”Relevance to recipient – it always has to start there!”
It’s about what you have to tell
The development of new digital technologies and channels for communication and the building of relations are racing at a high speed and people are spending a larger part of their lives online. Both at home and at work and almost regardless of work tasks. Someone who has followed this development very closely for many years, but has now gained some sound perspective to the phenomenon, is Magnus Höij, former editor-in-chief at Internetworld.
Hi Magnus. You’ve recently left journalism and the editor’s chair to move on with a completely different type of job. Many of your old readers probably wonder where you are now…
A couple of months ago I was offered to take over as the CEO of Svenska Teknik- och Designföretagen (The Swedish Tech and Design companies). It’s an employer organization for about 750 architect and tech-consultancy companies within the building and industrial sector with about 30 000 employees.
That’s a pretty radical change. What experiences from the digital world can you build on in your new role?
Although I am an engineer, my focus at Internetworld was never on technology, but on how it was applied in the real life, business contexts and other human settings. We also wanted to highlight the growth of new digital marketplaces and a new digital society.
It’s a reality that the members of our employee organization also need to adjust to. We’re actively working towards these companies being in the forefront when it comes to digital development and my focus is still on how technology can be used. That’s why I want to highlight the importance of having clear goals with technology and the value of a content that is relevant and valuable to the customer.
“Relevant content”… Can you elaborate on that?
As the editor at Internetworld I always have to start off by thinking about what our readers, for example marketing directors and business developers with an interest for the web, want to know more about. And about things that we thought could be valuable to their business.
One of the prerequisites to develop such content is to always be up to date with what other people think and feel.
What can architects and people in the building industry learn from the IT business?
Many architect and building companies can probably be inspired by and get new ideas from the digital world. The importance of keeping a high pace and always trying new ways. Social media per se are challenging the old ways of communicating and the old, established hierarchie. And just like other companies they need to address the new possibilities in digital marketing.
On the other end, many of those who work in IT could benefit from thinking outside the box and in a longer perspective. Architects and builders also create new conditions for the ways we live and work – even in 10, 20 or 50 years from now. Perhaps we could use a bit more of that perspective in the digital ways we build companies and communities.
But I also see large opportunities in reaping benefits from the new digital technologies in our own development as an organization and in our communication with member companies and other stakeholders. From Big Data and analysis to market automation and ABM.
But, once and for all: It’s not first and foremost about technology, it’s about having something interesting and relevant to tell the recipient. And about doing it in a way that makes people want to listen.