• Digital Media Innovation at the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce – by Members, for Members

    I was fortunate to attend the GRCC Innovation Committee, engaging in discussion revolving primarily around activities to collect and use more digital video content of member activities. This is a very relevant opportunity and challenge for most organizations, whether the intent is to use the content for internal operations, to support external communications & marketing, or to publish as a product or service.
    Our industry requires, and customers expect using innovative technologies all the time - delivering digital marketing and engagement automation solutions - including AI/ML, cloud, and cybersecurity services.  Though these are becoming more and more available every day (they are not easily understood).
    Online video content is by far the most engaging digital media available on the Internet – just one recent statistic documents that social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. This is socially-trusted information-sharing between and among consumers, businesses, families, communities, employees – on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn. 
    Switching gears to "innovation" – this topic has many facets, from innovative products, services and ideas, to innovative ways to create, use and ultimately derive value from these things. There have been all kinds of innovations in digital video technology over just the past few years, from services like YouTube and Vimeo, to cellphone cameras and encoding software, to secure video storage technologies, to video editing and enrichment techniques. 
    Innovation is nonstop, particularly as the mobile video capture service is now a commodity that 
    nearly everyone owns.
    Likewise, all kinds of organizations are coming up with innovative ways to use these technologies, to grow revenue and membership, develop new businesses and create new communities.  The GRCC is no different – digital video is already a distinct need and expectation among the membership, for both member activities and community interaction. There are indeed many examples and "best practices" to use from other organizations to create and exploit digital video, using technologies and services created through industry innovation.  However, the positive outcomes of innovation, plus the best methods and investments required to achieve these, are best framed by the target audience – in this case, the members and partners of the GRCC.
    This basically means that "innovation" is best defined by those that do it, and those who find value in it. Within the GRCC Innovation Committee, innovation is emerging with respect to the how digital video should be captured, curated and exposed for maximum benefit.  The "how" includes a selection of technologies and expertise, new and updated digital content management processes, formulation of roles and responsibilities, investment and resource decisions, plus (most importantly) definition of what "success" looks like. 
    In other words, "how" implementation of this approach will yield value, for the GRCC, is itself innovative to the GRCC (and should be leveraged by members as a reusable process asset).
    Business value, by the way, is the end result of this innovation – whether discrete (like new or retained memberships and sponsors), or indirect (like better multimedia SEO in Virginia, more digital engagement around the DMV, better brand recognition for the Chamber and its members). Note that innovation will be found not only in the approach, but also in things like cost-efficiency – i.e., finding ways to do much more, with much less.
    All business owners can relate to that.
    Ted McLaughlan
    Co-Founder/KME.Digital (Digital Marketing & Technology in Northern Virginia)
    Sr. Principal Solution Architect/GDIT (Public Sector IT Solutions & Integration)


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