We’ve been a little quiet here on the Spinstak Blog, but we’re back to drop a serious truth-bomb. Take a deep breath and read the following sentence with an open mind…
Not all Millennials are the tech-savvy, computer whizzes that society makes them out to be.
Historically, we’ve put out a lot of content geared specifically toward industrial CEO’s and C-level executives. We, along with basically every other digital marketing resource out there, have harped on and on about how these more seasoned business executives are slow to adapt to technology.
You’ve probably heard the assertion that older generations have more skepticism and less understanding when it comes to utilizing the latest technologies and software. Heck, you may even consider yourself clueless on today’s digital buzzwords, such as SEO, CRM software, Adwords, and more.
But, if you’re a self-proclaimed tech-repellant, then take heart. Those stereotyped Millennials and digital natives (you know, those with their phones glued to their hands) share plenty of their own struggles and confusion about technology. In other words, you’re not alone.
In fact, according to nonprofit Change the Equation, nearly 60% of Millennials don’t have the tech skills needed to increase productivity in the workplace, such as sorting, searching for, and emailing information from a spreadsheet. This is their reality despite spending approximately 35 hours a week using digital media. If you still think these digital natives have the skills to make any gadget or gizmo work, think again. This generation heavily relies on an easy user experience to accomplish their tech-related goals (think Apple’s user-friendly and well-loved interface and operating system).
Spinstak Marketing Manager, Stephanie Kidd, has had her fair share of technological turmoil since she started her marketing career at Spinstak in January 2018. This bright-eyed, young Millennial showed up on her first day and jumped into operations knowing exactly how to set up a paid advertisement on Facebook and edit a web page in WordPress, right? Wrong.
Sure, she could write eloquent and concise copy for blogs, emails, and social media posts. She was pretty savvy with Microsoft Office. She knew how to send an email and set up a Google Calendar meeting. But, ask her to edit a custom graphic or analyze the open rate of an email, and that “deer-in-the-headlights” look was soon to follow.
Despite growing up in the digital age, Stephanie had just as many questions as you likely do about using new technologies successfully and efficiently in the workplace. This day in age, technology is advancing exponentially. So, listen when we say: it’s okay to feel lost.
It is possible to use the latest gadgets and software to make your job and the jobs of your employees easier. You can leverage today’s digital advancements to make your client’s happier, improve your ROI, and grow your business. But, how? How can you navigate society’s technological maze to help reach your business goals?
If your head is lost in a technology whirlwind, here’s our top 3 tips for navigating today’s digital landscape:
Lean On Your Team
If you’re a CEO or an executive team member, you probably know the value of delegation. You likely “wear many hats” on the job, so you rely an a team of capable individuals to help operations run smoothly and see projects to completion. You can also turn to your employees when technology trouble strikes.
Say you’ve noticed that the communication of your team is suffering. They don’t have one streamlined source to share thoughts, ideas, and information about projects and company wide news. Unless all of your employees began their careers with your company, it’s likely that one of them has experience using an effective digital communication platform at a previous job. So, instead of scouring the web in search of the best or cheapest tool - or settling for mediocre communication - turn to your team.
Pro-tip: At Spinstak, we use and love Workplace by Facebook for internal communication. This platform is user-friendly and allows for instant communication, saving you the headache of having to wait for an email response. Plus, it operates just like Facebook, so it’s easy for employees to get the hang of.
Similarly, if you realize one of the pages on your website prompts a 404 error message, you just may have a team member who knows a little bit about web coding. Next time you face a major digital dilemma in the workplace, reach out for help. It could save you hours of your time and a whole lotta stress.
When It Comes To Learning, More Is More
It’s common knowledge that technological advancements are being made at a rate we can barely keep up with. In such a fast-paced digital environment, why not use your entrepreneurial spirit and go-getter attitude to stay in-the-know? Practically hundreds of new devices, software, and business concepts are thrown our way every year. The more knowledgeable you are, the better.
We know you don’t have a lot of time. You likely don’t have an extra hour each afternoon to spend casually researching the latest tech trend. This comprehensive list of digital marketing terms, thought-leaders, and online resources is a great place to start if you’re a safety or industrial MRO professional seeking to grow your business online.
If you enjoy a more passive way of learning, podcasts are a great option. You can listen while you’re working out or cooking dinner, and still gain a ton of valuable information.
Spinstak-sponsored podcast show, The Take Over with Matt Johnson, was made for industrial entrepreneurs by industrial entrepreneurs. Each week, host Matt Johnson and a lineup of world renown guests discuss topics related to leadership, technology in the workplace, and how you can thrive in today’s economy. If you want to grow your business and make a serious impact in your industry, this show can help.
The cliche is true: you don’t know what you don’t know. So, let your quest for success double as a quest for knowledge.
Make It Intentional
Okay, this may start to get a little philosophical, but bear with us. When you’re trying to stay afloat in today’s ever-changing digital landscape, it’s helpful to add a positive intention to your actions. If you only take the time to research and invest in new technologies when a serious problem arises, it can add a lot of panic and distress as you work to solve it.
Instead, try this: take some time each week to learn about one of those technology terms you’re clueless about. But, do it with the pure intention of wanting to impact your industry or improve the lives of your employees. Placing a positive motive behind understanding all this digital mumbo-jumbo will, in turn, motivate your team to work smarter.
One way we add intention to our professional development here at Spinstak is through our training game, The Let’s Grow Game. Each week, our team participates in structured or application-based training to grow their digital marketing knowledge and professional skills.
Spinstak team member and aforementioned, confused Marketing Manager, Stephanie, says the game has improved her skill set and confidence by helping her stay curious and never stop trying out new ways to solve problems. How do you think she learned how to set up Facebook ads or edit WordPress web pages?
We get it: effectively using technology to grow your business is hard. We’re constantly saturated with new information, devices, and software. Knowing what’s best and who’s right can seem impossible. But, be encouraged - many of those digital native Millennials are just as confused as the rest of us.
You can spend hour after hour researching that hot new eCommerce solution or ways to increase traffic to your website, but having a strong support system always helps.
If you’ve been looking for a pain-free way to improve your eCommerce or marketing efforts, we’d be happy to help.