Every day we are bombarded with news about the impact of social media on people’s lives, the steady decline in people accessing traditional media outlets and the march of Artificial Intelligence. All these threaten to wreak havoc on how we run organisations yet for too many business owners, these challenges are all deemed too far away to worry about.
I believe there is a strong parallel with climate change in that we all know it’s serious, we all realise it’s going to have an impact but very few of us are actually doing anything about it. However, just as the floods around the UK or the bushfires in Australia represent the sharp end of climate change, so the death of the high street neatly represents the impact of digital.
The fact is that very few organisations – large or small – can escape a certain level of digital pain. Change is always painful and the technological advances we’ve seen over the last 10 years have been staggering, giving rise to a need for completely new business models. So, let’s have a look at the top ten digital pain points faced by businesses.
- Poor or declining sales year-on-year
Loss of earnings, profit warnings or lack of expansion could well be down to an inability to communicate effectively with customers or prospects. We know that customer behaviour is changing, so should your sales and marketing.
- No understanding about ROI from sales and marketing activities
This represents wasted resources – both financial and in terms of staff time. If you factor in the impact on your bottom line, you could be haemorrhaging huge amounts of money on activities which simply no longer work.
- Lack of understanding about which channels work and which don’t
Incorrect targeting of content and resources will inexorably result in further wasted resources. It’s all about your various stakeholder audiences and how they like to be communicated with. That may mean going old school and using the phone rather than pinning all your hopes on social media.
- Difficulty in reaching new audiences
Businesses are being faced with the reality of reaching out to new, diverse and more inclusive audiences. Failing to do so could lead to a loss of revenue in the medium to long term. Then there could be unexploited niches within a local market or new territories overseas – particularly important post Brexit.
- Patchy communications with staff, suppliers, potential influencers, the media, regulators
Communications is not only restricted to customers or clients but a whole range of different stakeholder audiences. Failing to engage properly with these groups could increase errors and efficiencies within your business, lead to time wasting and potentially negatively impact your brand.
- Problem creating sufficient engaging content
All organisations now need to think and act more like publishers and broadcasters in order to create sufficient quality content. An inability to do so means you’re unlikely to please the algorithms governing the online platforms, which ultimately means you’ll be unable to reach your target audiences.
- No control over your brand online
No longer do you control your brand. Your suppliers, your customers and even your staff also have a stake in it. Why? Because they all have their own digital platforms which they can use for good or ill. An inability to keep tabs over your brand could result in a loss of competitive edge, reduced customer engagement and harm to your company.
- Overwhelmed by data
There is a strong argument to suggest that modern life is now built on data. Our daily lives are increasingly governed by algorithms which determine what we watch, read, listen to and even who we date. Businesses are now having to deal with large volumes of data but if they don’t stay on top of it there is the ever-present threat of data breaches, lack of market intelligence and inability to gauge what is going on around you.
- Increased threats from competitors or new technology
We know there are an increasing amount of threats from small and agile competitors, new technology, a changing workforce and climate change. None of these threats will go away and whilst it may be easy to ignore them in the short term, the best policy is to tackle them now or run the risk of becoming uncompetitive or even put out of business.
- Unsure how to communicate with youngsters – inside as well as outside your business
A majority of the workforce are now classed as being digital natives. At the same time, a large proportion of the UK population are under 40. These pose challenges for businesses who assume that everyone communicates in the same way. If you can’t understand how to engage effectively with Millennials and Generation Z, you will forgo the opportunity to win new customers or reach out to new influencers; you won’t be able to recruit the right people into your business and you will miss out on the opportunity to tap into their creativity and innate digital skills.
No one likes pain and you can make it go away by putting into place plans and procedures to deal with these ten issues. Or you can try the DNAsix Communicator programme which is the ultimate digital first aid kit –https://dnasix.com/communicator