Emerging Business Trends in 2017
January 25, 2017
To be competitive in today’s market, businesses around the world need to be able to drive efficiency and differentiation simultaneously. It’s about gaining scalability while maintaining your cost-effectiveness. By being relentlessly innovative, constantly on a lookout to exploit emerging business trends, and implementing everything into your business model is what ultimately leads to stronger competitive advantage.
It’s a well-known fact that technology can reduce costs for any type of business. However, the change doesn’t happen overnight. As with all other business aspects, innovation needs to be systematically introduced and established. Laying out a solid foundation is critical in order to take full advantage of it in the future.
Here are six 2017 emerging trends that will drive serious business growth.
1. Focus On Mobile User Experience
By now, you’ve probably read more than a few dozen times how important your mobile strategy is. Google has already announced that it will be shifting focus to smartphones, after prioritizing Desktop for eighteen years. They launched Accelerated Mobile Pages back in February ‘16. Advanced Web Ranking reported that the first position on Google search results on mobile has a 31.35% clickthrough rate.
And Google is not the only one. Take Facebook, for example. They also launched Instant Mobile Articles, which not only put mobile as a top priority, but also reshaped the way marketers will be publishing content on Facebook. Not to mention the fact that, if your website is not mobile responsive, chances are that you will see a significant drop in your organic traffic results.
How can marketers react to this emerging business trend? For starters, your website should be built for mobile first. Keep in mind though that design is not your priority number one, because it’s not. User experience is! In other words, make sure all your forms and the entire payment process is user-friendly, and that any piece of content can be skimmed through with ease on mobile.
2. Video Marketing Leading the Way
According to Forbes, more than 80% of customers reported they are watching more videos today than one year ago and that 65% overall have visited a website of a vendor after watching a video.
Not only that, YouTube is becoming one of the largest search engines where people enter thousands upon thousands of queries every single day. Facebook has been investing heavily in video, many other social networks have been copying Snapchat’s video story feature, and a lot of bloggers are now shifting their focus to video as well.
The usage of video material for promotional, email, and remarketing purposes is also showing an upward trend. Many marketers agree that video content connects with customers on a more meaningful level and provides value articles sometimes cannot. For that reason, it is much more common for a customer to watch a video until the end than to read an entire article.
Finally, a lot of tech and software companies are offering other businesses a way to improve their business processes by leveraging video possibilities. Take our product SurveyBot as an example. For too long, movers have needed to endure high costs in order to get to customer’s homes and perform moving estimates. Today, they are able to conduct surveys over recorded two-way video chat for significantly less cost, while saving a huge amount of time, and driving convenience for their customers as well.
3. Automating Both Data and Processes
There’s a saying in the business world which carries a lot of value today – if you have to do same thing twice, then you’re doing something wrong. You can always outsource to gain more scalability, but you can also automate processes to drive meaningful business growth. Executing better marketing campaigns, boosting sales, and increasing customer retention metrics are all dependent on the right data. Without numerical foundation, you will not be able to go places.
The first part of the process is gathering the data. Many businesses are already implementing various online platforms that allow them to avoid collecting numbers manually.
But before you actually start to extract data, you need to be able to set the right goals, the right metrics, and then be able to comprehend that information in the right way. In other words, be able to draw the right conclusions and articulate everything back to your team. All that data needs to be humanized through an efficient process.
4. Everything Available On-Demand
If you ever heard your boss or business associate saying “we need to be like Uber in our industry”, then you probably understanding how big of an impact on-demand economy has in today’s world. We already wrote an article on this topic, but it might be useful to go over the important points one more time.
Good Read: How Customers Make Decisions
With all these apps available to us, people are already used to being able to purchase or order something with a tap of a button, and then gain access to it that very same day. Think about it: you can have your food delivered, get a transport, watch a movie, see an NBA game or book a stay at the hotel in a matter of minutes, even seconds in some cases. Can you imagine the application of this on other types of businesses, or rest assured when the fact is that many competitors are already trying to make this happen in your industry?
The only thing that’s certain is that people love it, repeat purchases tend to be high, and market penetration of on-demand products has proven to be off the blocks.
5. Integrated Approach Between Sales & Marketing
Digital marketing has forever reshaped the way entrepreneurs look at marketing to begin with. As people continue to do more online search, and while search algorithms are becoming more powerful every day, our approach to marketing requires integration. Integrating sales into content, email and social media marketing is an absolute must in order to address the right search queries and drive more business online.
But if you take a close look, everything evolves around convenience. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to spot generic types of content, sent to everybody without any form of personalization whatsoever. Increasing competitive pressures from various industries are pushing business owners to think more about customer retention and making sure they are providing value on a consistent basis.
One-size-fits-all materials don’t exist anymore. Expectations of customers are higher than ever. All sectors of a business more work closely together and connect the dots. Getting data flow between Sales and Marketing in both directions is something all business owners should devote a big amount of time into. At the end of the day, what’s most important is to ask the right questions, tailor all marketing efforts around specific, audience-related data, and provide value.
6. Crowdfunding for New Products
What is crowdfunding? It another method of raising capital, but instead of reaching out to venture capitalists, you go through large amount of people who donate small amounts of money. That can be your friends, family, customers and individual investors. Money usually gets raised either through a specific crowdfunding platform or via social media.
It is reported that in 2016, equity raised through crowdfunding efforts was higher than VC funding was able to collect. The World Bank Report estimates that these kind of investments will reach $94 billion.
Another benefit of crowdfunding is that you become able to validate your product and receive valuable feedback. In other words, you get to test your beta version for free and without making substantial investments first. This is another emerging business trend that’s on the rise and it’s not stopping anytime soon. If you’ve ever stumbled upon patron programs online or a bunch of individuals collectively investing into a project, that’s the crowdfunding effect. It’s huge!