What lies in the future of marketing?

No one can accurately predict the future. Yet we can speculate on broader themes and examine what happened in the past. Making informed predictions does not mean absolutely perfect ones. To that end, we should wonder what lies ahead for marketing. Knowing what we’ll see means knowing what will work – and in this way, we benefit our business.

Social is king

Social media has come to dominate the modern landscape, with smartphone users. Even on the African continent, where mobile phone users outnumber even bank users, social media is rapidly spreading. Of course, social media is completely different than other forms of media since it is controlled by the audience itself. That is, they decide what to see but can then interact with major brands like never before.

This isn’t like an audience who could change the channel – on Twitter, Facebook and so on – users and brands can often operate on the same platform and have the same reach. As Inc.com notes:

“The social approach underscores the importance of the increasingly connected, interactive and vocal audience dominant in social networks. With increasing power over the kind of content they produce and consume, users are becoming more discerning. The mass market approach is thus no longer as relevant as before.”

Recognising the growth of social media is essential for any brands hoping to dominate or have some strong footing in marketing. Creating or working with a tech-savvy, socially capable marketing team is essential.

Mobile will dominate

Related to social media, mobile marketing will also continue to be important. What’s important is to recognise what technology is being used for. For example, SMS messages are no longer as prominent as they once were. This means if we’re still sending SMSes in 2017, we might look as relevant as VCR repair people.

But there’s another often overlooked aspect. As Internet Retailer highlights: “The more screens a shopper uses to access an online retailer, the more loyal and valuable she is.”

Good content

Customers want more than just what the business offers, in terms of products or services. They want an experience. One way to deliver that is to produce relevant content, tapping into wider social events and happenings. We want customers to feel they are dealing with people, not just a blank name or logo. By showing humanity, in terms of keeping up with social events, movements, thought leadership, we provide more ways for them to interact with us.

These are just some considerations for the future, but we should also keep up to date by doing marketing courses, providing us with more concrete foundations for consideration.  

3 ways to boost a firm’s value

One of the most important aspects to controlling and managing any company is improving its value. We want it to grow in as many ways as possible, especially in terms of returning investment for shareholders, including ourselves. But how we go about achieving this goal remains difficult. There is no clear cut path, as every business is different and all are competing, finding new angles constantly.

However, there are broad approaches we can consider in our efforts to put our business in better standing.

Focus on leadership

Often, the fact a business is functioning is proof enough it has good leadership. However, too often leaders do not acquire their positions by virtue of their leadership skills but rather because of internal politics and sometimes being charmed by individuals. Neither aspect is a guarantee of excellent leadership.

Robert Hogan, president of personality test provider Hogan Assessment Systems, has done plenty of research on what does make a good leader. Speaking to the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, he counts four properties we should interrogate when thinking of leaders.

  1. Integrity: Can we trust this person and are they honest? Company information can be used to benefit themselves personally, but harm us as a business. We must be certain they are loyal, by virtue of being decent, open and honest.
  2. Judgement: Are they able to make smart decisions, informed by evidence and willing to reflect on their mistakes? This is the only way to grow.
  3. Competence: Staff need to know they can trust this person to deliver. They need confidence in their leaders.
  4. Vision: The direction a business or project takes must be central to a leader. We must know they can articulate and develop what this vision means for everyone.

Cut costs

Another way to improve is focus on cutting costs. How we value a business is a difficult assessment, but one way businesses improve is when they’re spending less than they’re earning. In other words, improving profits. Every business should aim for this, of course, since it shows a business can continue. This is exactly what shareholders want to see in their investment.

Removing bad investments

This could be considered cost cutting, but we should also focus on getting rid of bad investments. For example, we should get rid of working with subpar people and companies, since we’re putting in time and effort and getting little in return.

Basically, the overarching importance is managing corporate finance. Once we do this properly, we can present a more valuable business to our shareholders.

(Image source: Pixabay)

Warehouse safety you need to make employees aware of

inside-warehouse

Company guidelines are set up in a way to ensure employees are covered against accidents. Unfortunately corporations can lose millions of rands due to negligence, even if the employee is at fault. Therefore, it’s important for companies to ensure their employees follow the correct safety guidelines to prevent injury. Supervisors are often placed in charge to oversee the health and safety risks of their team.

 

Work equipment safety procedures

 

Whenever employees make use of forklifts or hydraulic dollies to lift goods, the workers are required to wear appropriate eyewear and hard hats. Emergency exits play a vital role at warehouses and should only be used in cases where lives are at stake. Should a fire break out fire proof industrial sliding doors will prevent the blaze from spreading throughout the site.

 

Clearly label all hazard zones

 

Store away any hazardous items and clearly mark each one. All walkways throughout the warehouse need to be highlighted with the necessary danger zone signage stickers. These will come in handy if they are glow in the dark, in cases where there are any power failures. These signs are easily noticed especially if you paint the floors of designated areas with black and white stripes. With just one simple measure you can make all employees aware of dangerous areas in their place of work. Ensure you’re doing what you can do prevent accidents that can cause serious injury or death.

 

Implement training courses

 

The training courses will be at the expense of the company and not the employees. Rather spend money on all essential safety equipment and training courses to save the company time and money if something should go wrong. Ensure all employees are knowledgeable and up to date with the latest work safety practices within the workplace. Safety training courses will allow for greater adherence to procedures. This will ensure employees are aware of the consequences if they aren’t careful.

 

Create a buzz around warehouse safety rules

 

Once employees are aware of safety factors involved in working on certain equipment they will feel more relaxed without having the thought of something possibly going wrong. Effectively communicate with employees on all matters of safety in the workplace during meeting times. All employees should be encouraged to be aware of what’s around them and to communicate where they are to ensure the avoidance of accident collisions.

 

Key features to look at when selling a used car

2012 Car

If you buy and sell cars as a side project you’re going to need to know the following to help you on your quest to being an entrepreneur. You’re basically becoming your own boss and investing in your own property. This can be seen as short term investment which can yield favourable results as your business as a car dealer grows. Buying and selling a used Mazda or used BMW for sale, may seem difficult but with these handy tips the process can be much smoother.

 

Be candid about the vehicle condition

 

Clearly state the condition of the vehicle in the advert as well as the receipt if the vehicle is being sold for spares only. Make known to the buyers if the vehicle requires substantial repairs. Stick to the facts as this will draw in potential buyers. Ensure you quote the service history of the car, whether the licence is up to date and if not, how many months or years outstanding. Make known your location as this may attract a greater number of buyers from your area. Keep in mind that fraudsters take chances so be careful when sharing your personal details. Genuine buyers will come and view the vehicle and check vehicle details for themselves. Keep receipts for any work carried out while you’ve owned the car. A fully-stamped dealer service record adds value, if you’ve got one don’t forget to hand over all relevant documents when you sell.

 

Pricing your vehicle

 

Don’t be unrealistic when setting the sale for your used vehicle. Realistically price your car by asking yourself, “Would I pay this amount for this car?”. Even if you want to make a quick sale, know the worth of the vehicle. Check the prices of similar cars in popular classified ads in newspapers or online sites. Be sure to have room for haggling when setting your price. The buyer may have the satisfaction of of negotiating you down but you’ll still get close to the amount you want.

 

Keep the following in mind

 

Don’t allow buyers to make copies or take photos of your vehicle documentation. Be sure to keep any receipts of past work carried out on your vehicle. If you have a fully-stamped dealer service record, this can add value to your sale price. Once you’ve sold the car, hand over all relevant documents.

 

Everyday apps for the business person

We’ve all encountered the notion that we can run our businesses off our phones. With a plethora of apps on offer, constant improvements to technology and the great variety of skilled developers, it makes sense. Almost no modern business person is without a smartphone, meaning they have easy access to these tools.

Google Apps

One of the most useful collections of apps comes from Google. With Google Docs, Mail, Calendar, Drive and so on, users can sync up all sorts of data on the fly. For example, Google Docs supports most formats for various writing platforms. This means if we’re working with clients or receiving data from them, we don’t need to worry about whether our software can handle it. By definition, Google Docs, Sheets and others will be able to open and work with almost any format.

Also, the apps are designed to work on various mobile devices, whether phones or tablets. When connected, the apps and documents all sync up so that changes we make on one device are reflected, almost in real time, on any other.

Pocket

Since we’re always online, we’re most likely coming across interesting articles or sites. While it’s easy enough to bookmark, there are better ways for us to consume fascinating articles online. Pocket, for example, is a simple, elegant app letting us save pages or sites for later. It works across multiple devices and, once synced and downloaded, means we no longer need to be connected to read the sites. This is useful if we want to save pages for reading but might have trouble with an internet connection.

When writing long documents, preparing for a meeting or any other situation requiring research, Pocket can be very useful – helping us work without having to rely on stable, constantly online networks.

Finance tools

Whether it’s our banking apps, calculators or budget software, all financial planning tools are essential to a well run business. Since our business is dependent on us managing finances correctly, we can’t afford to not have data. This lets us make the best decisions we can in order to facilitate the most ideal outcomes.

Given the variety of aspects we need for finances, it’s best to look at lists of the best apps available. Our Freaking Budget has an updated list, providing enough information for the small business person to make the best decision.

Ideally, we want apps that sync up properly with various devices. We need real-time, data, so we can make the right calls when it comes to spending – and saving.

(Image credit: Pexels