Dan Naden

It’s Time to Stop Blaming Low Performance on Digital Fatigue

Digital fatigue. Digital apathy. The Digital blahs. I’ve read countless prognosticators blaming this mystery ailment for their digital training or campaign’s lackluster performance. These ‘experts’ predict there will be some seismic shift back to in-person training and experiences once ‘normal’ returns. Newsflash: the shift to digital-first experiences was accelerating BEFORE the pandemic.

Despite a shortage of workers and the digitization of ‘everything’, the experts opine that the masses are craving to get back together for in-person events and classroom sessions. Admittedly, the pandemic has made in-person gatherings and meetups very challenging – and in person teaching does have its advantages (peer collaboration, hands-on assistance with complex topics, team building and instructor Q&A). When ‘normal’ returns however, do we really expect the digital acceleration and modernization of our world to slow? I doubt it. Digital experiences will still continue to be a vital and burgeoning modality for learning. It’s best we raise the bar on what we are producing for a digital world instead of waiting for the ‘old ways’ to return. 

In 2022, let’s step up the quality of what we produce for digital experiences. Instead of bemoaning about digital fatigue, it’s time we get cracking at building the best experience possible for our customers. 

So what can you, the digital maven, marketer, creator, trainer, leader, do to design better digital experiences in 2022? Let’s start with a few questions to consider. 

  1. How about we double down on listening to our customer’s feedback (and truly mastering the world in which they live) instead of copying our competition? Just because our competition is introducing the same ‘old stuff’, it doesn’t mean we should follow. Someone has to be the trailblazer. Why not you? 
  1. How about we stop building cookie-cutter experiences and experiment with something drastically different? If what you are doing isn’t giving you the results you desire, why are you still doing it? Customers want their problems solved and they are putting their trust in you to do it. Get ‘out of the box’ and think boldly about the best way to bring them the information they need. And it may not be the way ‘you’ve always done it’. 
  1. How about we talk to our customers about what they liked about our webinar or digital learning? Was it too short? Too long? Did the ‘presenter/instructor’ go too deep or not deep enough on the topic? It could be as simple as attracting the right people to your event instead of bringing in every job title and then bringing value to no one. Identify your audience and build a can’t miss experience which leaves them wanting more. 

It’s easy to assume we are tired of digital experiences. The pandemic has pushed us to stare at screens more than ever before. The reality is that this is the new normal. As companies, brands, and products, we can’t blame low-performing webinars and digital training on tired, distracted, overwhelmed customers. This is our new world and we must produce a product that’s purpose-built for the needs of our customers. 

Until next time, 

Dan Naden

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