Friday, 16 March 2012

10 Questions about Digital Assets Let Sales Buy-gones be bygones and the right to be forgotten

Have you recorded your passwords in your will? Do you realise that you have digital assets of value? Have you read the terms and conditions of your digital services providers?

As our business, social and domestic lives increasingly overlap such purely personal questions may also have implications on our professional lives in Selling .
'Legislation will always be the tortoise to technology's hare'

warns IT and media law specialist Sarah Needham at International Law Firm Taylor Wessing in the Monday March 12 edition of Metro newspaper I picked up at Marylebone Station , London. (Metro claims to be the world's most popular free newspaper.)

The instant hurly burly of social networking in business through LinkedIn , Facebook and Twitter along with CRM data at the click of a mouse often prevents Sellers and Buyers  in business  to business ( b2b )from pondering much on the future.

The pressures of survival in recession and the thirst for short term metrics of sales management and demands for near instant response to client requests has similarly distracted our thoughts away from the longer term implications of Social media, CRM and Cloud computing.

 Some unintended consequences of this ‘denial’ are now becoming apparent.

Consider  for a moment some aspects about  our personal digital assets and we may well see some parallels for our business.

Much as people are no longer merely concerned about what might happen to their material possessions in the long term so it is with their virtual assets of social networking, photos and music downloads.

With the emergence of cloud computing  - the storage of computing has moved from a local server to a network of remote servers on the internet.. Such images , songs, movies, login, social network details and on-line banking are all part of this new digital property.

Sarah Needham cautions in the London Metro " control what is publicly available on line during your lifetime- don't wait for your executors or anyone else to sort out your public profile out after death".

" Digital assets could be used 'in an inappropriate and unexpected way' she warns.

"Always check site terms and conditions for details of how your content will be used and don't wait for the state to introduce protective legislation

Here are some statistics on digital assets quoted in the Metro article : source Rackspace and Remember a Charity.

1.      80% of Britons own digital assets
2.      Britons have at least £ 2.3 billion in digital assets
3.      3 out of four people say their digital music and photo collections are strong sentimental value
4.      24% of Britons estimate they have £ 200 or more worth of music ,photos and video stored on line
5.      One in ten people has left their internet passwords in their will or are planning to do so
6.      3 out of ten say they expect to store all their music online by 2020
7.      1 in 4 says they will no longer print photos by 2010 instead sorting them on line.

How might/does this topic of digital assets impact sales management and selling?

Here are some questions and thoughts going on in my mind at the moment.

For many of the delegates (managers and sales executives) I meet on my courses I observe that the digital spaces they work in , cross over. The lines between business, social and domestic life are more blurred.

It is increasingly occurring that people’s personally owned devices - Smart phones, Blackberries, I pads PCs.... have far superior specifications than company owned PCs and mobiles. Since speed and performance is so often the priority of the day, their personally owned devices are used in preference.
Personal and business digital data are assets that have a value and are a kind of property.

1.    How does legislation like the Data Protection Act apply to data in the social media space in B2B?

Many salespeople have contact lists on their personal LinkedIn, Twitter
with information about their clients and digital conversations.

2.    Does it make any difference that the data is held on a personally owned device/ software rather than one owned by the employer ?

3.      If your address book and contacts in your personally owned  Microsoft Outlook has information on Clients who does this data belong to if the software was bought by the salesperson but holds client details of your employer?

4.      Who owns the data on you on your profile on in Linked In?

5.       Who owns the data on Linked In group forums you belong to?

6.      Who owns any video clips you create to demonstrate your products and services that you have filmed on your smart phone for business?

7.       Who owns business related videos you have downloaded?

 We have now become video reporters with the smart phone.

8.      Who 'owns' your twitter profile ?

9.      Who 'owns' your copy and content on your work blog?

10.  If your CRM is stored on the 'Cloud' who owns these digital assets? ( let alone security concerns you  or your clients may have)

I guess there are many more and even better questions we should be considering.

 I would welcome comments and advice from sharers of this blog. Please add your comments.

Of course in the original story of the tortoise and the hare we should remember the  tortoise did eventually win the race.

Will the digital tortoise win this digital race?
 Related Links
Taylor Wessing
Sarah Needham


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