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The 8Bit Podcast – Episode 028 – In-house Digital Capabilities?

Depending the size of an organization, digital capabilities, like social media, are handled internally, externally or a mix of both. However, depending on how the organization “values” the discipline, the resulting “investment” (time, expertise, money) follows suit. 

In this episode, Phil and Jeff discuss the pros and cons of having internal digital capabilities in your organization and how to look at it from a place that values the efforts it takes to do digital well, whether internally or externally.




Phil: Everybody uh, 8Bit podcast number 28, 28. Um, yeah, we, uh, we’re kind of, we’re gonna have a rule, a role again lately. Yeah. I feel I’m pretty good.

Phil: And Rolling these things out. Yeah. Just this, this would be podcasts flying out of my hand, not money. Oh, not money. Right. And is distributed to the people. Right. Just here you go. Here you go. Have some, what’s new since the last podcast? Game of Thrones. Game of Thrones is done. Can’t believe it. Whatcha think of that last episode.

Phil: Well, you know there’s the dragons and then there is the throne and then all his characters in there. Right. And you a you one, the creative arcade office pool. I did. I thought Kate it. Oh, that’s right. Kate won it. You got, you got one, seventh of it. One seventh of it. Yeah. Cause you had that one character. Which one was that again? Um, it was uh, a ficus plant. They have ficus plant. Yeah. Yeah, Yup. Um, yeah, it was cool. Like I liked, I liked how they, they uh, they put the AC/DC hell’s bells over it. Oh yeah. Yeah. That was just lined up. That was the second to last episode, but exactly right. Right. Yup. I know there was like Denarius Thomas in there.

Phil: So wide receiver. Yeah. From the Broncos. Yeah. Yup. Good. Um, yeah, I don’t even know that is the mother of dragons. Um, I think that’s what his teammates column. Yeah. Yeah. Um, I don’t know if you know this, but I’d never seen the show, Huh? Yeah. News to me. Yeah. But what’d you think of it? We don’t need to go into that. It was all you, you done with it? Now I’m over it. I’m over it. I don’t know if I’m going to watch it and I enjoyed the series. Yeah. Final episode at that. They were trying to wrap up everything to nicely in too cute and oh, please, everybody. And one of those deals, I don’t know, maybe. Well, real quick. So there was only like what, six episodes, six episodes this season where all the other ones get up to that point. Um, I think this season was a little, pretty subpart of the other ones underwhelming. Yeah. Yeah. I liked the second to last episode. A lot of people didn’t buy it. Ah, that’s cool. A lot of cool special effects that ever was the dragons. Yeah. Oh, one dragon. Cool. There’s a lot of damage. Where do they get those? Cgi? The mother of dragons. Oh, okay. Have they dragon eggs and she walked into a fire. Come on now. All right. Well what all she’s target Arion. Target. Arion thinks that’s right. Yeah. Nice. Yeah. All right. What else? We got? Um, well since last time we, some really cool stuff.

Jeff: Uh, we, we formally unveiled to the world in country and little pieces and parts with Restaurant 301 here in town. Oh, that song as he, I mean, yeah, we started working with them. Uh, what was that last fall already? That’s about right. Yeah, right. Oh, say last fall. Just started talking and, and uh, so they’re, they’re in the Sheraton hotel here in, in Duluth. Um, good little, a nice little a restaurant. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. Um, they have, uh, uh, uh, renowned chef and that, uh, I know they really, really enjoy and let people enjoy, uh, his food. Um, and, um, anyways, so they, they’ve just had a, their brand just has been, it’s been, I don’t know what they say, like nine years or something since they went in there. It wasn’t something like that. And I understand. Yeah. Yeah. So they just said it was time to kind of maybe rethink that their website needed help. Um, once a bunch of other things. He had some challenges with wayfinding, especially from their parking ramp, which was behind the hotel. Um, so there was some, some chances are some, some things to do there.

Phil: In addition, there’s construction going on out in front, so we need to have that way finding from behind the parking ramp and on the skywalk and yeah, everything. So long story longer. Hmm.

Jeff: Uh, we work with them to create a new brand identity, um, logo, um, tweak their colors a little bit. Um, how to work obviously alongside the main corporate Sheraton, uh, colors and make sure it all, and you worked within that, um, new menus, uh, eventually new, new, uh, you know, merge and things like that. And, um, uh, coming down the line there, um, the website, et Cetera, like I said before, um, was kind of cool. We, we, uh, we try to find out what the essence of, of, of where they’re going and obviously the words restaurant three of one, it’s kind of like, what do you do with that? So we really had to kind of reach beyond I thought, and I thought we had a nice job of, of figuring out, you know, what’s a great kind of thing to hang your hat on. Um, and I believe it was approachable sophistication. Yep. Right.

Phil: That is there. I would say that’s their, not their style, but that’s their, um, ambience of the restaurant. Right? Yeah.

Jeff: Um, so why don’t we, it was really fun thing where we, we, we, you know, they do a lot of in being served some of their plates. The only do a nice job of holiday present there that are with their food and everything. So I know Steven was like, let’s, let’s go around, maybe down the road of, you know, how do you sauce. And they was kind of cool little almost art, artistic little pieces with that. So that was kind of cool. And so we had some fun with, with creating those little elements if you will, a little sauce marks. And we use that as a base for the identity.

Phil: Do have a problem with it a little bit though. Yeah. Yeah. Steven use all this scratch out of the fridge. And when we went to, you saw Sam the other day and for sandwich there was none left gun.

Jeff: Yeah. So they make more they’ll make

Phil: probably, but when we went to the fridge to look for it, it was gone. Right. That dawned on us for like, no. Yeah. Oh, so that’s been cool. I’ll probably talk, we longer name you need to about that. But that’s been cool that we’ve been, uh, been able to work with them and um, they’re very happy with that. And I think you turned out great. One thing I’d say about that is if you’ve been following our podcast in the past, you we talked about, or redesign versus refresh. And I would say that was a full on redesign. Yeah. I would say I would say that too. Yeah. So, yeah. Cool. So pretty proud of that. Yeah. Another cool thing, I’ll go ahead where you announce it. Nope, you are. So last night, um, so it was the Minnesota government

Jeff: community. What does it, communicators, communicators, yeah. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a basically a state organization that has all the cities and the counties and those types of things. They’d, so basically it’s, it’s the marketing side of, of government, if you will. And the state of Minnesota, um, every year, uh, people, or excuse me, a, those entities, those municipalities, um, PR, they put in things from annual ports to websites to anything that they’re doing, communicating to the public about, you know, their respective areas, uh, you know, their marketing pieces. And so, um, Saint Louis County who we’ve talked about, I think in the past, we, you know, we launched a new website for them last summer was a big 18 month project with them. Um, all the way from ground up working with their departments through design development, the whole, the whole deal anyway is that was presented or a, they submitted that and they won a, an award for that. We all want to know word for that. Yeah. So congratulations to St Louis County, uh Oh, congratulations to us. Yeah, it’s a great collaboration. Um, again, proud of that work as well as he turned out really well. Um, a lot of challenges along the way and, um, that we were able to work through with them and figure out ways to, um, kind of turn, turn those challenges into two wins for them. So that’s kind of cool. We’ll feather in your hat, so congrats. You too. Thanks, man.

Phil: Um, so that’s kind of where, even last couple of weeks. Yeah.

Jeff: Um, so today, really quick, you know, last time we talked about inbound recruiting and just, um, if you remember that in 27, um, which had, um, a lot of things that are outside of their little or little a laughing fit. Uh, but there’s a lot of things that a, that we talked about that kind of touches on some things that you’re talking with to talk about today, but this is specifically lately we’ve had a couple of clients come to us and ask kind of similar kind of questions.

Phil: I would say it’s been a theme through several years, but lately we’ve heard more of it. Yeah. More specific, um, questions that I see questions, but I guess projects that, that kind of put the economy hit on

Jeff: the similar piece. And basically what it is is, is, and I think social media is a, probably a, a good example, but I think it’s, we could call it, I guess digital online tactics, marketing a lot of things. Um, and that, that is due. Do they hire, do you hire us? Do they keep it internal? Do they do heal half and half? How do we, how do we kind of improve upon where we’ve been? How do we, um, grow our presence? How do we be more frequent? Basically, how do we do this? But, but do I need to always hire it out? Do I, do I hire someone internally? Do I pull someone else out, has an interest in, in, in my current employee base and give these, these tasks to them? Right. Good question. Right. So I thought it was, we both thought it was kind of a good, timely thing that to discuss because we’ve had, even this, even this week, we’ve had a couple of meetings where this has kind of come up in different forms, but it’s kind of the same theme, if you will. Right. So, so basically is do I need to have an internal digital person, if you will, you know, or team, you know, um, I don’t know. What do you, what do you think about that? Do you have any,

Phil: well, some, some of the conversations we’ve had with these clients are 80 know what you’re doing. You know, uh, we’ve had, we’ve had various levels of that, of people that aren’t on social media at all. People that are on social media for themselves frequently, but they don’t have time to do it. Right. So do they look to other people within the organization, like you said, and we’re finding that sometimes there’s people within the organization that might have a little extra time, you know, so yeah, maybe, maybe they could take on that task like you were saying, but then you got to go to that next level of, do they have, you know, some of those skills like the writing skills, the photography skills, um, understand how to post in different platforms, things like that. If we’re talking about blogs, are they able to write the blogs, are they able to communicate that information? And we also had a discussion a few times about are they are some of the people to embedded, you know, in the, in the organization that it’s hard for them to relay that information to somebody outside the organization. Right. Jargon, things like that. Or they get it so they think everybody else does. Yeah. So some of the, those are some of the challenges we’ve discussed with some of our clients and we’ve, we give them options.

Jeff: Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. It’s options. I think, and this is probably obvious, but I think it kinda depends on a couple things. It’s, yeah. Do you have someone that even wants to do it? If you do, do they have the time to do it? Um, but if they have time, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, I think there’s, there’s a, there’s a mindset that, oh yeah, so and so’s on Facebook personally. So yeah, of course they can do it, you know, they share pictures of their kids all the time. So I’ll do for my organization. Right. Okay. I think that’s fair. A fair assessment. I think when people a lot of times don’t under, or they underestimate is the amount of time it takes to actually do it. Well. We even struggle with it. Sometimes it’d be totally transparent, you know, where we’re having enough time to our own internal internal stuff.

Jeff: Sometimes. Obviously we always put our clients’ stuff first. But, you know, for our own internal stuff, I think we’re, we’re, we’re finding ways to, to maybe hack that time a little bit to, you know, schedule stuff beforehand. Um, obviously we, using hubspot ourselves, we have all those tools built in that we can, we can kind of help ourselves, I hope. Um, but definitely, you know, it’s, it’s, uh, and I think social media is like the best example of that. Absolutely. But there’s more to that. You know, we’ve had some people like, well, we’ve got this product that, you know, you know, maybe we’ll put it on Google, we’ll do some Google, some Google display ads, we’ll do some reorder, we’ll do some retargeting or what, what would you guys charge us to do that? Or what does it take to do that, you know? And so of course we give them those options, but then, and I think a lot of times it’s say, well we should be able to do that too, but they don’t have no idea what the heck they’re really getting into and do it effectively.

Jeff: And like you said, the time commitment is, it doesn’t seem like much at first, but we, we often fight it. Um, not to go on a tangent, but it’s often what we find about website maintenance as well. Intentions are great. We teach them how to do it, but then time catches up and you know, you let one month’s look two months slip, you know, then it’s the cycle of things. So, um, I, I get it. So oftentimes it’s that conversation of, okay, that’s fine. You can do it internally, we can help you maybe even get it set up. Sometimes we have to help set up the social media tie to the website or things like that, but then it’s okay, yeah, that’s fine. We’ll help you with that now take it and run with it. Yeah. And some have done a really, really good job of that.

Jeff: I can think of a couple that I’ve done a really good job of that. And then there’s others that just don’t have the time or are interested in it anymore. Right. And I would say to one of the, one of the really tough things is generating topics. Don’t you think that, well, that was my next, yeah, I was gonna say, my next point is I think there’s, again, social media is maybe the easier one to talk about, but not necessarily the easiest one to two. Maybe execute, you know, I think you’re right on with website maintenance and, um, even, you know, making updates your site, we train everyone that we ever work with how to do it know, but we always give them that option that we’re here to help them, you know, and we can maintain that for them and they’re there. They’re two can be collaboration.

Jeff: Um, I think it was getting at with, this is, um, shoot, what was I going to get at is in here, but what were you just saying though? You were saying, uh, topics, topics. It’s the whole like looking at a blank page. Sometimes it’s like, okay, I’m gonna sit down, I’m going to knock out some stuff. And then you just look at the white page and you go, yeah, well we are talking about, you know, um, so I think that’s fair. And it’s like, I think, like you said, it’s, it’s the best intentions that don’t always materialize, you know,

Phil: and there might be a million different topics you could display it on your organization. For example, health care, there’s many different service lines, there’s many different sub categories within those service lines. Where do you start? Yeah. You know, I think we’ve done a good job of prioritizing those things and taking them one at a time or, you know,

Jeff: and that’s fine back. I think when you talk about like an industry like healthcare, you know, thoughtspot times those clients a little bit bigger. Um, you know, there’s, there’s more strategic plans in place or strategies that we work with them or a campaign or two that we’re working along side, which maybe helps that a little bit. Um, but there are two. Yeah, there’s, there’s challenges with that too. I don’t know. I think too. So a lot of times like what reg recently of the clients have come to us have said, you know, maybe it’s a, maybe it’s a collaboration, which we’re all for. Um, I think there are two. Some, sometimes it’s, that can be difficult too because I’ve seen we’re, this is what we do, you know, so it’s like, of course we’re ready to execute and then maybe you’re waiting on photos or, or if you get the photos, they’re not the best photos or the video could be better.

Jeff: Yeah. But you know, and it’s like, well, okay, is this, so it’s also that give and take and knowing when to step in or when, you know, lay off. And so even that sometimes can be maybe difficult or you know, that we need to, based on a timeline, hit this, this, this and this, but now we’re waiting on an email list from this client or, and that’s not to put anyone down, just understanding that it’s a time thing, you know? And sometimes it’s putting, you know, those things get pulled off. And maybe that’s the value side of things. You know, what, how do companies really value those things that, that really they should be doing all the time made me being a core of what they do. Right. You know,

Phil: the value prior to is a good point of the quality you’re talking about, you know, the quality of photos and video and things like that. Does your business need that? Yeah. If you’re a destination place or some kind of place like that, you probably want to have nice photos. You probably really want to show the experience people are going to have their, you know, where some, I try to think of great example, um, a gas station, maybe it doesn’t have to have as great of photos, you know, to get a point to get across what they’re doing

Jeff: as it. Yeah. That’s what I know what you mean. Yeah. And I think there are two, because I think there’s this perception that social media is free or online stuff is, yeah, there are free parts of it, but a lot of times I think when you actually going to use it as a marketing platform and the investment and the investment doesn’t mean Nestle dollars all time. That can again, the time thing, um, the expertise thing that those investments. Um, so yeah, if you have someone internally that, that has those talents or that knowledge, if you can utilize that, great. If you want to use plus an outside place, like whenever a kid, great, we’re all for it. If you don’t even want to touch it and just knowing, worry about it and give it all to us. Great. You know, I think there’s a lot of options there, but I think it’s, I think I, one of the biggest things is just valuing what it actually is.

Jeff: I’m in the, what it provides and then investing in it. So if you have a marketing plan for next year, a budget that you want to include, you know, set aside some dollars, whether that’s either to hire someone else, maybe that’s does social media and that’s their job, hire out for that or partial, but investing in it and really valuing what that is I think is a big help instead of just, well, we should really be doing this and made it, will have so and so and back who has a Facebook page, they can do it. Right. You know, that’s probably the difference. Um, and probably the difference between succeeding and not online. You know,

Phil: it would be an important too, if you’re going to dive into this yourself to understand the different types of information you’re putting out there for, let’s just use Facebook for an example. Again, is it a straight up post? Is it a boosted post? Is it on a platform? Right. Is it on your, um, on my thinking of hear your story, your Facebook story, is it, you know, an ad? Yeah. All those things, you know, the, those all do different things. And so it’s important to kind of know and understand what each one of those doses, and that’s just Facebook, right? Of course you have Instagram and other youtube and yeah. Was too to understand what you’re actually doing. Is this a great way to get this information across or would it be better suited over here? Yeah, and I was just going back, I’m kind of all over the place a little bit, but thinking I don’t think any of our clients that I’ve noticed have done this poorly.

Phil: But I, I’ve, I’ve followed other companies who maybe don’t understand their, their medium, where they’re posting memes and, and not that means are always bad, but memes that are completely unrelated to their business. Right. You know, ran. Yeah. Right. Or I’ve seen a lot of people that double up their personal page with their business page. So you’re seeing photos of their kids on their business page and you know, I think I probably aligned that perception to someone that doesn’t know you personally mean right now you’d, while you look like your Jv, you know, you’re amateur. Yup. And I’ve also, I also have friends on Facebook that spawn or that promote their business through their personal page over and over and over and what’s not, why and following you as a person. So.

Jeff: Right, right. Well we do that sometimes, but I think there’s a difference. We always put stuff out for us first. We decided to share one or two things because it’s me personally probably.

Phil: Oh yeah. I’m, I’m okay with sharing things. I’m saying the people that post 50 times a day and it’s only about their business. Right, right. You know, trying to get, yeah. Yeah.

Jeff: The one thing else that, you know, so that’s, that’s all one to one last thing I would say too is I think reputation management is also could consider and what in understanding that and how to respond to that. Because after all, especially with social media, it is social. Um, but we, we’ve had a client recently talked just about how do you police a million things going on, you know, and I’m not going to see who it is, but it’s like, you know, it’s a much larger kind of spread out organization as far as the touch points if you will. And you know, sometimes there’s been misinformation put out because I’m, the public might take something that’s, that’s uh, it kind of spun it a little bit and then he’ll just do it themselves and put it out and it’s misinformation, but now they’ve got this challenge now they have to overcome because they were maybe late to the party, if you will, the right information.

Jeff: So even knowing like, you know, so that’s where reputation management I think is huge online that maybe even if companies are putting out content on their own behalf, but they’re not necessarily watching the, the results of that, that can also be a huge thing to consider in this as well as like, okay, once I put this stuff out there and we’re managing it herself, you know, how do we keep up on that? How do we know what’s being said or not said about us so that there’s not this like side conversation going on over here that you know nothing about. You know? So there’s that part too that the, that I think would be huge in, in, uh, if you’re going to do it internally or even if you’re working with, with an old from, you know, what are those roles that you’re going to take if you’re going into collaboration, what are the important touch points so that you can keep that a nice clean and ongoing and frequent conversation then that you’re hopefully looking for her. But, so

Phil: Danny, that reminds me what you just said there reminds me of our brand series that we did. The, what the public is saying about you, that is your brand right there. Yeah. And the branding and part of that that you have some control over is some of that messaging that you can help write, send out there. Yeah. So go back and watch it.

Jeff: Yeah. I don’t know which one was that. I forget

Phil: we did the brand versus branding versus Yup.

Jeff: Logo. Yup. I remember that now. Yep. So cool. Well, I mean that’s, that’s the gist of it. I just, I think just what was something that we want them to just talk about because as we’ve had other clients come to us, because again, that kind of a similar theme, it’s kind of like, yeah, this is something that they may be a lot more people maybe struggle with, you know, what to do and then, but I think at the end of the day, it’s just really valuing what it provides and understanding the value and when you invest, whether that’s time, money, people, whatever, really invest in it and embrace it, because that will, that will give you the most fruit. You know, you need to farm that out, do it. But there are two, the value of it don’t just don’t, just kinda like, yeah, it’s like a dragon game of Thrones circle coming right back to it. So, all right. Cool. Anything else?

Phil: Good baseball today. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t have baseball, but I’ll be coaching baseball. Cool. Yeah, that’s, let me here. Yeah. Yeah. So, all right, cool. All right, well until next time, see you later. All right. See you guys. What was your favorite character? Fema Thrones again.