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Communication & Technology Trends to Put into Practice Now

Posted By Mary Le, Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Communication & Technology Trends to Put into Practice Now

By Kathie Pugaczewski, CAE, CMP, Vice President Communication, Technology & Professional Development, Ewald Consulting

 

With diminished attentions spans, the proliferation of communication tools/platforms at affordable prices and customers demanding more and faster, there are some key communication and technology trends in the design and data realm that can increase your effectiveness. Pick two or three and dig in. With all that is available, it is tempting to bounce from one thing to the next. Commit to going deeper, staying longer, creating meaning and measuring results.

In the design realm, UX (user experience) is the term of the day. What it really means is can your customers find what they are looking for quickly. The website homepage is the front door to your organization’s “home.” Is it inviting? Do you want to come in and stay a while? Will you keep coming back to gain valuable insights through relevant content that is updated regularly.

Use images that quickly communicate your key messages including photos and illustrations that your customers can identify with and calls to action that will prompt the user to go past the “front door.” Does your navigation make sense? Can you simplify it? Like our closets, we often keep items “we may use someday,” create piles and stack stuff rather than organizing and removing things that are dated and that we don’t use any more. Merge, purge and put the most important, up-to-date and frequently used items up front and easily accessible for your customer.

For new customers to find you and for your current ones to keep coming back, updating content frequently and “labeling” content is key to an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. The key components of good SEO include site layout, keyword research, title tags, meta-descriptions, header tags and content that’s relevant and updated often. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. In addition to your website, you can cross-deliver content through a blog, YouTube videos, social media channels and, of course, email.

The merging of design and data is one of the most important trends that should become a standard practice for your organization. There are several Content Management Systems (CMS) and Marketing Automation Systems that are now available and affordable that offer design and data functionality. Data allows you to understand your customers at a deeper level and to deliver services and products that are meaningful. You can now easily send personalized emails, searchable directories and “micro” campaigns targeted to specific groups based on demographics and interests. This tells your customers that you understand them at a whole new level.

The last trend to consider implementing is the use of infographics – the ultimate merging of design and data into a visually inviting and data rich content communication tool. For great examples of infographics and to learn a lot more about communication and technology trends, go to: http://webmag.co/category/infographics/.

An impactful communication and technology strategy is truly a combination of art and science, discipline and focus. It is a very exciting time filled with opportunities that are within reach. Start now.

Questions or feedback, email kathiep@ewald.com

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