As technology and digital marketing tools continue to improve, businesses will have to adapt to trends in marketing and consumer behaviour. Here are the key technological trends of 2017 to particularly take note of so businesses can quickly implement new tools and strategies for greater success, improved inventory management and improved customer interaction.
Companies that connect to the customer
As opposed to directly selling a product, we have seen a rise in companies looking to connect consumers with a service. Take for example, AirBnb and Uber. They have allowed the millennials cohort to live an asset-light life that is seen as a relatively affordable option.
Drones have become the must-have toy throughout the world. However, businesses are starting to leverage the technology for enhanced customer experiences. Take for example Uber Eats, who haves started to implement food service delivery in parts of the US via drones.
Creating a personal brand
New and emerging digital platforms allow businesses and individuals to distinguish themselves from competitors by building a personal brand, which consumers are very receptive towards.
This personal brand is how businesses are gaining individuality when marketing themselves to an audience. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest, allow audiences to feel connected to businesses while learning about the brand values and vision. Having this platform allows customers to follow a brand they feel they can resonate with.
In 2017, we have seen the rise of machines that can learn and complete tasks that would normally require human intelligence. For example, we have already caught a glimpse of machines that can problem-solve on their own, like self-driving cars from Google. In the next year, we will be exposed to more machines that can adapt and learn skills only we as humans have possessed thus far. You can already even request a fully autonomous Uber in some parts of the world. Inventory management automation is another way to make your business more competitive.
Some businesses suggest that there is a shortage of skilled labour, however as the digital space allows employees to complete work assignments from just about anywhere, more employees are seeking a flexible schedule and the comfort of working from home.
Remote employees allow an employer to have access to talent all over the world. Communication tools such as Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Skype allow employers to have face-to-face meetings with employees who are not physically present. If the right processes are implemented then this is more than possible to achieve and fill the gap of skilled labour in the technological sector.
The ease and convenience of online shopping is something consumers value, especially with perks like free same-day shipping from the likes of Amazon Prime. Furthermore, social media marketing and Google Adwords make it easy for e-commerce companies to reach their target audience and ensure their ads are being seen by the eyes that matter most. This is because of the intelligence behind the advertisements themselves, allowing to pick the day of time your ads are run to specify certain demographics and more.
The rise of video content
We have seen even more brands begin to utilise video content. With the ability to share video content easily on social media through platforms like Snapchat or Facebook Live and now Instagram, brands are looking for new, innovative ways to capture an audience’s attention through video. It is important to note as well, that in these social media algorithms they are placing higher weight to videos, meaning they are showing up first in consumers social media feeds.
Social media marketing
Social media has become a crucial addition to every business’ brand marketing strategy. Platforms such as Instagram and Facebook will continue to improve ads and analytics, making it easier for brands to reach their target consumers. In addition, we envision that social media will continue to be an important way for brands to maintain relationships and build a community of loyal customers.
Shifting to the cloud – Software as a Service
Increasingly, day-to-day programs that you need to access, such as online accounting software and inventory management systems, are moving to the cloud. Flexibility like this allows business owners to process invoices and manage cash flow on the go. While cloud programs are great, this mass migration toward all-things-connected means that greater security measures will have to be taken in the fight against malware and cybersecurity. Cloud computing seems to be the way forward for businesses
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.