New Digital Forces Are Afoot

It is May the Fourth (be with you), and with this focus on the force, there are new digital forces happening that should be added into your knowledge arsenal. While lists of three or five are more common, here are four new digital paradigms to consider:

The company CEO can no longer afford to stay in an ivory tower: In a world of being able to tweet, email, IM and numerous other ways of communicating, a corporation’s CEO (or other C Suite level individuals) have to be ready to respond. Recently I reached out to a CEO because the technology issue I was experiencing could have affected other areas of the organization, costing that company thousands of dollars in revenue. This CEO not only responded within two hours of my IM, but had the problem fixed soon after that. Be sure your executive team knows staying in the ivory tower is no longer a viable digital engagement strategy.

Brand loyalty is out, brand avoidance is in: Mark Schaefer’s book, Marketing Rebellion, talks about the fact that consumers are no longer brand loyal. I would go a step further and say there is a growing focus on brand avoidance, even in the digital space. Consumers will avoid a brand if they feel the company is not authentic, truthful or focused on customer service. They are less inclined to share an email address for a 10% off coupon, let alone be tolerant of a barrage emails sent that provide no real engagement or value.

Digital assets don’t sell your company: This may sound crazy coming from a digital consulting agency, but digital assets no longer sell a company. There is an expectation that digital assets have a certain professionalism and engagement quality. If you think about it, a good website won’t sell, but a bad one will unsell your wares. I have seen several odd websites, including one for a social influencer company claiming to have world wide reach and influence over 200 million users, yet the website is one page with no links that work (not even the Contact Us link).

Digital engagement needs to be rooted in truth: Companies today should realize that consumers are now suspicious about everything that is online, including digital claims (with my example above, how can a company have that much of an influence, with 100 employees, and have a shell of a website with no information about the organization and no way to contact anyone??). Not only do consumers have an internal truth meter, so much information claimed can easily be verified with just a bit of digital forensics.

The digital force is changing rapidly. Shift your focus and you may feel the force flowing through your digital engagement in amazing ways.