There’s a traditional of resistance in offices all over the world when it comes to new technologies. No doubt that when businesses first began installing telephones in the early twentieth century, a significant percentage of employees believed that they were unnecessary and even refused to use them. Over the next 100 years, many technologies came into the workplace, some that were wildly successful (think fax technology) and others that didn’t work out so well (think of the earliest premise-based deployments of customer relationship management software). There are sometimes good reasons why executives, managers and line employees are wary of new technologies that are supposed to make their lives easier.
For this reason, it’s often hard for technology visionaries to gain buy-in from the rest of the organization from a new technology. Real-time communications is one of those technologies that is in the process of getting “pulled” by those who can see their benefits and potential, and “pushed” by those who don’t see the need for them.
In a recent blog post, marketing and sales strategist David Meerman Scott noted that it’s common for technology pioneers to get excited about a new ways to grow business by implementing real-time sales and marketing only to be told “no” by some decision makers.
“The pushback might come from bosses or others on the team,” wrote Scott. “Entrepreneurs face resistance from VCs and partners. If you are planning to strike out on your own, it might be your spouse who says ‘no.’”
There are some who have yet to see the value of gaining attention and market share using real-time communications. They may be focusing on marketing efforts that are outdated or simply becoming harder and harder to use successfully.
“The point is, you'll have to convince your boss to invest in real-time content creation, because it's likely he or she doesn't consider it the most important way of gaining attention,” wrote Scott. “Most organizations overspend on advertising and sales and underinvest in social media, but nearly all organizations should be doing some combination of each. If you can help your bosses and colleagues understand this trend, they'll probably lighten up a little.”
Help them understand that real-time communications today are simply the best way to generate attention. The old-fashioned methods of buying ad space, cold-calling, begging for attention from industry trade publishers or sending emails may still have their place to some small extent, but it’s no longer where the customers are.
“[It’s about] creating something interesting, and publishing it online for free: a YouTube video, blog, research report, series of photos, Twitter stream, e-book, Facebook page, or a content rich site,” wrote Scott. “You can publish information at the moment it’s needed.”
To help persuade, look for examples from companies that are doing real-time communications and content marketing right. These are the companies that keep track of current events and viral sensations and recraft them to their benefit. (The Super Bowl XLVII blackout of 2012 inspired many bold, wildly effective examples of real-time marketing.)
It’s not going to be an easy sell. People like to hold onto familiar things. It’s the job of technology visionaries to understand objections to new initiatives, eliminate them, and move forward.