How do you communicate with your audience?
How do you market to new prospects?
How do you stay in touch with current customers?
If your answer to each question doesn’t involve technology, you’re in the minority. And if your answers don’t heavily rely upon technology, they probably should.
Just a decade ago, there were a significant number of business owners who believed that they could connect with their audiences on a deeper, more meaningful level without the use of technology (and some of them were right). Now, I find myself challenged to find any businesses for which that still holds true.
That doesn’t mean person-to-person business relationships, with face-to-face contact, telephone calls and handshakes is obsolete. To the contrary, these things are still crucial, in many cases, to your brand’s success. Technology will (and should) have a part in all your touchpoints, whether that means 100% reliance on it in a single area or technological augmentation in all of them.
Here’s the point: No business can increase profits, get more visible or grow in geography or scope without technology.
So are you ready to get on-board? Or to lift up the leg that’s been dragging?
Good. I’ve got some advice for integrating technology, for the benefit of your brand.
Wrapping your Business Brain around Technology
There’s no doubt that with the integration of technology come some growing pains. This is natural and expected. However, those pains can be minimal, and can be reduced with each occurrence if you incorporate the tips I’ve compiled here (learnt through my own mistakes and experience):
- Stop viewing technology as a disruptive requirement and start seeing it as an exciting benefit. The integration of technology into any aspect of your business will go more smoothly with a positive attitude. Just think about how remarkable every new technological development is…and then decide if it could make something your brand does easier, faster, better or more profitable. Gauge each possibility by what you think it can do for you and your customers—not by how cool you’ll look using it.
- Hire an IT consultant. This person does not have to be a full-time employee. He or she does, however, need to understand your ideal customer and what your business is ultimately trying to accomplish, in order to recommend the technology that will work to build your brand. Choose someone who is well-versed in the latest trends and developments, but who also understands that your brand is designed to serve a particular group of human beings. Measure and monitor the results of any new integration, and make judgements based on numbers (which do not lie).
- Take team members along for the ride, rather than issuing autocratic decrees after new technology has been integrated. Your employees are the ones using your brand’s chosen forms of technology. They are the ones getting direct feedback from customers. And therefore, they are the ones who can give you the most accurate criticisms of current and prospective technological additions and replacements. Listen to them and give lots of weight to their opinions—they will prove to be invaluable in the advancement of your brand.
- Choose technology with an eye on the future. What is your five-year plan? Your ten-year plan? And how will each technological advancement you choose help you to realise the goals attached to those plans? This is important, because any investment in technology should be an investment in your brand—not just a tryst with the latest WOW factor.
- Know that technology isn’t just about communication. All of your brand’s processes are candidates for technological advancement. R&D, Manufacturing, Warehousing, Distribution, Transportation, Retail, Human Resources, and more all have the potential to be improved upon with technology. Move forward with an open mind and intense attention to your team’s wellbeing, your customers’ satisfaction, your brand’s reputation and visibility, and your growing bottom line. This will keep you focussed and more likely to choose the technology that will further your brand’s mission.
I hope these tips have inspired you to take a look at what’s available to you in the realm of technology. Even if you’re not a technology buff, know that you are living in the information age, and the world (and probably your hometown) is replete with IT professionals who eat, sleep and breathe this stuff. There’s never a reason to feel alone or confused because you have nowhere to turn.
Looking for an IT connection? Or for more advice on how and when to integrate technology into your brand strategy? You can always feel free to contact the branding and marketing professionals at How to Build a Brand. I also invite you to join the How to Build a Brand Facebook page, where motivated entrepreneurs and business owners gather to exchange ideas, give opinions, network, participate in discussions, learn about opportunities, attend live broadcasts of B.R.A.N.D. Breakthroughs, and more. See you there!