In today's digital world, if a customer is at the heart of a business, technology is at the heart of marketing efforts. No matter how good your product or solution is, it hard makes any sense, what makes sense is, keeping pace with customers' expectations. In recent years customer expectations are rising faster because of digital revolution. Customers now have more choices than before, thanks to the fast changing digital technology trends. The proliferation of smart phones and internet apps further raised the bar. Digital consumers are fast embracing new technologies and adopting to it quickly.
Social media, mobility, analytics and the cloud literally took the entire IT world by storm. All these technologies in isolation have already made their mark but the combination of these technologies was a wonder waiting to unleash. The convergence of these platforms is a disruptive innovation that will change the way business is conducted. Today's customers are more informed than ever before and they have more choices and more expectations on when, where and how they engage and interact.
Social network world-wide penetration rate is fast increasing. It may not come as a surprise that number of consumers accessing social networking sites is increasing every day. Thanks to consumerization of IT, majority of social media users are now staunch followers of brands on social media, they regularly visit social networking sites to see if there are any new offers, rebates and discounts. These digital natives take online reviews seriously and now is the time for business to make online reviews a priority. They regularly access social networking sites to find products and services. Research suggests that this usage is bound to rise manifold in the future. There is little doubt that social media has changed the way the businesses look at consumer. It is high time, businesses rise to the expectations of digital age consumers. Organizations that have invested in these ubiquitous technologies, have achieved significant measurable results.
The world has gone mobile if the recent trends are any indication. The penetration and adoption of smartphones and other connected devices is fast growing. It is hardly surprising that mobile internet usage rate is radically increasing thanks to ever-increasing popularity of smartphones among all ages. Mobile is ubiquitous and presents retailers a unique opportunity to deliver personalized customer engagement. The ability to quickly engage customers on the go makes mobile marketing strategy a safe bet. Consumerization of IT, Internet of things and BYOD is redefining the work environment and in many ways booting employee productivity.
Data is constantly flowing in multiple formats and from a variety of sources (both structured and unstructured). Although the data is available but the fact that it is not in a desired format makes it unusable for business decision-making. This is where analytics comes into play. Analytics uses usage of technologies, tools and application to turn raw data into actionable data insights which can accelerate decision-making capability. Business users can leverage analytical solutions to gain more insights locked in data.
The cloud literally eliminates the need to invest heavily in hardware, software and other infrastructure. One major advantage organizations stand to gain from the cloud is software-as-services, which greatly reduces costs incurred on expensive data centers. The cloud helps deliver unified customer experience.
While each of these technologies individually offers instant measurable business benefits to businesses but integrating them as a stack ( SMAC stack framework ) can create new opportunities for product development, customer engagement and interaction.