3 Technology Trends to Set SMBs Ahead for Mid-Year and Beyond

DIGITAL MARKETING OPERATIONS Posted April 7, 2016

We’ve hit Q2–2016, and for many marketing and sales professionals, it’s time to reflect on business results from the first three months of the year, and set our sights on what we processes we’ll set in motion to drive success with clients and consumers in the second half of the year.

Back in December 2015, the GDMA and Winterberry Group (cited by eMarketer) identified that marketing professionals worldwide would significantly increase their spending on data-driven advertising in 2016. And while it’s still too soon to tell whether there’s been a recognizable uptick in adoption of the kinds of data-management, Marketing Automation (MA), or other MarTech solutions that drive such data-driven MarComm initiatives, we’re encouraged by the following 3 technology trends identified by Adobe (a Vigorate Marketing Cloud partner) as top emerging trends for leading SMBs in 2016:

1.Investing in business-technology drives greater organizational agility and flexibility: Though often considered among the digital laggards or dinosaurs in the past, progressive SMBs continue to invest in MarTech platforms and technology in greater numbers. In a study conducted by SMB Group in 2015, 25% of small and 34% of medium businesses (or 29% of all SMBs) agree that technology helps them to significantly improve business outcomes. In fact, they’re outpacing big-name business competitors when it comes to more aggressively adopting Marketing Cloud and MA, integration, and analytics solutions. Case in point: progressive SMBs are 86% more likely to have purchased or upgraded an analytics solution in the past 24 months than the SMB population-at-large, and are more likely to use analytics across business areas, such as financial forecasting, risk analysis, operations and supply chain, and customer service and support.

 

2. Mobile continues to blaze a valuable trail: SMB stakeholders recognize the benefits of mobile technology both in terms of their ability to engage in and grow the profitability of customer interactions as well as their interest in improving employee productivity and output. Based on a study from SMB Group from 2014, 55% of small- and 65% of medium-sized businesses view mobile solutions as critical to their operations. Some of the ways that they’re using mobile solutions include:

  • External, customer-facing mobile websites and apps: to attract new customers and respond more quickly to queries and requests, keep pace with competition and provide a more personalized customer experience; and
  • Internal collaboration and operational apps: to allow for better intra-office and intra-employee communications and to support employees with specific business functions (e.g., expense management).

3. More data = more security concerns: You might want to sit down for this one… According to the International Data Corp (IDC), the size of the digital universe (i.e., the data being created and copied by consumers, industry, etc. annually) is doubling every 2 years, so that by 2020, the size of this universe will reach 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes (that’s 21 zeroes, if you’re curious).   Data security comes down to a pretty simple equation: The more data that marketers get their hands on, the more likely that those data-points will be of interest to external parties, the greater number of safeguards those marketers will need to put in place to secure and protect their businesses from data loss, leakage, breaches, or even non-malicious but still business-impacting outages or hardware failure. And so, in tandem with their increased interest and adoption rates of MarTech platforms and technology—which are often built to help marketers to organize, synthesize, and manage their many streams of consumer data—small and medium businesses now see security as a high-order priority, and one of the most pressing technology challenges they’ll face in the months to come.

 

What do the last 3 quarters of 2016 have in store for your business? While we certainly don’t claim to have a crystal ball stashed in our supply closet, we’re confident that, when used strategically and implemented well, the latest tools of the modern marketing trade—Marketing Automation, Cloud platforms, data management solutions, and the like—will continue to drive more agile and productive teams forward in the Canadian and international MarComm marketplace.

Have you got your MarTech, mobile, and security houses in order? If not, we can help—take a look at our 3 main service areas to learn how.

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