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Technology help small business to leverage limited capital in smarter, more effective ways. Technology furnishes greater efficiency and versatility, making it a natural progression for actions you may already have in place in your business.
Technology moves fast. It seems like there’s a new software or tool everyone’s using every day. That’s why it’s more important than ever to understand what technology is worthwhile for your business and goals.
But, with so many on the market, it can be tough to decide. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 5 most underrated technologies your organization needs to consider adopting.
1. Predictive analytics
Do you use analytics? Most likely it’s platforms like Google Analytics. These are awesome tools for internet marketers because you gain insights into how your website is performing. You can narrow down any metric, create detailed dashboards, and more. Nonetheless, there’s something even better.
It’s called predictive analytics. It’s a form of data reporting that uses artificial intelligence (More on that next) to forecast changes in real-time. It uses historical data about your brand along with live information to predict the future. These forecasts can be for anything including:
- Churn rate and when users will drop off.
- Customer lifetime value and what adds to it.
- The next best action for marketing or advertising campaigns.
- ROI for marketing and advertising.
- SEO performance based on content and keywords
This helps internet marketers make optimizations ahead of time and not have to continually test to find improvements.
2. Machine learning
As I mentioned previously, a powerful form of AI is machine learning. This is what everyone thinks about when you hear about artificial intelligence. Machine learning tools get better as you use them by training data models against the information it receives.
They are also very easy to use. Most of them simply require you to integrate other tools like Google Ads, for example. It then reads the data, continually scans, and learns how to improve output. These ideas are then implemented automatically or suggested for you to perform manually.
3. Marketing security software
You want to get the most out of your marketing budget, right? That’s why there’s nothing worse than not receiving a great ROI, churning ad dollars, and alike. It’s also why a new vertical has been created called marketing security.
No, it’s not security in the sense of protecting you from hackers. Rather, it’s software that scans for marketing issues and bugs to be addressed. Perhaps some ads are underperforming, a team member forget to turn on a campaign, or deadlines are being missed. These are all very typical situations that often have big impacts.
Marketing security software will spot these problems and predict them so a company maximizes budget and spending. Most importantly, it saves them from having to manually discover these problems and rush to fix them.
You normally think of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin when you hear “blockchain,” right? However, cryptocurrency is one of the dozen applications blockchain is capable of being used for. That’s also what makes it so underrated. While 53% of organizations say that blockchain technology is a crucial priority for them, that implies nearly half of businesses still don’t leverage it.
We can’t blame them. It can be intimidating. Nonetheless, one of the first applications is payments and transferring funds. Obviously, finance is very important and you want business capital to remain safe. That’s where blockchain comes in. It’s capable of transferring funds safely in an instant with little to no fees.
This is because there are no banks or middlemen involved. Similarly, you have as much information as possible on the parties and it’s similar to an escrow service in which you are guaranteed payment.
Secondly, there are smart contracts. You may have heard of this term before since it was first used back in 1993. However, blockchain has reinvented it. Smart contracts are automated programs that can carry out the terms of any contract. That means a network (Blockchain) controls the contract, funds, recipients, and other information automatically.
Additionally, blockchain can be applied to privacy, marketing, advertising, and many other business operations.
5. Virtual and augmented reality
While virtual reality has been mostly associated with gaming, it also has a huge potential in the business world. The same applies to augmented reality. In case you aren’t familiar with the difference, augmented reality is an overlay to real life while virtual delivers a recreated experience.
Think of virtual reality goggles. You put them on, see a different reality, and take them off. Augmented reality, on the other hand, is like what Ikea did with their mobile app. It allows customers to choose a piece of furniture and place it in a photo saved on their smartphone.
But, how can it be used for business? Firstly, virtual reality can be used to conduct lifelike meetings for remote companies. With freelancing and the gig economy on the rise, this is a great opportunity to connect people far away. It can also be used for employee interviews and discovery calls with clients.
Augmented reality is mostly used to improve the customer experience while reducing churn. In many cases it allows a customer to see how a product would fit or look before purchasing it—enhancing their shopping experience while decreasing the likeliness of a refund. This will require you to develop an app that suits your business, however.
Are you staying up to date on what works the best in business? Doing so will give you a competitive advantage. One of the best ways to do so is by using proven tools at your disposal. It’s easy to utilize your current tool stack, but consider one of the new technologies we covered today
That begins with predictive analytics. This solution is capable of forecasting marketing, advertising, and other performance to make better decisions.
Similarly, machine learning is capable of continually finding improvements for a business to make. That’s what powers marketing security software that discovers bugs, mistakes, and other issues to fix for maximizing ROI.
Blockchain, despite it being commonly associated with cryptocurrency, is incredibly powerful at many other applications. This includes safer transactions, transparent deals, and enhanced privacy.
Lastly, consider adopting virtual or augmented reality into your company. Both of these can be used to offer a unique and tailored customer experience that they won’t get anywhere else.
Author: Carmine Mastropierro
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