Convenient is a troublesome word. If ever there was a need for a fine print disclaimer in this world, it is next to the word convenient in the dictionary. The word has more side effects than the rambling at the end of an off-putting (insert new erectile dysfunction brand here) commercial.
If there is one trend that has hereto defined the decade, it is the drive for convenience. Every new anything being marketed, advertised, or talked about today exists to turn a profit and to someway make people’s lives more convenient. Make no mistake, it ranks in that order. Everything in the convenience industry comes with a price.
Start with the basics as an example. A convenience store is somewhere you go for the sake of time and sanity. It is at the corner of the main road you live off as opposed to the shopping center in town. You don’t have to worry about taking the time to heat up the car, or even have to change out of your moccasins for real shoes. Parking won’t be a hassle, and there are no runaway grocery carts to worry about turning into battering rams in the parking lot. However, the side effects of convenience are lurking around every corner.
The one simple objective of obtaining a gallon of milk is quickly compromised by product placement. It is possible to responsibly navigate the massive milk section in a supermarket like a horse with blinders and avoid temptation. Where you had a fighting chance of only escaping the supermarket with just an additional fat-free Milky Way bar at the checkout line, the mission is compromised at the “everything refrigerated” section of the convenience store. The temptation is too much. The Ben and Jerry’s flavor of the week 2-for-1 deal located directly next to the milk is too good to pass up. Suddenly, the one simple gallon of milk has become a bit more complicated.
Beyond the milk costing double what it would have at the grocery store, add the ten bucks for ice cream. Then throw in that last second pack of Bubblicious tropical-berry-arctic-mint gum located conveniently next to the register. That is of course before that additional fat-free Milky Way bar you still justify buying by saying it’s fat free and you already have the twenty dollar bill in your hand. Who needs spare change? Walking out of the store, you have quadrupled your bill and your waistline is furious. All for a little bit of convenience.
This is the equation, and it extends everywhere. From the Snuggie to the iPad and everywhere in between, business is catering to the concept of making things more convenient for the client. The result has been innumerable new successful and innovative products and services. People are paying more to have to do less. The communications field has been at the forefront of this trend.?Mobile internet makes life easier and business more efficient. So, you buy a smart phone. The phone requires a data package in order to work so you have to buy that too. Not to mention the standard connection takes too long so you need to sign up for a 3G plan. You don’t even know what that means but it rhymes and you don’t think twice. The vender then mentions how the slightly more expensive Blackberry model has Wi-Fi capabilities and will work faster at the office, plus save battery life. Again, you’re not sure. But again, it rhymes. Sold.
In the end you may have made your life somewhat more convenient, but it has cost you a small fortune. Name the purchase, explain the convenience, and the result is the same. Convenience is costing more money. This is not news to most. There is a new lesser known evil to convenience however, that may be affecting your business today.
This recent trend of convenience has generated some serious effects on traditional modes of business. The trend has produced some of the most revolutionary developments of this generation. These developments have come to redefine some practices of communications. Resting comfortably at the top of the list are Google and Facebook.
Not only are they convenient but they are literally free of cost to the user. They make finding, researching, and connecting to people and businesses easier than ever before. They are so convenient that you can connect to someone or something without getting dressed or even opening a laptop. Just plug in the words to the application on that before mentioned rhyming 3G Wi-Fi Blackberry literally wherever you are (except if you have AT&T as a carrier).
It is hard to recognize this could be a bad thing, but it can be and may be for your business or practice. Nothing in this world is free, and if the cliché ever needed more supporting evidence it exists through the taxes imposed by the growing Google and Facebook empires. They may not be actual taxes, but just the same, money that could be in your wallet is going into the wallets of others. Unless of course, you have already invested the time or money that is necessary to manage your company’s web presence.
Google and Facebook are just too convenient. People no longer waste the additional fractions of a second to type www.you.com. Instead, they just plug you into the convenient Google toolbar in the top corner of their browser and expect you to come up. The problem is that your website is out of date, you are not active on Facebook, and you do not have a Twitter, YouTube, or LinkedIn account. So, you do not come up.
Instead, Google shows statistics for some football player with your last name, a news article written by someone with your first name, and some teenager’s Facebook page. Yes, you are there somewhere on the 4th or 5th page, but the damage has already been done. People will find a faster alternative if it is an inconvenience to them.
It hurts just as bad if they were not looking for you in particular, just something like you. They plugged in your exact services in the same zip code that you are listed. You don’t come up though, some less qualified Joe Schmo who managed to convince all of his buddies to like his fanpage on Facebook does. The rhyming Joe Schmo gets the email notification from your potential client on his 3G Wi-Fi Blackberry while working in his bathrobe out of his mom’s basement. You are sitting at the office lamenting finishing both of the 2-for-1 Ben and Jerry’s unaware that you have just paid tax to Google and Facebook in the form of a lost client.
The tax dues to Google and Facebook will continue to grow for businesses that remain in the bracket that avoids partaking in bolstering their web presences. Web presence management is growing to become one of the most essential components to business communications. There is no arguing that the subject is tedious, frustrating, and time consuming. However, that makes it no less essential. Allowing anxiety on the subject to overshadow taking the necessary steps to improve your web presence can be and will be harmful to your business.
The problems with web presence is sort of like the problems U.S Congress. There are way too many people both directly and indirectly involved in the matter. They all have completely different initiatives. There is a lot of both actual and theoretical money going in and out. No one will ever hear the end of it, and in one way or another everyone is affected.
Thankfully, there is a lot more upside to dealing with your web presence than dealing with Congress, because you can take control of it yourself. Unlike Congress, there should not be any anxiety about managing your web presence. There are a number of different strategies and approaches available to efficiently and affordably bolster your web presence. If managed properly, your web presence will become a convenience to you. No disclaimers needed.
An entire generation of people unwilling to inconvenience themselves with performing due diligence beyond Google and Facebook is growing. Soon will be a time that not coming up high enough on Google, or not being described enough on Facebook, will equate to not being qualified enough as a business. If this new convenient method for research sounds troublesome to you, it is probably a good idea to consult with a social media professional today. Now is the time to take this trend into your own hands and reverse the effects in a manner that is convenient for you.