Do you still remember the days, when computers represented these big boxes that didn’t do that much (well at least not like today) and phones that were close to non-existent? Well, those days are over no matter if its good or bad for us.
Stick with us if you are interested to see our perception about the digital age and its impact on business.
This blog is a bit long so here are the links to individual topics:
If you are already familiar with the basics of the digital world, or if you have limited time, I advise you to focus on 3rd part of the blog – How to adapt your business in the digital age, which is the main part of this blog.
- How does the digital age influence us?
- How is business impacted in the digital age?
- How to adapt your business in the digital age?
- What does the future hold for us?
1. How does the digital age influence us?
Some argue that our technological advancement is harming us, others are sure that it will only help us become better. We think both parties are completely right, it can be used for the greater good or bad. But here is the thing, we can’t escape it and it’s up to us to decide how we want to use technology.
We like to focus more on the good side rather than on the bad. But yes, we know the bad side is also important to know, so we can learn how to deal with the problems. Now let’s see how does digital evolution influence us.
The positive side of digital evolution:
The saying “knowledge is power” was created for a reason, without it we are lost, but with it, we can do what seems impossible.
The digital revolution made the accessibility of knowledge on a whole another level. All you need is to be connected to the internet and some searching skills and you’re set to go. This is the thing I’m the most grateful about. I was able to get knowledge and experiences of many experts on the problems I faced.
One of the greatest challenges I faced was a badly herniated disc. If it wasn’t for the internet I might have never overcome it. I researched deeply on everything related to it, from the anatomy to exercises and principles of our body and mind.
I was able to be more productive on my goal of conquering my herniated disc and what really helped me breakthrough my problem, was definitely finding an amazing manual therapist, which I found on the internet. I finally found someone who was able to help me physically and mentally. Of course, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, it still took me 3 years to overcome it… It’s a hell of a long process, but now I have zero problems with my back even though I stress my body a lot.
To recap: Knowledge is awesome! It gives us perceptions, new ideas, and help us grow. The digital evolution just made this astronomically easier and available to almost everybody on earth.
This is also a huge one for me. Technology is known for making our lives easier, which means we get to spend our energy elsewhere, hopefully on something productive that we value. This is also the main reason it was created in the first place. From tools that help us work less and faster to the accessibility of information, all of that can make us better if we use it with the right intention.
Finding people that have similar values:
No matter how unique you are, there are people in the world similar to you. With our digital world, we can find and connect with them a lot easier. We all need people around us that help us grow and not the other way around. We are finally not stuck to just our environment we were born into, which brings me to another benefit of the digital age.
The world became more global:
Yes, this is a huge benefit offered by modern technology. In the past, your whole life was defined by the environment you were born in, everything in life seemed more like destiny. Today we get a chance to do more about our situation than ever before! Never in history did we have so much freedom of choice for who and what we want to be.
The negative side of digital evolution:
Too much information:
Yes, this is probably one of the biggest challenges we face in our digitalized era. There is so much information on the internet that in the end just confuses us. Not to mention that a lot of it is useless, or misguided, and maybe even completely wrong.
To combat this, we have no other option but to learn how to find trustworthy information and if you’re a part of the people that creates digital content, you can help by providing authentic and useful content.
The other side of technology that makes our lives easier is procrastination. Digital entertainment is made in a way to get as much of your attention as it can. We can never run out of entertaining material to distract us. It is awesome that it can help us let loose, but we all know how easy it turns from relaxation to wasting time.
People with bad intentions:
Of course, we also have people hiding behind their screens anonymously that only want to provoke and create conflict. There are a lot of people in the digital world, for sure there will be some assholes and being anonymous only makes it easier for them. My advice is to not waste time on them and just ignore them.
Maybe too much global:
The negative effect of this is mainly more competition. In general, more competition is good as it takes more creativity and innovation to stay ahead of the game. But the negative of it is definitely overcrowdedness, it just gets tougher to find good and unique information, content, products, or people.
These are just some of the many descriptions of the digital world, it would probably take a whole book to mention them all. But as we can see, the positives and negatives described here really are like a double-edged sword. It’s up to us to decide how we use this wonderful opportunity, use it wisely!
2. How is business impacted in the digital age?
Enormously, of course, technology is everything in today’s business world. It is used in almost every part of the business process. Let us look at a few.
We can probably all agree that technology’s greatest gift is efficiency. Some of the mundane work is now automated, information and data are stored and accessed a lot easier, analytics of data has never been easier, etc. Out of all of these, I think the biggest is automation. When done correctly it can support and relieve us of mundane tasks, which in the end gives us more time to do things that are more important.
Businesses can reach a lot more people:
With technology, the business world started to change dramatically. The best benefit is definitely that more and more businesses are able to reach a lot more people, to become their new customers or partners. The potential of digital technology is huge and it gives us a chance to create our own business. We can see this today, as we have many more businesses in these times, and the numbers continue to increase each year.
Communication became more efficient:
Just imagine the time before smartphones and home computers, we barely stayed in touch. Now we can contact anyone, anywhere and anytime. This created many new opportunities in the business world, many people could now work from home and the internal & external communication in organizations was never easier.
New skills and jobs:
To operate in the digital world and to be able to use these technologies, new needs and skills appeared. New needs, brought new job opportunities that require a new set of skills. Those skills are defined as digital competencies. If you need more information on it check out the DigComp project that describes them more in-depth.
In short, those digital competencies are divided into 5 groups:
- Information and data literacy – This field covers all the skills to find and manage information and data.
- Communication and collaboration – This field is about the skills needed for communication in the digital world.
- Digital content creation – Pretty straightforward, its about skills needed to create digital content.
- Safety – Safety is described as skills to protect data, information, and your personality in the digital world.
- Problem-solving – Skills to solve problems in the digital world and the use of digital tools.
3. How to adapt your business in the digital age?
Adapting your business to the digital age can be a challenge, but also represents a big opportunity. It all depends on our perception and action. No matter if your business is big or small, global or local, the need to digitalize your business is getting more and more important, but as we mentioned before, it’s all about the perception. Better make the most out of it and use it to our advantage!
Alright, its time to highlight some of the most important actions to thrive in this digital age.
Build a website:
This is usually the first step for any business. A website is a foundation that represents the so-called “personality” of a business and tells others all about what it is about. This helps a lot if we consider that people first want to know all about a business and how it works before they decide to use your services or products.
Another usefulness of a website is its content. Either video or blog-style content provides the visitor with the knowledge about the desired topic. We all got some problems we want to solve or things we want to know more about. Contribute to these things with great content and you just helped a lot more people.
Now let’s see 4 of the main things people want from the website.
Main things people look for on a website:
- Services/products – This one is straightforward, the first thing they want to know is what you offer.
- Learn about the business – When people express interest in the services or products you offer, most of them want to know more about the business. That means any information on why, what, how the business operates, etc.
- Trust – After they get to know about the business (which also builds trust) they seek further proof, to validate their decision to buy from the business. Such things are mainly reviews and testimonials or just other people’s experiences with that business.
- Content – People search for information on their problems or just want to get more knowledge on the desired topic, give them what they want or need and you just helped create a better society.
Create social profiles:
Yes, we all know how annoying and damaging social media can be, but if used correctly it can help and guide people instead of the other way around. Social profiles are best used as an extension to your website, to create a complete digital identity, that will reach as many people as possible and solve their needs.
There are some of the smaller businesses that only use social media for their digital identity. It works pretty well for some businesses and reduces the costs & time needed to manage a website. But in the end, if businesses want to do more it is essential to have both the website and social media profiles that enhance each other and offer more value to the people.
Use digital marketing strategies:
There are a huge amount of strategies businesses use to get exposure. For the sake of simplicity, I will focus on the ones that provide the most value.
Search engine optimization or SEO:
This is considered the best strategy for the long term results, but it takes time to build it up.
- Goal: Getting people to visit your website (or other digital identities) organically (unpaid traffic).
- How is it done: By optimizing your website for Google and people, which Google rewards by ranking your website higher in the search results.
- Benefits: You get more people to get to know you, the more traffic your website has the more trust people have in it, and you don’t pay anything for this kind of exposure.
On the contrary to SEO strategy, this one brings quick results but requires money like any other advertising.
- Goal: Getting in front of targeted people a lot faster.
- How is it done: By using different advertising platforms like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and others.
- Benefits: You spend as much as you limited, the costs are calculated by the clicks and views, best of all is that you can target a specific audience of your choosing.
Sending useful information about the business is handy for their customers. This is easiest to do with emails, but writing and sending emails take time and can be a hassle. For this, we have wonderful tools that enable us to schedule and automate this process. We like Mailerlite in particular.
- Goal: Informing your current customers and people interested in your services/products.
- How is it done: Using tools like Mailerlite or Mailchimp, that allows you to set up an automated email system.
- Benefits: Keep in touch with your customers and people interested in you, it frees the time you would spend on doing it manually.
Another benefit of the digital world is data. Many actions we do on the internet are documented and turned into data and are used for Analytics. There are many tools that show us these data, which is useful for guidance and helps us decide on the next move.
- Goal: Using important data to guide us about business direction
- How is it done: With the help of tools like Google Analytics, Google search console, SEM Rush, SimilarWeb, etc.
- Benefits: It gives valuable information on your audiences, and helps you see what works and what needs adjustments.
4. What does the future hold for us?
Considering that technology is continuously evolving, we are going to see a lot bigger fusion of our physical world with the digital. It is pretty easy to see where we are headed if you just look at new technologies that are being developed, like Virtual reality, Artificial intelligence. All of these are just competing to make a breakthrough and all of them have the potential to change our world just like smartphones did.
We can also expect every single business, from small to big to become digitalized. Digital technology truly became a part of us, it has become the point of no return. In these times it is essential for us to adapt and just make the best of it.
We have mixed feelings about this topic, how about you? What is your opinion on these times?