Lessons from ASAE: How Your Web Project Benefits from Outside Help

Posted by Brant Cline on September 27, 2017

Last month, I attended the ASAE Annual Conference in Toronto, Ontario. This was a fantastic conference, and it was very interesting to see the mix of associations and vendors covering the show floor. I had conversations with vendors of all my favorite Association Management Systems, had a Bloody Mary from the Visit Milwaukee booth, and had an overall great time.

As I spoke with other attendees, I certainly saw all of the same themes that I wrote about after the MM&C Conference. But this time around, there was another related issue that really solidified in my mind. I’m familiar with the struggles that many organizations have in communication and coordination with vendors. Some vendors specialize, some always have more services that they’re trying to sell you. Sometimes, multiple vendors have to work together on your projects, and you may not be confident that they’re communicating effectively between one another without inserting yourself into the process. Playing traffic cop in these instances is never fun.

The Internal Struggle

But what about your own team? Surely, with all the external confusion you’re already dealing with, your internal operations wouldn’t compound that issue, would they? Oh yes, they would.

The detail that I kept coming back to this time around was the struggle created when all the members of an organization’s Marketing and IT teams come together to coordinate on a project. Everyone not only brings their own ideas to the table, they also bring their own priorities, enthusiasm level, and reluctance to compromise.

How many of the following sound familiar?

  • "This is how we’ve always done things."
  • "This isn’t how my last organization operated."
  • "Why do we need to change?"
  • "Why do we need to keep things the same?"
  • "My department/division/area-of-responsibility should be the highest priority of the new design!"
  • "We need to hear from more stakeholders."
  • "Have you talked to X committee?"
  • "I used a tool at my last position that would be a great addition here."
  • "I can’t keep track of the tools I have to work with now."

While all of the organization's voices and opinions have value – the enthusiasm for improvement is encouraging, the need for consistency is comforting, and your operations should meet all of your organization’s stakeholders’ needs – tuning the cacophony into a harmonized chorus can be an overwhelming task. So, what can you do?

Restore Sanity with an Outside Perspective

Do you need someone who can cut through all the noise? One of our taglines at BlueModus is “Creating CMS/AMS Harmony for Leading Associations”, but I’d like to emphasize that harmony between your platforms will never come to be unless you achieve harmony within your organization. Sometimes, an outside perspective can make all the difference:

Winston Wolfe solves problems. So do we. "I'm Winston Wolfe. I solve problems."
Through our years of experience, the BlueModus team knows the questions to ask, the outside factors to consider, and the processes that will result in a cohesive, prioritized set of objectives for a client's digital marketing and technology initiatives.

For example, one of the first tasks that we undertake in any engagement is to gather every piece of input and feedback we can get our hands on, organize it, present it back to your organization, and moderate a workshop to get everyone on your team on the same page for what you need. Once that is achieved, we can then start looking at what kind of platforms, services, and integrations meet those objectives.

The Bottom Line

When coordinating any new digital project, the ability to organize objectives, translate those into a strategy, execute, and then measure against your KPIs becomes a full time job. Add to that the need to manage the priorities of multiple internal departments, and it's a wonder that anyone can keep their sanity through the process. Remember that you don't have to go it alone: having the right partner in your corner can make all the difference in achieving digital success.

Looking for a technology partner who can bring fresh expertise to your next web project? Drop me a line, I'd be happy to discuss your digital needs with you.

More from Brant Cline

For more posts about the challenges faced by associations and organizations building a digital marketing ecosystem, check out some of Brant's other posts:

Brant Cline
Brant Cline is the Senior Director of Business Development for BlueModus. For over a decade, he has sold, project-managed, and performed development for many large custom .NET platform implementations, with a focus on solutions and strategies that both drive growth and achieve key business goals, through smartly leveraging the full potential of digital technology. His broad areas of expertise include SEO, PPC advertising, and accessibility compliance, as well as content management, digital marketing platforms and their complimentary digital ecosystems.