Digital devices connection

New face of business in the digital world

By Jonathan Chuah

We are now living in an era where technology is increasingly becoming part of our daily lives. Smartphones, smart homes, smart TVs, smart cars, you name it. The world is becoming digital – by default.

Having attended classes in a digital marketing course, I am amazed at how technology has given businesses a wide array of options for growing brands and promoting services – around the world.

Businesses now embrace a variety of digital channels such as social media, online advertising, email marketing, and mobile surveys to boost their performance and reputation.

Technology allows corporations to track customers’ usage, likes, dislikes, trends, and X-factors for purchasing products and services.

Mobile apps, websites, devices, cameras, and software are available at a massive scale for agencies to monitor things like demographics, browser history, locations, frequented areas of interest, and even friends.

Data is power.

By accessing these information, marketers can more efficiently improve conversion rates through targeted advertising.

According to Klip CEO Mr Brian Wong, “advertisers in the future will compete based on their ability to reach consumers anywhere through apps and devices on which consumers and brands depend”.

“Imagine: Exxon will be able to discern when your car’s gas tank is down to a quarter-full and will direct you to the nearest station. A smart refrigerator in your home will recognize when produce is about to spoil and offer a coupon for your next trip to the grocery store. Pacif-i, a Bluetooth-enabled pacifier that monitors baby temperatures, could predict when a fever is on the rise and offer parents a free sample of medicine that will make a tough night easier.” [1]

As much as I was excited about the endless opportunities technology offers, I was equally worried about one key issue: privacy.

There is essentially no privacy for us in this connected world of the Internet. I’ll leave you with a link (below this article) to read as an example: how Facebook is tracking our every move online.

By knowing what we like to do, who our best friends and families are, where we work, when we go to the bank, or how we communicate with others, it is pretty creepy for me.

Looking at the positive side though, technology is now ‘forcing’ businesses to be more open and transparent.

Reputation and brands can now be easily destroyed within minutes. After news of a food contamination outbreak went viral online, parents instantly pour their complaints and frustrations all over the net.

The customer is king.

According to Herb Tabin and Craig Agranoff, CBS News Tech correspondents, entrepreneurs, and authors of the book Do It Yourself Online Reputation Management, “digital reputation is now your reputation, whether you like it or not. It’s now the truth about you”.

"Anyone can write anything about anyone, and if they know what they're doing they can be really damaging. The most damaging thing is a person with a lot of time and a lot of hate."

This brings us to one key question: what can businesses do about this? How do companies maintain reputations and increase their customer base online in this connected world?

Mr Tabin says, “it's important to be proactive in the sense that you have to have information out there that you want people to see. You want to have a good part in forming your own reputation online."

He recommends "keeping abreast of what people are saying, and responding quickly".

"The idea is that the more positive feedback there is about you, it will dilute the bad. But if you leave it till something bad happens, it could be too late." [2]

As much as what the business has to offer matters, what other consumers say about you – your digital reputation – is equally important.

Read how Facebook tracks your Internet activity 

Sources

[1] Wong, Brian. “The future of advertising: Farewell, Mass Marketing” The Wall Street Journal. 26 April 2015. Web. 1 May 2015 (Link here)

[2] Graham, Fiona. “Reputation is all: Could the internet kill your company?” BBC News. 18 February 2011. Web. 1 May 2015 (Link here)