Technology makes it easier than ever to grow your business, reach new customers and work more efficiently, but it can also get overwhelming. What should you employ first – what does each different type of tech do and what does your brand need most? Our roundup of the best ways to employ technology in your business outlines some easy ways to harness the power of high tech for your brand in 2018 and beyond.
1. Creative, Internet-Based Business Finance
From crowdfunding and Kickstarter to easy access loans, online technology makes it easier than ever to grow a business. Payment giant PayPal recently rolled out a fast, easy and credit-check free loan option for business growth, and other providers and processors are scrambling to follow suit. Technology will make it easier than ever to fund campaigns, skyrocket growth and finance expansion in 2018.
2. Social Media Tools
It’s no longer optional for your business or brand - -you must engage and connect with prospects and customers on social media. You may not have to appear on every platform out there, but a strong presence on the sites that matter most for your brand are a must. Tools that make it easy to schedule and execute posts, interact and engage and take care of social media tasks on the go continue to help business owners and brands of all sizes take advantage of the power of social media marketing without sacrificing too much time.
3. Get Mobile
About 90% of adults now have smartphones, according to PEW research, and the most coveted demographic of all, Millennials check those phones often throughout the day. It is more important than ever before to have a site that is mobile friendly, with oversized buttons and easy to follow prompts prevent user frustration and ensure your visitors can easily navigate your site on the go.
4. Updated CRM
If you’re still working with paper systems or clunky, desktop versions of outdated customer management systems, you’ll love some of the latest tech designed to make tracking the customer journey as smooth and flowing as possible.
From mobile or IoT, tablet based systems to opting for SaaS (Subscription as a Service) instead of a single purchase method, you can improve the way you guide customers through their journey and streamline your own processes as well.
5. The Paperless Office
More and more brands are opting to go paperless – whenever possible. Bringing your workflow and project management into the cloud and eliminating paper forms and files makes it easier for your employees to collaborate and communicate. When you go paperless, you are also able to better track changes, find information quickly and see a customer or client’s history at a glance. A variety of tools and technology can be employed to eliminate paper in your office and work flow – creating a more efficient and greener workplace for all.
6. Cloud Storage
While you may use the cloud already to eliminate paper and improve collaboration, cloud storage can do far more for your business than just improve your work flow. Cloud storage can help disaster proof your brand, when used as part of an emergency recovery plan. It can also allow you to take advantage of the many benefits of working on the go, hiring a remote workforce and even allow your customers to access data when they need it.
7. Upgrade your Register
If you have a brick and mortar shop, attend shows or process payments in person, then opting for a mobile payment system could help improve the way you collect fees and process sales. Both iPad ad Android register systems and apps integrate well with your other cloud based solutions and work with your preferred book keeping methods and programs as well. The low costs for startup makes upgrading to a more streamlined payment system a top pick for technology for brands in 2018 and beyond.
8. Enhance Interaction and Engagement
While social media is a big part of any successful strategy, the driving force behind its success is in part the desire for customers to engage with an interact with brands in new ways. Your buyers want to see you in action – on Facebook Live, on video and streaming and they want to engage and connect with your brand instead of being marketed to. They even want to interact with your other fans and buyers, and share reviews and their thoughts online. Being aware of and participating in these conversations is essential, so you need to be able to access your reviews on sites like TripAdvisor, Angier’s List, Yelp! And more can help you get a better idea of what your prospects and clients have to say.
9. Data Driven Marketing
Data, from the number of people who open your emails to the gender/location/behavior/fandom targeting for marketing offered by Facebook, Twitter and other providers, ensures that your messages are being seen and heard by the right audience. Your maternity care products won’t do well with 60-year-old men in most cases – and your hip replacement ads will be wasted on most 20somethings, so data driven, targeted marketing is more important than ever. Using data to drive your marketing efforts can help reduce your ad spend and increase your ROI, allowing you to reach more users and effectively boost your revenues.
From making it easy for customers on the go to access your business and site to being in touch, approachable and reachable and even boosting your own internal efficiency, the latest tools and technology make it easier than ever to run a business in 2018.