Digital Time

Businesses have a big problem. It’s always been the same problem but it’s a problem that moves so quickly now it’s extremely hard to keep up. I’m talking about time. More accurately, a lack of time.

As I say, this is not a new problem. Business Owners for generations have lacked the time they needed to achieve their goals and aspirations. But the digital age brings a new dimension to this age old problem. The speed by which the online market has accelerated is simply beyond most businesses. Even big business has often struggled. Often more with how to cope with the sheer scope of how many new mediums there are and how to target their audience. Jumping on the latest bandwagon hasn’t always resulted in the best outcomes either with huge investments in mediums that simply didn’t take off as promised while some have got lucky as early adopters.

To add to the pressure is the ever changing landscape of websites and online technologies. Oh and don’t forget that period where ‘everyone’ HAD to have an App! It’s hard to keep up. Maintaining currency is just hard work and more importantly, requires resourcing that is not often part of the budget process for many businesses. With so many assets in our businesses being ‘set and forget’ or only requiring maintenance ‘at interval’, it’s a hard concept to grasp that digital assets often need constant attention and regular updating or revitalisation. The market shifts so quickly and no longer is the audience dictated by the business operations (in the most) but we find the audience is pretty much in charge of the process. Very few companies have the power to simply ‘do what they like’ and still succeed. Apple is certainly one that has been very successful in this space but for a majority of businesses, this simply results in massive failure and loss of income.

So speed is a factor. And so is relevancy. Knowing your market, being in a position to react and doing so quickly are vital. Planning for asset updates to your digital footprint is critical and accepting the fact that digital assets ‘wear out’ so much quicker than we’re used to. I often use the term ‘internet years’ (a bit like dog years). It’s about a 4:1 ratio. So a website that is 2.5yrs old is effectively a 10yr old asset. If your work vehicle or signage was 10yrs old, you’d probably agree it needs to be upgraded or renewed. But 2.5yrs seems so fast to just ‘dispose’ of a website. This is the ‘time’ problem I’m alluding to.

Careful planning and an appreciation for the speed of our digital assets is the key. And in a market that is really ‘the quick or the dead’, you just can’t afford to be behind the 8 ball…