Five ways to future proof your business
The world is moving faster than ever before and in a world that doesn’t pause to take a breath, neither can your business. Regardless of your market, any business will face countless hurdles ahead if it is not prepared to meet them head-on.
That’s why we’ve prepared this list of 5 ways to future-proof your business and ensure it doesn’t get left behind by the march of progress.
Be AI Ready
You’ll hear a lot being said about “The Internet of Things” (IoT), and whilst it is a powerful tool, it isn’t a particularly transformational technology - when taken on its own terms. Indeed, the concept of connected devices sharing information with one another isn’t new. But when you combine the power of the IoT with the power of artificial intelligence, you start to open up some exciting avenues.
Businesses that are using data captured on IoT sensors to feed AI systems that identify patterns, and allow for predictive marketing and even product maintenance. Businesses that haven’t jumped on the AI and IoT bandwagon yet, should seriously be examining their priorities.
Humanise Your Brand
Research from the Cassandra Report, commissioned by Engine, reveals that the vast majority of Millennial consumers are drawn towards brands they feel are somehow more ‘human.’ Being human, of course, means different things to different people.
Largely, however, it’s about making your brand more transparent, more ethical, and more relatable. Do that and your brand will be that much better equipped to face the future.
Video > Still Images
The era of the still image for marketing is effectively over. With the affordability of modern LED and LCD display screens, there’s no good reason why a brand shouldn’t be thinking of the typical static image as surplus to requirements.
Online, video always prevails, with video generating around 1200% more shares than text and images on social media. It can also be an incredibly powerful tool, however, in the physical world.
Swap your conventional displays with moving LCD screens and you’ll instantly bring the brand alive with movement, colour, and excitement. For catching passing trade and remaining relevant, it’s perhaps one of the most cost-effective measures you can take.
Trust the Data
Back around the end of the ‘noughties,’ automotive mega-brand Ford decided to adopt a mantra of “data will set you free” and it paid off big time. The billion-dollar losses they suffered in 2008 evolved into a reported $1.2 billion profit in 2014.
There is so much data floating around the internet now, that it would be shortsighted of businesses not to consider taking advantage of it. Data can be used to figure out where to allocate resources effectively, who to promote your brand to, and what major decisions you should make. Big data has effectively taken the guesswork out of business.
Another phrase you’ve probably heard being bandied around a lot recently, mobile-first doesn’t mean neglecting other forms of marketing and commerce, it simply means understanding the fact that, online, the vast majority of users will be viewing your site (and your brand) on their phones.
In 2018, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices, but so many businesses have still yet to make their online presence in any way mobile friendly. The mobile-first mindset should also bleed into the physical world. For retail businesses, for example, it’s important to realise that people are more attached to their phones than ever before.
Take advantage of this by utilising augmented reality and creating bespoke content in-store that can only be accessed via smartphone and make sure every store and office has free, public high-speed WiFi. This is something that was once seen as a luxury but is increasingly being perceived as a necessity.
Ultimately, consumers are more likely to remember your brand if you give them a memorable experience. That means future-proofing isn’t always about keeping up with the latest trends, but standing out, thinking outside the box, and making a mark with something genuinely original and innovative. As to what that original idea might be? That’s up to you. If we had all the answers then we’d be making a lot more money!