Knowing which software and mobile upgrades to implement in your business can be a challenge, but if they will help streamline your processes and the cost is low, making a switch can be worth it. Adding a cloud service alone has ramped up business performance by 63 percent, according to a report from the Tech Journal.
Whether you enjoy keeping up with the whirlwind of business changes and trends that the digital age has ushered in, or you consider it a necessary evil, remaining competitive in the marketplace renders it essential.
Today’s business model is dominated by the Internet and its capacity for capturing and analyzing your customer’s behavior and demographics. The data is taking over where previously human judgment held reign, shifting the focus from executive predictions to evidentiary proof. You may recall the film “Moneyball” that tracked the progress of baseball from intuitive draft selections to player statistics analysis, revolutionizing the sport. Using Google Analytics, which displays user behavior in a graph, including e-commerce transactions, lead generation, mailing list submissions and search keywords, can help take the guesswork out of business processes. The analytics Web pages are comprehensive and help with goal setting. Google Analytics has a knowledge management database that offers helpful instructional documents for using all of its features. But, one of the new challenges becomes storing and organizing the results.
Data storage is becoming increasingly important. By 2020, the business data use will grow by 4,300 percent to 35 zettabytes, according to the northern Virginia-based IT company Computer Sciences Corporation. Cloud storage services, such as LedgerDocs.com, have become increasingly important for storing and organizing the additional files most small and medium-size businesses are acquiring.
Social Networking is Key
The customer has spoken, and a social forum (or several) can recruit their brand investment and loyalty. Keep innovating those creative marketing strategies to help them engage online. Blogs, contests, interacting through posts and social media sharing — it all creates that personalized brand conversation people enjoy. Offering a forum for human connection marketing, in social media and blog posts and comments, and strong customer support, help them feel engaged and develops trust between a brand and its client base. A Concerto Marketing Group survey found that an existing customer that trusts a brand will try other products and services 78 percent of the time.
Digital Wallets are Displacing Bank Visibility
Security is paramount in today’s e-commerce system, and brand trust is replacing bank and financial visibility. Google Wallet is an application that allows consumers to store purchase data and make one-click purchases. This type of innovation is allowing companies to make their brand more powerful.
A “bring your own device” culture is transforming the standard marketing email campaign to one that incorporates responsive design, terse text and clickable buttons. It’s essential in a market where nearly 60 percent of customers open an email on a smartphone or tablet, according to a survey by leading email marketer Movable Ink.
Promoting Play at Work to Stimulate Productivity
The social media emphasis in business is expanding to the employee arena. Fun activities, toys, enjoyable food options and games give the workaday experience a boost for developing innovative ideas. Perhaps most well publicized by the silicon-valley tech companies, standard business operations are following suit. BBDO supplies their advertising employees with a 3-D printer, which they used to print their king and queen crowns for a prom theme annual work party. Ping pong tables and DJ Booths are other creative business perks.
The Middleman’s Influence is Declining
An increased level of brand ownership and financial factors have caused companies to eliminate the middleman in the development and distribution of their product and services. A small business can eliminate the designers, marketers, retailers and wholesalers, go straight to the manufacturer and sell directly to customers online. Crane and Canopy, a New York-based linens company connects customers to the manufacturer that sends shipments directly, which reduces prices and improves customer satisfaction.
** This article was guest written by Frank White, a web developer and blogger who specializes in small business and e-commerce solutions.
Affordable bookkeeping services for any business anywhere