I’ve never been very good at history. But extinction is a part of life, and comes about when species fail to adapt to radical new environments — or when companies fail to step up to the challenges of technological change. Digital technology is no longer a separate marketing channel. It is a new medium of human communication. It is a central, integral, and rapidly evolving part of any business’s campaign. And companies that don’t adapt to today’s changing digital landscape are bound to go the way of the dinosaur, made extinct by environmental upheaval. In today’s marketing landscape, the businesses that last are the ones that understand digital technology is a constantly growing, constantly improving trend. So what differentiates the companies that fail to adapt from the ones that successfully evolve?
During times of technological upheaval, the businesses that thrive are the ones that integrate digital marketing into their everyday processes. Tear down the mental walls that separate the digital world from marketing campaigns, and create fresh philosophies for how to conduct business. Remember that the lives of your customers are seamlessly integrated; there’s a phone in their pocket, a computer on their desk, and a website in the back of their mind. The internet floats around them like the air they breath — they do not distinguish digital in terms of separate channels, and nor should you. Develop multi-channel campaigns that embrace the strengths of all media platforms, and acclimate to a digital-driven domain.
The digital world is having a deep impact on businesses, but also on customers. As time passes, more and more of your potential customers will have grown up with technology. They express themselves through Facebook likes, store massive collections of data on tiny devices, and have constant access to information — and constant access to your business — at the touch of a button. One mistake that many companies make is leaping into digital marketing with the assumption that boosting their brand name across social and digital media is the means to success, but quantity does not mean quality.
Are customers enjoying their experience with your brand? Do they appreciate the content you’re creating? Will they respond to it, share it, and seek it out again? Digital marketing isn’t about technology, but about the people using it. Listen to what your customers are asking for, and learn to create the experiences they respond to.
Digital strategies today are different to what they were a year ago, and different to how they will be one year from now. New technologies, new platforms, and new consumer behaviours are emerging unceasingly, and companies must shift and adapt to meet these changes. But this requires more than ticking off a list of typical marketing efforts. Yes, you may have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, an Instagram profile, and so on and so forth — but your competitors do, too. It is what you do with digital marketing that makes you stand out.
What is the voice of your brand? How do you wish to interact with your potential customers, and which digital advantages can help you achieve your business objectives? Think about ‘who’ your company is. Consider who your customers are. And chase the digital trends that are relevant to your own business. Digital technologies enable significant advantages in efficiency, communication, customer interactions, and many other areas of competitiveness in the marketplace. Successful businesses evolve by understanding their changing marketplace and by adapting to technological upheavals with clarity and confidence.
As a business owner, it is vital that you remain proactive in filling knowledge gaps, understanding generational change, and evolving in time with digital development. If you don’t, you’ll soon find yourself conducting business like a T-Rex makes a bed:
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