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Disruption’s inevitable. Embrace it.

Technology has revolutionized how we interact with our customers and rewritten the rules of business several times over. The rate of change is accelerating and we are guaranteed more disruptive changes to each and every market in the coming years.

Are you disrupting your market—or are you being disrupted?
Most companies are thinking about their business strategy and how they differentiate themselves in their market, but few are thinking about ways to leverage technology to get out in front of the disruption that will inevitably occur.

The internet completely changed how your customers find you, how they make decisions, and how you provide service. In fact, the new world of marketing demands that you provide an experience for your customers that creates customer loyalty and leads to brand advocacy. While these experiences obviously have to extend to your products and service for enduring success, they invariably start with web technologies today.

The Mobile Effect
Mobile devices are having an equally, if not more profound, impact on customer relationships as the internet did. Advances in technologies like smartphones, wearables, self-driving cars, drones, the internet of things, robotics, and automation will continue to accelerate their availability and affordability until the companies that don’t adopt them early will lose a competitive advantage.

One simple example can be found by studying your email marketing campaigns. Look at what devices are being used for first opens. Across our client base, we invariably see initial open rates on mobile devices that far exceed those on a web browser, yet most websites and email marketing campaigns are still stuck in the web-first mindset.

The same dilemma applies to paid search and SEO efforts. What happens when a mobile searcher lands on your homepage? Technology plays a critical role in the first impression that you make on your customers with what may be your one and only chance to move them in your direction, build trust, and establish your brand.

Use technology to disrupt your market
Take a critical look at your current business and find ways to leverage technology to do one (or more) of the following things:

  • Make it a joy to use. It is not enough for your customer to simply come to your site to find information or make a purchase—brand loyalty happens when you make the interaction rewarding. Technology can help you do that.
  • Solve a problem for your customer. Use technology to make purchasing from you easier or more valuable. Give tools away that provide value to your industry. Give away information and education. Share your expertise and turn them into experts in your domain. Don’t create content to get customers-create content to build relationships.
  • Use social mechanics. Reward them for the simple stuff, and make it easy for them to refer friends and colleagues, and create ways that they can interact with your product or service on their terms. It’s not about “likes,” it’s about creating an engagement loop.

Many businesses are missing a Technology Strategic Plan from their list of strategic initiatives—yet so many customers learn and interact with brands online. Bottom line: technology should be one of your top strategic investments. It’s how to embrace (not react) to disruption and how to build customer relationships.

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