Technology today is advancing at breakneck speeds and with it comes changes to every facet of our lives. However, this exponential growth in technology is also forcing businesses to change the way they function and market as well. Those businesses that don’t make an effort to adapt with the times will soon find that staying competitive and top-of-mind is a task that is virtually impossible and one that can prove quite damaging to their brand and bottom line.
Below are 8 areas that are being affected by technological advances and are changing the way businesses market as well as some tips on how to keep up with the times so your business stays competitive and profitable.
Today customer service never stops. Gone are the days of storefronts and businesses offering customer service only onsite. Now customer service is global and available 24/7/365. Customers no longer have to go into a physical business to request any type of service. With advances in technologies like live chat, online contact forms, 24 hour phone lines, and more customers can request service at any time and from any place. This creates an atmosphere of customer service that is faster, more accurate, and more efficient than ever before.
What this means for your business is that you have to be ready at all times to give your customers outstanding service. You have to anticipate their needs and be ready to help no matter what it takes. Customers expect your business to be available to them at all times to correct any wrongs or challenges and those businesses who can’t keep up with these expectations will find their customer base and bottom lines getting smaller.
With the invention of social media and online e-commerce sites small businesses are finding they can compete better with large corporations and actually be seen. It used to be only major corporations could afford professional websites and advertising that would get the attention of potential customers. However, social media and low-cost websites today make that barrier to market entry virtually non-existent. Small businesses and entrepreneurs have the same advantages that many larger organizations have and in some cases, they have even more leverage due to the uptick in popularity of small, local, or unique businesses among consumers.
For small, local, or unique businesses, taking advantage of the ease of use and affordability of social media and e-commerce sites can go a long way in creating visibility for your entrepreneurial endeavors. It’s easier than ever to interact with potential customers via these online platforms. Keeping your marketing efforts centered around your unique business proposition of offering products and services that big businesses cannot or will not can help you compete with the largest of companies out there.
For larger corporations, getting a little more down-to-earth in your marketing via social media and your website can create an image of caring and compassion for your customers rather than the typical big organization taking over the world image. Be personal, transparent, and talk on a level that your customers can appreciate and understand. Remember that you are there to serve your customers and help them with their problems and challenges. You are their solution.
Before the rise of technology, marketing consisted of hiring an expensive advertising agency to get business messages out to the masses. This type of marketing was generally reserved for large corporations with deep pockets and it left small businesses and entrepreneurs out of the loop. These days technology offers many types of marketing and promotion options that are affordable to even the smallest of businesses. These inexpensive advertising options create a market entry point that allows small businesses to position themselves better in the global marketplace and get in front of their target customers despite the presence of larger corporations.
These realizations should be at the forefront of all business marketing plans because there is much more competition today than there used to be and that requires a different kind of marketing strategy. Marketing is more people-centric and focused on having a relationship with customers. Customers want to feel like they are part of your organization’s family and they require more personalized attention then years ago.
With new technologies lowering the barriers to market entry, it may at first seem like standards are declining with what businesses are offering but actually the opposite is true. Yes, making it easier for anyone to enter the marketplace does create a surplus of products and services that are less than optimal. However, this means that customers are aware of that too and they are getting pickier about what they will spend their money on. This creates a unique opportunity for your business to excel and stand out from the crowd.
Customers want quality over quantity more than ever now and they are willing to pay for it. They are tired of purchasing products and services only to find out they’ve wasted their hard-earned money on a less than superior offering. When your business excels at the quality of services and products it offers its customers, everyone will notice. Focusing your business marketing on high standards in everything it does will create a reputation for your organization that those with lesser quality won’t be able to compete with. In the end, those businesses with the highest standards will thrive and those without will fade away.
The constantly increasing pace in which technologies are advancing creates a need for innovation and originality in all aspects of business including marketing. The “This is the way we’ve always done it” attitude that so many individuals and corporations hold onto no longer works in the modern technological age. To be successful these days businesses and individuals must have the courage and forethought to think outside the box and do things that have never been done before.
Innovation means thinking about future possibilities and bringing them into the now. The companies and individuals that get there first are the ones that will lead in those industries and reap the rewards. Marketing needs to be focused not just on the current needs of their customers but also on the possibilities that lie ahead and what your organization can do to mitigate any future challenges for them. This change in mindset around an organization’s marketing can make all the difference when it comes to staying ahead of the technological curve that’s ever-changing.
Technology has vastly affected the type and quality of relationships businesses have with their customers. Constant contact with customers, potential and current, via social media and apps keeps businesses at the top of mind with them and with that it creates unique marketing opportunities that businesses have never had before. The opportunity to cultivate and nourish relationships with your customers is immense and it’s what your customers are looking for when they decide to buy from you.
Taking advantage of that customer need and making it part of your marketing plan by creating a ongoing relationship with customers past, current, and future is where technology can really serve your business. Marketing plans used to take weeks or months to plan and put into place. Today a marketing plan can not only be created in a matter days or even hours but it can also be implemented in a matter of minutes. Technology has advanced the pace at which we can execute marketing plans and get new customers in the door. However, that also means that marketing plans and promotions lose effectiveness quickly as well. Technology today gives businesses the ability to create these deeper relationships with their customers and do it quickly and efficiently.
Google and Amazon are two of the most popular platforms for online interaction and the personal data they collect on their customers on a daily basis is mind-boggling. Technology creates access to this consumer data which in turn allows businesses to know exactly what consumers want and need most and then deliver on those desires.
Although some argue that there is a mounting issue with privacy with this increase of technology, businesses have a very unique opportunity to gain insights into consumer behaviors and buying activities that they’ve never had before. These insights would have required years of research and millions of dollars to gather in past years however, technology has made the endeavor quicker and cheaper than ever.
With social media, apps, and e-commerce sites, distance is no longer an issue. Your business is available everywhere in the world in an instant creating a global customer base that has never been achievable before. With this global reach comes the need to market in new and better ways that appeal to larger and larger audiences as well as the need to focus marketing on ever-expanding and different audiences. The marketing that works in the United States most likely won’t work the same in Japan and so businesses have to educate themselves on the needs and desires of these global audiences in order to keep them interested and buying. However, businesses that succeed in this endeavor will find that technology has provided them opportunities that they never thought possible and income to match.
These are just a few ways that technology is changing how businesses market to their customers. Every one of these points need to be kept at top of mind at all times when creating your business marketing plans in order to remain competitive and keep up to date with the changing technological and marketing environments in today’s world. Businesses that acknowledge and adapt to the changes technology creates will find themselves at the forefront of innovation and business success. Take advantage of these exciting times and make sure your marketing keeps up with it too.