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Leveraging Technology Versus Using "Bells and Whistles"

Are you leveraging technology or making use of "bells and whistles?" 
There are plenty of companies who are quick to integrate various forms of technology online or into their web site. Examples are numerous from online audio and video to flash and interactive polling. There are some great technologies out there that can automate a process into a few minutes compared to hours or days for traditional implementation. The leveraging of technology provides companies with a proven return on investment. "Bells and whistles" are nice to have, but never deliver a measurable or advantageous return on investment. It is important to know the difference between leveraging technology and making use of "bells and whistles."

It starts with companies being objective about their use of online technology. A large differentiator between those individuals and companies who are successful online and everyone else comes down to who consistently leverages technology. Consider the example of email marketing with programs like, AWeber, Constant Contact, or 1ShoppingCart.  How many people do you know make use of email marketing services? I personally know a number of companies and individuals who make use of email marketing technology.  For all the companies using email marketing programs,very few use the technology properly and on a regular basis.  For those that fail in their endeavors, you hear reasons like "we couldn't figure out how to make it work" or "it didn't work for us." Frustration replaces objectivity.

Tenacity and Determination
Those who are very successful online leverage technology to it's maximum potential.  They test and track their results on a regular basis. They don't quit because something doesn't go accordingly the first, second, or third time.  The online superstars realize the difference between being perfect and "good is good enough." For those that fail with their online efforts it is usually from a lack of tenacity and determination.

Be Introspective
One way to differentiate between "bells and whistles" and good technology is by asking yourself, "what's cool to have and what is truly useful?" Also ask yourself,"I am maximizing the usefulness of a given technology?" If not, it might be time to move on to something else. The hard part is knowing when to stay with a process and when to get out. In the past it was said "One Man's Junk is Another Man's Treasure." It isn't much different when it comes to technology. Those that take the time to figure it out the right nuances usually end up with most of the treasure.

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