Over the past decade, advancements in technology, data analytics and social media have completely revolutionised the environment that businesses operate in.
Technology has created new markets for businesses to sell in and completely changed the ways that businesses promote their brands and connect with their customers.
There is no denying that technology does play a massive role in our lives today. Now I am sure that this statement does not come as a surprise to anyone over the age of 18, after all, I am sat here writing this on a laptop surrounded by 2 phones and an iPad…
But the full influence of technology on businesses are very rarely recognised in their entirety and the advantages are even less often exploited to their fullest potential.
Before e-commerce giants such as eBay and Amazon began to dominate the global market place in the early 2000s, the notion of a ‘global, online marketplace’ was an entirely foreign concept. Fast-forward and a decade later, and e-commerce stores have completely changed the way that consumers shop. Not only is the accessibility of goods and services at an all-time high, but the demand for the services provided by technology-driven businesses has skyrocketed. The National Retail Federation estimates that by 2024, e-commerce transactions will have overtaken sales physical sales. Worryingly,however, many Australian businesses have yet to take advantage of the opportunities presented by a global market with an MY OB estimating that over 65% of Australian businesses do not have a website. Considering the success of e-commerce giants such as Amazon who become the first company in the world to achieve a market value of $1 Trillion Dollars in 2018, the opportunities that are presented to businesses by technology are huge.
• Enhanced Business Collaborations and Productivity
The emergence of mobile devices and messaging services alongside technological advancements has completely changed the way that businesses can communicate with one another. In the past, it was necessary for businesses, employees and clients to meet face-to-face. However, when used effectively, technology can reduce the need for many of these interactions to take place. Furthermore, companies can now have the ability to access expertise and connect with employees across the world at the touch of a button, meaning that operating in different time zones and countries is no longer a problem.
• Efficient Management
From managing your business’s accounts through software such as QuickBooks, MYOB and Xero to more efficiently and accurately managing your business’s inventory, technology has revolutionised how you can run your business. Not only will the time that you spend on administration tasks be significantly reduced, but in the future, information and records will be available instantly. The use of customer relationship management (CRM) software such as HubSpot CRM and Zendesk Sell enable you to connect with your business’s customers to provide quality customer service and create meaningful relationships with your brand. The impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of managing your business through these types of software should not be undervalued.
• New Marketing Channels
Alongside the creation of new markets for businesses to sell to, technological developments have created entirely new marketing channels for your business to target your customer’s persona and exploit their buyer’s journey. The development of artificial intelligence can enable your business to more effectively target your customer and utilise your business’s marketing budget more efficiently. Furthermore, social media marketing through sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn as well as content marketing through podcasts, email newsletters and blogs has been created by technological developments. For businesses that have not embraced social media marketing, the harsh reality of these technological developments is starting to become apparent. Research by Forbes indicates that 93% of B2B businesses have experienced better results with social media advertising than traditional forms. Not only is the cost of social media promotion less than traditional advertising forms, but the engagement, reach and sales that are generated are significantly higher than the results yielded by mainstream marketing.
In a world where technology and data analytics have become the driving force behind the global success of businesses, the importance of utilising technology effectively in your business is a topic that can no longer be ignored.
A business that takes full advantage of the opportunities that are presented by technology will see a strong return on investment in the value, quality, efficiency and productivity of their business.
With all that in mind, can you honestly say that your business has taken full advantage of the opportunities presented by technology? Because if the answer to that question is no, then now is the time to embrace these advancements before it really is too late.