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?

Is Email Marketing Still the Best Strategy?

Some people would certainly tell you that marketing strategy has moved away from email marketing and more towards apps, texting, and other methods of mobile communication. However, some companies are saying that email marketing is still the way to go.

Do you have an email address that is mostly dedicated to receiving email from companies that you purchase from or are interested in? I do. Currently, that inbox has more than ten thousand emails…I don’t delete them on a very regular basis. And this is after a major cleanup last year where I took several days and unsubscribed from probably several hundred companies who were sending me messages.

But you know what? I check that email address every day, sometimes several times a day. I like getting email promotions from companies that I regularly shop with. Sales, promotions, and information about new products that are teased in the subject line of an email are definitely a way to get me to click through. And since it’s all about getting people to open your email, they are definitely being successful.

I definitely think that some people would argue that companies are moving on to other marketing strategies. Any time you check out a social network (which, let’s face it, for most of us is quite a few times per day) there are ads for companies everywhere. Sponsored pages, sponsored tweets, and sponsored posts abound. That’s not even mentioning that seemingly every company has an app for that. You’d be hard pressed to visit any business site on your phone or tablet lately without that little prompt at the top, asking you to download their app.

According to a recent Huffington Post article, people who click through to a website from an email typically spend more time on a website and subsequently spend more money on that site as well. Email marketing is fairly simple to track. You can find out how many people opened your marketing email by keeping track of email metrics. Because email is accessed by many people primarily from their mobile device, email can be one of the quickest and easiest ways to reach just about anyone, any time.

With all of that being said, how do you respond to email marketing campaigns? Or is there a better way to reach customers, followers, or readers? Social media? Please share your thoughts!

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Maddie Heinen is a regular contributor to ChamberofCommerce.com. She is a freelance writer who specializes in blogging, content creation, and social media. When she is not working, she is taking care of her two kids, husband, and home in Central Florida. Maddie enjoys reading, shopping, and is interested in real estate. She is currently working on establishing her own internet-based media company, Red Hibiscus Media, which will specialize in both online content as well as print material.