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Develop these new skill sets to get an edge over your competition

Develop these new skill sets to get an edge over your competition

Business 101

No company – no matter how large or small – wants to be left behind as the world becomes more and more reliant on technology. Business owners must ask themselves – what am I doing to stay in front of consumers and remain relevant in an increasingly crowded marketplace?

Though technology is certainly not new, the digital world is evolving faster than ever. An amazing amount of information is available to consumers delivered through mobile, tablets, and laptops, changing the way business is conducted and adding new dimensions to the structure of competition.

If you are in the video business and are currently selling DVDs, we encourage you to ask yourself if digital video distribution is right for you. Think about your target consumer. How often are they online? How do they search for information? How much do they connect with products and people through digital mediums? If they frequently search for information online and connect with people and products digitally, you may want to make sure your skills are up to snuff to reach them today, and in the future.

Here’s an overview of several skill sets specific to the move to the digital marketplace.

Content Management
Developing valuable content that attracts, acquires, and engages your target audience. In order to deliver content that drives consumer interest in your product, you must first clearly understand your target audience and their online behaviors. How do they like to interact online? What kinds of products do they buy or rent? What social media channels are they on?

Once you understand your audience, you deliver content through your website and applicable social channels that earns trust and loyalty. For more information about content strategy, read our post, “Getting Started with Content Marketing.”

Social Media
In the old days, as one talked about advertising via word-of-mouth, the “mouth” part was quite literal. Customers learned about good businesses by talking to others. These days, the “mouth” is social media.

As you enter the digital age, social media skills are a must. You – or one of your employees – will need to know the ins and outs of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube and all the other social sites your potential customers use. Simply put, these are now your best marketing tools, especially for digital downloads and streaming videos.

For example, if you currently do most of your marketing through a seasonal catalogue, great! But you may want to add more frequent year-round marketing to your outreach to make sure you are reaching all your potential customers. It’s a win-win situation for you and your clients.

Digital Fluency
The term “digital fluency” is the aptitude one possesses that allows him/her “to effectively and ethically interpret information, discover meaning, design content, construct knowledge, and communicate ideas in a digitally connected world.”1  More simply stated, digital fluency means you know how to use the technologies available to you and know how to use them well.

Many business owners achieve a great deal of digital fluency while others struggle. Sometimes it’s an age-related problem that strikes those who didn’t grow up with today’s technologies. Other times, it’s just the lack of desire to learn.

Whichever it might be, companies that are putting that first foot into the digital age should recognize that there’s no need to “do it all” themselves. Business owners must keep track of where they’re falling short and remember that there’s no need to be an expert at everything. The “real experts” are available to help you along the way. Recognize where the problems might be and consider hiring assistance to fill the knowledge gap.

Proficiency with Analytics
It’s important to have at least a basic understanding of analytics. Analytics provide the data business owners need to improve their websites, messaging, products, and services to get more customers… leading to more revenue.

The most important concepts to understand when you are getting started with analytics are:

  • You must think of your website as a funnel, not as a hierarchy. Your objective is to get that funnel – the journey from entry landing page – to conversion as smooth as you can.
  • And to know what questions you need to ask in order to get the information you want.

With just a little time and effort you can make sure you are well versed in the skills for this quickly moving digital world.

1 http://www.region10.org/digital-fluency/index/