How many times have you pulled out your phone to browse Facebook while lying in bed? Or listened to a favorite podcast during your morning commute?
Technology is such a part of our daily lives that we may not even notice its prevalence anymore. But how does the ubiquity and lightning-fast growth of technology affect business?
Here are just a handful of ways that technology drives business to be bigger and better.
Mobile devices, high-speed WiFi, cloud-based technology, and video conferencing all contribute to the ability to work anywhere, anytime, and in collaboration with almost anyone around the world. By working remotely, employees can maximize time spent working (rather than commuting) or work while on the road for business.
Communicating with collaborators who are the best fit for your company, no matter where they are, is more convenient and less expensive than ever before, due to tools like video conferencing and voice over IP (VoIP) technology and with cloud-based productivity tools, your team can have documents and data at their fingertips, updated in real time by a number of contributors. Your data can also back up to the cloud automatically, keeping it safe in case of equipment failure.
Outsourcing projects via online collaboration and automating tasks are two common uses of technology to cut costs, but cloud computing is an important innovation for minimizing expenses as well. Cloud-based subscription services can provide capabilities that traditionally were cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses at much more affordable rates.
Another advantage of cloud-based tools? They’re constantly improved and upgraded, saving you time and money previously sunk into installing expensive software updates.
Inbound marketing has become a crucial part of business. But doing inbound marketing well requires strong web-based tools to increase your company’s visibility—responsive website design, social media profiles, email newsletters, podcasts—having these technologies at your disposal will help you reach and retain customers.
Technology has also made it much easier to identify and address customer needs and concerns. Your web-based marketing data can show you where your marketing time and money is best spent, focus your customer targeting, and help improve customer service and retention.
A mix of thoughtfully automated online marketing and more personalized interactions can minimize your effort and risk while maximizing results. Use your marketing analytics to listen: your customers are telling you how best to serve them.
Changing the Way We Sell and Shop
As ecommerce continues to take over the global marketplace, companies of all sizes (even those operated from a living room) have the ability to reach consumers worldwide. Products such as music, movies, and software are frequently bought and sold without ever taking tangible form—purchased, downloaded, and enjoyed instantly in digital format.
With so many mass-produced, inexpensive items saturating the market, some consumers are craving the unusual, the unique, and the artisanal. Curation of products based on taste preferences and customization of items are two ways businesses can use technology to serve customers on a more personal level, offering products that are “just for them.”
New products, new processes, even entirely new industries—technology is changing the face of business every day. Some of what’s new and trending now may not last long, while other innovations will affect our daily lives for years to come. Fresh ideas and friendly competition among companies benefits consumers by propelling companies to create and refine the best, most cutting-edge products they can.
Technology and business are symbiotic; each needs the other to thrive. By making the most of what technology can offer, you can help your business succeed in an ever-changing world.
Murray Goldstein serves as the Executive Director of SMB Segment Marketing for Cox’s business services division. He has primary responsibility for small-to-midsize business-to-business acquisition, lifecycle and digital marketing for Cox Communications.