Knock Your Socks Off Digital Experience Blake Morgan, TBJApodcast 150
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If you want to get noticed online, you have to find your way into customer’ hearts with a knock-your-socks-off digital experience. Blake Morgan share her top tips.

Flight Digital founder, Blake Morgan, is a digital strategy consultant, former digital strategy practitioner and Forbes columnist.

She loves “customer experience”​ because as humans we are feeling, sensing beings. Our most vivid memories are powerful experiences. Today brands understand that creating a knock-your-socks-off digital experience is the way to the customer’s heart.

“Social has provided us an unprecedented opportunity to engage and now it’s about really smart content, profound engagement strategies, and stand-out experiences” says Blake. Blake is a former Social Media Digital Support Program Owner with Intel who has also worked with Verizon Wireless, Newmark Knight Frank Retail and more.

Think Like A Journalist Excerpt
“Delivering relevant and remarkable customer experiences takes creativity, daring, communication and a firm but flexible grasp on technology.” Loni Kao Stark – Read the full article

Success Tip

Use whatever makes you different to your advantage. Don’t try to hide it or contort yourself to fit the norm. This is your selling point. You just have to understand how to use your power, direct it and—find the environment where it will be useful. I personally use the things that make me different as an advantage, but it wasn’t always that way. I used to try and hide who I was, or pretend I was someone else. Now I acept my “faults” and I’ve realized they’re not really faults–I recognize I am just different than a lot of people. I’ve learned to like that.

Career Highlight

After college I went to work for a conference production company. Then I was recruited to help turn the events company into a media company. I was tasked with building a community and a magazine around the topic of customer relationship management. This was 2009. Since then I’ve worked for small and big companies doing varying levels of customer experience, marketing, social media and communication. The biggest leap for me was taking on a more operationally focused role at Intel as the Social Media Program Manager for Digital Support. That was very eye-opening regarding what it takes to run a large customer support operation—additionally I learned a lot about running one of the largest communities in the world. This was the second time I contributed to launching a Twitter support account for a Fortune 100 company. Those two years were very valuable to me. However, the career highlight I’m most proud of is something I’ve never been paid for. It’s my writing. I write a Forbes column and it’s very gratifying to share my ideas on social media, content and customer experience and see that people are reading these ideas. As a writer it’s the best feeling in the world. What’s funny is that a few years ago I asked for a Forbes column and the editor said no. However, a few years later I was more focused, writing about a specific niche topic. I had more work experience. I was more active online and had a trail to prove it. So then I went back and asked again and they said yes. You should never get discouraged. Use rejection as motivation.

When It Didn’t Work.

What is one mistake you made and how would you do things differently using the knowledge you have today? When you felt like giving up, what kept you going?

I’ve had a lot of eccentric bosses. There were actually a few times when I was definitely working for the wrong type of personality. It’s hard for me to realize that on some level I sought people out with a specific hard-edged personality trait. I believe for a long-time I misread arrogance as confidence. I thought these people were self-assured leaders who “called it like it is”–when in reality they were jerks. When you’re young sometimes you take what you can get. The woman I am today would never have taken some of these jobs. I’ve learned that some people just should not be leading. They are not leaders, they are simply managers. The main difference between leaders and managers is that leaders have people follow them while managers have people who work for them.

The tech space can be stressful, but you always want to work for people who treat you well, who respect you, and who are going to support you. Perhaps it’s that people are constantly trying to do more with less, but the modern workplace can be quite stressful. Today I’m much more aware than I was even five years ago. I’ve learned what type of people to stay away from. I’ve learned what environmental factors I personally need to be successful at work (back to question one about using your eccentricities to your advantage). I’ve learned that some things are out of your control and you can’t blame yourself. Today I work for myself and this is the best scenario for me. I didn’t get here with an easy ladder. There were tons of lateral moves, adventures—some good, some downright painful. But I’m in a good place now doing what I love. And I’m the boss.

Top Tips On Creating A Knock-Your-Socks-Off Digital Experience

Listen first. All too often we see people sending out tons of content without considering the audience. Marketing today is all about engagement. A big part of that is listening.

Become an expert in one topic and treat it like you’re a researcher. If you get a thorough understanding of a topic—especially one that not a lot of other people are talking about, you have an advantage. It’s a great way to build a thought leadership following. The caveat is it should genuinely interest you or else it won’t last.

Don’t rely solely on social media for networking. It’s very important to get out of the house and meet people. I can personally tell you people I have met in person I have much stronger relationships with than people I’ve only met through the phone or social media. There’s something about seeing someone’s face that makes them more human. Studies show that when we tell stories we better connect with ideas, so wouldn’t it make sense when we meet someone in person and hear their story we better connect with them? There are other reasons social media or even a phone call does not replace in-person meetings. In-person is preferred is you’re off the record.  If you call someone you are talking to them and additionally ten other people who sit next to their cubicle that can hear them. They might not be their true self on the phone. Most business conversations include brief get-to-the-point conversations. Real business exchanges happen when there’s more time to share and learn about the other person. This is meaningful and goes deeper than small talk (which most people hate anyway). You can also read their body language which will tell you much more than what the person is saying. Lastly, you learn a lot about people through environmental conditions. This can include what or how they order their meal, the conference room you’re sitting in or even a walking meeting. This is all information informing you on how to interact with them in the future. You will never get these details from social media.

Think Like A Journalist Scenario

You have been hired to help an ailing company that’s about to financially collapse. Its reputation’s shot. You have one month, a $1000 budget, a smartphone, and a laptop…How do you begin to turn this company around?

If the company’s reputation is shot, it’s likely the company did something to upset its customers. Today’s companies need to operate with a level of humility, authenticity and transparency. If the company did something wrong, they can turn it around by apologizing. Additionally, the company can show integrity by contributing–for example to a cause, a mission or a nonprofit. Engaging with the community is a good way to show you care–if the brand participates in larger conversations they will improve the level of trust people have with the brand. People appreciate companies that are clearly led by smart, compassionate human beings—people who know how to “be real.” None of these things cost money.

What is one piece of technology, video or multimedia equipment, or app that you just can’t live without?

I don’t have just one. I love grocery delivery app Instacart because I really hate going to the store all the time but I cook at home every meal each week except one. It’s very convenient and affordable. Lately I’ve been meditating with the app Whil.com. They have great guided meditations on there. Additionally I recently bought wireless sound-proof headphones on Amazon which I love. They’re great for taking a train, meditation or doing weights at the gym.

Multimedia Resource

I don’t have just one. I love grocery delivery app Instacart because I really hate going to the store all the time but I cook at home every meal each week except one. It’s very convenient and affordable. Lately I’ve been meditating with the app Whil.com. They have great guided meditations on there. Additionally I recently bought wireless sound-proof headphones on Amazon which I love. They’re great for taking a train, meditation or doing weights at the gym.

Documentary 

I’m a huge documentary junkie. There is a wonderful documentary about Diana Vreeland, the Editor in Chief of Vogue from 1963 to 1971. It’s called “The Eye Has To Travel”. She was a hugely influential woman in society during that time-especially in the magazine world. She is credited with bringing the world into a modern period in fashion–the modern global fashion world we see today.

I’m not a big “fashionista” or anything but this woman was a strong thought leader at a time when it was rare to see a woman in a leadership position like she had. She had a fantastic personality, she wasn’t afraid of anything, and she consistently used humor as a way to deal with unpleasantries. This is my kind of person! She was an editor who wanted to highlight people’s flaws and make it the most interesting part about them. She highlighted Barbara Streisand’s nose on the cover of Vogue. She made it ok for women to be outlandish and extraordinary. She said, “There’s only one very good life and that’s the one you know you want and you make it yourself.” This should be the mantra of every woman today.

Expert Predictions: The year is 2025…What will the world look like regarding social media, business, News, branding, storytelling, and more.

Technology will be even more influential than it is now. There will be no more TV commercials. On a related note there will always be in-flight entertainment on planes. We won’t have to turn our phones into airplane mode on planes.  We will more have robots, automation and machines involved in work than we do now. There will be screens everywhere. There will be no post office. Voice activated technology like Siri will be omnipresent–even on our products. Our products will know us and talk to us. Everything in our homes will have sensors on them. Customer service will proactively fix things before you know they’re broken. More than 70 percent of the world will be freelancers. I really hope we don’t have driverless cars, but I do hope we have LESS CARS.

Contact

Twitter @BlakeMichelleM

Flight Digital Website

Mentioned in this episode

Liz Heron, Journalist, Facebook

The Moz Blog

Million Dollar Consulting, Alan Weiss

Million Dollar Launch, Alan Weiss


Phoebe Chongchua
Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia Brand Journalist, Brand Consultant & Marketing Strategist who is revolutionizing brand communication with consumers. She makes companies remarkable using brand journalism storytelling to grow their online presence, build a community, and gain greater market share. Phoebe is a former TV News journalist who helps brands gain a competitive advantage by learning to "Be the Media". Phoebe is the host of "The Brand Journalism Advantage" podcast and a "Top 50 Podcaster To Follow". Listen in iTunes or at ThinkLikeAJournalist.com

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