AIIMNE: First off, I want to thank you for being the first Member of the Month for the Chapter. Before we get into your story, I just want to point out that this is a new feature from AIIM New England, where we hope to highlight one of our Professional Members each month, and let them introduce themselves and their company to the rest of our membership.
OK, now that we have the advertising out of the way, let’s get into the interesting stuff. Let’s start with you. You area Marketing and Communications Specialist, but it looks like you grew into that position. Is this something you have always wanted to do, or did this evolve from following your interests?
Julia: I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with my B.A in Sociology, and really enjoyed learning about group behaviors, data and analytics. And I loved doing research, for anything. I guess looking back on my time before Recordsforce, I can say that I was grooming myself for a marketing position, but didn’t really know it.
When I started with Recordsforce, I was a member of the production department. I began prepping client documents, and then moved on to scanning and indexing. I also took on a level-1 IT position, where I helped our IT manager design and manage our compliance reporting. Being able to immerse myself in the entire operation of the company gave me a much deeper knowledge of the entire scope of document management and Recordsforce.
After about a year of production, operations and IT, I approached Mike Dailey, my VP and CMO to ask if he would be interested in advertising on NPR radio. I understood the demographics of the listeners and thought it would be a great opportunity for us to get our name out. From there, the rest is really history. Mike started tasking me with small research projects to understand our target markets and I was returning with valuable information. I was asked to be the Marketing Specialist shortly thereafter.
I can say that I am enjoying everything that I am doing here. I spend most of my time researching our target markets, figuring out how to communicate effectively with them, designing communications, and analyzing the outcomes.
AIIMNE: You are responsible for social media within Recordsforce, and you have already been helping the AIIM NE Chapter in this area. How has social media changed in the time you have been dealing with it? Do you think it’s a marketing force that’s here to stay?
Julia: Coming into the world of social media from a business perspective changed the game for me. What I once used as a method of communication between friends and family, I now had to use to engage prospective clients. So the world of social media really opened up my eyes to more possibilities.
I started out using all of the familiar platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blogging. I understood the audience and behaviors of users on each of these networks, so I quickly realized which ones were going to be the most valuable. For me LinkedIn is, by far, the most valuable network out there; from both a personal and professional standpoint.
When I first came into this position, one of the network giants was pushing their advertising platform as a B2B-friendly space, but after a few months of target marketing, I found that this just wasn’t the case. And, more recently, they have received quite a lot of criticism for its advertising (in) abilities. So, that is just one example of how quickly things have changed. People want to use what works, so I wouldn’t be surprised by quick shifts in network loyalties.
The way people communicate, learn, shop and buy has all changed dramatically over the past few years. Social media has created the ability to gain real-time feedback about pretty much anything. So whether you are sharing highlights from an event, placing a complaint for poor customer service, or looking for the most current research regarding document management trends, all of those communications are going to affect how and what people buy. Marketing has forever been changed by social media and I don’t think that is going away any time soon.
AIIMNE: You’re also responsible for your company’s website design. How do you see company websites changing in the face of the growth of social media?
Julia: I can’t actually take the credit for the design of our website, although I am responsible for updating and editing content. But in terms of any website, they are storefronts in the online mall. They should instill trust and accountability; professionally represent the organization, and provide users with a clear understanding of their purpose.
I haven’t thought much about a change in websites, mainly because I feel as though they are the starting ground, or meeting place for all of their connected social media networks. There will always be people who will want to go to one place to find out as much information as they can, and a successful website will offer that.
AIIMNE: Some companies seem to send the same message out over every channel. Recordsforce mixes it up a bit. Do you think the different conduits need an individual approach?
Julia: I understand the differences in the behaviors of twitter users/facebook followers/LinkedIn connections. Each network has its own identity. On twitter, my name is CrazyforAP, so I try to stick to all things AP automation: by providing links to other organizations who provide valuable content, our website, and even our competitors. Twitter to me is a constant, down to the second news feed. My goal is to become a trustworthy source for followers in the Accounts Payable arena. Other co-workers of mine have other twitter names that reflect Recordsforce in some way. I also tweet on Recordsforce’s behalf, and try to post things directly related to our website, accomplishments, news, etc.
On LinkedIn, I am a member of over 20 groups, where I post relevant information for that particular audience. If it is an AP-focused group, I post about AP-related news, white papers, etc. In the HR groups, I post about process automation from a compliance standpoint. I provide landing pages for specific services in each group, so they are not led astray.
In a small business like ours, with only one person responsible for the amount of information being blasted (me), I have to work with what I have.
AIIMNE: Looking at the Recordsforce website, I see some general scanning/capture offerings as well as some business process vertical capture/document management solutions. Do you have a specific target market, or can your technology be adapted to just about anything?
Julia: While our technology can be adapted to fit any paper-heavy department within an organization, we primarily focus on financial applications. And more specifically, the payables side of them. Typical verticals we work with include manufacturing (a heavily PO-based industry), retail and healthcare, though our solution is applicable to any industry. We provide a pre-process invoice/workflow automation solution.
AIIMNE: You have recently accepted a leadership position with the AIIM New England Chapter (thank you). Given the online resources available today, what do you see is the main benefit of a local chapter?
Julia: There is a tremendous benefit to participating in a local chapter. Events and meetings are close to home, the people you meet and network with become trusting colleagues with whom you can share ideas and information, and you are able to have a personalized piece of the larger puzzle of the entire organization.
AIIMNE: After looking at your LinkedIn profile, I have to ask about your undergraduate research on “the dating behaviors, partnerships with men, and interactions with customers among female wait staff.” It’s an interesting paper, but what sparked your interest in that particular topic?
Julia: At the time of the research, and throughout my twenties, I worked as a server in various restaurants. I worked for a single season in some places, but also held a position for 10 years at another. Over time I began noticing the similarities between the behaviors of female servers from place to place; the preference of shifts, the attitudes toward the kitchen staff and male customers and their behaviors when they were not working (hobbies, interests, etc). Through additional research I performed on the subject, I found others who believed the restaurant industry is a sexually charged work environment. The goal of the research, through a qualitative study, was to find out if the subculture of the restaurant industry was affecting the dating behaviors of female servers and bartenders.
AIIMNE: What do you do when you’re not doing work stuff? What do you enjoy most?
Julia: I am a mother to an amazing 7-year-old little boy, who enjoys soccer, baseball, skateboarding, sledding and skiing. So, most of my time away from work is spent with him. I am also a huge fan of live music, and spend a lot of my time during the summer months attending outdoor concerts. When I have the time, I love travelling; I have a sister who lives in Tel Aviv, Israel and my mother is a full-time sailor currently docked in South America.