Being a strong leader in marketing, I have helped multiple international companies build strong omnichannel presences, meaning the connection of online and offline touchpoints for one seamless experience, while better measuring success and optimizing processes. Leaders and managers of companies will often face the challenge that not everyone in a team see’s their vision or understands the “why” behind certain strategies, decisions and marketing.
For this I have developed and published the OPENS Model, that consists of logical steps, categorizing media channels and metrics for measuring communication. This model is used for developing strategies depending on company resources and goals.
One thing I have noticed in over 12 years of working in my field is that mindset and the team in companies are often “make or break” for the success. Which in this case means that all communication efforts will never live to their full potential if the team is not on board and aiming towards the same goals as the company. This is why one of the first steps is bringing the stakeholders together and asking the right questions, getting their view to the planned communications strategy and how they see their role and the outcome, the focus is then on working out three core questions that sets the foundation for our OPENS-Model
- What is our Vision? (What do we want to achieve?)
- What is our Mission? (How do we get there?)
- What is our Position? (Where do we start?)
The goal of this exercise is to guide teams in defining a vision, mission and positioning in the framework of the company and it’s goals, where it wants to go, even more to get everyone on the same boat and sailing in the same direction, since there are often different points of views, other goals or maybe even negative thoughts towards decisions or a new strategy, a new direction or generally changing something, especially by larger companies with more stakeholders involved. The only way to counteract this is to build the “boat” with the team and by offering a compass to put them in the right direction. This is where we guide teams and start asking the right questions and giving a directional recommendation, but never too “pushy” so that the core foundation in perspective of the companies goals comes from the company stakeholders themselves and integrates into the overall strategy.
When this is achieved we take the collective input in form of a Vision, Mission and Position, finetune and then present it to the team, to finetune it again and again with all stakeholders until we all have
and One Position.
This is the Basis for every successful strategy, because now people and teams are interconnecting and we can start sailing in the right direction towards an effective communication strategy, transporting their insight & values externally as also internally whilst connecting the dots and constantly improving the process.
To showcase this on a more “concrete” example, we developed a communications strategy with Business Upper Austria which is a large economical institute with 9 “Clusters” that each focuses on an industry relevant topic, like IT, FMCG or Mechanics. Each of them has its own “presence” and external communication and strategy, but is also under the umbrella of the Business Upper Austria, this needed to be presented more clearly in internal and external communications.
Therefore part of the strategy was to strengthen the Business Upper Austria as the umbrella in external view and communications and the “Clusters” as special units which are part of this network, but not single entities. This lead to a restructuring of communication and a new set of rules. Especially on social media where multiple clusters were involved and had to mirror the Strategy. To insure that this went as smooth as possible a workshop was held explaining the Vision, Mission and Position, Which was first worked out in the core team, then presented to all Clusters in a Workshop, where we displayed why this is important, how it will improve not only the brand but also their presence and work. It wasn’t easy at the beginning, since there were a lot of different opinions positive as negative. One of the strongest ones was the mindset of “it worked until now, why should we change it?”. But by building common understanding and showing how this could benefit all participants we eventually got everyone sailing in the right direction and that very successfully to this date.
And because at the beginning of a journey it is quite easy to get lost they created a 2 page folder with guidelines, reminding why we are doing this and how everyone can contribute, also this made it easier for new employees to “instantly” step in. Also we guided this process and externally coached them over multiple months.
This was a massive success, which mirrored itself on multiple touchpoints and especially on Linkedin, where Clusters & employees became brand ambassadors expanding their network reach.
OPENS Model and Publications
- [German] Publikation OPENS Modell als Extension Forester Research GrouP – ECSM 2017: Google Books
- [German] Mobile als Brücke zwischen Online und Offline ECSM 2018: Google Books
- Masterclass mit 50 Modulen, die anhand meines OPENS Modells entwickelt wurde: www.itcluster.at
- Start-Up Coaching: www.tech2b.at
- [German] Interview zu Omnichannel: www.karriere.nachrichten.at
Raphael Remhof, MBA is a versatile marketing strategist. Growing up in America, he is now co-founder of one of the country’s first omnichannel marketing agencies in Austria. He has more than 12 years of experience in national and international marketing and is now specialized in omnichannel marketing and developing strategical frameworks for international companies.