Interview: Employee amplification: Social strategy for austere times

What is the most intrinsic part of a successful sale? Human-to-human contact. Unless a person already knows exactly what they want, where to get it and what they are willing to pay, a successful sale is about human centricity. This represents quite a challenge in our current context, where social distancing and digital channels have usurped more traditional ways of touching base with customers. But even if those weren’t factors, the potential to reach substantially more people in a meaningful way is so much greater today – if you can pull it off. And according to Mike Saunders, CEO of Digitlab and author of the book Humancentric, this is possible through social media and employee amplification. “What I’m starting to see is that the people who are succeeding are the ones taking hold of their online networks and committing to them, as opposed to just relying on their brand pages to complete the social experience.” Merging social and employees Many managers and executives grow nervous when one mentions words such as ‘social media’ and ’employee’ in one sentence. Is social media not that world of frivolous distraction, fake news and filled with wrecks of brand promotions gone awry? “Social media has a dark side to it, that is true,” says Saunders. “But we shouldn’t allow these mistakes to distract us from the bigger picture. We should focus our questions on why social media, good or bad, is so successful? Why do people keep going back to it and using it? It’s...

Interview: Why does digital transformation fail?

Digital transformation projects fail around two-thirds of the time – and more often if you account for semi-successful projects. More unnerving is that this failure rate has not changed significantly over the past decade, and we can even find its equivalent 15 or 20 years ago. Despite a plethora of advice on fixing the problem, such as bi-modal approaches or creating innovative spin-offs (all of which are good strategies), failure seems more assured than success. What are we doing wrong? According to the book Humancentric, authored by local change management guru and Digitlab CEO Mike Saunders, the issue is quite evident: technology fails unless it means something to somebody. “I don’t think digital transformation is something you choose to do,” Saunders tells ITWeb in an interview. “It’s happening to you, regardless. It’s just whether you’re managing it well or not.”

Generation Y in South Africa – A Short Study

Over the last month we ran a small study on Generation Y in South Africa. We interviewed 144 students with an average age of 18 years old. The gender split was 60% female and 40% male. As the size of the sample group is relativley small this can’t be seen as the final word but rather as an indication of what is taking place with Generation Y in South Africa. The findings were quite interesting and echoed many generalizations about generation Y. In South Africa, Generation Y uses digital platforms for communication and prefer Facebook and BBM over any other communication tool. Email continues to lose its effectiveness as a communication vehicle with this generation. Google is starting to lose search market share to Facebook as 50% of Gen Y chooses to use Facebook as a search engine over Google. Although MXit is popular it’s loyalty is much lower (less than one hour a day) than Facebook (up to five hours per day). When given the choice Gen Y chose the internet over magazines, their cellphone over the internet and tertiary education over their cell phone. They are also a healthy bunch of individuals choosing healthy food over junk food, restaurants over fast food and bottled water over fizzy drinks. Here is a list of some of our findings Use of the internet 85% have an email address, but only half check it more than once a month 99% use the internet – most about 2 hours a day They...

Forget teenagers! Generation X use social media in South Africa

Bizcommunity posted an interesting article the other day that spoke about the Friendship 2.0 study that was commissioned by MWEB. The study showed a very interesting statistic: The average age of Facebook users in South Africa is 33; MySpace is 32; Twitter and YouTube come in at 31; and the youngest in the survey is MXit with an average age of 27. These findings dispel perceptions that social networking is for teenagers only. Unbelievable! That means that people on Facebook, Twitter, MXit and YouTube could have more decision making power than we think. We may need to start changing the way we market to these networks because we may be missing the mark completely. Generation X are the ones we can meet with social networking. Very exciting news! One question is begging though? Where are all the teenagers?

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