01/22/13

Utilizing Technology in Small Business Marketing

Utilizing Technology in Small Business MarketingGenevieve Coates is a freelance writer and graduate business student at University of Florida. She is a former staff writer for AndGeeks.com and Speedy-incorporation.com. She spends her free time tending to her massive “app garden” at home with her husband Dave.

Technology evolves just like your business evolves. And as technology evolves, so too does your business. Keeping up with the latest trends isn’t about making your company look cool (though, sometimes that helps); it’s about making sure you are on top of your game.

Technology isn’t just for the people with the word “tech” in their job title. Staying on top of technology trends is crucial for someone in the marketing profession, not because you won’t be able to function without the knowledge, but because technology helps you be more productive. And we all want to be more productive, right?

There is technology out there (some of it not even out yet) that will help you be more productive, make more sales, and possibly open more doors for business.

Point-of-sale systems

One of the biggest things in marketing is making sure you take advantage of opportunities when they come along. Point-of-sale systems give small businesses the chance to take their business to the ground, which means you get your brand out where the people are, you make more sales, and you build trust with your customer base.

Companies like Square and Intuit have mobile payment systems that allow you to accept credit cards wherever your business has taken you. This allows you to make the sales to people that don’t have cash. It also means you are more mobile than when you have to carry around those clunky credit card processors. From a marketing standpoint, this gives you an opportunity to sign people up for email newsletters, hand out business cards, and further your brand by giving it a face.

Digital marketing software

Keeping up with your digital marketing plan can be a lot of work. Analytics, SEM, SEO, email, social media, sales leads… it’s all got to be tracked and accounted for on a daily basis to take full advantage of everything that your great digital marketing plan can do for your business. Unfortunately, most of that technology is in separate places on your computer or in different programs. Maybe you’ve got several different people at your company keeping track of different aspects of the marketing strategy.

Luckily, technology is back at it again, helping digital marketers keep track of all those analytics in one place. Companies like Optify and Kenshoo provide digital marketing software that can help build leads, grow sales, and manage all your campaigns in one spot. With consolidation programs like these, you can save time on reports and analysis, which gives you more time to take care of other aspects of your business.

Multi-user PCs

This one is pretty cool. Granted, the technology is not out yet, but the possibilities for marketing teams are endless. It’s called the Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon. This was optimized to be a family gaming center, but the possibilities are quite expansive when it comes to the marketing world. Well, marketing teams, in general. The PC allows for 10 fingers to make movements on the screen at once, and with a 27” display, there is plenty of room for a few people to get in there and work. As a PC, the huge screen is great for reading analytics reports.

When it’s folded down onto the table, it switches from Windows 8 to their Aura interface, which is where all the action happens. You can take pictures or any other type of media and arrange them into different slideshows or presentations. So, rather than sending presentations or creative documents back and forth from person to person, you can all work in the same place. It’s got a creative suite built in, so there will be no more endless emailing back and forth. It’s like they say in their promo video, “taking the personal computer and making it interpersonal.”

This is great for brainstorming, working collaboratively in the same place, putting the finishing touches on a creative design, or just getting the team together for a meeting.

Technology is changing, and with change in the technology world, change will also trickle down into the business world. Taking advantage of new trends in technology can give your business a boost, and take a little bit of the workload off of you. So be more productive and make more money!

It takes a little cash to change the world.

So what are you waiting for?

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