Your Most Valuable Digital Asset For 2012

In an industry where the only headlines that eclipse the latest and greatest marketing technology is the next newly funded technology, it’s easy to lose sight of the most valuable asset within each of our organizations: our people.

It may sound clichéd, but ultimately marketing -- even digital marketing -- IS a people business. No advancements in technology will ever change that. To put it in context, the most successful marketing technology companies have gained their positions because they have the best people, from leadership and management, to product development, engineering, sales, and support. People make the digital world go 'round.

As we enter a new marketing year, take a moment to reflect on your priorities, and make sure that "people" is on that list. Develop a plan to hire and nurture the best talent you possibly can, because THAT is your competitive advantage.

People develop technologies;
People drive innovation;
People bring creative ideas to life;
People develop insights from data;
People develop strategies that move businesses forward;
People take risks and facilitate change;
People manage, motivate and inspire other people.



Only as Strong as the Weakest Link

People can also be complacent;
People can lack necessary experience and knowledge;
People can lack passion;
People can be arrogant and close-minded.

We've all worked with each of these people at one point or another. These are your organization's weak links.

Like any asset, each has varying degrees of value; and how we manage our human assets is just as important as having the assets in the first place. If you’re a marketer looking to develop a killer team, take a few minutes to read “The Human Element.”

As an individual, it is important to develop unique skills, become an indispensible source of knowledge, and exude passion in everything you do. Companies will invest more (hint, hint salary) in assets with higher value.

In many ways, the more we rely on technology for the automation of mundane workflow, as well as complex algorithmic marketing tasks, the more valuable our human assets become. There is no magic button that someone can push to make the magic happen. The role of technology in our marketing endeavors is only as valuable as the insights, strategies, creativity, and oversight provided by our people. Never forget that.

Power to the people.

How does your organization balance the evolving world of marketing technology and its people? Share your thoughts in the comments or hit me on Twitter @jasonheller.

3 comments about "Your Most Valuable Digital Asset For 2012".
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  1. Matt Straz from Namely, December 13, 2011 at 11:03 a.m.

    Great post, Jason. While we've invested billions of dollars in creating new forms of consumer media and advertising technology, the piece that we have often overlooked is the human part of the equation. I believe that will begin to change in 2012 as we place great emphasis on the human element in our business.

  2. Jason Heller from AGILITi, December 13, 2011 at 11:21 a.m.

    Thanks, Matt. I see the companies who invest time, money and energy in top talent outcompeting others every day. This really is the difference. It's an unsexy topic but incredibly valid

  3. Joseph Pych from NextMark, Inc., December 14, 2011 at 3:37 p.m.

    Agreed, Jason. I've always thought a big flaw in standard accounting is that people don't show as an asset on the balance sheet. I don't know how you could actually do the accounting, but the reality is that people are a company's greatest asset. And in companies like ours, people are the single greatest investment (or expense - depending how you see it).

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