The tech marketing trends of 2013 seem to be growing into the fresh new trends of 2014. Everything from unlimited cloud storage to the full market domination of mobile platforms have made it onto business analysts top 10 tech lists. Small businesses that want to prepare themselves for this brave new world best familiarize themselves with the rapidly changing marketing landscape now. Once they have a better understanding of what's to come, they'll be in a better position to take advantage of those trends, whether its with online event giveaways or the mere improvement of brand presence. One of the biggest trends is the increasing dominance of the mobile platform.
As smart phones get smarter and the word on high is increasingly delivered on tablets, it is becoming clear that lives are being channeled more through mobile devices. Steven Sinofsky, a former top leader with Windows, recently made the prediction that mobile platforms will be in some way related to almost every purchase and transaction. That includes everything from making restaurant reservations to ordering deliveries to scheduling appointments. Sinofksy puts his predictions in no uncertain terms.
"While today it seems inconvenient if one needs to resort to 'analog' to use a service, 2014 is a year in which every service has a choice and those that don't exist in a mobile world won't be picked," Sinofsky wrote in his blog.
"Consumer products and services will only exist if they can be acquired via mobile," he went on to say.
Small business Trends has similarly named mobile as one of 2014's top marketing trends. Companies will have to find ways to adapt their services not just to the digital world, but also to the handheld screen.
Adjusting for mobile
Businesses that are looking to take advantage of the mobile world will want to invest in a decent web designer to carry their products and services into a new digital age. However, going mobile isn't just about creating a usable website on the Internet. It's also about tailoring a company brand that translates seamlessly through mobile devices. As Business News Daily predicted, organizations will likely invest more in refining and streamlining their mobile presence. That means making it easier to access information with little to no scrolling or clicking, and establishing easy mobile payment methods.
The mobile revolution is also about making sure employees can better embrace mobile services. One interesting way to utilize mobile platforms is by developing apps for a company's specific uses. Forbes has recommended that businesses centralize their management and policy-making for all mobile initiatives. This may require creating a new department or hiring new IT staffers that have a good working knowledge of mobile and app development.
Ushering in the new era
Mobile-based platforms may be a great way to market, but businesses will first need to find a way to make their platforms visible to the public and draw in users. As a company's online presence grows, so too does the effectiveness of the platform as a marketing tool.
Companies that have previously not had a strong online presence can start by implementing grassroots methods in order to alert users to their new and improved mobile platforms. Promotional giveaways in stores are an easy way to advertise a new mobile site. Promotional pens can be customized with a company's Twitter hashtag. Businesses can also simply throw in a flyer with other promo items. Once company's develop a strong online presence, they can then advertise events and giveaways via their mobile platforms, bringing the whole marketing campaign full circle.
In terms of getting employees to take greater advantage of a business' new mobile platform, employers can hold a raffle for business gifts such as customized phone cases and other devices used in relation to a phone.