3 Emerging Technologies and What They Teach Small Businesses

The way consumers use technology impacts the way they spend money on everything else. Even “non-tech” companies need to have a general understanding of the way people are using technology and what they have come to expect from the products that they use.

3 Emerging Technologies and What They Teach Small Businesses

As technology evolves, so does the mentality of its users and businesses must take a good look at how consumer behaviors are impacted by technology to understand what those customers expect from them.

Take a look at some emerging consumer technologies that will affect the way people live their daily lives – and should be on every business’ radar.

StoreDot’s FlashBattery

The days of waiting for your cell phone or tablet to charge may be coming to an end. The FlashBattery boasts that it can charge a smartphone battery in under one minute. The battery also stores more power than traditional smartphone batteries.

Small business takeaway: Consumers continue to want efficient technology that considers their everyday lives, and makes it more streamlined. Customer service means meeting needs quickly and offering something just a little bit more efficient than competitors.

Nixie

Selfie-taking has certainly changed the way photography is taken and shared. Drone technology has changed the way items are delivered and photographed from afar. Combine these two technology trends and you have Nixie, a camera that flies away from you, snaps a shot, and comes back in a boomerang fashion. The images are taken in high definition too – in 1080 pixel video.

Small business takeaway: Consumers like to be the focus of their technology and have it go above and beyond what they truly need.

Microsoft’s Home of the Future

More than any other emerging technology, this will be what changes everyday life for consumers if it gains mass adoption. A virtual assistant-type voice “Grace” greets residents and keeps track of things like the home’s temperature, unlocked doors, who comes and goes when, and even what groceries are getting low. Grace, in essence, serves as a reminder of what consumers have not yet remembered to do.

Even a few years ago technology like Grace would have seemed like the stuff of science fiction but the advancements are in place to make it actually happen today. Couple the actual technology with the fact that people are much more open to hyper-personalization on their smart devices and systems than they were a few years ago, and Microsoft may really have a winning product in its grasp. Expect other big-name tech companies like IBM and Apple to follow suit, though, and soon.

Small business takeaway: Consumers have grown accustomed to businesses anticipating their needs. If you wait for your customers to come to you, they will buy the product or service from someone else who approaches them first.

 

What does technology teach your small business?

Do Consumers Love or Hate Personalized Messaging?

Do consumers love or hate personalized messaging

Tell me if this sounds familiar: You log into your laptop and type in the name of the car make and model you are interested in buying. When you log into Facebook five minutes later, an ad for that exact make and model pops up in the right rail. You look down at your phone at a stoplight on the way to work, and an ad for a nearby car dealership with a picture of that car appears on your lockscreen. It seems that the single search term you typed in is following you, adding more context and personalized information along the way.

Once the stuff of science fiction movies, this real-time ad targeting based on search history, location and other online behavior is now a reality. Is it creepy? Maybe a little. But growing research points to an interesting statistic: Consumers like personalized, hyper-targeted ad messaging from brands that they trust.

A recent study from IPG Media and Yahoo of 5,000 mobile users found that the majority of respondents appreciated location-based ad targeting, as well as ad suggestions based on search history and life events. The study also found that the smaller the mobile device, the higher the user expectation for customized information. For example, a user riding public transportation and searching for a restaurant expects his or her smartphone to identify location and deliver answers that make sense in that context. Basically, needing to Google a location term is now viewed as an annoyance.

Though consumers seem to be gradually embracing personalized content that benefits themselves, the study also found that mobile users were turned off by being given information on what their friends liked, visited or were doing at a given moment. Feasibly the negativity there stems from people not wanting the same information to be shared about themselves without permission.

These findings are important, even for businesses that do not use mobile or device tracking in their promotions. They point to a more intuitive approach to reaching consumers that is gaining popularity and will forever change the way we do business. Consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to doing less work to track down what they need, which puts the burden of visibility even more firmly on the shoulders of the sellers. This may sound overwhelming but can be accomplished through a few simple tasks, including:

Consumer buying habits will continue to evolve with technology, but there’s no reason to get left behind. By understanding these behavior changes, and sticking to tried-and-true customer service and promotional tactics, consumers will keep coming back.

Back to the Basics: Building a New business

 

Building a New Business

Building a new business or brand requires more than the ability to produce and deliver high-quality products or services. Understanding how to succeed when launching an online marketing strategy is essential regardless of the type of business you are running and the audience you need to reach.

Utilizing marketing online is a way to ensure you are making your mark whether you are offering local services or selling products internationally around the world.

Determine Your Demographic

Determine the demographic of the audience you want to reach. The more you are able to pinpoint the age, gender and location of the users you want to appeal to most the easier it becomes to generate the right advertisements and marketing strategies online.

Build an Online Presence for Your Brand

Building an online presence for your brand is essential when launching new advertising campaigns on various websites, blogs and online communities. Creating an online presence for your own business and brand is possible with a modern logo, color scheme and mobile-friendly website that is accessible to all users without hassle. Generating a voice for your brand is also highly advisable, especially when trying to separate yourself within the market and from potential competition.

Create a Blog

Creating and launching a blog on your brand’s official website is a way to connect and communicate with those who have taken a genuine interest in your business. Having a blog provides you with an additional platform to share news, information and to ask questions or for advice from those who visit your website most frequently. Consistent updating is a key factor in building a loyal fan base and growing the overall popularity of your brand.

Communicate Directly With Followers and Consumers

Any time you are marketing online or with the use of social media it is essential to communicate directly with those who are interested in your brand. Spending time communicating with followers and potential consumers is not only a way for you to build clout but it is also a way to generate more buzz about your brand altogether.

The more you know about marketing and advertising online the easier it is to reach and appeal to any audience or demographic you have in mind. Taking the time to communicate and connect with those you are targeting with your marketing gives you more leeway when attempting to keep potential customers and clients from seeking their own solution from a competitor in the same industry.