While revolutionary changes seldom happen overnight, getting ahead of big trends can pay off handsomely. How would you have done had you spotted what was simply a gap and filled it – like enabling people to book rides on privately owned and operated cars using your cell phone?
There are big social, economic, and technological movements that you must consider in your business growth strategies for 2017.
Be sure you have addressed what we see as some of the biggest changes on the horizon. Let’s look the eight major trends we see for next year.
1. Empowerment and enabling people at every level will be your key to success
Keeping up with the competition means having an engaged, collaborative team who innovates and continually improves their performance because they love where they work and what they do. Achieving those goals will mean adapting to better management strategies of a connected, aware and different workforce from the baby boomers. They are your secret weapon in outgunning and outpacing competitors in a rapidly changing marketplace.
2. Removal of Friction in the Shopping Experience
3. End-to-end prospect engagement and monitoring
It used to be just counting website visits were enough to measure marketing success. No more.
The tools are there to do it, like Customer Relationship Manages and Marketing Automation but it isn’t easy to build the underlying conversion strategies and supporting content. It can’t be haphazard, it takes planning and ongoing work to make it pay off.
4. Social media will be the place to advertise
With increasingly sophisticated targeting prospects and retargeting those who have visited your site using social media and mobile devices, you’ll need to get smart quickly or hire pros to help you deal with the complexity of ad networks and social marketing options.
5. Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn will expand advertising opportunities
Now that Microsoft has officially ingested, if not yet digested, LinkedIn, already there are priority integrations planned by Microsoft.
- Extend the reach of Sponsored Content across Microsoft platforms – This is going to be huge so monitor developments closely. With sponsored content, you can target you audience with the rich profile available from LinkedIn and presumably, Microsoft and the near ubiquitous use of Microsoft software, your ads will reach huge audiences. With Microsoft’s implementation of more artificial intelligence into their products, marketing smart will have a whole new meaning as responses and non-responses, big data, and deep profiles are brought together.
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator will be combined with Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 family of intelligent business application CRM and ERP products to make a seamless end-to-end client engagement and service platform across sales, customer service, operations, finance, field service, service automation, and marketing.
- Extend the reach of the learning platform Lynda.com and help people develop new skills online.
- Create a business news desk across MSN.com and its properties.
6. Innovation will accelerate; external collaboration and consultation are essential
Innovation isn’t new, we’ve been at it since our ancestors made it to the slime mold stage. However, today as we emerge from the great recession, the pace of change is accelerating and doing so at an increasing rate.
More people are connected, travel, and exposed to new cultures and ideas while markets are becoming increasingly global and competitors all over the globe are looking to score knockout breakthrough products and new disintermediating services.
What difference can a new perspective make? Does anyone remember the almost forgotten use of stevedores to load individual cargo barrels, one at a time on steamships? This short (2 min) video on NYTimes Business makes the point of how one outsider’s point of view upended an entire business supply chain worldwide and revolutionized our lives. It teaches an important lesson: Reaching beyond your walls for people who question your long held assumptions and ways of doing things is invaluable because
Of course, you never need to challenge yourself to do better. You can wait for a Malcolm McLean to come along…
7. Artificial Intelligence and Big Data will change how you market, what you build, and where your company adds value
IBM is using its powerful AI Blue Gene technology and big data in marketing to help clients in these areas. IBM reports in THINK Marketing that 64 percent of early adopters of their technology are using it for marketing. Can Google or Facebook be far behind? Be ready for a revolution in targeted, relevant marketing across all channels.
8. Video will become essential to prospecting and sales success
To rank on Google, you simply must have video on your site, it’s a key factor in your SEO ranking. Do it right and get rewarded with attraction, attention, credibility, and customers. The downloadable infographic in this edition of the newsletter will make you think twice about not using good video in your marketing. See the article in this edition on the topic.
9. Mobile is where it is and where it’s going
Members of the mobile workforce and harried families juggling jobs, kids, and everything else with less and less time are looking at your content and messages on the go.
Google already penalizes non-mobile friendly, sites and slow loading sites will find they simply can’t rank in a meaningful way. Their Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) compliant pages get cached at Google so they are served far faster than those who are not using the caching advantage. AMP pages are bare bones and not at all like the full web experience; think core information sparse and devoid of a lot of user interface niceties. Although it’s not for everyone and not all sites can use it, because the 8-ton gorilla, Google, says it’s important…well, you’ll just have to use it or be left out in the cold as competitors who do eclipse your search ranking.
10. A New Administration takes over in the USA. It appears highly likely there will be a colossal change in direction on offshoring, repatriation of earnings, environmental laws, minimum wage, health care, education and immigration. All spell opportunity as where there is change, there will be opportunities for your business.
What other global trends are important in your industry and how are you doing in keeping up with this seismic shift?