In a World of Exponential Technology, Your People Still Make the Difference.

In a World of Exponential Technology, Your People Still Make the Difference.

The aeroplane, nuclear power, cars, submarines, television, the personal computer and… the Internet – just a few of the 20th Century’s most important inventions.

Impressive feats of human creativity by any measure – so what about the remaining 80 years of the 21st Century? 

In his 2001 essay The Law of Accelerating Returns, inventor, futurist and Google’s Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil predicted: “100 years of progress in the 21st century…will be more like 20,000 years of progress.” 

At the beginning of the 21st century, Kurzweil observed more than 32 doublings of performance in computers since World War II. The nature of exponential growth, he continues, is such that technological trends are not noticed as small levels of technological power are doubled. Then in a watershed moment and seemingly out of nowhere, technology erupts into view. 

He found the acceleration in fields ranging from electronic to biological technologies. 

There wasn’t just simple exponential growth either, but “double” exponential growth – meaning that the rate of exponential growth is itself growing exponentially!

Automation is part of the suite of technological change and it’s a hot topic in marketing and business. It threatens to make large sections of the workforce redundant while for business owners it promises an opportunity to get time back to grow business rather than working in it.

The outlay on automation is also growing. As Digital Marketers we’re used to keeping abreast of the next shiny object to capture leads, measure its success and the latest platform algorithm update. To this end, an estimated $25 Billion will be spent on marketing automation by 2023. Furthermore, if given extra budget, 32% of marketers would spend it preferentially on the information derived from artificial intelligence (AI) in these platforms. 

Modern-day predictive analytics leverages insights obtained from the diverse confluence of statistics, AI, Machine Learning, and Big Data mining. Combined, these tools are delivering exponential change much like electricity did 100 years ago.

Machine learning algorithms are already anticipating our needs. The end-user experience is guilty of treading boundaries between intent and intrusion, although it’s intended to remove friction and make customers’ lives easier. We now see ads about the things we just said or talked about, (be careful what you say in front of your phone or smart speaker!)

Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law 

Moore’s Law refers to its founder’s observation that the number of transistors on a microchip doubles every two years, though the cost of computers is halved. We see this when the speed and capability of computers increase every couple of years and we pay less, (except for Apple products), for the improved performance.

Metcalfe’s law states that the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system. 

The internet is a perfect example. Smart device users have been able to connect to a growing network with rapidly improving bandwidth and falling prices. For more than half of the world’s population, the value has risen to a point where it’s an expected part of their home and business environment.

For good, (Kiva) and bad, (@realDonaldTrump,) the result is an unbridled network of processing power and the creation of a truly global village.

The Law’s in Action

  • Put into perspective, the CPU and RAM for the guidance system for the Apollo moon landing, (2MHz and 4GB RAM) had roughly the same power as 2 Nintendo systems today, (1.8MHz and 2GB RAM.) 
  • FLOPS, (Floating Operations Per Second), a useful comparison of computer performance, has undergone a 1 Trillion-fold increase in processing power in the 60 years until 2015.
  • Supercomputing continues to hit new milestones. The next milestone will be exascale computing, capable of a million trillion calculations a second!
  • 26 billion devices are connected to the internet. This number will grow to 75 billion, (10 per person), in 2025 as the Internet of Things, (IoT), too, is poised for exponential growth. IoT is an affordable way to put a microprocessor in everyone’s pocket and inside everything. 

In his book, Future Smart, author James Canton believes IoT will be “the bridge between the digital world of electronics and the physical world. The convergence of emerging technologies – automation, AI, machine learning, Big Data, wireless systems, nanotech and quantum chips, will…blast through the limitations of Moore’s Law…[and]…give us massively powerful supercomputers that live on the tip of a pin but have the power and intelligence to run a city or a planet.”

What to do with all this power?

As we achieve this leap in processing power, we should also brace for 800 million or ⅕  of the entire world’s jobs to be lost to automation by 2030. The challenge will be to find them gainful employment

As a Digital Marketer, I unashamedly exploit modern cutting-edge technology. SMEs have no choice but to negotiate a digital presence that now changes daily, or they will be rendered invisible. Enterprises must stay digitally agile – be willing to Adapt. Integrate. Grow, even though Digital Marketing is becoming more complex. 

Consumers have increasingly high expectations of the brands they do business with. A great Digital Marketer will ensure that all touchpoints meet these lofty customer expectations. 

They’ll employ an integration strategy involving SEO, retargeting, lead generation, social media, and content marketing, leveraging exponential technological change and the exploding growth in human interconnectivity. 

People are still the greatest asset

This is not about the newest trends in technology, though. A shameless technophile, it may appear counterintuitive for me to suggest advocating a people-first approach in business. Despite all the trappings of tech, one thing we should never lose is our humanity. Group culture is one of the most powerful forces on the planet…It’s the x-factor inside of successful businesses and elite sports teams.

One Harvard study over 11 years and 200 companies showed a strong culture increases net income by 756%. How we collaborate, view new ideas, join and build communities and establish relationships within a workplace is a key driver of success.

In his 2017 book The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle encourages looking for connection behaviours in your organisation. These include “proximity, eye contact, energy, mimicry, turn-taking, attention and lack of hierarchies where everyone talks to everyone else. All these ask the question: Are we safe? What’s our future with these people?”

 The importance of team cohesion was illustrated in the 2006 study, The Firm Specificity of Individual Performance: Evidence from Cardiac Surgery, by authors R. S. Huckman & G. P. Pisano. It followed 38,577 procedures performed by 203 cardiac surgeons at 43 different hospitals. They found when a surgeon worked with specific surgical team members at a particular hospital, patient mortality decreased for that procedure by 1%… but stayed the same at other hospitals where they performed the same procedure. The surgeons had seemingly reached the limit of their surgical abilities – the only thing that contributed to better patient outcomes was the smooth machinations of a team dynamic.

Watching people stare into smart devices endlessly makes it seem we’re losing our abilities to make the personal connections necessary for effective team building. On the contrary, technological upheaval makes it easier to share and use information, organise business, make decisions, and maintain relationships with each other. In The Social Organism, Oliver Luckett and Michael J. Casey commented that it’s “changed the way ideas are generated, iterated and reconceived and how culture takes shape. It reshapes what it means to be human.”

Now What? 

Television, (Netflix), newspapers, (Facebook), taxis, (Uber) and hotels, (Airbnb), have already experienced major disruption. The glaring impact of climate change will accelerate electric vehicle adoption. Banks will feel immense pressure from micro-financing startups. Large scale healthcare organisations will need to rethink their business models as medicine shifts from curative to preventative models. 

In their book Exponential Organizations: Why new organizations are ten times better, faster and cheaper than yours, Salim Ismail, Michael S. Malone and Yuri van Geest tell us to prepare for this kind of disruption in all industries to continue – anything predictable is, or will be, automated by AI or robots. We’re moving to a world where everything can be measured, (IoT) and anything can be knowable, (information and algorithms.) Fortunately, they continue, this will relieve humans of the mundane and free us to be creative and innovative in our jobs.

There is no denying technology is changing us. Let’s hope this new creative and innovative workplace though can be an example of the accountability, purpose, sustainability and connectedness that make us human. The effects of exponential change on the way we live will be here very soon

A Story of Lost Digital Opportunity

A Story of Lost Digital Opportunity

In 2013, things were pretty good for Tom. As a business owner, his company had a strong word of mouth reputation for both quality and speed of service. Every day, he lived his core value of providing exceptional customer service. He believed his reputation was key to the growth of his business and would provide him with his dream of leaving a legacy for his 2 sons.

Tom was never much of a believer in technology though. His company’s only digital asset was a website. Sadly, it was never a priority for Tom. It was never updated and didn’t display correctly on mobile devices. Because of this, any visitors Tom did get, received a poor first impression and left straight away.

Fast forward to 2019 and Tom’s dream remains just that. The business only provides him with an income. There has been no growth.

Tom’s competition, however, embraced digital transformation. As a result, his competitors engage customers with a seamless experience across all browsers and all devices.

They often appear on page 1 of Google because they provide the information people are searching for. Because of this, his competition are seen as experts and people finding them in search results are more likely to become customers. Their “digital word of mouth” reviews are only a mouse click away and available 24/7!

With Live Chat, appointment scheduling and safe payment integration, digital customers are also delighted by the speed of the experience and become advocates for the company. Integration allows these companies to put some tasks on autopilot, allowing them time to focus on business growth and attracting new customers.

Tom now realises he was wrong to ignore digital transformation and integration. He knows the best time to adapt, integrate and grow was 6 years ago…the second best time, is now!

If your existing efforts, like Tom, have stalled, begin your digital transformation today with the services we can offer you.

How to Get a Balance Between Effective Communication and Spam in 2019

How to Get a Balance Between Effective Communication and Spam in 2019

Email remains one of the most effective marketing methods available … but you have to get it right.

If you’re not careful, you risk your messages being ignored or relegated to a spam folder. It’s a delicate balancing act keeping your company at the forefront of your client’s mind and sending them too many emails.

Commitment and persistence can pay off as the EveryCloud infographic we have for you below, suggests.

69% of consumers will delete messages because they receive too many of them or because they feel they’re not relevant.

Blasting out a generic email to everyone on your list, (“Spray and Pray“) … while simple enough with today’s technology, is unlikely to be effective if it’s not personalized for the recipient.

This also begs another question … how many communications are too many?

We think a shift in the definition of what a Spammer is, needs to occur.

A spam email is not just judged on the frequency it is sent, but also on its content. Yes, spam is receiving a ton of unsolicited offers of Keto diet secrets, Chinese herbal cures for diabetes and improved potency potential!

We’ve all been on the receiving end of these types of email and because they are not relevant to us, we view ourselves as being spammed. Even once is too often for these kinds of emails.

Today’s consumers are more demanding than ever before. They want to be treated as individuals and expect businesses to provide them with individualized solutions. This carries all the way through from an initial product or service offering to your follow-up marketing efforts as well.

We all need to start reevaluating the way we set up our email campaigns. We need to make sure that if we’re sending an email to a subscriber, they will feel it’s relevant for them.

The generic email is dead! It’s not enough to type out a quick message, put your client’s name at the top and hope for the best

Not sure how to begin personalizing your next email campaign?

Consider enlisting the services of a Digital Business Consultant who’ll help your message stay out of the spam folder and resonate with your target customers.

72 Statistics to Help You Understand SEO

72 Statistics to Help You Understand SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important element of an online presence today. Using it to your advantage will improve your Internet visibility, ensure a regular stream of customers to your online business and deliver a positive return on your investment by enhancing your reach.

Like all important things in life, it’s not always an easy skill to master. People often end up spending valuable resources with no noticeable improvement in their search engine rankings. That’s why it’s always worthwhile to engage the skills of a Digital Business consultant.

If you use SEO to attract online visitors, (and you should), the infographic below from SEO Tribunal will help you focus your efforts in the right direction.

There is a brief history of search engines and Google algorithm evolution, followed by some of the most important current and future trends in the search ecosystem.

For instance, did you know that almost 80% of search engine users focus only on organic results while ignoring paid ads completely? Or that even a 500-millisecond delay in connection speed can result in up to 8% decrease in visitor engagement?

The infographic has some very practical advice to improve your Google search rankings too. This includes tips like improving content quality, using relevant images and creating customized experiences for visitors.

SEO for local business, which is one of the biggest trends in this field along with the move towards mobile searches, gets special focus here. Mobile devices are projected to influence US$ 1.4 trillion in local sales by 2021. If you want a slice of this pie, you can’t do without the information on key trends and local ranking factors the infographic has collected for you.

All this information is neatly wrapped up by data on 2018’s top influencers, best SEO tools and companies dominating Google search results worldwide.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact a Digital Business Consultant or an SEO expert today.72 SEO Statistics To Understand SEO in 2019

Email Marketing Optimization Hacks That Work

Email Marketing Optimization Hacks That Work

Email marketing is considered to be one of the best marketing solutions that a company can turn to. Its basic advantage is that it is cost-effective while also being one of the best methods to reach out to a huge number of people.
However, it is not as simple as it seems. 99Firms presents below some of the many hacks and tricks that need to be done right to get the best results.
Let’s take a look at some statistics regarding email content and email formatting.
  • Emails written at a reading level comparable to a 3rd-grade student are more likely to get a reply by 36%.
  • The response rate for emails which consist of 50-125 words is above 50%, as that length in considered the best for emails.
  • An email with a plain text has a 25% higher open rate than HTML.
More than 60% of email clients block images by default.
The fact that emails which contain between 1 and 3 questions have a 50% bigger chance of getting a reply means that you should always ask your customers for an opinion, and not just focus on the product.
Another important thing is to use a short plain text note coming from a real person on your team. This makes your customers feel comfortable since they’re receiving the email from a real human and not a bot.
Take a look at the infographic below to find out more about email marketing optimization tricks and hacks.

Email Marketing Optimization Hacks & Case Studies

How to Make the Best Use of Mobile Marketing in Your Business

How to Make the Best Use of Mobile Marketing in Your Business

In today’s world, the use of mobile devices is so much widespread that businesses are taking advantage of this fact to reach various people. According the infographic provided by AppGeeks, users spend 59% of their online time on mobile devices and just 41% on desktop computers.
The number of active smartphone users has surpassed the one billion mark and, according to research, people check their phones 80 times on average within 24 hours. This, in turn, gives marketers an excellent opportunity for advertising.
The best thing about mobile marketing is that it offers various ways for brands to market themselves through the use of SMS, emails, apps, QR codes, push notifications, Bluetooth, location-based services, in-game marketing, and mobile site redirection.
As a business owner, you can opt to use any of these tools depending on the objective of your campaign, just like how big brands successfully use them.
For instance, Tao Nightclub used a mobile marketing campaign to send out a text offer to its subscribers, which led to an 11% redemption rate and $1,770 in additional admission fees.
Nissan used an interactive video in 2014 to get people to learn more about the features of the cars on sale by tap touching the screen. This campaign helped the company to accomplish a 78% completion rate and a 93% engagement rate.
As for Topshop, it decided to add a new mobile layer to its site, which resulted in a 4% increase in the number of items added to the basket and also, the search bar it added led to a 5.8% increase in CR.
To gain more insights from other businesses on how to successfully use mobile marketing, check out this infographic, from appgeeks.org.

 

How Businesses Use Mobile Marketing to Their Advantage

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