Idea Talk: Why Small Businesses Need to Embrace Technology into Their Marketing Efforts

Customer’s Habits are Changing, Shouldn’t You?

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Big City Marketing

If you do business in the big city, you know that marketing is done literally everywhere. From the old fashion radio and billboards to street corner promoters; all of whom have one goal in mind, drive more foot traffic to the stores. But traditional marketing is a…Well, it’s not dying per se, but it is losing momentum.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with traditional marketing, in fact, we don’t ever see traditional marketing ever dying completely because let’s face it there are still segments of the population who are tech-resistant. But for the rest of us? That is over 198.9 million Americans (reported by comScore) who are using smartphones and are therefore receptive to technology changes.

People more than ever (Thanks to Social Media trends) are more likely to engage with businesses that they love. This engagement though is not a 9-5 (business hours), this is potentially 24 hours engagements. Where people are spreading the word about your business, ordering online and even just giving you feedback about how to do something better. Customers nowadays need more than just a billboard telling them that you’re having a flash sale or a happy hour, no, they want you to give them a text message or push notification inviting them to our flash sale or happy hour.

“Customers nowadays need more than just a billboard telling them that you’re having a flash sale or a happy hour…they want you to give them a text message or push notification inviting them to your flash sale or happy hour.”

Customers are changing, and while the small to mid-size business segments are not responsible for this trend (you can thank the Silicon Valley for that.) Small businesses entrepreneurs like you need to recognize that the paradigm has shifted, and the shift is a more customer-centric marketing effort. And with the right tech, you can dominate your local competitors by being ahead of the game.

Of course, a centric based marketing effort is not a new idea, but we’re going to give you one example why without the right tech, this type of marketing would not work.

The Golden Case-Study: Starbucks

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If you’ve been to Starbucks, you know that they have a plethora of followers who are brand loyal to the very core. This loyalty is part of the consistent customer services that each store provide to the customers. Some customers even claim that they feel like they are talking to a friend when speaking with Starbucks employee. But once those customers leave the store, how does Starbucks bring them back?

The easy answer is that Starbuck gives out “Stamp Card” to their customers and the customers come back because of the incentives. But, Starbucks doesn’t just dole out rubber stamps to boost foot traffic in the stores. They use their stamps and their apps as a means to improve customer relationships with a personalized marketing approach at the center of the “Stamp Card.”

“Starbucks doesn’t just dole out rubber stamps to boost foot traffic in the stores. They use their stamps and their apps as a means to improve customer relationships with a personalized marketing approach at the center of the Stamp Card.”

They use their apps to track customer purchasing behavior, engage with customers, allowed customers to order online for convenience, and give customers the Starbucks experience; all in a while the customers aren’t even required to be in the store. This seemingly basic “Stamp Card” program, is creating thousands of dollars for Starbuck’s bottom line, and no it is not a paperback stamp card system.

How tech fits in all this:

Tech solutions go beyond just digitizing your marketing efforts, because at the end of the day you’d just be doing traditional marketing but in a different setting. No, the reason why Starbucks was so adamant and spent years and millions of dollar perfecting their “Stamp Card,” is because, with technology, all of your marketing efforts are trackable.

Trackable Marketing is what small businesses need to be doing to be competitive in the 21st-century business landscape. Track everything that you are spending money on. The reason why the Starbucks app can make a customized recommendation for customer’s drink is that it tracks your habits.

The reason why Facebook ads work so well is that Facebook knows who you are and the advertiser can track how much they spend on Facebook ads rather than just blasting into the void like traditional Radio/TV ads.

That is the power of Technology; you know what you are spending on rather than your efforts being like mystery meat…you don’t know what you are getting.

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Why Small Business Needs to Upgrade: 

Traditional marketing is an old process, and it’s getting outdated. The problem is that many small businesses have not seen how powerful adding the right tech can be to their marketing efforts. In fact, big companies are terrified of tech changes, Why? Because it levels the playing field favoring the little dudes.

If you want a quick and easy membership program? No worries, there is tech that supports that membership program without the need to keep complicated membership cards on file.

Same goes for loyalty programs, long are the days of physical punch cards because everything can be digitized and organized more efficiently that way. What about flyers and billboard…what if you could make those flyers and billboard only appear to people who are in your target audience AND spend money only for those who actually looked at your billboard rather than for everyone?

The World’s Changing 

Small businesses who are quick to adapt to these trends and changes may have what it takes to elevate themselves from small to mid-sized and from then on…who knows? Either way, everyone needs to recognize that the world is vast and the potential for technology to disrupt the way businesses are run and adapt accordingly. Small businesses are no exception.

In fact, it is more relevant that small businesses like yours to change first and take every advantage you could possibly can so you can compete better; because chances are you competitions might be getting ahead of you!

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