On reviewing digital business trends this year, it was interesting to discover there are three main areas that could unalterably change the face of business communications, the very future of the internet and how we use it.
It was Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable, who wrote towards the end of last year that “the pace of change has become blisteringly fast, with traditional industries – bookstores, video-rental chains, newspapers – crumbling more quickly than we could have imagined and predicted.” Looking at the trends he predicted were to take shape in 2012, the first was that tablet computers such as the iPad will become replacements to desktop computing and that the mouse will soon be “superseded by touchscreens”.
Another development, embraced wholeheartedly by heavyweights such as IBM, concluded in its report that of 2,000 medium-sized companies it surveyed, two-thirds were planning or had already deployed cloud-based technologies and 70 percent of businesses are either using or investigating cloud computing solutions.
For the past six months we have been heavily involved in the production of a new website, VoIP4Cloud, that offers an advanced, feature-rich, cloud-based VoIP IP PBX Unified Communications system for progressive businesses. The site was released earlier this month. However, in developing the site, there were two concepts, relating to cloud computing and mobile apps, that we found were gaining real strength in the market and in business communications models.
There is another part to this triumvirate of change and that is email marketing. These days, it’s not just about sending endless newsletters to clients, who barely read the traditional tomes of self-congratulatory corporate-speak, but about the way it integrates with social media; an ideal and “compelling” medium on which companies can relay their “brand voice” on social networks.
These days it’s much more about personal connections and dialogue in communicating information that counts and companies at the forefront of email marketing have already recognised this and have moved forward in their communications strategies also.
Mailigen is one such company that has grown from a small business email marketing service into an international company, and accredited by TopSEOs as the fourth best email marketing company and sixth by TopTen Reviews.
This method of marketing opens another platform to connect and communicate with your customers, so as to integrate your marketing message via email, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs. This enables businesses to interact and engage their company or brand with their customers on different channels and by a variety of methods.
There are a huge number of media channels to exploit these days, from Pinterest to video, all with a different approach and style as to how the marketing message is portrayed. But to really gear ourselves up for the year ahead, it’s worth taking the time to look at how these trends will affect business and what our competitors may be doing to embrace these trends.
It’s a real shake-up in the manner in which businesses interact with their customers, which makes for very interesting times ahead for all.
In summary, digital business trends this year include:
• Windows 8 is a complete re-imagining of Windows and the Metro interface takes a traditional Windows users into the realm of the mobile: instead of files and folders, there are touchable tiles that fire up your apps.
• There have been a host of analyses recently that point out that cloud computing has taken a significant hold and that its efficiency and economies of scale means that companies are racing ahead in the cloud.
• Social media integration provides an ideal and way for companies to convey their brand voice on many different platforms, with email marketing now part of the overall convergence of discourse between company and customer.
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