Looking forward at the state of business communication, we are going to see monumental changes with the way we share information in the workplace.
The idea is to leave behind a world of digital communication that is driven by guess work, and stop managing after the fact instead of in real time. Unless you already have the right tools in place, this probably sounds familiar.
Closing The Loop
It's common practice to pull pieces of content together, send it out into the world, and then wait days, weeks, or even months for feedback to start trickling in. Whether you are creating marketing emails, sales information packets, lead nurturing materials, or policy updates — the waiting game has traditionally been part of the process. However, we are now seeing a change as systems are beginning to facilitate feedback in real time, as someone engages with your information. With tools that help you to close your feedback loop, you can make stronger decisions based on data-driven insights.
As with any type of communication, internal or external, the creation process shouldn't be carried out in a vacuum. Seeing how your information performs in action allows you to measure effectiveness in real time, so that you can then make changes before it's too late. For example, if the data shows a subject line performing poorly you can quickly take action as soon as you see this downward trend. Plus, by having an ongoing feedback loop you are able to see if your company resources are being spent productively and if your efforts are giving you the results you hoped for. So regardless of your role, whether you are communicating internally or externally, you have to understand exactly how effective your delivery of information is in your business communication.
Each day, we are inundated with a waterfall of information that comes at us from so many different channels; professional email, personal email, social media feeds, blogs, and so much more. Information isn't just coming from within our own organizations, but it's coming at us from external organizations, as well. Consider your own situation. On any given day, how many emails do you receive — be they internal or external? How many websites do you visit outside of your company? All of this information is competing for your attention, and the same is happening with those whom you communicate on a daily basis. If you don’t have the right tools in place, how are you supposed to drive maximum recipient engagement across your organization?
Stop Guessing, Start Knowing
Sure, you can always research benchmarks for similar industries and mimic them into your organization, but the reality is that you never really know unless you are gathering data from your own communications. The people that work in your organization may engage with your information differently than people in other companies. In order to gather this type of unique insight, it's critical to understand the type of data that a system can track for you and the kind of data that you need to see for optimizing digital communications across all different types of roles.
There are many good systems and programs available that can help you gather this kind of data on engagement, but you need to ensure that the right people have access to the right systems in order for them to be successful. If only one segment of your team uses these tools, there can be a disconnect of data. A common obstacle in many organizations is that of having data silos. This is when one department or group within an organization has access to all kinds of data that is isolated from the rest of the organization. For example, a marketing team may have access to data on a system that is monitoring digital communications which they pass along to the sales team on occasion. The marketing team has all the data they want, but they’re missing a very large component of the overall data — that front line, first touch data from the sales team. That information in combination with the hard numbers is the only way you can determine what you've learned overall from a communication experience. It's important to keep your entire team up-to-date with access to all of the information they need to succeed.
One-way communications help us get our information out into the world, but they pose a huge issue of failing to give any information back to us on how it was received. You're left wondering if your content was engaging and effective. What you really need to know is if your digital communication is successful and meeting optimal business performance standards. Gone are the days of doing the same thing over and over; shoving information out there as fast as you can without monitoring how that information is performing beyond superficial measures.
The future of business communication is knowing what to do differently for more effective communication in the future based on what you've been doing that isn't working. Insight on what to do next is key, since the feedback loop is critically important.
Ving is a tool that provides you with that valuable feedback loop you need for successful communication. You create digital packets with all of your information — PDFs, files, videos, audio, question sets, etc. — and Ving tracks interaction activity and engagement levels for you in real time. It's the tool for people who need to know if the information they've shared is effective and engaging.