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Digital disruption: Threat or Opportunity?

payment with my smartphone at the store

If you’re in business, and even if you’re not, you have probably heard of the concept of digital disruption. Digital disruption is a term used to refer to the development of digital technologies over the past decade or so and the way they have impacted and disrupted our lives.

For many businesses, digital disruption has proved to be fatal. Those who have failed to recognise the implications of the growth of technology, the Internet and smartphones quickly have quickly fallen by the wayside, from big name brands to small start-ups.

On the other hand, businesses that have been prepared to evolve with the changes and use them to their advantage have reaped great rewards. Understanding the changes brought about by digital disruption and what they mean for business, especially when it comes to marketing, are fundamental to whether or not your business is likely to succeed in the future.

Here are some suggestions to help you make the most of the opportunities that digital disruption can bring for your business, and reduce the likelihood that your business will become a statistic:

Move away from cash payments

While a completely cashless society is still a few years away, we are moving quickly towards the everyday use of mobile payment technologies and this means that if your business isn’t equipped to handle mobile payments it could fall behind very quickly.

Basing a business on cash transactions, or promoting it on the basis of discounts for cash payments could mean that it’s likely to become redundant in the not too distant future. Finding a way to incorporate the latest payment technology into your business could help give you a competitive edge over others in your industry who may be slower to adapt.

Put the focus on your customers’ needs

Increasing numbers of products and services are being launched that are tailored to the individual customer. This means businesses that want to be successful in the future need to find a way to cater to their customers’ individual needs by creating products and services that can be personalised and tailored instead of taking a one size fits all approach.

Your customers should also be at the forefront of your marketing. If your marketing is still focused primarily on talking about your business and products it’s time to switch that focus to your customers and their needs. By putting them at the front and centre of your business you can help ensure you stay relevant to them and keep their loyalty into the future.

Use the power of technology for your business

Technology is an increasing part of everyone’s lives and this is only set to continue in the future. More and more consumers are looking for ways to use technology to make their lives easier, from mobile technology like apps to purchasing items online and getting them delivered.

Every business these days should have a website at the very least. If you can find ways to incorporate the latest technology into your products or services you can help to stay ahead of the competition and use the rise of digital technologies to your advantage.

Focus on services

Service based businesses are on the increase and even industries that have traditionally been product based like software, music and entertainment have started to move towards offering subscription services instead of selling tangible products. This is likely to continue in the future and increase to other industries.

By keeping ahead of what is happening in the digital world, and identifying opportunities for your business you can help avoid the threats posed by digital disruption and position yourself to take advantage of the many opportunities the future is likely to bring.

About the author:

Jo Macdermott is the Chief Marketing Consultant at Next Marketing in Melbourne. She has 15 years of marketing experience, is a Certified Practising Marketer and is a sought after marketing media commentator. Jo specialises in working with small and medium businesses. Follow her on Twitter here