Internet has making possible to identify potential customers and suppliers throughout the world.
Professional social networks (Facebook, LinkedIn, Viadeo, Xing, Archilovers, Shocase, Procurious, Labcities, Dogfinance, etc.), market (Alibaba) or functional dedicated places (Codeur), new digital marketing tools expand opportunities beyond all physical boundaries.
The explosion in the amount of self-employed or freelancers accelerate this trend.
It’s now possible to collaborate and do business with anyone, anywhere, anytime. It changes the way we work.
We can communicate with instant messaging applications (skype, WhatsApp, messenger, …) in real-time, thanks to the extensive telecommunications networks and growing bandwidth. Tools (like Slack) allow us to manage a project within a distant context.
Databases and new marketing tools (see Hubspot) allow customised lead generation campaigns at both local and global level, obviously with mixed results according to the industry and our ability to fix the right strategy up and use positively the results.
Using digital tools and Internet means to :
- be more responsive, make faster and take better decisions,
- perform at increasingly higher levels within an accelerating business environment,
- use dedicated and customisable tools, smart applications enabling us to be more productive,
- digest a flow of informations fragmented across a massive number of digital channels and classical ones (see business clubs or networks, exhibition, conferences, workshop, etc.) while it’s becoming crucial,
- master the new rules of digitalised business management,
- be openness to more partnerships and alliances, particularly as we target new markets and seek new sources of innovation.
Indeed, companies need to constantly evolve their business models and strategies to address new growth opportunities, respond to rapidly changing business environments. And SMEs trying to follow and adapt … as well as other economic stakeholders including public, institutional and professional organisations.
Encouraged by the innovation ecosystem, new tools or platforms or applications are everyday provided. And, we are all spending more and more time on Internet, identifying or experimenting the most efficient ones, trying to find the right ways to collect leads or business opportunities, identify providers to help us in managing our digital presence or strategy, … and getting this uncomfortable feeling of “leapfrogging”, not really useful for our day-to-day business.
Just let’s take a simple example.
Located at X, this young company provides innovative solutions to public organisations. The business developer is seeking for qualified directories. The CEO also needs a web agency to design its new website.
How will they do to find it ? How long will it take to them ? And finally, for which results ?
We all faced this kind of digital experiences.
While the vocation of Internet was to facilitate our ways of doing business, it’s becoming a real labyrinth in which it’s not so easy to locate, even in our own or nearby business neighbourhoods.
Sometimes, the digital word gives us the illusion that everything is just one clic away and unfortunately, we take note that’s not exactly the reality. Digital technologies are substituting for physical proximity, but could never perfectly. And even more, we are still human beings and we simply need physical contacts.
Face-to-face communication remains vital for business relationships. Companies still travel regularly to attend exhibitions and meet potential clients or providers or partners, even in a world of ubiquitous and instant communication.
Indeed, within the urbanisation sprawl context we described, we might suggest that digital technologies must mainly help economic stakeholders live more comfortably in their close business neighbourhoods.
Networking, sharing and collaboration remains key performance factors for our organisations and places.
We might have forgotten that digital technologies must, first, connect economic stakeholders at local level.
Manavao’s team – November 10th, 2016.
Coming next – Introducing manavao.com – 7. Our convictions and vision