What does it mean to be future-oriented today?

The digital world is moving forward in leaps and bounds. This can be daunting for SMEs just trying to keep up with the crowd, never mind getting ahead of the curve. You’re running a business here, and the digital world is repeatedly pulling the rug out from under you!

What’s hot and what’s not in the world of digital seems to change as often as trending topics on Twitter. More than ever before, all we can do is “wait and see” and hope that any new social networks, ad platforms, mobile marketing strategies and developments in TV are easy to adapt to.

A report from back in February has been playing on my mind recently; according to Panlogic, the ‘digital engineering’ agency, “two thirds of businesses have low confidence in their long-term digital strategy”.

Two thirds! Meaning only one in three companies could actively claim that they were confident about their digital endeavours? This seems shockingly low, although not entirely surprising when you consider the changes taking place.

As an SEO agency, Bigfoot Digital has to stay ahead of the curve and keep up to date with new developments. If we missed an algorithm update, our clients wouldn’t be very happy. If Facebook rolled out an ad network and we didn’t notice, again, we’d have some grumpy clients on our hands.

So how can you stay ahead of the game?

Read, read, read. And when you think you’ve read enough, read some more. News that is – not the Richard and Judy book club summer reads! Learn to identify which changes and developments affect you and your business. Encouage everyone in your business to do the same, everyone will approach this from a different perspective, so it will be interesting to see what you missed.

According to CBS news, you should be focusing on the strategy rather than the technology. Try to be less concerned with which social networks you’re on, and try to focus your attention on how you’re utilising it to attract and retain customers.

The report by Panlogic revealed that businesses’ digital strategy short term, project by project management, rather than an overarching concrete ‘plan’. I can see no problem with this, as it shows a flexible and responsive approach. However, as Panlogic point out in their report, there are cost-reducing benefits to having long term plans in place. If you aren’t pioneering the shifts in technology, just make sure you’re following closely behind those who are.

Do you agree with the report? And what actions are you taking to future proof yourself?