Communicating Through Today's Technology5 Dec, 2011 By: Eric Stavola, Witt Company imageSource
Without question, the advances in technology and its uses to enhance our daily experiences, touches all aspects of our lives and our business. The use of technology is literally endless in possibilities, and much is written on the ongoing innovations coming at rapid fire speed today, however, the concept and uses of technology and integration, especially in business, is still widely misunderstood.
The word technology has variety of meanings to different people. To some, technology is hardware or devices such as computers and keyboards, copiers, fax and printers; simple input & output devices. Others might describe the iPhone and iPad, which yes, are astoundingly innovative and have changed the ease and speed of conducting communication today, yet for others, technology is a car, plane, or medical device. All can fall under the category of “technology”...but most of all, regardless of invention, technology once developed,
is a process. Marketing this process is leveraging or branding it.
A process is the actions used in designing, developing, producing and managing something, i.e. our products or systems. If you look up the word “technology” you’ll find an abundance of useful definitions:
• a broad concept that deals with a human usage & knowledge of tools and crafts
• the practical application of knowledge, especially in a particular area or sector
• the specialized aspects of a particular field of endeavor (the list is almost infinite)
In short, technology in its most fundamental form is simply any resource to communicate information. Nothing moves forward without knowing how to do something based on the information provided, and in return, offered. So it’s up to us to build strategies that promote our business through this information, using digital tech tools to market our business practices and services to our customers. There are many areas to do this including these five simple concepts on how you can utilize good tech media methods to help expand awareness of your business or dealearship.
Are you taking advantage of pod casting? Schools, churches, and a variety of businesses are taking advantage of this technology to get their message out. Sales professionals spend an inordinate amount of time trying to get in front of that special someone to tell a story about their product, services, company, and so forth.
Why not pod cast it? Think of it as a free on-line commercial that
you can download or e-mail to any one at any designated time.
Save time and travel expenses, etc. This is in a different form yet another good way to professionally communicate information to your customers and prospects.
Do you have a website or a virtual e-strategy plan? Websites are almost out of date – we live in a virtual world of content management portals that can track us, guide us, and give us endless amounts of information that we can utilize in millions of ways.
Training is always a hot spot for potential customers. What if you could create an on-line learning center as part of your website? It could consist of multiple videos, how-to information, and special help files. In short, you need to make sure that you have a strategy plan in place and to not only rely on a simple website.
E-mail has become the preferred way to communicate for most of us. How are you utilizing this technology? Some companies today have developed a monthly e-newsletter that they send out to all their clients. The key point is that this e-newsletter should not be considered, or end up as, Spam. In order for this to happen, you must add some real value into it for your clients.
You can have your in-house tech geek write a brief how-to article on some particular software product, copier/printer update, or computer issue. Or, have your sales manager write an article on getting the most out of a lease or an owner’s perspective on some successful business strategy. As you can see, the possibilities are endless.
#4: Multi-Media Video
We can literally find something on any subject by doing a simple search. Currently, it seems like video is taking over the Internet. How are you taking advantage of this phenomenal forum? Try creating an introductory video of your company.
By developing the perfect demo video you will use it for conveying your corporate profile, including information on products, sales and services, technical areas of expertise, and training. The key here is to present information in a unique and stimulating way by utilizing current technology as a resource.
#5: A Powerful Technology - Communication
If technology is simply a resource to communicate information then we should never underestimate the power of questioning. Questions can be one of the most powerful forms of communication there is, typically through technologies such as phones, email, fax, because they allow us to gather vital information to both communicate, work and aid in our customers’ needs, as well as our own.
These are simple but good areas to start with in your search for using today’s technology to your advantage. Technology is the best process to relay information really quickly and precisely. Often business decisions can’t wait long and need answers
fast. Learning about the various devices and their uses, from computer software programs you sell or use to the iPhone mobile “app” of a tech support manual…this is technological advancement at your fingertips. Challenge yourself to use these available resources!
And for those who think it’s one “gadget” or program after another to have to learn about, I urge you to further your knowledge and basic IT skills – even if it seems like learning a new language. In a way it is. But it doesn’t have to be daunting. Think of it as going to school for an “intro” or refresher class; I assure you, you’ll leave with a sense of accomplishment and more “savvy” skill set that’s in tune with today’s requirements. Training is good! If time is not available for onsite learning, get some great manuals and learn the basics; move forward while learning in stages. It adds up, believe me.
Become familiar with the concept that by understanding technology on some level, that you will be making inroads to what will become commonplace for most that use these technologies to “run their lives and business.” Social networking is driving business marketing today through branding and networking with others in your industry, including your customers and peers, not just for sharing family photos of the new family dog. Cell phones and PDAs are helping to synchronize and automate services, and the list goes on (the cloud is for another article!). But you get the idea. It’s all about using these tools at your fingertips.