In my life, I’ve worked in retail, promotions, I was a DJ on a rock radio station and now I find myself as an Interactive Media Director. Although these jobs are very different, like anything there are some similarities. One similarity is the need for explanation. I would need to explain products and services to the customers of the retail store where I worked as a teenager. Then as a young adult I found myself explaining contest rules while pitching some sponsor information as I worked on the streets as a promotions director. Explanation was a major part of what I did as a radio DJ because, well, if your audience doesn’t understand what you’re saying, they’ll never do anything that you may need them to do. (buy concert tickets, visit the morning show Jock at a car dealer, and all the other crazy things radio stations need to do in order to remain in business.) Most recently I find myself explaining digital media to people, from all walks of life. It seems that everyone needs to know about digital media and new technology, and they need to know for different reasons. A local business owner needs to know about new technologies because they may help him cut costs, or open up a new avenue for marketing to his potential customers. At the same time a person working in sales needs to know about what digital features are now part of what they offer to clients, or what their competitors are offering so they can sell against or around it. At the end of the day, everyone needs to understand what tools and capabilities are out there, and they need to understand for different reasons. Since I’ve been a professional explainer, helping all to understand what’s in front of them for quite some time, I’ll now offer that service to you. Let’s face it, you NEED to know what social networks are, how and why they are used. You need to know what Twitter is and why everyone keeps asking you if you’re blogging. You need to know the difference between and e-mail database of customers and a database of customers who have opted in for you to text message them offers and information. You will definitely need to know the difference between APPs and WAPs and how if at all, it applies to you and what it is that you do. Intimidated yet? Even if you are, there is one thing that all of these elements have in common, and it is the understanding of this common factor that will help you not only understand each individual element, but it will put you in a place, mentally that will help you apply what’s right for you, your business and/or your goals. The common factor is that all of the elements are all located in one place and that location is the Digital World. We’ll start by understanding what that is.
We, as people don’t just live in houses on streets, in neighborhoods that make up towns, in cities of counties that reside in states that make up country’s within continents that make up our world. Within all of that, at any moment we can remove ourselves from that world, and enter the Digital World. I’m not just referring to the kid who sits in his basement and pretends to be a Sorcerer with healing powers while he plays an online role playing game. You are right to say that he is in the Digital World, but so is the business man who has his blackberry 8 inches from his nose while he lay in bed each night. You don’t need to be locked away or positioned in any particular place in the real world, to enter the Digital World. You would only need a point of entry. I assure you that these two worlds do intersect all the time, but for the purposes of understanding we’re going to be looking at the Digital World individually because it is after all very different. To gain an understanding of all the elements that make up the Digital World, you will need to concede to the fact that such a world exists, and people around you in this world are popping in and out of the Digital World all of the time. We as people don’t just live in the real world anymore, we live in both. Almost every single one of us. So I ask you, when it comes time for you to communicate to a certain group of people, to convey a message to them, to advertise, to separate the people of the real world who may be interested in giving you’re their hard earned money in exchange for your product or service, are you taking into account how these people live their lives in both the real world as well as the Digital World? If you’re not, I assure you that you are wasting a lot of money. And not because you aren’t speaking to the right people, but because you’re speaking to the right people the wrong way, or at the wrong time.
To understand the Digital World, let’s compare it to the features that make up our world. The atmosphere of the Digital World is made up of Wi-Fi, wireless, and cell phone 3g & 4g networks. They encompass the entire Digital World, laying a transparent blanket of opportunity to enter the Digital World. The roadways, ship lanes and air routes are the internet. Which creates the ability to navigate through the entire digital world at lightning speed to reach your desired digital destination. A website is a house, business storefront, office or factory, while a blog is a diary or a newspaper article. There is only one thing that the Digital World requires that the real world does not, and that is a point of entry or gateway. Your computer, laptop, netbook, cell phone, smartphone, iPad, etc. is this gateway. It gives you the access to the Digital World that you want. I say, “…the access that you want…” because you choose whether or not to have a cell phone that can access the internet, you choose to own a PC or laptop, the choice is yours. I specifically said that those devices, those gateways give you the access that you “want,” rather than the access that you, “need.” I did this because once you have an understanding of the Digital World you will be able to more accurately know what you need to accomplish the goals you will set.
By Michael Batiste
V.P. Business Development
Mobile Card Cast