Beating back Sandy with technology

  • SumoMe

Hurricane Sandy, marketing operations, distributed teamsBy now we have all heard the stories generating from Hurricane Sandy-ravished New York City. Countless retailers, brands and agencies that make the city their corporate home were without power and office space for days because of the historic flooding that swamped Manhattan.

While these obstacles created a communications nightmare for many companies, the ability to work in the cloud and utilize SaaS services eased the pain for some.

That is especially true for Julie Mares. The Vice President & Head of e-Commerce at Century 21 Department Stores awoke the morning after Sandy hit to realize that its Manhattan offices were knocked offline. Key information stored on company servers was inaccessible.

Worse yet, Mares had a crucial email campaign scheduled for that day to promote the retailer’s timed online flash marketing event. Web content needed to be updated and media assets accessed to execute that day’s promotion.

While some retailers threw up a white flag and waited days for utility services to be restored, Mares realized that she could keep her company’s marketing flow moving by leveraging cloud technology.

“We were able to continue working remotely even though our offices were closed, email down, servers impacted by flooding, and people were without gas or in areas to dangerous to travel,” she says. “We didn’t miss a deadline thanks to technology and a we-can-figure-this-out team effort communicating via text messages.”

Mares overcame the obstacle of not being able to access company servers by having colleagues in California retrieve art and images needed for that week’s flash campaign from ProofHQ and other sources.

By creatively leveraging distributed teams, Century 21 Department Stores was able to get its flash marketing event out on schedule, avoiding major lost sales and maintaining customer loyalty.

“This is our core business right now, so it was critical to get the website updated and also to get the email out,” says Mares. “Cloud-based services like ProofHQ definitely saved the day for us.”


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