Jump in the Black Tie Time Machine and join us on a nostalgic ride back to the year 1995 – 20 (short) years ago. What did your business look like back in 1995? Perhaps even more to the point, did your business even exist 20 years ago? Maybe a journey back that far finds you working at the local coffee joint, hitting the books in college, or working at a dead-end job pushing paper. We can’t see your life or business 20 years ago (our time machine is only built for one…) but we can guarantee you this – the Internet has changed your life and your way of doing business.
The View from 1995
A 1995 article in Inc. Magazine provides some fascinating insights into how the business world perceived technology and the future of business. The observations are at times humorous: “How, for example, did we live without the fax machine?…By the end of 1995, sales of the now-ubiquitous machines are expected to reach a staggering 5 million units.” At other times, the article’s comments are prophetically on-point:“…it’s a shift from organization to organism. Now our organization charts are beginning to look like webs, the quintessential biological structure.”
As brought out in the Inc. article, businesses are shifting from organizations to organisms – and technology has been the force responsible for bringing businesses to life. How is your business faring as a customer-focused organism? Is it thriving, or on life support? Often, the answer to this question depends on the extent to which your company is willing to embrace technological changes and advancements.
Essentially, the world of business has moved online. Increasingly, businesses that want to succeed in attracting and retaining customers need to have a solid web presence with the technology and tools that consumers expect. Even if you are a brick-and-mortar business, consumers are likely looking for you online also.
At Black Tie Digital Marketing, we know that keeping up with changes in technology can seem like a never-ending process of adaptation. Most recently, Mobilegeddon rocked the world of many businesses who felt they already had a solid website. Even if you already loved your site, Google didn’t love it anymore if it wasn’t mobile-friendly. Other critical areas of advancement include the application and implementation of a social media strategy, effective branding, and easy to use website resources.
Need further proof that technology and the Internet have changed business forever? Consider these recent changes:
-Purchasing is not just in store anymore: A vast online marketplace has appeared where consumers can easily purchase goods and services from anywhere in the world, giving global commerce a massive boost.
-Integration of apps: ‘There’s an app for that…’ With app integration, consumers have the ability to manage accounts, get info, or shop all from a mobile device.
-Search Engines and the Rise of SEO: Reaching a coveted top spot on search engine result pages has led to a never-before seen discussion of keywords, social strategy, and content management.
-The extinction of the phonebook: Remember the thousands of pages of categorized and alphabetized entries? Now Internet Directories deliver all this information, as well as access to reviews, with the touch of a button – rendering the phone book even more useless than the fax machine.
-Tools for Analytics: Marketers have greater access to information about web traffic than ever before. Vast amounts of data provide insight on demographics, web browsing habits, and more that can all be harnessed by companies to attract and retain new customers.
Don’t Stay Stuck in 1995
It may not seem easy to keep up with changing technology, but consider all the benefits that have come from advancement and innovation. Generating customer interaction and feedback has never been easier or more instantaneous. In 1995, Inc. Magazine asked for comments on its article to be submitted via fax. Today, you can tell you us what you think of this article right now – by means of an email, Facebook comment, tweet, and more. As a business, this efficiency in communication means the ability to keep a greater pulse on what your customers are interested in and looking for. Analytics also give businesses insights into the minds of consumers – identifying trends in where, when, and how they use information or purchase products. In an age of technology that makes 1995 look almost primitive, it’s imperative to keep up with technological advancements to capture audience attention and market share.
So don’t delay making an investment in technology, your website, and Internet marketing. After all, your business is a living organism built to serve your clients and generate growth. Ignoring technology means losing out on valuable insights and valuable customer relationships. Don’t stay stuck in 1995. Hop on the time machine to the future and invest in your business and technology today.