While many small business owners are still getting to grips with using social media effectively, most people are still moving one or two steps ahead of business with their use of technology. This is shown by the explosion in the digital mobile app market and wearable technologies that have become the latest ‘must-have’ gadgets on the market.
Tagged as ‘digital disruption technologies’, these new systems now put pressure on business owners to bring together their IT department and their marketing team to collaborate on sales strategies. Some are now saying that the increase in popularity of mobile apps and wearable technologies are blurring the lines between what were up until recently very traditional roles within a company.
The one-way physical marketing of olden times has long gone. Yes, it was much simpler in the old days when you could take out a print advert in a newspaper or magazine, or even in more recent times encouraging people to buy from you though a well-targeted email campaign. In these days of social media marketing, it is definitely a two-way street where social interaction and trust building are the key to selling your brand.
Today the customer is more in charge of your marketing efforts than ever before. They are digitally connected to you and empowered to buy from you, review your product and services and provide feedback without ever having to meet with you face to face.
If this wasn’t bad enough, a small business owner now has to contend with predictive analytics just to make things even more complicated! Whether you like it or not, digital disruption is having a big impact on social media marketing for businesses all across the world.
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Combining roles within business
Not many small or even medium-sized business owners can afford to employ both a Chief Marketing Officer and a Chief Information Officer. In fact, many new start-ups are actively combining these roles within their company because both skill sets are necessary within one post. Basically, these days you cannot have a good Chief Marketing Officer without them having the skills of a good technologist.
We are now needing to have good collaboration between IT and marketing to be able to interpret analytics and apply the results effectively. The importance of customer-centric social media campaigns are growing and will become an integral part of a companies day-to-day marketing activity.
Customers are encouraging businesses to embrace digital
People have been redefining business through digital means for a good few years now. The most successful businesses in the past ten years have had to dig in and get to grips with digital disruption head on. Many business owners are now beginning to get how important it is for them to embrace digital disruption, yet many owners are still way behind the curve.
IT staff within businesses now need to understand what digital information is needed by the marketing team, and be adaptable to reconcile multiple data feeds quickly. Marketing teams now need to be more data-driven with their creativity and become more responsive to customer needs. They also need to learn to adopt more IT language to understand the technologies being used.
From Whatsapp-ing and emojis to wearable technology and data sharing, business owners need to play catch-up with the general public who are lapping up mobile communication with ease.
While many small business owners don’t have a clue how to adapt to digital disruption, a good example to give you of the right way to do this would be the ‘count your drinks’ app market. These are apps specifically designed to appeal to anyone who is worried about going over the limit, or for health conscious people watching their alcohol intake. “Just one more drink” can often turn into five or ten, quite often leading to embarrassing situations for the drinker, regretful actions, overspending on a tight budget, or a blown diet!
These apps solve a problem that the customer has – great! But they can also be a fantastic source of live data for a drinks manufacturer. This would give a great insight into the spending habits of their customers, how long they spend drinking and hanging out with their friends etc. The data can then be used to come up with offers and deals targeted at that audience.
Wearable technology such as smart watches and fitness bands are all the rage right now and can share all sorts of data, such as heart rate, steps taken, sleep patters, calories consumed, activity levels etc. Just think how valuable that information would be to a health and fitness company!
The goal with disruptive technology is to get yourself closer to your target audience with something innovative on their chosen device.
More and more we are seeing devices being linked up by Bluetooth technology and relaying information automatically. Just about everyone I know either has a smart phone or smart TV. Very soon we will have everything interconnected to make our lives easier. Imagine if you will, never having to unlock a door or turn a doorknob in your home, or switch on a blender or toaster? Smart fridges that automatically add food items to your shopping list so you never run out of milk again!
All the time critical information being fed back to food manufacturers about your food consumption, data being relayed to digital streaming companies about your viewing and listening preferences, life-spans of white goods and electric kitchen gadgets being monitored – time for a new blender, Mrs C? How about this one?
Is your brand ready to tap into this?