In today’s digital world, business and technology are joined at the proverbial hip. A business that does not embrace, and take advantage of, new technology is missing opportunities to grow. From improving operations, communicating better with customers, and expanding marketing reach, here are top tech trends that can positively impact your business in 2012:
Tablet Computers: Not Just for Early Adopters Anymore
With the iPad leading the pack by a wide margin, tablet computers will dominate in popularity and sales, while the PC market in the U.S. slumps. As tablets become mainstream, businesses should use it to increase productivity and engage customers. From sales presentations and surveys to restaurant menus and online orders, the tablets’ small size and light weight complements its amazing power.
Location-based Marketing: Reach Customers When They Are Right Around the Corner
The ability to "check-in" and broadcast a location from a smartphone is a potential goldmine for small businesses, which can proactively deliver messages to onsite customers and reach potential customers when they’re nearby. (Source: Mashable)
Mobile Commerce: Improve Cash Flow with a Single Touch
As a business owner or manager, a primary objective is receiving payment — the sooner the better. This is now easier with new technology that can transmit secure credit card data directly from a smartphone. Google launched its version, appropriately called Google Wallet, with the Sprint Nexus S 4G smartphone. Partnering location-based marketing with mobile payments could prove to be a savvy marketing move for many small businesses.
Cloud Computing: The Sky is the Limit
Although it sounds nebulous, cloud computing can certainly save a business computer software and hardware costs by moving those functions to the internet and letting someone else install, configure, test, run, secure, and update them. The shared infrastructure means it works like a utility: You only pay for what you need, upgrades are automatic, and scaling up or down is easy.
Mobile Websites: Be Found Anywhere
With more than 35 percent (82.2 million) of the U.S. population owning a smartphone, every business should have a mobile-friendly website or separate mobile-only website to ensure customers can access the information they need from wherever they are. As consumers shift their web browsing to mobile devices, it makes good business sense to craft a mobile-friendly site to not miss out on mobile traffic, and more importantly, sales. (Source: Inman News)
Mobile Video: Show and Tell Your Story
A video tells a story better than pictures or words. New technology makes it easy and affordable for small businesses to use video to promote customer testimonials, demonstrate product benefits and deliver more personal customer messages..
Mobile Advertising: Reach Customers on the Move
Reaching customer on mobile phones has been primarily through SMS, commonly known as text messaging. However, with the rich media and video advertising platform of the smartphone, mobile advertising has been taken to a new level and makes it easy for customers to find your business.
QR Codes: Quick Response Yields Big Results
Quick response (QR) codes may look like a jigsaw puzzle at first glance, but the two-dimensional matrix works similar to a barcode in that when it is scanned with a smartphone, the user is linked to a website or Facebook page, can access a coupon, place an online order, watch a video or other call-to-action. Inexpensive and easily created, this is an effective marketing tool for product packaging, advertisements, signage and company literature.
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