So much can change in a decade
Much has changed in business and marketing over the past ten years. The Internet already existed and brought about significant business and marketing revolutions but things continue changing, introducing new concepts and technologies that spell major shifts and turns that require businesses and marketers to actively adapt.
The following are the six most striking ways business and marketing have evolved over the past decade.
1. Online Selling for Everyone
It’s not that online selling and shopping only started in the last ten years. The emphasis here is on the phrase “for everyone.” As Internet technologies advance with more people learning and gaining access, the opportunity to make money online has become widely accessible. Even non-techies can now set up their online stores and complete sales transactions online. There are many online tools or services for creating websites, such as Wix or IM Creator. They even come with tools for search engine optimization and for the creation of online stores.
Also, even blogs now can be converted into online stores. There are many free templates for blogs, online shopping site templates for Blogger in particular, that have been designed to make blogs look and work like online stores. Additionally, there are many free web hosts available for those who need reliable web hosting for their newly-built online stores. Some of them offer unlimited free hosting like Hostt for example, completely removing the barriers to entry for the average user.
The past decade marked the revolution brought about by the iPhone. Smartphones rose to popularity and omnipresence after Apple introduced the iPhone, inspiring other mobile phone manufacturers to innovate to compete with Apple’s iconic device. This has fortunately ushered in the mobility era for technology, a time when devices have to be designed in ways that make them more portable while offering an extensive range of features. For business and marketing, this era means an excellent opportunity to become innovative in terms of promotions and sales.
With the growing popularity of mobile devices that are capable of browsing the web and accessing online services, businesses and marketers learned to innovate to be able to serve ads on mobile devices, to facilitate mobile and online business transactions, and to offer new products and services that are aimed at making the most of mobile technology. The increasing popularity of mobile devices has spurred the growth of the gaming and app development industry. Ingenious revenue generation schemes have also cropped up. One good example of these ingenious revenue generation strategies is the introduction of in-app purchasing, which allows app or game developers to make money out of the free mobile apps or games they provide.
The better businesses are to adapt to the growing mobile use and create content suited for the myriad devices, the better the experiences for customers and prospects for increased sales and engagement.
3. Social Media Based Marketing, Greater Emphasis on Social
With the rise of social media came the prevalence of social media marketing. It would be difficult to find a business that does not make use of social media marketing nowadays. Social media has become a staple in modern marketing and in establishing an online presence. Twitter and Facebook are playing major roles. Failing to use them mean foregoing some of the surest ways to reach an audience and successfully promote a product or service.
Proving how social media has become an essential part of modern marketing is the growing number of companies that offer specialized social media marketing. Companies like 99dollarsocial.com have based their entire business model on providing social campaign management. They allow companies to outsource the daily posting activities and intricate campaign management tasks for a very affordable monthly fee and are successfully attracting a good deal of clients. Almost all marketing companies now are expected to be adept in social media promotions.
4. Non-Advertising Businesses Generating Revenues through Ads
Ever heard of companies that are not known as marketing or advertising companies but are actually making their income from ads? Yes, they exist. One of the best examples are companies that operate networks of blogs. They don’t make money by attracting paying subscribers but by simply publishing content to drive traffic and earn by working with advertisers or companies that directly advertise on their blogs. Displaying Amazon ads and other affiliate marketing banners has also become common for many companies that own websites and blogs. Instead of using their sites to promote their own products, they also spare some space for advertisers.
5. Cashless and Cardless Payments at POS Counters
Apple Pay was recently announced with such flare that it was made to appear as a revolutionary new technology from the makers of the iPhone. However, this cashless and cardless payment technology isn’t really new.
There have been a number of attempts to make it work in the past ten years. It’s not popularly used but the technology already exists and it’s one of the most striking ways business has evolved over the past decade. The ability to pay through web-connected mobile devices has been introduced in the past decade. It has not been that widely adopted by stores but things may change with Apple now getting involved and investing a great deal.
6. Web-based Collaboration and Negotiation
With the advancing Internet technologies of the past ten years, businesses started enjoying the conveniences of being able to not just communicate through the web but also to collaborate to achieve a variety of business goals. Web conferencing or online meeting software like ClickMeeting have become essential tools for modern businesses as they enable cheaper video-based communication and the platform for collaborative endeavors among business partners, customers, clients, investors, and employees.
These technologies also bring a new generation of cost savings as business can now achieve a lot like closing deals and bringing teams together from all over the world without spending on plane tickets and other logistical expenses. These web-based communication and collaboration tools also facilitate remote product demonstrations and troubleshooting or technical assistance for customers.
The evolution of business and marketing will definitely not stop on the six points mentioned above. There are far more exciting changes to expect in the future. What we have seen over the last ten years are just hints of the more exciting developments technology and human creativity will be bringing in the years ahead.