I used to hate emojis. I didn't use them in my personal life, and I thought that businesses should never use them. I believed they were immature forms of communication used by teenagers. A couple years ago, this belief was also held by most businesses. But a lot has changed in the last year. Today, every age group uses emojis. More than 75% of males and 84% of females think they express emotions more accurately than words.
These little icons have become part of daily communication, and this is why I changed my mind about them. Whether I like it or not, I can't control how the market communicates. I could stand on a soapbox and yell about emojis and why I don't like them, but my rant would fall on deaf ears. The market always decides what wins. The market doesn't care about my opinions or my preferences. The market clearly loves emojis and I need to adapt to deliver on these expectations.
A Phenomenon in Business
My initial stubbornness about emojis speaks to a much larger phenomenon that occurs in business. Think about social media. Today, it's ubiquitous and just about every company in the world has a Facebook page and Twitter account. Social media is incorporated into marketing strategies and used as a viable means of customer engagement. But it wasn't always this way. When consumers began jumping on social media, the corporate world initially ignored it. Most companies didn't understand how to monetize social media, so they brushed it off as a fad. They remained stubborn in their beliefs instead of realizing the power of a platform that is visited daily by their target market.
Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back, it's easy to see how naive companies were about social media. But that was not an isolated incident of being slow to adapt. Businesses have always been slow to jump on board with new media platforms. This problem is compounded by the fact that the rate of change in technology is increasing every day. Businesses used to think about marketing in the scale of years. Now we think of marketing in months or weeks. With the onset of instant communication platforms like Snapchat, weeks are turning into days, hours, and minutes.
The Important Lesson
There's an important lesson here for you and I. Don't ignore new technology or trends. Find out where your customers hang out, and go there. Understand their needs, speak their language, and deliver content they want to see. This last point might be the most important, so I'll repeat it. Deliver content they want to see. Nothing is worse than a brand being tone-deaf about how to act on a social media platform.
If you're late joining a new platform, you could miss out on huge opportunities for brand recognition, customer engagement, and revenue. The market doesn't slow down, so you need to work hard to keep up. Right now, the market engages with emojis, so you and I need to deliver.