Think back to a time when businesses never had email, the Internet, or smartphones. Individual proprietors were at a disadvantage if they wanted to expand their business beyond their local community because marketing costs were prohibitively expensive. Even in the early 2000s, smartphones were not nearly as ubiquitous as they are today. Technological innovations have allowed business to become more efficient operations and have even enabled local businesses to expand their business globally.
Businesses that fail tend to do so because they believe that their product or service will sell itself; their product is so amazing they think people will fall over themselves to purchase their product of service. What they forget is that there is more to business success than just an amazing product. What they fail to realize is—regardless of the size and scope of the business—there is more to success then just selling a product. Each product or service you have goes through a lifecycle, which covers everything from conception to whether or not a product needs to be redeveloped or even discontinued.
Most companies cannot afford to create or manage software that can help make these make-or-break decisions. Maybe they are too busy or want to keep their focus on developing their product or service. Companies exist that provide services which allow business owners to focus where they want to or on what they do best. Companies such as Astea permit businesses to focus on acquisition and development while they handle marketing automation and customer service.
Smartphones have not only changed the way people live, they have changed the way businesses reach out and keep in touch with their customers and stay connected to their employees. The advent of smartphones gives companies immediate and continuous contact with their clients via email, messaging, social media. In addition, smartphone and tablets allow for improved communication between employees, whether they are in different departments or management.
Telecommuting and Teleconferencing.
Without innovations in technology, only large companies could afford to have their employees telecommute. Now, even smaller companies allow their employees to work from their home or even halfway across the world (for more, read our article about boosting employee productivity). Online collaboration tools allow colleagues to share documents and other information via video and audio.
Teleconferencing is becoming the norm in communication between employees. Conferencing via the Web is no longer the hit and miss communication tool it once was. Web conferencing offers the next best thing to actually meeting with a colleague or customer, allowing local businesses to expand globally.
Technological advances have allowed companies to move beyond the constraints of print ads. Whereas print ads were restricted mostly to local communities (unless your company is already a global conglomerate), Internet marketing allows your company to reach a global audience.
When compared to print ads, email marketing is a low-cost and exponentially efficient method of reaching customers around the world. Not only that, messaging via text or social media (read the Young Upstarts article about marketing success) allows instant access and gratification that more and more customers expect.
Further advances in technology will allow businesses to increase both productivity and visibility even more so than today. If companies wish to continue having success, they need to continuously make adjustments and stay on top of technological trends.