Friday, September 24, 2010

Tech-No Two....

Last week I was pointing out the dependence today's sales & marketing has on technology and lamenting some technical issues I faced.

Almost as if a divine joke, this week it got worse.

On Monday, when I walked into the office I found that the server that houses a third of the websites we manage was hacked. On Wednesday our phone service went down. The week before was nothing compared to this week.

All the problems were out of my control, but things that very much control our business -- and our client's businesses.

We have two choices in business: allow outside influences to control us or do all we can with what we have to work with. Keeping your head in the sand isn't a choice.

Being reactive is good. Being proactive is better. Anticipating your competitor's next step can help you avoid being blind sided. Knowing what we ought to do and making the time to do it are two different things.

You could spend all your time fighting fires or you could set aside some time for preventing fires. Having a strong strategy is the best approach. As I like to say: "Strategic thinking is more productive than wishful thinking."

Today, I'm still dealing with the repercussions of this week's technology failures. But at least I feel I've got my head above water. You?

Takeaway: Who is in charge of your sales & marketing? You? Your customers? Your competition? Your technology? No one?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Tech-No: Marketing Technology Failure Planning...

You may have heard about Chase's online banking system crash this week. It affected millions of customers.

Technology failure briefly hobbled Sasso Marketing this week, too -- twice...

Fortunately, we only experienced limited downtime. But it felt like an eternity. And it made me begin to beef-up our technology failure plan.

One Monday, I was out of town and our DSL modem failed. We now have a back up.  This morning, our email hosting failed, generating dozens of bounce backs. Now we have back-up email accounts.

Marketing today is innately dependent on technology from the old-fashioned telephone and fax to email and ecommerce. One hiccup and operations can grind to a halt. 

That's why it's important to have a marketing technology back-up plan. 

Up until this week. large chunks of our plan were in my head. Now, I plan to put it on paper so we're ready to implement it at a moments notice.

For instance, if our phone system fails, calls forward to my iPhone. If I can't use the landline or cell phone, we have a Skype account. (If the DSL fails again, I grab my laptop, run to Starbucks and rely on their wifi and latte to keep me going). I'm oversimplifying, but you get the point. Planning is key.

By the way, my email is working again, I think.

Takeaway: What will you do if you technology fails? Are you ready for every possibility short of nuclear disaster (phones, fax, email, Internet, DSL, website, printer, desktop, laptop...)?