Not only is the sheer volume of marketing, sales and business communications overwhelming. Also, the veritable tsunami of industrial, retail and financial data being generated courtesy of connected devices and equipment is daunting.
Where to start? What information to ingest? How to respond? Why is this important?
It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
What matters is recognizing how we allow business and industrial digital noise to become our greatest competitor in the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem. Let’s explore three common scenarios.
First, consider why business clients do not respond to emails and voicemails.
Their inboxes and voicemail boxes are overflowing with competitors’ digital noise. As a result, clients are unable to distinguish our value from all that other noise. In addition, long-time clients feel compromised because they simply do not have time to provide us with the quality of conversation that matters to us both. So they ignore our attempts to re-engage. What matters is understanding the differences in client context and making sure we are not being dismissed as irrelevant.
Then, evaluate the impact of non-response to traditional methods of follow-up on downloaded assets.
Let’s face it. Some folks will download any form of digital noise as they try to discover an instant fix to issues. They have no decision-making authority and no intent of extending the relationship beyond the download. Alternatively, many high-value prospects download assets with “intent to read.” However, their intentions are rarely realized; the majority of assets remain ignored, unread and abandoned. We cannot compete when our expertise is not communicated. Will a more non-traditional approach to follow-up matter more than continuing to do the same things the same way?
Also, assess whether internal communication and collaboration inadequaces contribute to digital noise or digital transformation.
We continue to talk the talk but our conversations fall on deaf ears due to pockets of resistance to change. Gradually, employees and colleagues are overwhelmed. They perceive talking our talk as digital noise. As a result, successfully walking the industrial Internet of Things walk is limited. What matters is anticipating and preparing to address the skepticism, risk aversion and fear of change inherent in digital transformation initiatives. Otherwise, these factors become our greatest competitors across corporate cultures and professional disciplines.
Think client and colleague context. Trying to do our jobs – while being constantly bombarded by digital noise – is the workplace equivalent of texting and driving.
What matters is awareness that we are becoming desensitized to the tsunami of digital noise. We stop paying attention to information that is critical-to-outcome.
Most importantly, understand the impact of limiting information we consume. Ultimately, we bias decisions we make. So do our colleagues, buyers and clients.
Perhaps the most valuable and actionable solutions we create start with our own responses to digital noise.
- Instead of wholesale deleting without reading what is in our inboxes, set time aside to selectively prune for quality not quantity. Then read and learn. Share information with colleagues and clients.
- Consider prioritizing and addressing issues having the greatest impact on efficiency and productivity. Relegate the small stuff and digital noise to later.
- Selectively attend conferences offering the greatest opportunities for expanding our thinking instead of reinforcing same-old, same-old mindset.
Our greatest industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) competitor is becoming small-minded and limited as a defensive response to digital noise.
Focus on becoming smarter, more knowledgeable about and more representative of industry trends. After all, thinking bigger allows us to remain proactive and anticipatory of “What’s Next?” so we can better serve our clients.
Our goal is to have all the critical components and tools available so we can compete successfully in the IIoT ecosystem. Think bigger. Then communicate in smaller, bite-size pieces.
Isn’t it time to stand out from all that digital noise. Make sense?
Babette Ten Haken is a corporate strategist, facilitator, storyteller, coach and speaker. She humanizes the Voice of the Industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. Her focus: customer success for customer retention. Her One Millimeter Mindset coaching programs help professionals, teams and organizations achieve breakthrough performance results. Her book of cross-functional collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.
Image source: iStock