10 digital ways to brave the economic recession

During our current economic downturn we could all benefit from some good solid advice (help even)… or perhaps just some reminding.

I’ve put together a list of 10 activities that we in some way could use our ubiquitous digital world to maximum benefit especially during these rough times.

1. Use the speed and agility of the internet.
Come up with ideas through prototyping often as you can and put it on the web.

2. Don’t re-invent the wheel.
Use freely available web tools as much as possible. Leverage existing platforms. (e.g., wordpress, basecamp)

3. Go to your customers.
Don’t wait for your customers to come to you. Use the web to find and communicate with your customers in their domain. Doing this will help you identify the customer touch-points.

4. Use the web’s beta economy.
Using this allows you to test, iterate, tweak etc your product. Examples, twitter, social networks, video etc…

5. Change advertising mediums.
Move away from traditional advertising channels like magazines by trying different channels (YouTube, Flash banners). Make use of communities that your customers move within.

6. Don’t just contact the customer engage with them.
Live video, video messages, blogs etc… help communicate your message on a different level. Customers are numb (and bored) of hearing your message through these mediums. Surprise them or make them stand up and notice you for doing something different and remarkable.

7. Focus groups.
Target these groups and get involved. Social networks, search engines (not just the Google) and groups can leverage deep ethnographic information. Their behaviour will help you identify their business needs so you can tailor your offerings.

8. Think outside the banner.
Change the way you look at designing your digital advertisements – your banners.
Create a story, make it interesting, make it fun, make it a purple cow. Aim to make your ads as creative as possible so spend more time at making this happen. Don’t throw the volume card (quantity of ads) at your campaigns rather work on the quality of your ads.

9. Users like functionality.
Impress your users with great functionality. While maintaining simplicity ensure that all the tasks embrace functionality – so they just work. Avoid making ‘complex’ actions clunky. Especially important here are registration forms (ambiguous and lengthy).

10. Listen to your customers.
Create a feedback mechanism. Offer feedback mechanisms to help improve your service. Include A/B testing and experimenting with various offerings. Targeted content offerings will result in conversion improvements. So, in a business that relies on registrations or subscriptions ‘guide’ your users to this task – DON’T MAKE THEM THINK!

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