Business Has Changed Forever. Are You Left Behind?
Some say we live in unprecedented times of change, I choose to disagree. Why? Because change is the only constant that has been with us throughout history.
What does make our times remarkable, is the speed of change, not the change itself.
Did you know it took 40 – 50 years for television to be accepted by society and as a communication channel for marketers? It then only took a fraction of that time for mobile phones to gain a similar level of acceptance.
What does this mean for an average business? Actually, what does it mean for all businesses – regardless of size?
While many conclusions could be drawn from the fast-paced world we live in, let’s focus on one aspect only: technology. It’s one word many of us don’t know how to explain fully, but we are surrounded by it and not only have to understand it, but also use it more than ever.
The hugely increased speed of technological change, which affects the way we do business, means that none of us can take 3-6-12-24 months to make decisions. For example, which CRM to use in your business. In 24 months some of them won’t even exist and even within 6 months, there will be better options with more features that you may want.
Conclusion: we have to adopt methods to make decisions faster.
Better businesses develop a process of decision making based on criteria and focus on the end goal. Sadly, many businesses are yet to adopt or develop a decision-making process that serves them well.
Since 2020, there is a feeling that more companies are in hibernation of sorts. Making no significant decisions; waiting until the ‘dust will settle’.
There is no dust to settle. We already live in a new fast-changing environment where there is no coming back. The pandemic is simply a symptom of the times we live in. Fortunately, we all are in the same boat with the need to learn what works and yes, we have to do it fast.
Smarketing Lab’s recommendation is to consider a simple yet powerful approach to the decision-making process:
- Identify the key business challenge and spend time to understand the true cause of it: it could be caused by personalities or company culture, lack of technology, lack of process, or maybe even a lack of understanding of what is needed to be achieved.
- Explore solutions to have sufficient facts and figures – this can often be done by one person.
- For 80 – 90% of decisions, aim to make them in one meeting. Yes. No sleeping on it, no mulling it over, no nothing. A useful tool to help is to have some criteria of what deserves your time and attention.
Technology and the new ways in which people communicate means we no longer have the luxury of ignoring technology or being ‘bad at technology’. I’m sorry but being “bad at technology” means you are seriously behind. This has nothing to do with age – I know 20-year-olds who are as poor with technology as 70-year-olds.
Conclusion: we have to become technology literate or be seriously left behind.
You can Google as much as you want, only to discover there is no single understanding of what technology or computer literacy really means. It feels a bit sad, because how can we excel in something, or even improve on it if we don’t understand the criteria used to measure up against.
We are well aware of the difference between a literate and an illiterate person. Many recognise correct and incorrect spelling and grammar. But what about correct and incorrect use of technology?
Does the ability to switch on a computer count as tech savvy?
Is typing in Microsoft Word without formatting considered being tech literate?
Smarketing Lab suggests that every company can choose to do these three things to stay up to date and less affected by the technology surrounding us:
- Set a Company Standard. Make a list of technology used in the company and identify the necessary level of knowledge, assess everyone against this list and develop a plan to upskill those who aren’t up to the Company Standard.
- Use the same list of technology and skills during the hiring process. Take time to create tests to gauge technology skills and never assume a 20-year-old knows it all. This is one of the biggest urban myths of our times.
- Never assume everyone has the same ability to pick up new tech skills. Take extra educational steps when a new technology or software is introduced to ensure everyone is trained properly and knows how to use it.
Do you remember a time where knowing how to type on a typewriter was a special skill that not many people knew how to do? You often had to wait around in line for a typist to be available if you needed something typed up. If you can now type on your mobile phone in your sleep, could you even imagine that just 40 – 50 years ago having something typed up was a whole job in itself?
These were the times when touch typing showed real mastery and there were several courses to learn how to do it. That time has now passed forever.
Today everyone is expected to have so many different skills but we can’t lose sight of the fact that there is an easy and difficult way of doing things. Technology can be used differently: in a long-winded complicated way, or an easy and clever way. Work smarter – not harder.
Conclusion: there is more than one way to skin the technological cat.
Here is a perfect example of a special technique that only takes seconds to find more information about. Many of us will generally ask a friend directly for more information or some will even take the time and curate a post for Facebook but then have to wait for a response.
What if there was a faster way? For example; type in your question in Google because chances are, there will be an answer.
Would you agree, this is a very simple yet profound example of how technology can be used to our advantage? It’s fast, efficient, available to everyone, and yet sometimes we forget to use it.
Smarketing Lab is actively developing and testing modern marketing approaches.
Here is an example of a very modern and advanced marketing advice:
What happens if you look up a common question in your area of expertise and cannot find a satisfactory – yet understandable – answer? This means that you have an opportunity to develop a piece of content that will attract people looking for an answer that they can understand. In turn, these exact people will perceive you as an expert and more often than not, go back to you when they have more questions.
Does this advice make sense or does it sounds like a foreign language?
If you want to know more about how you could be perceived as an expert in your area of expertise, we might be able to assist you in achieving this – reach out for a consult today.
Do you find these observations beneficial? Share your stories and your tips so that together we learn to understand and use technology for the benefit of our businesses.