At arm’s length
Love at arm’s length, kind of says it all. Standoffish, judgemental and uber selective. Is this a story of affectation? I’ve been thinking about how this virus has ravaged parts of China, and is now slowly creeping up in other parts of the world on the unsuspecting. Wreaking havoc within bodies as well as economies, also our psychology. What are we to think of it? Is it a story of affectation indeed? Scare tactics dressed up as fake news? What of businesses and global industry?
As the fear of being affected by the virus spreads, it certainly has a ripple effect of driving us inward. Herding us into camps of safety awaiting further instruction. Attuned to radio and TV to eke out specifics of the correct route of existence.
Are we fearful now? In the throes of the industrial revolution and its inevitable consequences of the rise in robotics and job cuts for the humans, now a revolution of another kind… Life online. As pandemics drive us both further and yet closer to each other, the ebb and flow of a secure future become more apparently online, more web-based.
It’s just you and your computer. Albeit not completely virus-free. Malware, spyware, anti-virus software providing an invisible shield to cacoon us from threat both real and imagined.
As someone who works mainly online, I must ask myself this. Is this driving us online and away from each other physically? How do we feel about this? With news advising us to keep at arm’s length in social situations, what do we make of our businesses in this new cautious environment?
Does your filter become less of a filter online and your raw instinct more watered down to seep through to the point of connection easier for the sake of business? How does this gauge compromise and our willingness to survive ahead of dwindling sales numbers because people are becoming socially anxious?
All the more reason to have a sterling online presence right, the show must go on, as it takes to the web en masse. Competition fiercer and more changeable than before sees businesses shape-shift, to attract customers. But how do you keep such customers? How will this new trend affect the longevity of consumer buy-in?
As companies cabaret for business online customers are transformed too, into an audience shopping at high speed with a shorter attention span each time. It’s neurological, the brain creates pathways known as Heuristics to help with quickfire reasoning. Making it difficult to market to a mind that is skimming channels for something instantly stimulating.
How does one market in a fast-paced environment with multiple competitors employing similar tactics? How does one prevent the mind from dismissing information simply because it’s too much to reason with, takes too long to process, isn’t stimulating enough and treating your marketing as white noise to be tuned out on various online platforms?
To the victor…
Whose business, what sort of business will win this kind of consumer over in such a short amount of time? How would you create visually stimulating content that engages the customer and closes an online sale within a couple of seconds, with millions of competitors vying for the same thing? This is the challenge of online business.
I foresee, social media theatrics becoming more pronounced as one once-popular “one million-plus followers” user tries to outdo the entertaining newbie. Creating inevitable dilution of likes as more and more users come online and compete on existing and newly launched platforms. Or creating phantom followers, they follow you but they’re not being influenced by you anymore, they’re too spread out on sporadic entertainment across the web.
I think what’s best to do here is to first educate ourselves and take on a logical approach. We have been given lots of information by the Department of Health in South Africa regarding how the virus can be detected, contained and treated. As much as we have to do our own research and draw our own conclusions, we have to be wise still.
We have to protect ourselves and our families, our businesses too. Sweeping fear and logic under the rug will only leave a pile for us to trip over later, wishing we had dealt with it timeously. So with that said, how do we trust each other again? How do we prevent ourselves and our customers from being alienated? Tested information, knowledge and education!
Love and life will find a way, it has this inherent survivalist gene that fights the threat to its existence. And so it must be with business and entrepreneurs. We will always find a way to serve our customers and take care of the home too.
Until tomorrow, dear Diary.