As frustrated as I am myself right now with recent “advances” in technology and with questions aplenty, the title today is meant quite literally. I’d love to tell you that there is an easy path through it all, paved with charts, diagrams, and other clues to help you along on your quest to become more stable and savvy in this disruptive landscape…but no. We pretty much just have to deal with it as it happens.
“…it is technology that drives and disrupts culture – including consumer behavior and business – and not the other way around. Technology in this sense, is not about gadgets, it is about any new tools offering new functionality, reliability, convenience and cost efficiencies. The opportunity for brands is to identify and harness new disruptive technologies with the capacity to create value for the business and the consumer.” – Paul Marsden on The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen
Let’s all just accept that there is a much larger game being played by the “big boys” on a much larger field than we could ever comprehend. Understand that the end-game is market share and profit (for them, not us) and that we, the lowly small business owners, barely rate as pawns. This by itself is hard to swallow because all we want for ourselves is to carve out enough success to thrive and survive in our own little world. Doubly frustrating because we can’t consider a serious marketing trajectory outside of what Google, Apple, Facebook, etc. will allow. They change their tune and we change our course or we suffer as the pariah.
“Deal with it” is not as harsh as it sounds, all I really want to convey is that you MUST stay plugged into what’s happening in the Internet marketing space. Your willingness to remain malleable and nimble – along with your courage to make changes and adapt will ABSOLUTELY set you apart from your competitors. Just be very aware that all of this change is happening at lightning speed and changing even faster exponentially as time goes on.
Here at TrustWorkz® we manage the web presence for many small business clients. Our director/COO and I make it our business to read 300+ posts and articles from thought and industry leaders daily to keep us informed about changes in the world of Internet marketing. The reading and staying plugged in is actually the easy part. Deciding whether or not a piece of information is relevant to our business model or if it will require us to make wholesale changes in our services and offerings is a lot more nerve racking.
A few examples from just the past several days:
With iOS 7, Siri Drops Google For Bing, Also Gains Twitter Search – Everyone was excited to upgrade their iPhones to iOS7, and so were we…but this little tidbit of unpublicized information about the upgrade is forcing us to evaluate the credibility of Bing going forward.
Did Facebook Just Kill Social Media Management? – Facebook just keeps making it harder for business page posts to show up in a Facebook fan’s news feed. As they adjust their algorithm we must strive to understand how Facebook’s EdgeRank impacts our client’s Facebook pages and adjust tactics accordingly.
Google to Encrypt ALL Keyword Searches: Say Goodbye to Keyword Data – We provide reporting to all of our clients, and they like to know how people are finding their website. What words and phrases people search for in order to land on a page is important data. We utilize this data as we create content for our clients. This little change leaves us no choice but to change some of the ways that we mine for this data and the ways that we will deliver reporting in the future.
See what I mean? This is just a few days’ worth of change and we as a company are faced with making decisions on a wholesale level that could affect our core services and clients. For the “I love you” part of the tittle I will say this: These are truly exciting times to be in business. Never before is history have there been so many options and opportunities that enable small businesses to excel and set ourselves apart and ahead of the competition. The Internet and technology are like a box of chocolates…right?
As I said above, staying plugged in is paramount. For myself, I find that Zite is a superb and invaluable tool to stay on top of what’s happening. Zite is a free app available for iPhone and Android. Once you go through the easy set up process, the app’s intuitive nature gets smarter as you use it. You tell it what you’re interested in and it delivers the best content available to keep you informed…seriously, give it a try. Dedicate a little time each day to scan through what’s happening out there. You will then be better equipped with information needed to make wise decisions.
We can’t change the disruptive nature of the Internet and technology, but we can definitely choose not to remain ignorant of the status quo as it morphs and evolves.