Time For A Digital Diet?

digital diet

Happy New Year and welcome to 2016!

Traditionally, the beginning of the new year is a time when many people make resolutions. There is something about the clean slate of a brand spanking new year that seems to motivate people to change, or at least alter, some of their habits and to make a commitment to doing things differently.

Many of the most common resolutions seem to be to exercise more, eat healthier, or go on a diet to lose those extra pounds. And we all know that gym memberships skyrocketed this time of year, only to see attendance dwindle after a few weeks.

But what about trying out a digital diet?

I’m not talking about giving up all of your technology and all of your digital devices. In fact, you probably received some newer, updated gadgets for Christmas. And we all know that technology isn’t going anywhere, and is fully integrated as a part of our society.

Indeed, technology has changed the way that we communicate. It has truly opened up a global marketplace for businesses, and has allowed for individuals to meet and discuss issues with people all around the world.

But after advancing at warp speed, it seems as though a bit of digital fatigue is starting to set in. Perhaps the pendulum is starting to swing back to a place of balance. At least I hope so.

Over the holidays, those of us in Canada witnessed a television commercial produced and promoted by Telus that encouraged people to “unplug” for the holidays. Now, for those of you who are not familiar with this corporation, it is worth mentioning that Telus is one of the three major providers of Internet and mobile service in Canada. I think a message like this, coming from a corporation who obtains much of their revenue through the use of digital technology, speaks volumes about the misconception of our so-called connections and friends that have resulted from our love affair with technology.

I also recently saw an ad online for a chief marketing officer for a new startup. The business model for this new startup is about building community by actually meeting people face-to-face, in real life. Gee, what a novel idea! Their concept is kind of a mash up between a networking group and speed dating. They intend to hold networking groups in various locations with electronic signs over each table that mentions the topics of discussion at that table, allowing people to mingle and become involved in whatever topic they choose. Now, call me crazy, but I think it is ludicrous to think that something as time-tested and commonplace as a networking group has to disguise itself as an “online mimicking forum” in order to attract and entice people to actually meet with others face-to-face.

Now don’t get me wrong. I think technology is amazing, and has created benefits that were only dreamed of 20 years ago. But the flip side is that people have forgotten how to interact personally with others. We all know people who boast of having thousands of online friends. But how close are these friends? I see people posting pictures of family dinners, kids receiving awards, family vacations… You get the point. And, to be frank, I don’t like it. First of all, I think it has the potential to be dangerous, especially for small children, to be exposed and shown all over the Internet. Secondly, maybe it is because I am a more private person, but I don’t see the benefit or the sense in sharing personal, private family moments with all of my connections online. Of course, some of my connections are family and friends, who are actual real, personal connections. For those folks, I find other ways to share these moments, either by private message, email, telephone call, or personal visit.

So, for 2016, why not try to take a digital diet. Don’t turn your back on technology; simply make a point of unplugging from time to time. Maybe you should turn your phone off after business hours. Or put it in another room while you’re having dinner with your family. Make a point of taking the time to meet face-to-face with people. There is great value, and pleasure, and actually looking in someone’s eyes.

Technology makes improvements that assist us in our day-to-day living and our needs. It is meant to serve a purpose for us, not to enslave us.

Just think about it…

Until next time…

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Digital Fatigue???

digital fatigue

There is absolutely no question that digital communications are the new reality;

they should also form an integral part of any marketing strategy.

But that doesn’t mean that online communication and social media strategies should be the only avenue you take for promoting and advertising your business.

The phrase “digital fatigue” has been around for a couple of years now, and has a couple of different meanings. There is an actual medical definition that refers to physical manifestations resulting from spending too much time on computers, smart phones and other electronics. This includes problems like eyestrain and migraines.

And then there is the antisocial aspect of digital communications. We are all familiar with instances of groups of people sitting together but not interacting, instead preferring focusing their attentions on their smartphones.  In fact, we have all poked fun at those folks.  Some places, like restaurants and theaters, are implementing rules about cellphones.  Scary that we have to have rules put into place to avoid being rude…

Is it any wonder that people are seeking out physical objects and experiences?

There is no denying that to be successful in business these days you must have an online presence. And these days, your website needs to be more than simply an online brochure. A website where prospects and clients can go to learn more about you or to obtain assistance with some simple questions about your business is a must. Social media is also playing a bigger and bigger role. Love it or hate it, but used properly social media is an incredibly powerful tool for engaging clients and prospective clients. It also provides opportunities to announce new product and service offerings, to announce sales, and to interact in a timely way with others.

Unfortunately, in some cases people think that online marketing is all they need to do – especially if they are digital marketers.

When you are developing your marketing strategy, be sure that what you are developing is truly a marketing strategy. If you engage the services of a digital marketer, expect to have your marketing plan focus on digital marketing.  And if you are engaging the services of someone who only does off-line marketing, then you can also expect their marketing plan to focus on their area of specialty: off-line marketing.

That is why you should consider hiring a marketing strategist to provide an overall marketing strategy. A good marketing strategist will take a look at all aspects of your business and provide you with a marketing plan with the proper balance of off-line and online marketing strategies, specific to the needs of your business. It can be easy to be seduced by the promises of quick results by those marketers who will deliver services specifically in their niche, but without the global view, an understanding of your business goals and your corporate brand, you are likely to be disappointed with the results. Even if the marketer is successful in delivering what they have promised to deliver, your overall marketing plan will be missing specific elements, and any gains are likely to be lost as soon as the program is discontinued.

Before the internet and online marketing became widespread, there was some initial reluctance in adopting it as a marketing technique. Now however, it seems as though the pendulum has swung too far the other way with too much reliance on technology, which has resulted in “digital fatigue”.

Despite all of the benefits – and there are many – of technology and digital communication, at the end of the day we all like that personal touch, that human connection, the knowledge that there is another human being on the other side of that computer screen. Keep that in mind and seek balance in your marketing strategy and you will have better results and happier clients.

Until next time…

Are you ready to grow your business now? If you’re ready to take the next step and make your business more profitable, contact us today.

If you like the information you are receiving, please consider forwarding this post.