The whole family gathered around the dinner table is an American tradition. Around 40 or 50 years ago the only interruption to this wonderful family event was television or maybe radio. We all remember our Mother’s complaining the TV was ruining the family because we never talked anymore. Moms constantly hit the the “OFF” button, insisting we all sat and talked while we ate. Now the family dinner table has become a “texting” area with regular Facebook updates and tweets (not from the birdies). Sometimes it feels like there is not time to eat. The distractions are limitless. Any conversation seems to center around the latest viral video on Youtube, cool Ipod games or something Aunt Nellie just posted about Uncle Bill. This mobile digital age can make you feel like your drowning in a sea of information – talk about sensory overload. Our ability to siphon what information we will actually ingest is being tested more than ever. Information is shared like never before; we have more of it, we get it quicker and with loads more detail (sometime a lot more than we need or want). Technology has provided tools to help deal with this information overload more efficiently and make it somewhat manageable. Even so our capacity to deal with so much information is controlled by the limit on hours in the day and the speed that our minds can process information. We are learning to multi-task like never before, if you are reading this post in a coffee shop or restaurant you are probably having a conversation with someone about something completely different. Mobility drives our ability to absorb more information; we can gather information on the go. Cell phones are used less and less for talking and more for information.
So how does a business owner compete for time and space?
Developing a Mindset
The new online marketing age is permission centric. With so much information available at the touch of a screen, nobody is really interested in having “stuff” interrupting their information filled day. The first step for any business owner to participate is at least to contribute to the information flow. Any business not having a consistent approach to the new digital age is akin to an Ostrich burying their head in the sand. Mobile and digital technology is spreading exponentially into the fabric of our daily lives. If you are a business owner in denial, first take your head out of the sand, if thats where it is, and start participating. If you are not promoting your business ideals online, someone else probably will.
Develop a Plan
Before you go rushing off with a plan on how to assault this digital information highway head on, think for a second. Consistency is key. There is a lot of information online thats a dead end, somebody started and didn’t finish. You need a plan to find the time to contribute on a consistent basis. A business owners day is busy. Finding time for additional tasks requires planning. So lets start with some things to consider when planning how to move into the online marketing arena:
- There is no minimum weekly time commitment consistency is key
- If you spent 10 hours every day working at it, there is still more to do
- Anything regular and consistent is better than nothing or sporadic stabs
Our experience is local businesses make the time to network and meet business partners all the time. This is great. We also recommend businesses make the time to consistently participate in the digital information highway. It is the greatest single networking opportunity available. Develop a long term plan to consistently promote your business online it will help you succeed.