December 17, 2013

Technology’s Effect on Communication (And What It Means for Business)

Technology’s Effect on Communication cannot be understated. And the influential grasp technology exerts on communication is only going to increase, – especially when it comes to online business. So it should be obvious: If you aren’t ready to deal with the changes in communication caused by technology then you’re leaving a lot to chance.

So what should you do about it?

In this short blog post we’ll look at technology’s most important effect on communication, why this is drowning most marketers, and how you can use best practice for communicating with technology to get the exact effect you want.

Now let’s get into it…

Technology’s Biggest Effect on Communication:

Without a doubt, technology’s biggest effect on communication is speed. It’s hard to imagine that before the profound (yet recent) influence of technology, business people had to mail letters, use typewriters and even send telegrams. It is hard to fully conceptualize the effect technology has had on the speed of communication in business, but you can definitely say the difference is night and day.

By increasing the speed of communication, technology has had another important effect: It also makes communicating easier and cheaper. Whereas before you would have to buy stamps, label envelopes and actually make a trip to the post office, now you can send out hundreds of emails for free without even leaving your bed. It’s not too extreme to say technology’s effects on communication have been game changing. Right?

But here’s the thing:

Not all change is for the better. And while it feels great to shoot off emails, send texts and even distribute video notes, the new speed of communication that technology has enabled is more often than not, (very) one-sided. Which brings me to my next important point…

Why Technology’s Effect on Communication is Ruining Your Marketing:

As a corollary of technology’s effect on communication speed, business decision makers are getting interrupted with more communications than ever before. And since technology makes it so easy and cheap to send communications, a lot of the messages that business people receive are unsolicited.

I’m sure you’ve gotten your fair share of unrequested sales calls.

Of course you could argue the communication problems technology creates are old news: People have been complaining about the deluge of marketing communications they receive for ever since the advent of advertising itself. But as technology makes it easier to communicate, things just keep getting worse.

And for marketers, the result is that while technology makes it easier for your to communicate with your prospect, this flood of outbound messaging also makes it harder to get noticed. How do you stand out? And if you need fast results from your marketing campaigns, this outcome of technology’s effect on communications can be devastating. Unless…

You know how to use technology’s effect on communication to help you stand out from the crowd. So why don’t we talk about that for a second?

Technology’s Effect on Communication: What You Should Do

While most marketers’ messages are diluted by the flood of communications that technology has enabled, there is still something you can do to stand out. And in this age of automated email marketing, push notifications and SMS surprises it’s actually a pretty simple solution…

Rather than focusing on how technology can affect your ability to communicate, you should reflect on what you can do for your communication target. Simple, right?  And more specifically, no matter what technology you are using, you should end your communication with a simple and direct question that is focused on helping your communication target.

It might sound old fashioned:

But treat your emails as if they were phone calls… or (better yet), in person conversations. Use a friendly greeting. Talk genuinely. And (most importantly), finish with a simple personalized question that your target can respond to. When you use communication tools as if you’re having an authentic interaction with an individual you have a much better chance of getting the response you want – no matter what technology you are using to facilitate the conversation or how fancy your HTML email template is.

So if you’re having trouble standing out from the crowd, just use this simple technique: Finish your communication with one simple question that makes it easy and convenient for your prospect to reply to you and nod their head in agreement.

Technology’s effects on communication are far-reaching. But they don’t have to make you stretch for results. Do you think this advice could help you overcome technology’s effect on communication?

Filed under:  Business Producivity  ||  Tagged under:

Jeff Waite

As an optimization strategist, Jeff helps an array of business owners implement process-based growth initiatives, perfectly personalized to fit their offerings and industry.
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