It was my pleasure to participate in a NetSquared DC panel discussion, “What’s on the Horizon for 2013,” on January 15. I thought I’d have a little fun and put my thoughts in the form of resolutions. So, here it goes…my four digital resolutions for 2013 are:
Lose Some Weight.
Don’t be afraid to kill projects that won’t work. Get rid of legacy systems (when possible). Resist saying yes to the high-calorie, “big hub” website.
Get out and meet your target audience(s). Dont let someone else tell you about their needs. Observe them yourself. Our initial research four years ago for the Bedsider.org program still drives our decision-making today. But we make sure by meeting with our audiences frequently. Technology doesn’t inspire; your storytelling does that. And you tell better stories by empathizing with your target audience and by truly understanding them.
Get experience with feeding your business with new technologies like mobile, gamification, and social. Make sure that YOU visit your own websites on your mobile devices. Have the experiences your customers are having—which brings me to…
Value Every Day.
Measure, assess, and evaluate. Data is your best friend—even wen it shows that your initiative failed. Donors are impressed when you walk in with data that show you effort didn’t work and that you want to kill the project (and do something else). Data is power. And it’s easier to gather than most people think. Data allows you to take risks and in the non-profit world that’s what we’re paid to do. If we don’t take risks on behalf of our audiences, who will?