The economic challenges of the past couple of years have carved a new business landscape, opening new perspectives about the way we market our products and handle the many bits or bytes of information we need to operate our businesses.
While economic trends may still fall short of expectations, recent technological trends have given us more marketing choices, improved CMS technology and more space in which to compete.
More Web; less print. As budgets shrank and pressure grew, businesses discovered that online campaigns are less expensive, faster to implement and can be measured more easily than traditional print campaigns in terms of design, production, mailing and measurement.
Although marketing online requires a steep learning curve, most agree it’s one worth navigating. Using a business website and other online resources, you can advertise your product and boost sales for a fraction of the cost of print. Email and social media are free and online advertising is pay-per-click. Nobody uses the phone book anymore. Why pay for an ad?
Ad networks are specializing, making targeting much easier. Whether you want to attract young mothers, teenagers, mid-level execs or boomers, there should be a network appropriate for your ad and its message.
An increasing number of free analytics tools give businesses a host of options with which to measure success. These tools measure everything from the effectiveness of an ad’s position on a page to tracking click patterns and behavior using heatmaps and overlays. Survey tools help you plan the campaign before it even begins.
Finally, a rule book! Because of this powerful shift from offline to online, content is more important than ever. And Yahoo is helping those of us who depend on good content to produce it. On July 6 they are releasing a stylebook that will help clarify things like SEO and the new legalities associated with the digital age as well as providing a brush up on grammar and usage.
Managing content has never been easier, either. There are all kinds of new software coming to a developer near you that will enhance your CMS, ECM and WCM and unify communications to make interface systems communicate with each other more effectively.
Along those lines, it goes without saying that mobile technology has staked its claim of the landscape and being able to have your server and hard drive play nicely with your phone-and others’ phones-is critical to future success in this new realm. New API and SOA technologies offer solutions that make successfully managing content and data across various media possible. And with President Barack Obama’s wireless spectrum plan, Americans-and those wanting to do business with them-will have more room in which to do it in!
Going outside for help. Given that the technical landscape is expanding at a faster rate than the economic one, companies are outsourcing IT services for big-scale projects, allowing their in-house talent to focus on daily operations.