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Humanising Technology: A Decade of Innovation and Lessons Learned

Introduction: The Transformative Power of Technology in Human Connections

When the Cronulla Sharks embraced live streaming six years ago, they didn’t just broaden their fan base—they redefined engagement. This initiative attracted over 8,000 viewers per event, exemplifying how technological decisions can significantly amplify a brand’s reach. However, in larger organizations, an average of 26 people influence these technology decisions, indicating the complexity and scale of such undertakings. This context sets the stage for exploring how technology can humanise interactions not only in large-scale sports and business environments but also in smaller enterprises.

cronulla sharks livestream
Cronulla Sharks Livestream

Deep Dive: The Shark’s Strategy and Beyond

The Sharks’ live streaming success story is a testament to the impact of well-chosen technology on brand expansion. Post-implementation data showed a notable increase in both direct fan engagement and virtual participation. While larger entities navigate complex decision-making landscapes, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face different challenges, including limited resources and fewer internal influencers. This contrast raises a critical question: how can SMBs leverage technology effectively to scale their reach and influence?

Insights: Navigating Technology Adoption in SMBs

For SMBs, the key to successful technology adoption lies in strategic decisions that maximize impact without the extensive decision-making hierarchies seen in larger firms. Here, strong digital leadership is essential—it guides the strategic vision and ensures that technological investments align closely with business goals. The absence of a lengthy decision chain can actually serve as an advantage, allowing SMBs to be more agile and responsive to technological trends.

Mindfulness and Leadership in Technological Integration

Regardless of the size of the business, the integration of technology must be mindful and strategic. In the context of SMBs, leaders must not only choose technologies that enhance operational efficiency but also foster genuine human connections. The introduction of AI and machine learning offers unique opportunities in this area, potentially levelling the playing field between large corporations and smaller entities by offering cost-effective solutions that can scale as needed.

Strategic Technology Adoption for Enhanced Connection

Here are actionable strategies for SMBs considering technology integration:

  1. Focused Implementation: Prioritise technologies that offer the greatest return on engagement, such as AI-driven customer service tools that can personalise interactions at scale.
  2. Lean Decision-Making: Exploit the smaller decision-making teams to stay nimble, testing and adopting new technologies faster than larger competitors.
  3. Digital Leadership: Develop strong digital leadership to steer the adoption of technologies that align with both business goals and customer needs.

Empowering SMBs with AI

AI can democratise access to sophisticated marketing and operational tools, allowing SMBs to compete on a larger stage. Tools like AI-driven analytics platforms can provide insights that were once the domain of enterprises with significant resources. By effectively implementing such technologies, SMBs can enhance their market presence and engage with a broader audience, potentially rivalling larger brands in impact and reach.

Final Thoughts: The Future of SMBs and Technology

As technology evolves, the potential for SMBs to expand their reach and impact grows. The successful integration of AI and other digital tools can transform small and medium businesses, enabling them to challenge larger rivals and redefine their industry standing.

author avatar
Scott Maxworthy Director
Experienced, “hands-on”, results-driven, digitally savvy marketing leader specialising in customer experience, data-driven marketing strategy, content production and social media. A deep understanding of consumer behaviour, data analytics & marketing technology with over 20 years of managing people, projects, budgets, to business objectives.