Having been in the world of online marketing and business for roughly 20 years now, I’ve experienced many of the drastic changes and transitions over the years. Everything from back when the internet was a world of straight HTML and dead simple… to the new and interactive social platform it is today.
Along with these many changes, so has the way businesses work and manage data. In the past you would collect and email address and treat it like gold, now you collect an email and can pull into all of it’s demographic data from other sources and third parties.
Yes, data and technology has quickly changed the world of business and how we run our everyday lives.
The rapid rate that technology and access to real-time data is impacting businesses is often inspiring and occasionally overwhelming. So the question now is, how can you harness this power of information benefit your business?
Quickly processing data allows small and midsized businesses to compete in a global market by using the same technologies as Fortune 500 companies with the additional benefit of easy accessibility and low overhead costs. VentureBeat noted that the use of data analytics and cloud computing are undeniably on the rise as “technology infrastructures shift to cloud-based platforms to increase business speed and agility.”
In today’s article we are going to look at some of the most interesting ways data and technology advancements have changed how businesses work in the world today and how you can improve your overall growth, earnings and productivity through these same methods.
Access to Customer Data Instantly
Industry focus on Big Data is expected to shift to increasingly forward this year. Emerging trends note that it is not just the pace data is processed and delivered, but how it can be delivered with an uptick in the popularity of self-service tools providing business-user generated data. Real-time applications that offer quick and targeted analytics in ecommerce and financial services will allow companies the competitive advantage by leveraging data in new ways.
A good example of this would be how Facebook has revolutionized the way online marketers and affiliates advertise online. Facebook completely changed the game by not only opening up their own self-serve advertising platform, but also allowing advertisers to target their audience on a whole new level through demographic and pixel / targeting based advertising.
This benefits both the advertiser and Facebook by having a system in place that offers minimal turnaround time, increased productivity and more opportunity for scalability. It’s not just marketing companies who are changing the way brands and businesses connect with their audience through the use of real-time data, we are continually seeing ecommerce and financial services actively progressing in this space as well.
Keeping Your Business in the Clouds
The importance of cloud computing on business is undeniable, and almost inevitable with all of the new cloud trends to look for this year. Cloud applications such as Google Drive and Microsoft 365 are poised to gain ground in replacing traditional software as we come to the close of the year.
Cloud computing isn’t just for big name brands and businesses. Small to mid-sized businesses are quickly finding the value in connecting with cloud ERP systems, which offers the same benefits and functionality of cloud computing the big players are spending millions on, but also cuts back the management costs and resources to make sure they aren’t overloaded with too many extra features in the process.
While cloud computing is nothing new to Fortune 500 companies, for the average person something like Dropbox might be a complete game changer. It’s one thing to have a software tool like Dropbox running on your laptop or desktop, but once you start using cloud-based applications on your mobile device, that’s when the fun really starts to begin!
Mobile is Still King
As with virtually any other web-based function, accessing business programs via mobile web browsing is on the rise. Not only are more users relying on mobile for basically every aspect of their lives, it’s also allowing for more direct advertising and engagement from brands to consumers to as well. Whether it be through in-game advertising, mobile applications or coupons being sent directly to your mobile device — this is the new standard for seeing immediate engagement and response rates like never before.
However, it’s not just customer data and engagement that is being changed my the mobile industry, it’s also how mobile is allowing entrepreneurs and online based marketers to run their business from anywhere. For example, take a look at any of the best business mobile apps like HootSuite, Trello to Dropbox. All of these solutions are now relying on mobile usage more than ever before to increase their customer base and allowing their users to get more done.
While the world of mobile is still in it’s infancy, there is a growing need for even more easy-to-navigate mobile collaborative business applications. Operations and data analytic providers are offering cloud-based systems that are completely functional and easy to use, with a “clicks not code” intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows businesses the flexibility to adapt to changing business demands.
Customer data, cloud-based technology and mobile are going to continue to dominated how well all connect with each other and run our businesses in 2016. The only question left to ask yourself is… how are you and your business going to be taking advantage of it?