Social Influencer Series | Global Digital Media Innovation Director, Rodolpho Fidalgo
In her book, "The Engaged Leader, A Strategy for Your Digital Transformation" - Charlene Li talks about the importance of leadership setting the tone for an organization that is going through digital transformation. "Listen, share and engage - will serve as the template for leaders as they undergo their digital transformation and guide others along in the journey."
For global brands this thought leadership is so important. One of the most inspirational, digital leaders I have had the pleasure of working with is Rodolpho Fidalgo. Rudy, in his role as Global Digital Media Innovation Director, lead a digital team that was transforming the way a 183-year old global, multi-billion dollar company served, sold and marketed to it customer base.
Imagine teams across the globe and millions of customers worldwide, communicating across every channel? How do you scale for that? How do you turn around that much much historical thinking...183 years of "that's how we've always done it" and position your for success company in the digital age? The key is top-down leadership embracing a social and digital mindset - communicating with their teams and customers in the channels they choose. That is just what Rudy and his team did with the help of their executive leadership.
I caught up recently with Rudy and here's a snapshot of what he had to say:
You were part of the digital transformation at a global, multi-billion dollar, energy management company that was over 183 years old. How do you inspire change at an organization like that?
Luckily for me the inspiration came from within the organization, real digital transformation needs to come from the highest level of the organization and I was very fortunate to have many leaders that believed in the transformation and most importantly put funding behind it. In a world where all companies want to be digital it’s those that understands and funds the transformation which in my view are successful. Ironically many executives believe that digital is easier, cheaper, and quicker, but in reality, we know it’s actually the opposite of all those things (yes, eventually it gets easier, cheaper, and quicker, but first you need to build it, which costs money). During my time at the energy management giant we understood what changes had to be made and started to invest to make those changes possible.
Today it’s no longer about inspiring to transform, it’s really a matter of survival.
What are the key ingredients to driving digital transformation, specifically around Customer Experience? What has to happen?
The digital transformation just like any other transformation needs a strong foundation in order to be successful. Many people associate transformations with innovation that leads some to think that there isn’t a need for process or architecture because process “prohibits” innovation. I actually think it’s the wrong way to look at it, without thinking about the foundation and how to execute on your strategy there isn’t a digital transformation, there might be some good tactics executed but one or two tactics is not enough to really improve the overall customer experience.
“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time” David Allen Coe
The vision of the transformation needs to be clearly communicated to the entire organization regardless if the employee is working on that particular project or not. Communication and transparency are key ingredients to any major change, long gone are the days that only a select few high-level executives understand and articulates the strategy, today everyone needs to have a clear understanding about what they are trying to accomplish.
Therefore, a strong foundation with clear processes that are well communicated, in my views are the main ingredients for an extraordinary customer experience.
When you think of delivering exceptional Customer Experience - what tools are mission critical to your efforts?
A few months back I was in a conference and the head of digital for a B2C company was delivering his keynote around the selection of tools. The beginning of his presentation started off a little slow, nothing really new or earth shattering. He was talking about the fact that as marketers we want to pick the best tool for our nurturing program, for our CRM, for our Social Media management tool, we always want the “best singular tool”, but do we need the best singular tool?
He made a really great point when he asked that question to the audience, do we need the “best tool” for a tactic or do we need a tool that works together? He found a tool that was good, it wasn’t the best, but it still did all the things he needed it to do, it all worked together. In my view we don’t need the best tool for a single tactic, we need a tool that works together with the others without huge investments in engineering and integration.
Exceptional customer experience will be delivered when you have delightful moments with the brand regardless of the touchpoint, marketers should focus more on integrating or finding solutions that integrate easily instead of focusing so much on just trying to find the “best tool” for one tactic.
You need to select a tool that will provide you all of the customer data to be able to create the best possible experience, making it seamless and delightful at the same time.
What is the key to optimization? How do you measure success?
Success like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, to measure success the first thing that needs to be done is to identify what that means to your organization, or if you’re smart, what that means to your boss. In a world where everyone talks about data and everyone talks about optimization it’s not always so easy to identify the best KPI’s. I’m a strong believe in optimizing based on platform benchmarks and not just some magical number executives pull out of thin air.
Today each platform is different, do you want to optimize based on engagement, based on clicks, based on views, and the truth is, all of those are good metrics but it’s really up to what the company envisions to be the best metric.
Personally I’m a huge fan of measuring success by the customer engagement that you see across any marketing tactic, regardless if it’s an eDM, a social post, or even a physical event, the engagement that your audience has with that tactic should be your number one measurement of success.
What global brands are getting it right? And how?
We are living in a very exciting time where we are seeing some amazing companies being created every day, you have startups that are completely disrupting industries and you have others that are making huge improvements on industries that have been around for years. Some that really stand out to me right now in the B2B space are Salesforce, HubSpot, and AWS. In one way or another they are everywhere but they are not creating “noise”, for the contrary, they are using some amazing marketing to draw much deserved attention.
Each are different in the approach but they all really focused on their customer and building a strong long lasting relationship, showcasing what they have to offer but always being mindful of the message and ensuring consistency across platforms. They are in the game to win long term, not just meeting their quarterly targets. If you notice you will see quality content from them all year round, unlike other companies that allows their quarterly sales numbers to dictate their marketing content and activation.
Recently I’ve seen some great content being delivered especially from HubSpot, they are taking a really refreshing approach to content marketing where they focus more on delivering value to their customers by providing content that will make the customer successful. I haven’t seen them talk about themselves or how great their solutions are, they are genuinely focusing on developing and creating content around what their customer and potential customer will need to achieve their goals.
Celebratory Cocktail - Extra Dirty Martini
Proudest Accomplishment - Co-Founder Chad O’Brien Memorial
Go-To Social Channel - Instagram
Favorite brand to follow - Simon Sinek
Inspirational #Hashtag - #greatnessiswithin
About the Interviewer:
Mark Keaney is a Husband, Dad, Coach, Mentor and Leader. With over 20 years of experience in the media industry and a wild ride in the world of tech start-up & social - Mark is helping brands deliver world class CX at Lithium Technologies, where he is the Regional Vice President of Sales for the East and Central. His mantra is - Brand Globally. Market Locally.
e: firstname.lastname@example.org or t: @markkeaney2pt0