When Digital Meets Culture, Entrepreneurs Learn to Adapt The digital world has changed the way consumers search for and purchase good and services. For entrepreneurs, it's a balance.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Culture is one of the big buzzwords we hear thrown around the office. We all know we're supposed to have one, but the exact definition of "culture" has become fluid. A productive workplace culture from 10 years ago isn't going to be productive today, given the technical and digital changes our society has experienced. As we have become increasingly interconnected through digital progress, the intersection of digital and culture is also going to evolve.
Intersections can lead to interesting paths.
Take marketing and media for example. The intersection of these two areas has led to the creation of innovative marketing initiatives like utilizing social media and virtual reality. It's led to the creation of Red Bull's in-house media hub and Adobe's CMO.com, empowering brands to build their own content from scratch. Similarly, the intersection of culture and the digital era has influenced how consumers buy their goods and how brands reach their target markets.
We live in a digital era that's slowly being taken over by our smartphones and other electronics. It may be a few years, but imagine how the internet could teach our homes how to order laundry detergent when we're running low or our cell phones to ping our friends to let them know we're nearby without any prompting from us. As our society continues to intersect with technological advancements, entrepreneurs need to adapt to changing technologies to stay ahead of the game.
Technology influences consumer behavior.
Regardless of industry, businesses must understand who their consumer target is on a personal level and how digital influences their behaviors. "Part of being an entrepreneur is having the ability to pivot," says Adam Fridman of Mabbly in Chicago. "As our world becomes more digital, entrepreneurs need to be able to adjust their game strategy should things begin to not go according to plan."
Suppose you work in marketing. Marketing itself is a broad field. Are we talking advertising? We could be talking about digital marketing or print. Regardless, it's important to note that as our society becomes more technologically advanced and interconnected, the digital age will influence consumer culture. For marketers, that means paying attention to how our culture uses digital to communicate with one another. It explains why we've seen more businesses gravitating towards digital marketing and using influencers to spread the word.
Communication is more streamlined and less personal.
We see this intersection of digital and culture appearing in our workplace culture as well. Think back to the last time you wrote a memo to a coworker or took notes by hand in a big meeting. Or do you, like many startups, rely on programs and apps like Slack to communicate more efficiently with your team? Our workplace culture evolves as we adjust to the implementation of new technologies that are meant to increase our productivity. But these digital changes can cause setbacks in our culture as well.
Our culture and behaviors change, just as the technology changes the world we live in. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the more we as humans depend on our digital devices, the less we come to depend on each other. A big concern around our digital world is that it will result in less personal connections between humans. Instead of chatting with our coworkers face to face, we can glean any information from them via a text or an email.
That's not to suggest that our digital age will make us all introverted hermits who suddenly lose the ability to interact with one another. To be honest, the digital age we've been ushered in to probably has put entrepreneurs in a better place to succeed than before. It's a balance though, juggling the digital culture we've become accustomed to. Maybe take the time to walk down the hall and ask a coworker what they need. Remember to close your apps and put your phone down when talking with someone face to face. As the digital world continues to rapidly advance, our culture is set to adapt with those changes. And sometimes, all that change really isn't so bad.