During the past 10 years, technology has evolved at a lightning-fast pace. People all over the world have grown accustomed to connecting with each other using apps, social media sites and other forms of technology.
This emerging era of connectivity presents opportunities for massive growth as well as challenges for companies. In order for businesses to thrive in this new era, they must find ways to overcome a few challenges.
1. Companies must embrace innovative ideas from various sources.
It was not long ago that companies operated as ‘lone rangers’ in their industries. For fear of being eliminated by the competition, most companies would not risk sharing their best practices with other customers.
As the culture has changed to a sharing economy through the use of technology, it is not unusual for companies to partner with each other in order to disrupt the traditional practices of an industry. Innovative company leaders understand the value of partnerships and collaboration.
Apple has been recently valued at $750 billion dollars. However, they did not get to the top without help. Throughout the years, they have developed significant partnerships with companies such as Verizon, AT&T, FoxConn, Intel, TPK Holdings and Samsung Electronics.
If the executives at Apple had decided that the risks of connecting with other businesses were too great, they may not have experienced exponential growth. It’s a good thing for many consumers that Apple embraced the connected era early.
Companies must come to terms with the fact that collaboration is the key to massive success. Shared ideas are good for customers and a company’s bottom line.
2. Computer Security must be a priority in the connected era.
One of the drawbacks of operating in a connected era is it increases a company’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks. Although hacking, identity theft and malware can be a cause for concern, this does not mean that companies should resist embracing the technology that makes them susceptible to attacks.
The unfortunate reality is a large percentage of companies have not set up the proper infrastructure to thwart cyber-attacks. According to a recent survey by IBM, approximately 68 percent of the executives acknowledged that their companies could not withstand a cyber security attack.
The potential threat of cyber-attacks provides a good opportunity for companies to increase their security. By adopting new cyber security technologies, companies can confidently open up to new ways of getting connected.
3. Marketing departments must be able to pair technology with storytelling.
The connected era has caused consumers to become more media savvy than previous generations. This is good news because consumers are able to make smart choices about the products they purchase.
However, this presents a bit of a challenge for businesses that are used to connecting with customers in traditional ways. Most of today’s consumers are too smart to be swayed by insincere tactics and salesy language.
Companies must find genuine ways to engage consumers and connect with them. If not, there are plenty of competitors who are willing to forge relationships with potential customers.
Here are a few ways in which companies can overcome marketing challenges in the connected era.
- Be authentic.
- Listen to customers.
- Humanize their brands.
- Make their customers feel important.
4. Companies must be open to embracing new technology.
Change is inevitable, but some companies refuse to embrace it. For every business success story, there is a long list of companies that failed because they refused to adapt to the changing times.
Can you recall how companies such as Blockbuster, Blackberry and Myspace once dominated their industries? These companies lost their winning edge because they did not embrace change. As a result, they were replaced by other companies who were up for the challenge.
Embracing new technology and new ways of connecting with customers takes time. It may even cost your company a few extra marketing dollars in the beginning.
Once your company takes the first step, embracing change becomes easier with each action. Companies find that the benefits of adapting to change far exceed the effort.
If a company is ready to encourage their team to buy into technology changes, here are a few things that they can do to get started.
- Managers must lead by example.
- Make a case to the employees for the new changes.
- Promote the new way of doing things around the company.
- Commit to the changes until they become part of the company’s culture.
- Provide ample training for staff members.
- Find ways to make the process enjoyable.
Although operating in the connected era can be difficult for some companies, these challenges are not insurmountable. With patience and practice, companies can overcome challenges posed by technology.