Marketing Change for Transformation

A great deal of time, energy, and money goes into building a company’s tech stack – but with a changing retail landscape and evolving customer demands, some tech is either no longer fit for purpose or doesn’t integrate well with newer systems.

  1. chevron left iconMarketing Change for Transformation
Morag Cuddeford-JonesJune 28, 2021
  • Digital Asset Management

There are many advantages to being a retailer with a long and trusted heritage.

Great brand recognition and recall, a loyal customer base, superior market knowledge to name but three. But it does also come with disadvantages. Years of expansion, changes in the retail landscape, and adapting to new channels, platforms and customer trends all challenge companies to stay up to date.

It also means companies have acquired a significant amount of tech that is either no longer fit for purpose or doesn’t integrate well with newer systems. The simple answer is to implement a program of assessing, rationalizing, and updating technologies.

But there is also understandable concern. A great deal of time, energy, and money has been put into building a company’s tech stack. Financially, companies are naturally keen to keep costs to a minimum. Culturally, change may prove difficult as employees get used to certain dashboards and processes. Bringing everyone and everything up to speed needs planning and buy-in at every stage, but there are ways in which you can easily overcome major hurdles.

Defining the Use Case

There has to be a clear understanding across the business as to what purpose the new technology serves. Will it replace any manual workflows and if so, how can the employees be of better use elsewhere? Are there likely to be cost savings, or how will the new technology deliver on ROI? Are benefits likely to be seen in the short or long term? And, critically, what is the risk of not implementing new technology – where is the existential threat?

Don’t Sell the Change, Market It

The Harvard Business Review claims those in charge of leading a technological change should view the task as one of marketing it to the organization, rather than selling it. In Implementing New Technology, the authors suggest: “selling starts with a finished product; marketing, with research on user needs and preferences”. By marketing a tech change, the organization can see how the new technology can meet their needs, it gets the business ready to implement the change and users can more easily take ‘ownership’ of the new technology.

Find Your Power Users and Evangelists

People listen to people. As with any dramatic change, a core team of users who are able to demonstrate and evangelize for the new technology are likely to bring the more reticent members on board. They are also critical for making sure the business gets the most out of its new technology. Disillusionment never sets in faster than when employees can see they’re not making the most of their new tools but can’t see how to improve the situation.

Taking the time to educate every user in every facet of the new technology may not be practical at the outset. Undertaking a comprehensive training program across the business in the most critical features and supplementing this with updates and refresh sessions from the company’s internal power users – as well as vendor support – means the company can see it is getting value for money. As well as seeing the difference the new technology is making to its overall efficiency and effectiveness.

Seek Help

Often, the technology users within the business are experts in their own brand strategy but not in the software solutions which they must use in order to implement it. For vendors, the issue is reversed. By working in partnership with vendors, or even a stage before this with consultants who can help you identify the right vendor, businesses can make sure they are choosing the right solution for the right purpose.

Lands’ End undertook one such technology refresh, beginning in 2018 with a vendor selection process. Following a proof-of-concept phase, censhare was chosen as its provider of a new digital asset management (DAM) system, replacing an outdated technology that was no longer fit for purpose.

In partnership with Emmsphere Plus, the censhare DAM solution was deployed across the Lands’ End content process, while Emmsphere Plus helped with integrations across tools such as Adobe InDesign and a Single Sign-On (SSO) server. More than 500 Lands’ End users worldwide went through the onboarding process.

While it was important to identify current use case needs, the implementation was done with one eye on the future to make sure there was no question of technology obsolescence. This involved Emmsphere Plus working with the company to guide it on how integrations would continue to promote growth in the future. Richard Swaziek, Senior Director of Creative Operations at Lands’ End noted at the time: “We have a highly workable system, global users are engaged, and we are excited about the opportunities for the future. We are just scratching the surface. censhare is central to our ambitions to develop modern Martech capabilities.”

To learn more about how Lands’ End made the transition from its old-style solutions to both new technology from censhare and also a new way of working that was more effective and futureproof, download the case study here.

Morag Cuddeford-Jones
Morag has been a marketing journalist and editor for 20 years but is still trying to convince herself that she doesn’t look it. She came to journalism after a brief flirtation with the music and entertainment industry, which ended when she discovered that she nurtured a passionate dislike of any tunes not produced in 1985.

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