One of the Marketing Consigliere’s recent Tweets was “Punxsutawney Phil should have crowdsourced Spring prediction to the birds” because he finally heard a cacaphony of creatures after many weeks of winter. Thinking that the famous groundhog was wrong in predicting six more weeks of winter, he referenced crowdsourcing because the crowd should be “more correct” than one individual. One thing is for sure – while the Marketing Consigliere can advise business leaders on Sales and Marketing, he humbly concedes he cannot advise about Mother Nature. Today she is allowing much of the East Coast United States to be adorned in her cold white wardrobe of snow.
With this snow comes a memory of “Internet 1.o” days – in 1996, a great blizzard hit the Washington, DC area and paralyzed the area for days. This was the infancy of the private sector Internet – dial-up was the standard and there was a call for more Telework for the Federal government and businesses.
Fast forward back to 2009, and as the Marketing Consigliere sits comfortably in his home, with laptop and Wi-Fi, he wonders how many Net-Centric Marketers have planned for disaster contingencies to their data and operations. While the Federal government has made progress on the Telework front, what about the private sector?
Chuck Wilsker, the President and CEO of The Telework Coalition, a Washington, D.C. based non-profit telework advocacy organization, says that “communications is a two way street – you need to maintain communications with your clients and vendors – no matter where you are – and remember that even if you’re snowed in, your customers probably aren’t.”
He goes on to say that while organizations already allow many Salespeople to work independent of location, Marketers need to be allowed that capability too. “This is a “global and mobile” world where you need to be ready at all times to be available to customers,” says Wilsker.
Simple voice and data connections from a home office are “baby steps” that are necessary. IT departments “won’t take the initiative for Marketing” because they don’t like the “extra work” or have “control issues” over assets and data. Some companies are using social networks for more communication, and that can be part of a Telework program too.
So is your organization’s leadership commited to business continuity for Marketing? They should be if they believe that Marketing drives Sales. If they arent’ helping you establish clear Telework policies and supporting the effort, you may want to consider doing it yourself. Even when it’s white out, it is, after all, a “green” thing to do!