quicksand of e-business

I joined a new company in Sept. with a large GTA home builder. I’ve decided not to mention the corporate name too much for now since I’m not ready to take on the company voice and they aren’t ready to engage in the conversation yet.

The company is very exciting and at its core is a very good brand. Recently, a buyer’s old house (as they are waiting for a new one) burnt to the ground! Upon learning this, x managed to move up their move in date from July 2007 to December 29th 2006! That is a miracle in itself. They also gave the family winter jackets (that the construction crews get), a big basket of food, bought toys for the children and paid for some hotel stays. I learned of this casually as the family was in our lobby getting something and I heard the story – a whisper almost. This kind of thing makes me quite proud of the company – and its a story that is never shared with others.

Anyhow – where I am going with this is that x is a fantastic brand. And as I was brought into the company to manage branding, research and new media, I underestimated how much I could help digitize the business. I took e-business for granted – and now I arrive and there is no e-marketing (no SEM, SEO), no reported web analytics, no intranet, no collaboration tools, no idea that houses WILL be sold online (let alone currently influencing sales). And so, as much as I’d like to push web2.0 – I have to pace myself. I have to desparately raise the expectation of what I can help deliver. I don’t think anyone sees what I know is coming for home building online.

So my first step is to align myself with good business partners. A new agency, online survey vendor, analytics, research. That takes time but I’m getting there.

The only area that I can push on web 2.0 is getting all the exec onto RSS feeds for listening to competitive and brand conversations. I’ve downloaded RSS Popper – which is freeware and funnels feeds to my outlook. I need something that feeds outlook because I can’t change people’s behaviour too drastically. I’ve just haven’t had time to perfect all my feeds (then will copy the URLs etc to others’ email boxes.)

Then, I’ve got a PR agency in the US to look at incorporating online/blogs into a campaign. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. I need to start sharing my bookmarks with fellow workers but with no intranet I feel a little lost.

Laurie.

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