Keeping up with the rapid pace of tech innovation is tricky, especially when you have core business aspects to tackle on a daily basis. Still, small business (SMB) owners cannot afford to forgo technology because they will inevitably fall behind, and eventually go under. On the other hand, entrepreneurs who employ tech solutions are able to drive growth and take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.
The trend of automation makes big splashes in the business world. Studies have shown that 62% of small business marketers plan to ramp up the spending in this department substantially. This makes sense considering that marketers have a plenty on their plate: various channels to manage and numerous consumers to communicate with. Automation saves an incredible amount of time and empowers SMBs to achieve greater efficiency. It is possible to automate everything from e-mail correspondence to the CRM.
A Data-driven Strategy
The value of data in modern business cannot be overemphasized. Experts predict a 139% increase in the use of predictive analytics by SMBs and relying on gut instinct is completely unnecessary when you have a wide array of advanced analytical tools at your disposal. Sales and customer service teams can utilize these solutions to gain deep insights, create buyer personas, and fine-tune the entirety of the customer lifecycle. The ultimate goal is to make data-driven decisions and provide a personalized, tailored experience across all stages of the buyer’s journey.
The use of mobile devices and related apps are on a constant rise. And when it comes to salespeople, the use of apps in expected to increase by 140% in the next two years. This figure speaks volumes about where the market is heading and that is the mobile-first world. Some companies decide to build their own apps and encourage the customer service to leverage mobile solutions, making the most of mobile proliferation.
Developing an Online Persona
Considering that going digital pays great dividends, it is quite astonishing that almost half of all SMBs lacks a website. This is unacceptable in the light of the various tactics that can be used to spur word of mouth and build loyalty online. Furthermore, one can purchase a domain name that brings benefits for branding, communicate basic information via a website, and carry out content marketing. Outsourcing these tasks is acceptable as well, especially now when we are facing the growth of IT support services and virtual receptionist involvement in business. Just bear in mind that visibility in search engines is paramount to success, which also means you have to take on search engine optimization (SEO).
The Rise of eCommerce
Having a website is essential for eCommerce businesses. Here, we find out just how interwoven tech trends are. The explosive boom in this sector has attracted many entrepreneurs who want to sell their products online. Some would say that this is old news, but the novelty comes in the form of a customized shopping experience. This trend converges with mobile upswing as many customers shop on the go. What is more, a user-friendly shopping experience is dependent on mobile interfaces, SEO, and responsive design, as well as data gathering, processing, and utilization.
Social Media Marketing
The burgeoning ecosystem of social networks is the birthplace of countless success stories. Even the startups can cut through the noise and reach an immense audience. From Facebook Ads to Tweets, there is a myriad of tools to explore, but SMBs should be careful not to spread themselves too thin. The best strategy is to do a thorough research and identify social networks where potential customers spend most of their time. So, do not fall behind the curve when it comes to digital socializing and engage people with quality content, resounding marketing messages, and superb customer service.
Cloud computing is a real game-changer. It gives businesses a chance to store, sync, and access their data and files seamlessly and on the fly. There is no need to invest in hard drives and keep all the files on a computer anymore. Different teams can work locally or remotely, all while harnessing the same pool of information. Even well-known software programs like Microsoft Office are now cloud-based platforms. The only problem is a security risk that is associated with cloud solutions, so pick your provider after careful deliberation.
Conquering the Tech Frontier
The technology advances by leaps and bounds and when you’re an organization that is making baby steps, staying on top of tech trends is a daunting task. Yet, this is precisely the type of undertaking that enables small businesses to spread the word, become relevant, and gain a competitive advantage. So, use technology to take your operations to the next level and advance company’s goals. We have not even mentioned trends like virtual reality and 3D printing that are expected to rock the business world. Therefore, set your eyes on the horizon of innovation if you mean to stay ahead of the pack.