Competing at the cutting edge of digital marketing
December 12, 2019
Jasper Verplanken, Co-founder
Learn how digital agency OMCollective leverages expert knowledge sharing, staying ahead of the fierce competition.
OMCollective is a leading digital marketing agency employing over 50 consultants working across a range of different industry sectors. Its remarkable growth is proof that access to knowledge and skills is key to commercial success, greater productivity, effective project delivery, attract and retain the best talent and ultimately to maintain a competitive edge
The Current Situation
Like many industries, professional marketing services are located in a space which is continually evolving. Skills that were important five years ago aren't necessarily relevant today. Faster than ever, they are replaced by new technology and new ways of working. The profile of a "marketing professional" is difficult to create. They are often specialists in niche fields such as social media, content marketing, search engine optimisation, branding, communication strategy, media planning, community management, conversion rate optimisation, etc. To be able to effectively service their customers and keep up with disruptive influences in the marketplace, in-depth and razor-sharp expertise needs to be maintained in all these diverse and rapidly evolving domains. OMCollective recognised this challenge and developed a healthy ethos of investing in skills development and knowledge acquisition: For each domain, a dedicated expert spends up to 50% of their time researching rapid evolutions in marketing technology and trends. Based on their findings and expertise, learning materials and best practices on these cutting-edge topics were documented in tools like Dropbox. Dedicated Slack channels per topic were created (e.g. #SEO, #SocialAdvertising, …) continuously distributing the relevant content. Weekly ‘lunch-and-learn’ sessions were organised for the whole team to share knowledge around new marketing trends and tools. Bimonthly, organisational wide project debriefs were held to share practical, on the job, learnings between teams. Four hour dedicated learning time per employee to develop their skills and knowledge.
OMCollective stepped away from Slack and email as primary ways to share relevant information. Using the uman.ai browser plugin, everyone can now securely save relevant content to the OMCollective workspace, directly from the browser. The uman.ai plugin supports auto-tagging and "contextual collaboration": content-related discussions are no longer held in different chats and emails, but directly in the browser, where almost all content lives. This leads to less context switching and increased knowledge transparency. The best practices documented in Dropbox were underutilized as most digital marketers tend to search with Google to find solutions when they’re stuck on a specific task. This creates efficiency losses as people rebuild solutions from scratch, and don’t leverage the invested time made by colleagues to curate information into best practices and boiler plate approaches. The uman.ai browser plugin supports on the job learning. Whenever someone in the OMCollective workspace searches Google for specific knowledge, uman.ai enriches their Google search results with internal company information from various sources like the best practices in Dropbox and other relevant content shared by colleagues. In the back, uman.ai automatically keeps track of who is working on which topics. Giving insights in personal growth and team. All information and expertise is brought together on the platform linked to the different individuals and skills, creating real-time transparency in the skills of the different OMCollective teams. Team members can now easily direct their questions to colleagues with the right expertise while the business can identify particular skills and knowledge that could be relevant to different projects and clients.
Over 330 hours of learning has now taken place and over 470 unique resources were shared via the uman.ai platform in the first 2 months. These results show how uman.ai enhances OMCollective’s knowledge building initiatives, by enabling efficient sharing, effective on the job learning and real-time measuring. Embedding the uman.ai platform solution within the business has made it possible to bring together and manage all the information and knowledge in an intuitive way. This allows all staff to find and access information which is relevant and useful for their work. Skills progression is measured in real time, and everyone in the business can now identify where colleagues have particular skills and knowledge that could be relevant to different projects.
"Since we launched uman.ai, our #interesting Slack channels are empty" - Tijs Balcaen, Knowledge and Innovation manager
Based on these new skills insights, OMCollective is now looking into redesigning their organisational structure. In the services business, skills lie at the heart of many core processes, from business development (knowing which expertise can be sold to upsell new projects) to attracting the best talent to achieve project delivery, to deciding where to position yourself in the market with your services.
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