Internet of Things is radically changing how companies are connecting with their customers. Virtually every industry is finding that is impacting network traffic, the volume of data collected and the ways that marketers can engage their customers. Opportunities are only going to grow; by 2020, there will be over 30 billion connected devices, according to projections by Gartner.
Amazon Go, McDonald's and KFC: Science Fiction Writers Predicted the Future of Customer Engagement Decades Ago
As any fan of sci-fi knows, the writers from the 1930s and 1940s often came surprisingly close to modern reality. They discussed a future in which robots replaced human labor, computers could learn and mobile devices could track the user's financial data. They wrote about customer interfaces that required no human interaction, a society that did not rely on physical currency and a world in which information could be accessed with a few keystrokes.
Marketing technology has come a long way since the new century dawned. As recently as the 1990s, many marketers were still relying more on "gut instinct" than hard facts, but harnessing big data helped them make more informed decisions. What passed for personalized emails was often little more than a mail merge to insert a contact's name. Target audiences were painted with a broad brush that often included more people who had no interest in the product or service than people who might actually become customers. Automated campaigns, predictive analytics, customized content, seamless connections across touchpoints and powerful marketing analytics have helped transform how — and to whom — marketers are delivering their messages.
Launching a digital transformation project can be scary. Customers are demanding more, managers are expecting to see rewards and employees are hoping that the project will make their jobs easier. You know that your project is not going to progress from inception to deployment without a few issues, but you are also aware that seemingly minor issues can snowball into project failure. With so much at stake, how can you reduce your risks and feel confident about the eventual success of your project?
Topics: Digital Transformation
Your customers as well as your employees have increasingly cut the cord connecting them to a desktop computer. The first mobile apps may have only created a few ripples, but the demand has reached tsunami levels in recent years. Mobile apps have become essential for any business that wants to optimize customer engagement, deliver marketing messages that will actually reach the intended audience or provide field personnel with powerful tools to make their jobs easier while improving customer service. However, when developing a mobile app, it is important to avoid these five common pitfalls.
Companies launch a digital transformation initiative for a variety of reasons. Some are looking to respond to changes in customer demands and preferences, others are trying to remain competitive and some companies see the opportunity to expand into new markets. Whatever your organization's reason for undertaking a digital transformation project, you will need to plan and budget wisely if you want the project to be a success. Considering that IT budgets are set to increase by almost 2 percent in 2017, according to Gartner, the pressure to provide detailed, accurate budgets is likely to increase as well. If you are responsible for the task, the following tips can help you plan and budget for a digital transformation project that will be completed in 2017.
Topics: Digital Transformation
The holiday season is a critical time for retailers. On average, approximately 30 percent of all sales have traditionally occurred between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas, with jewelers and certain other retailers reporting that the holiday season accounted for 40 percent or more of their total annual sales. In recent years, an increasing number of shoppers have been turning to e-commerce sites instead of brick-and-mortar stores for their holiday shopping. For 2016, e-commerce sales are expected to increase by almost 14 percent although total retail sales are expected to increase by only 3 percent. If the predictions prove true, 2016 could be the first holiday season in which e-commerce's share of holiday sales exceeds 10 percent. However, the competition will be fierce, so it is important for online retailers to embrace the proper methods and strategies to give them an edge over their competitors.
For years, marketing gurus have been proclaiming that content is king. That three-word phrase returns almost 3 million results when entered into a search engine although not every site returned supports the concept. Nevertheless, it appears that marketers have ta
ken the message to heart; according to one source, enough content is produced during every 48-hour period to equal all of the content produced since the dawn of time. Wading through the sea of available content is a bit like thumbing through a 500-page novel to locate a single line that you vaguely remember but want to quote in its entirety. Most of what you are reading is so irrelevant to your current mission that you become annoyed and frustrated — much like your customers if you present them with a mountain of content that is not relevant to their current needs.
The Internet of Things, often called the IoT, is poised to change the face of business. As of 2015, researchers estimated that there were 3.8 billion connected devices in use; the projections range between 25 billion and 50 billion IoT devices by 2020. There are already cars, locks, streetlights, home appliances, fitness monitors and a wide variety of other smart devices available, and some experts assert that smart devices are beginning to power yet another industrial revolution that can prove as disruptive as steam, electricity and computers. Whether the IoT lives up to all of the hype remains to be seen, but one thing is certain — the IoT is already changing the face of business and will likely drive much more dramatic changes in the future.
Topics: Internet of Things