|By D. Bruce Johnston||
|May 15, 2010 09:15 AM EDT||
eCommerce Journal on Ulitzer
Chad Levitt, author of the “New Sales Economy Blog,” recently wrote a post, “Sales Reps, Are You Ready for the Digital Universe?,” based on information he gleaned from a recently released IDC report on predictions for the year 2020.
Here are some of the major findings from the IDC report:
- Between now and 2020, the amount of digital information created and replicated in the world will grow to an almost inconceivable 35 trillion gigabytes as all major forms of media – voice, TV, radio, print – will complete the journey from analog to digital.
- Last year despite the global recession, the Digital Universe, set a record. It grew by 62% to nearly 800,000 petabytes. A petabytes is a million gigabytes. Picture a stack of DVDs reaching from the earth to the moon and back.
- This explosive growth means that by 2020, our Digital Universe will be 44 times as big as it was in 2009. Our stack of DVD’s would now reach halfway to Mars.
- Most of the digital universe begins with an action by a consumer – an email typed on a laptop, a digital photo taken at a wedding, a movie downloaded from Netflix. In fact more than 70% of the Digital Universe this year will be generated by users – individuals at home, work, and on the go.
- The social media invasion has just begun. IDC estimates that by 2020, business transactions on the internet, B2B and B2C, will reach 450 billion a day.
While Chad asks, “How do sales reps rise to the top when the waves of information keep crashing on their heads,” I ask, “How can advisors, money managers and distributors prepare themselves?”
Say it with content
Everyone needs a clearly articulated story that represents a big idea for what a firm represents. “Begin to create content so that you can get found in search engines, social search, and the blogosphere,” Chad wrote. “Do not get lost in the tsunami of digital information.” Many firms already have content, but have been slow to package it for different applications. For instance, those comments from the Chief Investment Officer on the corporate website can be refreshed for corporate blogs, Twitter and Facebook. The Holy Grail here is a firm’s key word recognition on Google page 1. Consistency, timeliness and relevance are all critical to claiming one’s “social media turf.”
Thought leadership spoken here
Chad added, “Learn a thing or two about search engine optimization (SEO)… to be a search engine and opportunity magnet.” SEO is the outgrowth of taking a strong thought leadership position. For example, Charles "Chuck" Steege, CFP of SFG Wealth Planning Services, recently authored a white paper which discussed the merits of performance shares. He quickly dominated Google page 1 rankings for keywords “performance shares executive compensation.” Individuals are hungry for such specialized content and will engage with firms that carve out their niche with keywords associated with their subject matter expertise.
Work the Net
Chad pointed out the importance of daily digital networking. An interesting article about a company is a reason to reach out to that company’s CEO and other employees on Linkedin. Social networks beget digital conversations that can turn into a real relationship over time. Relationships turn into deals. Social Media Examiner recently pointed out that a significant 85% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated exposure for their businesses. Improved traffic to their sites was the second major benefit, followed by building new partnerships.
Branding is a two-way street
The amount of content being created every day, Chad noted, is almost incomprehensible. The personal branders that are striving to solidify their personal brands now, will be the staples of their niche tomorrow. Firms that continue to sit on the sidelines are missing an important opportunity to win new customers now. Smaller advisors and money managers are finding out that they are able to evolve and refresh their brand as they grow their peer network.
Find out more about how to jump-start your own social media strategy. Sign up to join D. Bruce Johnston and panelists from American Century, Fidelity and Socialware for Social Media: Can Advisors Afford to Miss It? on June 2, 1010.
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