As you know, Gliebers Dresses is a fictional business story about a catalog company balancing profit from old-school business models with the need to move into the future. If business fiction is not your thing, then move along, there's nothing to see here. Otherwise, please enjoy the latest installment.
Glenn Glieber (CEO): Ok, folks, it's time to get started ... Roger, what are you doing?
Roger Morgan (Chief Operating Officer --- he's busy scrolling through a message on his smart phone ... Roger puts his right index finger straight up in the air ...): Shhhhhhhh, one minute.
Glenn Glieber: Did I just get shushed?
Meredith Thompson (Chief Merchandising Officer): Our Sleeveless Suiting Sheath is really moving this week, and it's at a wonderful price point, just $64.99.
Roger Morgan: Can you believe this? Chip Cayman just added "Omnichannel" to his skills. The guy is a genius, always one step ahead of everybody else.
Lois Gladstone (Chief Financial Officer): Did he just send you an email, Roger?
Roger Morgan: No, I'm busy reading my LinkedIn updates. They are filled with a veritable bounty of actionable information, curated specifically for the active business executive, like me!
Lois Gladstone: How do we know that Chip Cayman has Omnichannel skills? Did he get a certificate after attending a conference?
Roger Morgan: I'm sure he has ample Omnichannel skills. Why would anybody overstate their skills on LinkedIn?
Meredith Thompson: You can say whatever you want to say on these social networking sites. I've looked at Roger's profile on LinkedIn. It says he is a marketing expert.
Roger Morgan: Look at this. Beth Whidbey just uploaded a new profile photo. She colored her hair. She's really attractive! Maybe I'll ask her out.
Pepper Morgan Pressley (Chief Marketing Officer): Hey Potsie, see if she wants to share milkshake with you at Arnold's?
Meredith Thompson: Didn't we block LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter from employee computers? And Roger, aren't you the one who runs IT? Didn't you demand that we block social media applications so that employees wouldn't waste precious company resources?
Roger Morgan: I'm using my personal phone. I can do whatever I want.
Lois Gladstone: Nobody at Gliebers Dresses gets to do whatever they want.
Glenn Glieber: What?
Roger Morgan: It isn't 1995, folks. It's 2012. I have to keep up with the times ... Oh oh, look at this, Chip Cayman is now connected to Beth Whidbey. I hope they're not dating.
Pepper Morgan: There's nothing more romantic than exchanging Omnichannel skills over a glass of Mogen David Concord Grape wine at a Best Western hotel bar.
Roger Morgan: Look at this factoid ... 24% of my network switched jobs last year. Holy cow! You can even click on the image of a person who changed jobs, and see what they are now up to. Let's drill down on what LinkedIn has to say about Beth Whidbey.
Glenn Glieber: Roger, how are LinkedIn updates going to help me sell more dresses?
Roger Morgan: As the folks at LinkedIn like to say, my network may provide me with connections that further my professional growth.
Meredith Thompson: The only time people want to connect with me on LinkedIn is when they are looking for a new job. There's like a 1 in 2 chance that the person connecting with me will be in a new job in sixty days, and won't speak to me again until looking for another new job in 2015.
Roger Morgan: Oh oh, look at this. Chip Cayman just asked "the community" a question ... listen to this one ... he asks "will brands who fail to achieve a strategic Omnichannel framework even be relevant in 2014?" That's a great question! What do all of you think? I vote "no".
Pepper Morgan Pressley: I know what I'd like to vote on.
Roger Morgan: Here's another update from Chip Cayman. He's prolific. He says that, according to Woodside Research, mobile is poised to capture up to 77% of customer mindshare by the year 2015.
Lois Gladstone: It's captured 77% of our mindshare in this meeting.
Glenn Glieber: How are LinkedIn updates going to help me sell more dresses?
Meredith Thompson: As best I can tell, LinkedIn helped us realize that Beth Whidbey dyed her hair, Chip Cayman doesn't have an active consulting project, and Roger circumnavigated his own IP address block of social networking sites by bringing a cell phone into this meeting so that he could dazzle us with the man crush he has on Chip Cayman.
Roger Morgan: You folks don't get it, do you? Wait, here's another update. It's from Dr. Gene Feldman. It says "I'm sitting in a meeting right now while everybody debates the relevancy of LinkedIn. We should be discussing how we can sell dresses. Nobody wants to address the elephant in the room."
Pepper Morgan Pressley: Roger is the elephant in the room, right Doc?
Dr. Gene Feldman (Vice President of Global Brand Direction): As fall turns to winter, the sparrow prepares by building a sturdy nest. But each time the sparrow flies by a maple tree, the sparrow admires the beauty of the fall leaves. Red. Orange. Yellow. The sparrow pauses. Although the beauty is mesmerizing, it is fleeting. The sparrow loses precious time needed to build the nest. Winter closes in on the sparrow.
Glenn Glieber: What the heck are you talking about, Feldman?
Roger Morgan: Look at this one. Bill Swanson posts "The 5 Slam-Dunk Fail-Safe Ways To Leverage Facebook For E-Commerce Riches". Are you telling me that an article with a well-written subject line won't help us turn this business around?
Lois Gladstone: How many connections do you have on LinkedIn, Roger?
Roger Morgan: 17,493. But I'm still waiting for Obama and Mitt Romney to accept my invitation to connect.
Meredith Thompson: You spent time at work trying to connect with politicians?
Roger Morgan: According to LinkedIn, if you factor in connections three degrees from me, I'm potentially connected to 1.6 billion people, so Mitt Romney and I are virtually connected anyway.
Meredith Thompson: You're virtually besties.
Roger Morgan: You think that somebody in a potential network of 1.6 billion people couldn't help us turn this business around? I mean, when it comes right down to it, if I do my job well, then we have 1.6 billion people potentially generating free marketing for us.
Glenn Glieber: I love free marketing!
Pepper Morgan Pressley: This is crazy. What are we doing here? We've spent the past several weeks talking about being Omnichannel, about the third-degree connective value of LinkedIn, and about Engagement. We talk and we talk and we talk. We don't actually do anything. We sound strategic. Oh, if we could just engage the customer, everything will be fine. Or, if we could only harness the magic of an Omnichannel world, we'd be rolling in profit. Enough, already! Roger, do something, don't become absent in yet another aspect of your life.
Roger Morgan: Go mail more catalogs and pretend it is 1993, Pepper. The operations guy shouldn't have to come up with all of the innovative ideas. I'm just trying to help.
Pepper Morgan Pressely: You had a year as CEO. You needed all of the help you could get.
Roger Morgan: Look at this. Larry Miner just posted an update. He says Apple missed their earnings estimate. First time in nine years. He thinks that they're headed straight into the garbage dumpster. I think I need to join the conversation!
Pepper Morgan Pressley: I met this dude at a conference. He spent a half-hour talking about how Amazon was achieving "scale", how they were going to dominate commerce. But when I asked him how Amazon would impact his business, he had no idea. In fact, he couldn't tell you anything about his business. He knew everything about the rest of the marketing world, but he couldn't tell you anything about the marketing he was accountable for. It was like he was plugged into The Matrix, not knowing his own body was being harvested for electricity.
Roger Morgan: Evie Chancellor wants to know if anybody uses the LinkedIn InMaps professional networking feature? Oh, that's some sweet action! You get to see your whole network in one big infographic. It's like a big spider web. And isn't that the moral of the story? We're all connected.
Meredith Thompson: You're right, we are all stuck in your spider web of Omnichannel connectedness.
Glenn Glieber: Well, we need to honor our meeting guidelines. The guidelines state that we have to end all meetings at least five minutes before the top of the hour, so that everybody can get to their next meeting on time. It's been a stimulating hour, folks. Think about what we learned today?
Meredith Thompson: We learned that Beth Whidbey colored her hair. Maybe she needs a new dress to match the color of her hair.
Lois Gladstone: See, LinkedIn can generate sales!
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