An established B2B financial marketing and advertising agency serving financial research institutions and organizations primarily, Doremus wanted to include digital solutions as part of its multi-channel advertising and marketing strategies. While the clients saw benefits to using digital technologies for internal applications, their skepticism about marketing directly to their customers stemmed from strict regulatory and legal requirements maintained by the industry. For Doremus, the challenge became one of educating its clients on the possibilities of the digital channel.

In addressing the client challenges with the internal management team, more than skepticism, the main challenge was the clients’ lack of knowledge about digital technologies. While strict industry rules presented operational limitations, there were opportunities to be leveraged. First, however, they needed to understand the impact of digital technologies on their businesses, and the benefit that could be derived from using them. Doremus needed to engage the clients on a tactical educational process prior to starting a project but, still bound by traditional advertising models, Doremus’s approach included a modification of its process to include a learning and experimentation phase so clients could be educated about the channel, understand it, and see it applied with tangible results.

Before embarking on any project, I recommended that Doremus engage on a Problem/Framing phase using sensemaking techniques and visualization workshops. Useful in education and learning, sensemaking is a critical thinking discipline that helps us make sense of complex problems; by framing challenges visually and using storytelling, sensemaking brings clarity to complex issues. Using collaborative problem solving sessions where solutions were visualized and evaluated before being executed, we helped clients envision digital solutions while learning about the possibilities the channel brought to their business. An additional benefit for the agency was that the inputs and outputs from the workshops shortened the strategy phase and provided guidance to the internal teams for executing multi-channel campaigns.