It is time to really look at incorporating technology more and more into my daily life. This is the statement I have struggled with for the last few years. I am reading more and more how the next 5-10 years will be some of the most transforming years ever. Those that stay ahead of the curve and can incorporate more tasks in a digital manner are going to be the winners in the future.
Current state of digital – (People checking out)
I am being reminded of this with some of the people I work with. Many people, young or old are saying no to technology and it is showing in everything they are doing. These people are really feeling insecure about their work and are trying to hold onto their exhausting processes and are touting themselves as being detailed people. Other people, believe tablet technology will never take hold because very few people have been able to integrate this technology effectively in their businesses.
Another sign of people not having a digital focus are those people who are looking at how to use current technology to solve future world problems like “feed the world by 2050.″ This sounds like a good cause, but why not focus on better technology through innovative processes instead of focusing on current technology to solve future problems. With the latest technology, why are people worried about the aging farmers. Today, a farmer in his 70’s and 80’s could operate a tractor or combine. The focus should be on developing newer technologies while we have a workforce that spans several ages.
New outlook (Change of attitude)
The tide is turning. There is a new belief that through technology there will not be a shortage of natural resources and that we will be able to develop better ways to create better quality water and food. It really comes down to everyone looking at these topics and making changes to adopt this digital technology. As more technology and robotics are implemented, the jobs to support it also need to change. Jobs which once took 5-10 people many only need 1-3 people to perform these tasks. Companies may remain leaner.
What does this mean for marketers?
It is time to look closer at technologies we are currently using and make them simpler and easier to use.
Here are some examples:
- Try to eliminate voice mail – For now, everyone must have a message which encourages people to send an email rather than leaving a message. Some voice message systems already produce an email, but for now this is one way to improve this process.
- Create forms online with mobile devices in mind – Create simple designs which allow users to input data online instead of downloading the form and filling it out or downloading a Word Document or Excel Spreadsheet and then sending it in.
- Create processes where information is inputted once and processes pick up the data and take it to another destination for processing. [We use electronic laboratory notebooks as an example (portable and much more traceable).]
- Develop a voice on social media platforms – Look for ways to stand out on social media through pictures, video, different styles of text, better messages that attract more attention.
- Look at dreaming bigger – How can I create a “hands-free” environment where people are not tied to a computer or mobile device. Put more information on screens, wearable technology.
Here are some great examples of a technology failures:
- QR Code marketing – This technology was simply used to take someone to another site by a person having a QR Code reader. It was too cumbersome and it really was more work for most people. Barcode technology is great, but making the process simpler is the key.
- Creating another eye-catching pull-up display. (Are people really noticing?)
- Spending more time at doing social media. (More time does not equate to success.)
Developing relationships is the driver for me with respect to digital.
- How can I build stonger relationships through better communication? – I ask myself this all the time.
- What could I add to my website to get people to contact our company immediately?
- What content are people looking for and can I listen more and react faster?
It points back to service in all aspects. I need to do the following:
- Look at a process.
- Look for opportunities to incorporate technology.
- Make it very simple, easy-to-use.
- Keep imagining a better process down the road.
- I do not want to add new functionality that looks like functionality from past years.
- Goal – Work on fewer projects with more innovation and better use of technology.
This topic is a big topic and my goal for the rest of the year is to design and start development on a revolutionary project that no one has ever seen before. Are you looking for the next innovative project at your company?
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