Before You Get Schmoozed by Tech, Read This

In a fast tech moving world it’s important to remember that technology is just a tool. Exploring the relationship between technology and humans this article offers insights into how to strike the right balance.

Stylised robot in grayscale and a black background

Facebook “pauses” bots; Typeform launches an interactive article. It’s been a busy week and it’s only Wednesday.

How do we keep up with the speed of technology and SaaS (Software as a Service) launches? When it comes down to it, no matter how interconnected and brilliant our tech is, the fundamental genius is our underlying idea. (click to tweet) Everything else is the glitz of delivery — but it certainly helps.

Do we need CUI (Conversational User Interface)? It’s cool, but not essential. Look at how infamous “Dave’s” poster became, ironically old school printed, based on a smartphone text exchange. The poster was commended by Swedish Designer Tom Wysocki on twitter and currently stands at 28,249 retweets and 71,420 likes.

Geofencing (the use of GPS or RFID technology to enable software to trigger responses when your mobile device enters or exits a particular area) can turn your house lights on as you drive home, or notify you of some much coveted shoes being on sale as you walk past your favourite store.

Children of the 80s had “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, a ground-breaking sensation of the time which made you the main character, choosing the path your story took. Voice technology is changing consumer behaviour. By 2020 it’s predicted that 75% of homes will have smart speakers. Now, thanks to Select a Story, you can interact with a story being read aloud to seal your fate. (click to tweet)

Siri answers our questions and Alexa orders our food.

Are too many options resulting in decision fatigue? In a flip side to the world of increasing tech, there’s a human angle which is desperately reaching out for old fashioned connection. The hand-written note. A gift through the post. The customer experience. Some aspects of marketing may be destined to come full circle.

Danielle LaPorte, known for her audio and online Fire Starter Sessions, Desire Map and White Hot Truth has just launched an experience based programme calledLIGHTER(click to tweet) which is video and Facebook-Group-Free, sent-stuff-in-the-mail, “papery, inquisitive things you can touch”.

Adjunct professor of digital marketing, founder of The Front Row community for entrepreneurs and digital marketing strategist, Jen Lehner says, “Relationships first, business second. My MO from the beginning has been look after your people and create experiences to surprise them from time to time. (click to tweet) When you genuinely love what you’re doing and the people you’re reaching, it’s actually not something you really have to think about.”

In the race to enlist all the gadgets have we been overlooking the obvious?

Ideas before the internet have stood firm. Russell Brunson recalls how, as a teenager he poured over direct mail offers before later putting them to use in the online world to create his sales funnel systems.

“The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches” was sold only through direct marketing by author Joe Karbo in 1973, netting him a cool $10 million by selling 3 million copies.

Social media has become word-of-mouth on steroids. What used to take a PR person weeks to accomplish can be achieved by an influencer in a nanosecond. One of the reasons to love the internet is because it breaks down barriers. You don’t have to be connected to virtually connect. (click to tweet) The person who can change your life is but a click away.

You need self belief. Or pluck.

Before that you need to arrive at your purpose. Anything else isn’t sustainable. In 1955, modern advertising pioneer, David Ogilvy famously wrote copywriting insights to a Mr Calt which included: “I write out a definition of the problem and a statement of the purpose which I wish the campaign to achieve. Then I go no further until the statement and its principles have been accepted by the client.” (click to tweet)

Too often entrepreneurs are dazzled by shiny object syndrome, using it to spark ideas in order to make use of and justify the technology. When this works, it’s great, but just like the adventure stories you’re being led down a path, only to find, on occasion, “You chose wrong”.

Danielle LaPorte actively states she goes on regular inspiration diets, saying “I do not read other people’s work when I’m writing my own books — I don’t want to be influenced. I want to write about my own experiences, in my own words.”

Only then refine the means to get your message out there. Technology moves so fast, new ways of delivery will be unveiled whilst you’re working. Or you might take a second glance and adapt traditional methods.

Nothing beats a clever idea, well applied. (click to tweet) And if it’s a strong idea, it will outlive and meld to changes in technology. If you connect with people and have a consistent plan, all will be well.

Albert Einstein famously worried about technology saying “The human spirit must prevail over technology.” Elbert Hubbard, American writer, born 23 years ahead of Einstein said “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” I’d like to think both men were right. With the messenger bot on pause and online interaction clamouring for our attention maybe it’s time to get a little more… human. (click to tweet)

Originally published on 28 March 2018 by Social Songbird.