6 Technology Trends in SMEs
If you run a small business, it might not be practical to use the latest, cutting-edge technology that large corporations are using. However, the technology you use will undoubtedly still play a key role in making your business more efficient, and helping it to grow. The following trends are all worth keeping an eye on for the rest of this year and into 2020.
Influencer & Personalised Marketing
Influencers on social media have now gone mainstream, and they are now a very practical way for businesses of any size to connect with consumers and showcase their products. The days of mass advertising tools such as print campaigns and billboards are a thing of the past, as businesses can now dynamically choose how they display for different audiences.
It doesn’t matter what your product is – whether you’re selling promotional condoms or home furniture, customers are much more likely to react positively to a recommendation from a person they trust, compared to an old school advertisement. More and more businesses are using ‘micro-influencers’, and it’s no longer just for those at the forefront of this kind of marketing such as beauty brands.
When done correctly, a more personalised approach to your marketing can really help you to build a brand and connect with consumers on a deeper level. You’ll need to do some research and find the best influencers in your industry.
The fifth generation of cellular capability is just around the corner. We have come a long way since 1G (a.k.a analog cellular) was first released in the 80s. 5G is of course faster than 4G. In fact, the latency is being reduced from around 50 milliseconds to just 1 millisecond.
This will certainly help grow the ever-expanding network of devices that we can control from all over the world… from your car to your central heating. There’s a lot of excitement and speculation going on in this area at the moment, but only time will tell exactly what will unfold.
With every year that goes by, the software we use is becoming increasingly unified. Tools such as Zapier are helping to bridge the gap and automate workflows. We only have to look as far as Google, though, to see how the tools we use are beginning to merge.
A few years ago, you would have needed Outlook to send emails, a hard drive to store information and Microsoft Word to create documents. All of these things can now be done in Google’s ecosystem with Gmail, Drive and Docs. Having all these tools under one roof makes it increasingly easy to get them all talking to each other, which can be great for improving your workflow. This can save you valuable time and hugely increase internal efficiencies.
Advertising with Social Media
Social media advertising has been around for years now, but it has only ever been as powerful as the platforms offered by social media networks. Thankfully, Facebook (and Instagram) have been aggressively improving their offering.
It’s now incredibly easy for small businesses to adopt once complex strategies, such as targeting very specific demographics and people with very relevant interests, as well as using remarketing.
As it’s grown in popularity, average CPCs have increased dramatically, but the fact is social media advertising is still one of the most affordable and effective advertising methods, by far.
Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important in today’s landscape. Small businesses are being targeted more and more as they make an easy target for cyberattacks. In fact, small business owners tend to think they are least susceptible to cyberattacks, but 61% of attacks occur in small businesses.
Fortunately, the tools we use are becoming increasingly secure, but that doesn’t mean a proactive approach to cybersecurity isn’t vital. Comprehensive backups are an essential part of cybersecurity that more SMEs will be adopting over the next year or two.
Take a look at our guide to learn more about cybersecurity.
Excited speculation regarding AI has been hard to avoid over the last few years, making its way into tech conferences, blogs and videos all over the world. It is now becoming increasingly accessible to small businesses, and over in 2020 we will likely see more and more implementation. This could include the creation of even more personalised customer experiences, or the use of voice assistants.
Another huge benefit of AI will be the automation of tasks that have until now been only implementable manually. This is an exciting development for small businesses, that will enable them to be more agile and lean than ever before. Although it will undoubtedly have a negative effect on the job market as the years go by.
2020 and beyond
The above 6 tech trends will be having a huge impact on small businesses for the rest of 2019, into 2020 and beyond. But it’s almost impossible to keep up with new technologies, and it’s hard to predict which trends we’ll be talking about 5 years from now.