What does innovation mean to your industry?

lady innovates

lady innovates

What does innovation mean to your industry?

We continue to hurtle towards a new technological era where everything is connected. For anyone it can be a tad daunting trying to keep ahead of every little advancement.

Even more so when you are trying to weigh up what is best for your business?. What do you implement for your day to day activities that will easily benefit your organization, both internally and externally?

A common question I get is, how do we keep our interactions personal if we introduce these pieces of technology?

The question I pose, is what happens if you don’t start investing in technology?

This is after all, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and no business will be immune. As you read this, your client base is getting smarter everyday in how they interact with businesses. This is due to the main platforms, social and search constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries on making it easier to engage with them.

What that means is that businesses can no longer afford to neglect that website that was built 3 years ago or adding tools on to it to enhance customer engagement.

Let’s look at a few industries/brands that underestimated the rollout of technology and what would happen to them.

 

Borders

borders

  • Founded in 1971
  • Sold Cds, dvds, books, calendars
  • Sold Starbucks coffees at each store
  • Employed over 19500
  • Had 517 stores
  • Filed for bankruptcy in 2011

Where did it go wrong?

Lack of foresight for technology – Online sales, Ebooks, mp3, free WiFi.

The biggest mistake they made was they chose to sign a deal to allow Amazon to sell and ship all of their books for 10 years. The brand allowed a competitor to bridge the gap of satisfying the customer’s needs. In the stores in the US they charged people to use the WiFi and as ebooks became more popular, they refused to enter the market until July 2010. This was 3 years after Kindle launched and only a year later, Borders had closed their doors.

 

power of innovation

Hilton and Marriot hotel chains

Founded in 1919 and 1927 respectively, two of the largest hotel chains in the world. Both are steeped in rich history and set a standard for most hotel chains on service and room presentation. In 2018 they were valued at $23.6 bn and $42 bn and Airbnb was valued at $31 bn. Airbnb has dropped to $18 bn but it is forecasted to possibly rise to above $40 bn.

Where did it go wrong?

These are established brands that are now under threat by the average household owner. They were slow to understand the experience and convenience that people were seeking to have.

Everywhere you look new players to the market are willing to bring in technology to disrupt their markets. The aforementioned businesses are big and sometimes there is a tendency to think that innovation only affects the bigger businesses. The same was said at the start of rise of internet with many businesses feeling they didn’t need a website.

Now drones are being used to deliver products, with armies even looking into using them for large pieces of equipment. Automated drink vending machines for bars are beginning to be used, self-service is being trialed at some fast food outlets and Uber is delivering groceries during lockdown to people’s homes.

Everyone is seeking an experience in their interaction with their favorite brand and smart businesses are rising to the challenge.

 

tips to consider

What should you do?

Here are a few tips to consider for your engagement with your target audience –

User experience – It is more important than ever to look into the future and what technology will affect your business and your bottom line. Every touch point needs to be reviewed and possibly refreshed and the user experience and messaging refined, including your website.

Automation – CRM’s are getting better and the applications are numerous. If designed well into the processes of your business, these can add a more personalised experience for each customer. Most important thing to do is to – SEGMENT your database to cater to each person carefully.

Chatbots – Added to the website, mobile apps and your social media give the clients the feeling of a guided DIY service whilst interacting with your brand, at a time that suits them the best.

A.I – Smarter chatbots are using artificial intelligence to help give a better experience for users of mobile apps and websites. Big brands are using it to analyze customer data and tailor products to their users. Platforms like Facebook, WeChat, Netflix, Pinterest and Google are using it more extensively and there will be a flow on effect.

Social LMS – Allow your staff/team members to have access to a tool that allows them to upskill. The two benefits are that they will feel more empowered in their roles and be able to provide a better service to your clients.

VSO – Voice Search Optimisation is coming. Soon it will affect your business as more people begin to search more for your services/products through their mobile devices. Therefore, common phrases used by people to search for services/products you provide must be a consideration for your website.

 

cybersecurity

Cybersecurity – Invest in protecting your online assets from hacking and possible ransomware. Nothing could be more disappointing than have your digital assets hacked and not being able to interact with your audience. This disruption can be costly but can be avoided by having various systems put in place.

IoT – the reality is this is no longer for sci-fi movies. Internet of Things is being driven by electric cars that are looking to become driverless. Homes and offices are also beginning to become more automated with technology being implemented to reduce emissions, increase building performance, track inventory and deliveries. All of this has a flow on effect to the average business, especially as government bodies strive to reduce their emissions.

Lockdown has forced so many organizations to evaluate how efficiently they are engaging with their teams, suppliers and clients.

Now is definitely the time for all businesses to consider what other tools needed to be added to ensure they are better prepared in the future. Innovating now will set up your business for a smoother transition when others are trying to get up and running.

#innovation #cybersecurity #automation #mobileapps #mindsetshift #futureplanning #technologyinbusiness

Standing out above the rest III – Podcasts the new media

standing out part 3 Podcasts

standing out part 3 Podcasts

Standing out above the rest III – Podcasts the new media

Identifying where your clients are

Do you have long periods of travel either to work or to meet clients? How do you use this time effectively? This is the question that probably plagues your ideal client on a day to day basis. Once upon we would all catch public transport and possibly strike up a conversation with another person during the trip. Over the years people have become increasingly disengaged choosing to listen to music possibly whilst reading books or magazines as well. Personally, when I used public transport I always saw that time as an opportunity to listen to self-development audio files. I was never a fan of listening to radio stations due to the ads and sometimes being forced to listen to topics that didn’t interest me.

Podcasts and public transport

Targeting an active audience

For many the opportunity to listen to a radio station gives them that interaction and intrigue that distracts them from the mundane, which for most is their job. This interaction is the reason why so many radio presenters have large followings. The ability to talk about every day things in a way that either makes people laugh, feel sorrow or engage is the strength of this media. The conversations between hosts and even with listeners allows for people to create visuals in their own heads of all the situations and topics that are discussed. Listeners would be able to visualise what the people look like, how they would react and what they would do in those situations. This creates a talking point for most with their work colleagues and therefore the reach of that station and their topics becomes greater than can be measured.

Now think about your day, when do you yearn for quiet moments where you could lose yourself in something educational or entertaining to listen to? How about when you are at a lunch break, on the treadmill in the gym, walking the dog or even when driving to or from work? This is the perfect time for your ideal clients to consume your material and engage with your business.

Podcasts as marketing campaign

Podcasts and your marketing campaign

It would make sense then when you consider the above that a logical step for any business would be to create audio files that engage their client base. Enter the podcasts which have slowly been gathering momentum and providing businesses with an avenue to create content to engage with their client base. As with all marketing for the business it must begin with understanding the client avatar for the business. Why? Simple, when a business understands their client all their branding, podcast topics, videos, content and imagery will be created to engage with them. This understanding will create laser focus for all the marketing that a business creates. Therefore all the podcast topics that can be created or leveraged, when the ads should be placed as well as which types of ads will be designed to align with that customer base.

Provide value

If your business is looking to increase engagement and buying frequency, then leveraging podcasts is a very smart option. A business can either create its own or merely advertise on podcasts created for their target clients. Podcasts offer a unique opportunity to reach a captive audience who will choose to listen to their podcasts generally at times of least distraction to them. Therefore, smart ads placed at the right points in the podcasts will be more effective with the audience. The most important thing to do to ensure success is to add value to the market. This will ensure the podcasts the business offers or advertise on can rise above the noise and standout.

As a business it is important to embrace the use of podcasts in their overall marketing campaign. When the business understands the client and provides the content that has value in their clients’ eyes, then the business is assured of an increased following. Quality content will be reused and shared and therefore it is an asset for your business. It makes sense to invest wisely and the clients will show their appreciation by either buying from you or recommending that business to others.

#podcasts #socialmediamarketing #marketingstrategy #websites #newtechnology

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