizza and stuff. And you know, they have, they have, you know, ads and flyers around town, and a digital transformation, we’re looking at things like their supply chain, you know, can that be made more automated, more digital, more real time? Can their advertising and marketing systems be adapted to be more digital, you know, mobile first, for example. And even if you want to get wacky crazy, at the highest levels of digital transformation, you start getting into things like digital twins, where you would have the people processes and technology of real world thing replicated in a digital environment. So you could run simulations. So you have a pizza oven, and you have this that it’s digital twin? And you could if the simulator was good enough, seemingly, okay, well happens, we bake pizzas at 450 instead of 350. And you know, we get faster pizza to get better pizzas, can we cut costs somewhere? So that’s sort of that, that what that means is taking the existing business and finding ways to uplevel it so that it becomes a more digitized business.

Katie Robbert 3:44
And when I say change management, what does that mean? Aside from another expensive consulting trick?

John Wall 3:53
First, Climate Change management is what divides like failed corporate projects from ones that actually work. You know, so many projects are kind of like, here’s the tools we’re going to roll out over the next month, and it’s just built around an RFP, but the reality of like, okay, this project is gonna, you know, this is how we’re gonna get the people to come along with this and how it’s gonna work. Yeah, change management is, to me, it’s the most important part of most major corporate initiatives, like without it, you risk, you know, obvious failure.

Christopher Penn 4:27
Yeah, it feels like much work that lets us go much more a cup of soup kind of term, you know, like change management, you’re literally managing change and you’re trying to make change happen. Because like John said, digital transformation can be anything that’s you know, it really is a consulting buzzword. I know change management, knowledge management, and all this stuff are too, but they’re like 90s Consulting word. So they’re kind of like, ingrained at this point. No one’s surprised when you hear them just like you know, somebody brings it like 90s music. Nobody is surprised to hear that like Green Day is mentioned in there. It’s just part of the landscape now.

Katie Robbert 4:58
Fair enough. Well, you You know, I, in preparation for this episode, I definitely did a bit of research. And so you know, what is digital transformation? It’s the adoption of digital technology by a company. And then some common reasons. And then what has changed management, it’s a collective term or a cup of soup, as you like to say, for all approaches to prepare, support, and help individuals and teams and organizations make organizational change. And so, you know, stepping back, if you introduce these two terms to someone who wasn’t familiar with them, they might say, well, aren’t they just the same thing? And the answer is no, digital transformation is a subset of change management. So in doing, you know, in looking through, you know, a bunch of digital transformation frameworks and approaches to digital transformation, a lot of what I kept coming back to is a culture shift. And that’s the definition of change management is that organizational behavior change. And so that, to me, says that digital transformation Nestle’s in underneath the overall change management process, and the way that I’ve been trying to describe change management, because it is sort of a more conceptual thing, get this to work. There we go. It changed management is sort of these five major pillars of purpose, people process, platform and performance. And so purpose being Why are you doing the thing, people being who’s doing the thing, process being how platform being, what are the tools, you’re using performance being how you measure, and so really trying to break it down into that simple framework structure that you can apply to pretty much anything. So what I did was, I started to really think about change management, at the organizational level, and where digital transformation fits in. And so what you have both been describing as digital transformation is really that adoption of new technology, or moving from offline marketing, to online marketing, or from, you know, humans to machines, or whatever that is, and that historically tends to only fall within the platform piece of it, but it’s a missed opportunity to have that full range of change management. And so as I was, and so full disclosure, I’m not a, you know, big visual person, like I’m a visual learner, but I’m not great at creating those visuals. And so what I had in my head was sort of that swirling vortex have a process within a process within a process within a process. But I had a really hard time making that appear in Microsoft PowerPoint, so this is what you get instead. Um, you know, and so when I was thinking through change management for an organization as a whole, you could easily see where digital transformation fits in. And so I really like to define digital transformation as a subset of organizational behavioral change, which is what change management is as a whole. And so, you know, I want to sort of stop there and see, like, what are some of the things where this is gonna go wrong? Where does digital transformation go wrong? In general, what have been your experiences, seeing that the project was set up to fail?

Christopher Penn 8:16
The first thing that always comes to mind with digital transformation is like AI, it’s where somebody says, we have to do it, just to do it, just to check the box just to look cool. Just to justify why we have to keep paying McKenzie to sit, somebody comes up with something that says, yeah, we’ve got to do this thing, because it’s the cool thing to do. And, you know, it’s like everything. That’s, that is pretty much a guaranteed route to failure. Because there’s, you know, to the left hand box, and there’s no purpose behind it, and there’s no purpose, it’s going to fail.

John Wall 8:50
Yeah, and I like that you’ve put guard rails around it and said that the digital transformation happens in the platform, because one of the things we see all the time as a failure is when people try to digitize the process or reporting revenue, you know, performance stuff, where they just buy some tool and bolt it on, without any consideration about where it’s gonna fit into the whole platform. And so that’s, I really like to see that there because you can’t be just kind of slapping up, you know, automating all this stuff without any kind of plan as to where it’s gonna go, you know, five years, well, maybe you can’t look five years ahead, but at least look at your existing tool stack and figure out how is this stuff gonna integrate into the platform we’ve already got? Because otherwise you just, you know, you get silos and fiefdoms and all kinds of headaches down the line or worse yet, you get problems that affect departments, that outside of your own scope, you know, you make problems for accounting actually make life worse elsewhere in the organization.

Katie Robbert 9:51
Yeah. Because part of what digital transformation is trying to accomplish is a culture shift the fact that it doesn’t overtly include the teams, the people, the long term, sort of like, think about it, like the spider web of like how many other people, the customers, like the accounting team, the finance team, you know, the IT support team, like, are those people even taken into consideration when you purchase a license to, you know, a brand new platform that you’re trying to bandaid, you know, an issue with, without sort of really thinking through what are those widespread impacts of bringing on a new tool, or, you know, even something very simple, like, you know, and this is sort of the rant that I’ve been on, but let’s say that you’re a new business, and you’ve been mostly brick and mortar, and you’re trying to, you know, build a digital presence, you know, it may be a small business, but there are still implications of, you know, setting up a Facebook page, setting up a simple, you know, website, who’s gonna maintain the website, who’s gonna update the social media every day, those kinds of things. And thinking through like, going digital actually includes a lot more people than just you, you just may not realize it or have the resources to do it. So when I start thinking through, when I was sort of describing this process within the process, what I first did was I nestled digital transformation into the full change management process. But then what I started to do was flip it around, and then nestled change management process into every single one of these buckets. So sort of walking through the scenario as if an organization were looking to, you know, digitally transform, well, we want to know, the purpose is what are the goals? Who are the people? What are the efficiencies? And how will we actually do the thing? What are the platforms? And then how do we measure it, so sort of at a high level, playing out the scenario of an organization undergoing some digital transformation, introducing new stuff, basically. And so I won’t sort of spend a lot of time on these other ones. But basically, what you do is you take change management, and then it’s sort of the process within a process within a process. So if you start with the business goals, you then apply the same change management process to that first goal. So purpose, but then you have what’s the purpose? Who were the people, the process, the platform and the performance. And so as you were outlining your business goal of why you’re doing change management, you still have to understand like, who are the people who are making the decisions that these are the business goals? What other factors do we need to include? Do we have, you know, stakeholders and board members who need to weigh in on what the actual goals are? Are we setting the goals ourselves? Do our customers dictate some of this? Because, you know, they have bought into, you know, this, like a farm share or something? So they have a stake in it? How do we get to understanding what those goals are? What platforms are we using to capture the information that tells us, you know, what the goals are? And then how do we know that we’ve met the goal. And so you can see, you can sort of like, keep breaking it out, you know, a framework within a framework within a framework of you can include the five P’s into each one of these little bullets, which again, would get very, you know, cuckoo bananas on a screen. But hopefully, I’m explaining it correctly. Chris, you look like you’re sort of like mulling over. Oh,

Christopher Penn 13:31
God, I think specific to this, it just, it’s a fractal. So if you’re familiar with fractals, you know, they are essentially, every piece is, you know, has its own piece of the same thing replicated, you know, infinitely downward inside of it.

Katie Robbert 13:44
That’s exactly it. And so it’s, I would venture a guess. And John, you talk with a lot of, you know, prospects, and you do a lot of interviews, have you found that anyone like as they’re setting up their business goals, or as they’re thinking through, like, what do we want to do next year? Are they really taking the time to plan it out to this extent? Or are they just like, let’s increase by 10%?

John Wall 14:09
Oh, yeah, they’re always missing this whole mix, you know, everybody looks at platform, maybe at process, they’re driven by performance. But you know, people on purpose, sometimes are just totally missed, you know, just not in it whatsoever. Like I can’t. There have been so many times where we’ve seen a team by some kind of software. And literally, none of the users even know that it’s coming. Like they just get notified that like, okay, next week, you’re going to, you know, log into and that’s how your life is going to run every day. And you know, better orgs that actually look at people would would have had those people involved in the cycle, you know, months ago. So yeah, having this kind of structure where you you’re applying some rigor into doing these projects, just makes a huge difference, because, yeah, again, I’ve seen so many failures. With every crash project, you go there’ll be at least one to four of these missing.

Katie Robbert 15:03
Well, and I think, you know, you just said something really interesting, you use the term rigor. And so it’s that rigor, it’s the, you know, almost like, militant, you have to do it this way that people like, I don’t have time to go through all of these steps, I don’t have time to do business requirements gathering, I just need to set the thing up yesterday. And so I can’t follow anything that’s rigor. And so what’s interesting is that this is actually meant to be fairly agile. And so I don’t know that it comes across that way in the visual, but the way that I approach Change management is that it’s meant to be incremental. And so you get those small wins over time, so that you can start to adjust the plan. So let me just kind of scoot ahead to the change management sections. Because, again, you can apply this to your people. So you know, what are you trying to do with people you’re trying to retain them? What do you need to do a feedback loop? How do you, you know, measure it? What’s the success rate? So you can apply the same five fees to every single one of these things? Same thing with efficiencies. So I’m here with digital transformation, because that’s really sort of the crux of what we’re talking about. So why do people want to undergo this transformation of digital? And so from what we can tell, you know, some of it is innovation, some of it is, you know, to keep up with their competitors, you know, some of it is, you know, they don’t really know why they’re just sort of like introducing a new tool, because somebody said, Hey, there’s this new tool out there, and they’re like, ooh, shiny object. And so you know, to the points that you both have been making, it’s a lot more involved in that. And it you can very easily do it wrong, because you’re not thinking through. And so when I was thinking of applying the same five key change management, these are some of the high level buckets that I came up with, what what have I missed from your experience? It’s not that

Christopher Penn 17:01
you missed me, I have a question, which is internality versus externality. Particular, particularly the purpose section there, those are listed very clearly as internal purposes, right? We want to beat our competitors, we want to innovate and stuff. But the biggest digital transformations happened over the last 18 months for a lot of businesses because of an external event, namely, the pandemic saying, guess what, you can’t have customers in your restaurant, like you must do something else. And so it’s an actual event. So does this structure change? Or better questions? How does a company particularly like you’re setting up when you were starting off talking about some of the smaller businesses? How does a company approached digital transformation, when is being forced upon you buy the outside, and you have no control over a lot of the major factors other than you either stay in business, you adapt and stay in business? Or you don’t?

Katie Robbert 17:52
Well, I, I would say that the structure the approach doesn’t change. But the answers to the questions themselves do change. And you actually pointed out something really, really key that I was hoping would sort of like come up in conversation is that when companies are going through digital transformation, or any kind of a change, they tend to forget about the customer, they focus only on themselves? And how will this affect me? How do I feel? What does my job entail? You know, what do I now have to be responsible for? Why am I not included in this thing? But they don’t really think about including their customers, or what’s going to happen to them. And so you’re absolutely right, the example of the pandemic completely just sort of rocked the way that people had to be doing business. And so if you didn’t currently have an online presence, if you were a brick and mortar, you had to scramble to figure out well, what is everybody else doing? What’s the best way to meet my customers where they are? I don’t know where my customers are. And so before introducing some sort of a digital presence that you may not have currently have, you first need to do that research. So you’re not even ready for this stuff. You need to figure out? Where do my customers hang out? Who are my customers? Do I have that information? Does it all live in a spreadsheet? Or post it notes? Or do I actually have a CRM, where I can mine that information to say this is the general profile or profiles of my customers, and I have a better sense of where I might be able to reach them. And then you can start to figure out okay, the purpose of doing this digital transformation is to reach my customers where they are online, versus I just want to be competitive to Joe down the street because Joe has a website. I don’t have a website, so I should have a website. And so it’s a very interesting way to think about it. And you’re right, it’s absolutely a missed opportunity because people companies tend to forget that their customer at the end of the day is who they’re doing this for not necessarily just themselves

Christopher Penn 19:44
to is the new billion dollar industry for us, Katie customer centric digital transformation.

Katie Robbert 19:53
I don’t I mean, I just I got a little bit of a headache when you said that

Christopher Penn 19:59
bill, but it’s true. because one of the things that we’ve constantly had disagreements with, with certain clients is looking at a major strategic initiative and saying, Did you talk to any customers at all? You know, or even more important, you are not set up to be where the customer is. Now, we were looking at a product earlier today, that really, the audience of that product really is people age 60. And up, right, and this is an industry where all the growth and all the customers are 30 and under, right, and so, you know, you have some massive disconnect that a digital transformation will help them because they’re calibrated on the wrong audience. So how does that fit in here? Where you could? Is that more of a even higher level strategic thing? Or do you even say, like, look, digital transformation is a waste of your time, you need fundamental change management to say, your audience is literally dying.

Katie Robbert 21:11
Yep, that’s absolutely. And the hope is that by asking people to step back and go through these steps, like these five P’s, they would start to uncover like, oh, maybe this isn’t something that is actually the right thing. Yeah, that’s sort of like the idealistic way to look at it, like, oh, they will learn a lot by going through this process. The answer is they won’t, they’re still going to do whatever it is they want to do. But I Deeley before you even sort of go into any kind of a change management project Big or small, you’ve done some research to know that this is the thing that we want to do, because this is how we’re going to measure it. And so, you know, thinking about, you know, that performance step, if you are not measuring the right thing, you’re not going to get great performance. And so, you know, Chris, to your point, if they are focusing only internally, yeah, great. Everybody is now using Facebook, internally. But then when you step back out more to that bigger picture, where digital transformation fit into the overall organization? Well, what happened to did we get more revenue? Do we get more customers, and then you’ll start to see where it fell apart? And so that’s why I was really thinking through it’s a process within a process within a process? Or what did you call it? Chris? A fractal?

Christopher Penn 22:35
A fractal? Yeah, walk me through, though, walk me through a change, managing a change that you don’t want to make. So I’ll give you a real concrete example. A lot of people, over a billion people now are using Tiktok on a regular frequent basis, right, it is where a lot of new memes are coming from a lot of culture is coming out of KT what is our change management was our transformation so that we can become relevant to marketers who are interested in using Tiktok? How do we change ourselves to adapt to that, given that, as as my peers in my Discord service, they say, I’m one of the olds Tiktok Tiktok is about I feel like please, I’m here in discord.

Katie Robbert 23:23
Well, even though I’m younger than you, I’m older than you spiritually because I don’t have a Tiktok. And I still for the life of me cannot spell it the way they want to spell it. I have to add a C in there. But that’s beside the point. So honestly, where we would start is the purpose like, what is the purpose of setting up a Tiktok? For Trust Insights, and really digging into understanding? If we do this thing? What is going to be the benefit to the company? So you know, if you’re going through this exercise, and you’re saying, well, the purpose of setting up Tiktok, is to stay relevant? I’m going to go ahead and slap you on the wrist and say, that’s not a good enough reason to do something like what is the benefit to your business? Because it always sort of needs to tie back to the so what why are we doing this thing? Like if it’s, if the answer is to drive awareness to the personalities of Trust Insights, so that people can get to know us better on, you know, for our own personal brands, that’s a better reason than just because we want to stay relevant, because then it’s not the company as a whole. We’re not creating Trust Insights, tic TOCs we’re creating Chris Penn Tiktok, John Wall Tiktok and Katie robear, tic TOCs. So that, to me, is a different application of it. And so we really need to get to dig into the purpose. And so, you know, this is off the cuff. I don’t know if this is the right or the wrong answer. But I would say, I don’t know that Tiktok is where Trust Insights as a company needs to be, but I could be wrong. I have a lot more research that I need to do before I can definitively say that and so that’s where I need to start is understanding the true purpose of why we need to make that change. So then if you play out the scenario of let’s say that, we find out that all of our customers, our ideal customers are on Tiktok their users of Tiktok, then that’s where we’re going to get all of our new leads from. Okay, great, we need to start to to set up that Tiktok account. So our purpose of setting it up is we need to set it up so that we can get more quality leads of people who want the services that we offer. So the people well, who are the people who are running this account? Is it we’re all running this account? Is just Chris running this account? Are we going to torture Katie and make her run this account? I mean, that’s a great question. So who are the people do we need our you know, friendlies to you know, have guest cameos on the account? I don’t know how it works, maybe you can like link to other accounts and share other people’s stuff. And so like Instagram, okay, well, that’s helpful. And so it’s like, you need to figure out like, who are the people who are involved? You know, do we need to maybe think about bringing on like, a Tiktok, expert, or social expert to the team? Who can run this thing for us? And then what’s the process? How often are we posting? You know, how are we creating the content that goes on the Tiktok? How, you know, how do we extract, you know, anything from Tiktok? In terms of, you know, meaningful metrics? platform, we assume it’s Tiktok. But can you just post directly to Tiktok? from your desktop, for example, do you need to have something like an Agorapulse that you can then link to and then post and then schedule? And so there’s a lot of it may be more tech than just, you know, the app on your phone? And if you have the app on your phone? Can we all access the same account from each of our individual phones? And so thinking through those things, and then the performance is, so what did we get new leads from Tiktok? Can we measure and attribute those leads from Tiktok? specifically? So that’s me foaming at the mouth for like, five minutes on Tiktok?

Christopher Penn 27:10
No, that’s good. I mean, what I seen, because I’m on there a couple times a day, is that for marketers, our customers, our customers greatest needs are very much like what you just said, What the heck are we supposed to do with this thing? Right? Like, all these kids are out here really isn’t just kids anymore. It’s not it’s a lot of ages. But the perception is, it’s still the kids thing. But so you have all these people, you know, sound like Mr. Burns, or grandpa Simpson, look, I wonder what these kids doing here, you know how to and with a billion users, we you can’t really ignore it anymore. And I see our purpose, as a company, as helping people helping folks understand the data coming out of it. So that they can make, you know, to put the performance at the bottom here is helping them make data driven decisions with data about Tiktok. Like, how do you know this thing? So we had a client a couple of weeks ago, noticed it was last month and last month, attribution reports suddenly Tiktok started showing up in their attribution reports. Were like what you do and like, oh, yeah, we got these, with this one influencers picked us up, start sharing our stuff, and like, that’s cool. What are you gonna do about it, but we don’t know, we don’t know how to use the thing. Like, I feel like there’s some data driven decisions here we’ve got the data is telling you make a decision. But from a change management perspective, you’re not ready to make that decision. So does that cut? Does that company just lose the opportunity? Because they’re, they’re simply not ready for it?

John Wall 28:48
Yeah, well, they have to, I think people get wrapped up in the, you know, all the buzz for this, but when you boil it down, it is just a video channel, right? I mean, and the promise you’re handcuffed in that it’s, you know, 15 seconds, 60 seconds or three minutes, which for us is like not even enough time to set up the problem. You know, I mean, we and now not to say that, that’s because we’re too advanced, or our projects or products are too crazy. Maybe that’s a blind spot for us. Like maybe we need to be doing more soundbite stuff and boiling stuff down into, you know, 15 minutes to have somebody getting punched in the crotch and then 12 of you know, hey, if you had better analytics, you’d be able to do some cool stuff visit Trust Insights. Not Yeah, it’s it’s uh, you know, I mean, part of me is like yeah, Tiktok is just an open sewer like it’s all a bunch of sound bites you know, it’s it’s garbage but the crowd is there and yeah, you already see I don’t know I’ve been following some marketing tiktoks And it’s a lot of is like the Hey, let me tell you in 30 seconds how to you know, do these five SEO things and I don’t know to me I want to kill myself watching that. It’s like yeah, these are the three most topical you know, garbage tips ever. But, you know, there are people out there that’s their first time hearing this thing. So if they watch that, and then they click through to get more content. That’s it. But yeah, we were just our culture as long form video. Like, that’s just who we are. But again, not to say that maybe we don’t need to think about how to get in there. But yeah, that is hilarious. I can totally see clients like throwing some videos out there and being like, Oh, wait, these caught on fire? What do we do? And they just have no idea that’s deer in the headlights still?

Katie Robbert 30:24
Well, and that goes back to, you know, the crux of change management, which is that cultural change that organizational behavioral change. And so, you know, John, you and I are in a slightly different camp. And Chris, because Chris tends to stay more up to date on the latest and greatest, you know, whatever’s out there in the internet, whereas you and I are both like, well, if I can’t create a 45 minute webinar, then what’s the point? I can’t describe the thing like, how do I break it down like this, where the kids are? And so that’s a cultural shift for us, is to start to rethink what where do we have a place in some of these new social media? Platforms? You know, do we have a place? Is it worth, you know, testing it? What does that look like? What do we do? And that’s that culture shift, which goes back to change management, which is how this digital transformation framework came about is it’s using the change management framework to do some sort of a digital transformation. And in this scenario, it would be does Trust Insights belong en Tiktok. And so you run through all of these things? And then you come up with some sort of a proof of concept of Let me test it, is it working? Okay, let me go back and readjust and see, did we get the right purpose? Did we measure the right things, you know, should we have, you know, a third party running it for us versus ourselves, because we tend to deprioritize it with everything else. And so continually learning from you know, what we’re doing and restarting that change management framework with that process over and over again.

Christopher Penn 32:04
One of the things I think digital transformation does really wrong, too, is where people beat off in this. A lot of folks start on the platform, right, they start, here’s the new cool technology. And it’s interesting hearing all of us talking in the example of Tiktok, and stuff. The first indicators of a need for change, come from people come from listening to people. So you know, the the difference between the three of us about why I know some of this stuff earlier, is with the people we hang out with, right, so I spend a lot more time probably online than then both of you do. And I spent time with a lot of very, very different people who are way outside our market of you know, B2B marketing professionals, which is typically who we hang out with, because they’re usually our customers. You know, in one of the discord servers, I’m in the average age of the servers like 17, I think. So it’s like super, super young kids. I’ve got a teenager upstairs, my own. And the people part is where all those things are, are are coming from you listen, people like oh, like, What are you talking about, you know, playing garlic phone are among us, or Cards Against Humanity online? Like, hmm, what are all these things, you know, just poking your head and going, Oh, that’s interesting. Seeing people using stuff in ways that wasn’t intended to be used, like how people curate Spotify, playlists and stuff. It’s funny, I hear people talking about how, you know how music discovery happens in watching other people doing it going, that’s not at all what the marketing trades are saying is happening. Like that’s, that’s, you know, that’s not reality. So, how do we help companies and customers and ourselves become more people led even in digital transformation?

Katie Robbert 33:54
So, you know, you’re absolutely right, Chris, like, I don’t think John and I spend nearly as much time you know, in those forums, you do, but that’s just who you are. And to your point, you have a teenager at home, I don’t have kids. And so I don’t have that person, you know, coming into my life every day saying, this is the new latest thing, like I am relying on myself and my group of friends who aren’t marketers, but who are very similar to me of like, none of us really use social media all that much. You know, and so, you know, I tend to read a lot and so sometimes I’ve learned some new things through reading. Um, you know, not always it’s not always going to be as up to date is like real time internet chat rooms, forums, I don’t know clearly, I’m not using them. Because in my brain, I just brought up an AOL chat room. I think it was the last time I was in a chat room. So um, but what John and I need to do is maybe set aside like, you know, an hour a week on a Friday Have you just sort of walk us through, here’s all the stuff that I, you know, experienced this week in the forums, here’s the stuff that I learned, here’s the stuff that could be interesting for you guys to go research more on to see how it fits into what we’re doing at Trust Insights. And so that way you are like, so John, and I aren’t necessarily changing our everyday habits, but we’re changing the way that we think about some of this information, because you are driving that culture and asking us to research more and get more involved. And so you’re sort of acting as that filter of like, all the other noise and just bringing sort of the stuff that we should explore a little bit more, and that sort of how that culture shifts starts, you know, and so that when if you sort of play it out, the purpose is to get more up to date on what’s happening online, the people will, Chris would be sort of the main research lead, and John and I would be the research assistants in that scenario. The process is, you know, once a week, we sit down and say, what’s new, what’s different? What do we need to learn? Platform? Well, it’s wherever you feel like getting your information from it sounds like a lot of it is discord, there might be some other places. And the performance the measure of success is did we as a whole, as a company start to introduce new technology into what it is that we’re doing to drive awareness to drive leads to service our clients?

John Wall 36:27
And just boil it down to 60 seconds? There’s your Tiktok. We could do like Tiktok for olds, that would be

Katie Robbert 36:37
Oh, John, we would be so good at it. I love you. And I try to find the record button.

John Wall 36:44
Like Barrett, kids in your sauce. What is this is?

Katie Robbert 36:49
Did I shut it off? Is it still recording? What is this do?

Christopher Penn 36:55
Did I think I mean, that would actually probably do astonishingly well, particularly we all got like potete Lassa? mustaches?

Katie Robbert 37:02
That’s right. Me especially.

John Wall 37:06

Katie Robbert 37:10
I do want to bring up so someone from LinkedIn had the comment sort of going back to John, your comment about rigor. And this is exactly it. This is the issue with a lot of digital transformation is the desire for shiny objects versus a resistance to rigor and transformation reminds me of the gimmicks and fad diets versus the pain of diet and exercise we all know actually works. That’s absolutely true. And so using a process like the five P’s of change management, it sort of it gets you out of that ability to do it as a fad diet, like it forces you into that, okay, let’s find some consistency. Let’s see if we can repeat this. Let’s see if we can do it, you know, today and tomorrow and the following day. And if people have a good communication plan, so that they understand what it is, is happening, one of the things that’s not in here that needs to be called out a bit more is that communication plan. And so it’s fine. If you list out, you know, okay, Chris is going to start, you know, researching Tiktok. And then Katie is going to start running the Tiktok account, well, I can just put that down on paper. But if I never actually have a conversation with Chris, or if Chris never tells me what we’re doing, then this is already set up to fail. And so that communication is absolutely key to this whole thing is it’s fine to write it all out on paper and write the plan and start doing the thing. But if you don’t tell people, if you don’t set expectations, you’re still set up to fail.

John Wall 38:42
That’s just that’s the fact you’re gonna fail. It lands like a rock, though. It’s so true. Because yeah, that’s like the million dollar quote from our LinkedIn guests there is, there’s so many times where we go in, and everybody wants the shiny thing to see what’s in there. And then after all, the digging is done, and you find out where the problems are, suddenly, there’s just never the willpower to actually go work on the problems or fix the things. Like that’s the greatest challenge that we face is. Yeah, we can use these analytics to get down to the truth and what you need to do next. But now, you know, do you have the drive to go do the next thing you know, are you going to change the campaign’s you’re doing? You know, I can talk all day about doing a Tiktok video, but am I gonna crank one out by the end of the day Friday? That’s a tough call.

Christopher Penn 39:27
And fundamentally, it always has to come back to the people and so if the people are the problem, nothing’s gonna change and we talked about a few weeks ago, when you’re talking about Facebook, right? You know, because of the ownership structure. Facebook will never change because the the the leadership the which is the problem can’t be changed out. And so you know, it comes down to people when you have a consultant coming in saying you need to do digital transformation to modernize your data. And the people don’t change and you’ve got expensive new toys with the same old people.

Katie Robbert 40:06
That’s exactly it. And that’s why, at least from where I sit, digital transformation is nestled under change management as a whole. Because if you want to make a culture shift with digital transformation, what you’re talking about is an organizational change. And an organizational change needs to be done in a methodical way, in a thoughtful way. You can’t just say, Alright, we’re gonna use this thing now. Nobody’s gonna want to do it, everyone’s gonna resist and go, Why? How does that affect me? Where do I fit into this thing? Do I even get to use this thing? Why can’t I play with the shiny toy? And it just like you, you can go ahead and try. I was gonna say you can’t do it. But the answer is, you can do it that way. You absolutely can do it that way. I guarantee you, you’re gonna fail if you try to do it that way.

Christopher Penn 40:54
So the answers to eliminate people.

Katie Robbert 40:57
Again, I feel like you’ve not listened to a single thing I’ve said in the past 40 minutes. I’ve quoted this to you before.

John Wall 41:09
Like, I’m driving this train, where did the passenger go?

Katie Robbert 41:15
So another question that we have from LinkedIn is, is part of that inevitable failure? The perception of the magical trans transformation? Yes. When we should be happy to be talking about an incremental evolution. That’s exactly it. And so, you know, part of why I’m saying that, you know, change management needs to be agile, versus this sort of waterfall, static rigor is, you can’t change too much at once and have people feel comfortable. Think about it from your own personal life. You know, we’ve used the example of exercise, we’ve used the example of you know, any other thing, if you suddenly wake up tomorrow and start to try to run a marathon and you’ve never run before in your life, it’s going to suck, it’s not going to go very well. But if you incrementally do like a couch to 5k, or, okay, maybe I will do 10 minutes of cardio today, maybe I’ll do 15 minutes of cardio tomorrow, you know, and start to incrementally build upon what you’re doing, that change becomes easier to adopt. And the same thing is true of a digital transformation. If you say, Okay, we’ve never been online before we’d never had a digital footprint. Tomorrow, we’re introducing 20 new tools that you guys have to just go ahead and figure out and use because we need to be digital, that’s not going to work. So you need to start with okay, what is the most critical thing that we need to start with? Alright, let’s build a website. What are the elements of building a website? Let’s start there. And then you can build out like, Okay, now that we have a website, maybe we should have an Instagram account. Okay, now that we have an Instagram account, maybe we want a newsletter, if we want a newsletter, maybe we should have some sort of a marketing automation system. And so building upon it, and that whole plan can be written out. But my suggestion is you don’t try to do it all at once you build the thing, you let it sit, sort of see how it’s doing and adjust that before you move on to the next thing. And that’s the idea of that Agile methodology built into this more rigorous process.

Okay, so what? ls, I’m always

Christopher Penn 43:25
nice to watch now, it’s got to go do thing.

John Wall 43:28
Yeah, you gotta go do it to go crank out some Tiktok vids. Well, so John,

Katie Robbert 43:33
we definitely gave you what to do. So you’re cranking out videos this week. So that’s the, you know, tradition of giving John a to do list. But I would say the so what is if you’re an organization that is looking to try to undergo a digital transformation, I would say you need to stop and think is like why why are we doing this? Who’s affected by this? How are we going to do this? How are we going to measure success? With you know, unsurprisingly, is those five P’s of change management? And so if that’s the so what if you can’t answer these five questions about a project that you’re working on? I need you to stop what you’re doing and just sort of take a step back. And you know, see if you can try to get the answers to these questions.

Christopher Penn 44:25
Or I will come and eliminate you. here first. All right. Well, as always, folks, if you have questions, you hop on over to our Slack group analytics remarketing. We’ll have a bit about that in just a second. Any final thoughts, Katie, in terms of like what people should be doing is it really just do that first stop and like, consider what you’re doing?

Katie Robbert 44:49
Yeah, it’s you have to stop. You have to collaborate. You have to listen. I sit back with brand new addition

John Wall 45:00
with that we out

Christopher Penn 45:04
oh god. Thanks for watching today. Be sure to subscribe to our show wherever you’re watching it. For more resources and to learn more, check out the Trust Insights podcast at trust and a weekly email newsletter at got questions about what you saw on Today’s episode, join our free analytics for markers slack group at trust see you next time

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