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Business Buzz: Keeping up with tech trends

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PHUKET: If you’ve been following this column regularly, then you will be aware of the statistics on the soaring increases in use of the Internet and Social Media in recent years.

Coupled with this is the substantial increase in the use of smart phones. Many platforms such as YouTube and Facebook have now specifically set up self-filling forms to assist in using smart phones to easily place orders and provide information to complete online commerce transactions.

It is worth noting that some demographics are more or less likely to embrace certain technologies.
While millennials are happy to use smart phones for e-commerce, and almost everything else for that matter, the older generations still prefer using desktops to do their online purchasing.

As a company, you should understand your target market; its behaviors and the things that are likely to reach them successfully.

This can be uncovered with some online research or through forums and marketing companies.
The secret to success with technology is to be aware of current trends. Then you can be pro-active and keep up with them.

It’s even better to be one step ahead, so that you are planning and launching your marketing into the mediums that are getting the best results while they are at their peak, rather than turning up late to the party.

An important aspect of using analytics is that the company can direct resources to solutions that produce results. Trends are good at identifying marketing priorities. They may cause a big stir, but the stir may not affect the company’s bottom line. So trust tight analysis.

Facebook ‘likes’ are a classic example of this. In Thailand, it is very easy to get likes, but the real trick is to convert the likes into dollars.

I was recently talking about this over coffee with the shareholder of a large online systems company. The company is very informative because they are very good at analytics.

As I have said many times, if you don’t know your numbers, you are relying more on good luck than good management.

The company in question provides an IT-based platform for global distribution services (GDS) in Asean, and more specifically Thailand.

In reviewing their year-on-year results, they noticed a 240 per cent increase in online sales from the agents using their systems and a large drop in counter-based sales. This has been repeated for several years now and shows no sign of changing.

This translates to a complete consumer behavioral change, where customers are no longer buying products at a retail counter, but preferring to book online.

The trend is the same for all users, which shows how important it is to evolve with the times. If you don’t, you risk being left behind. Examples of industries where this has happened include book sales, newspapers, magazines and video stores, and they will certainly not be the last.

So where is your business in relation to the future, and are you keeping up with the times?

It’s never too late to start thinking about this, but the sooner you get into the mindset and start preparing, the better it will be for your business with less damage done.

Simon Wetherell is a Digital Media Expert, Trainer and Lawyer. He now resides in Thailand where he shows businesses and individuals how to profit from the Social Media industry. For more information, go to PhuketOnlineMarketing.com or call 095-085 3355.

— Simon Wetherell

 

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