The world is evolving at a rapid rate. From our professional and personal lives, to the cars we drive and the food we buy – everything is becoming increasingly geared for acceleration. To match this supersonic speed as we race into the future, we should keep up with the trends – nobody wants to get left behind. Here are our 5 tips for driving business success in 2018:
- Serving Your Community – Not Just Your Clients
These days consumers are becoming younger and more connected by the day, and companies are vetted long before they are contacted. Websites are scored and online reviews are read. This means that the old ‘buyer’s journey’ has become hyper realistic. Savvy companies are using this information and serving their communities, whether they are part of a buying cycle at the time – or not.
- Focusing on Problems (In a Good Way)
Legacy marketing trends focused on features and benefits. Now top performing companies are placing more attention on problems that are solved and results that are delivered. They are asking questions like this:
- Why do we need this?
- Which problem does this solve for us?
- What will likely happen if we invest in this?
Think about it, why would a client care about your solution if they don’t even realise there is a problem that needs to be solved?
- SMEs Guide, Educate and Advise
Companies are using subject matter experts (SMEs) instead of traditional sales people to help clients figure out how potential solutions match up to needs. This makes it more personal, it narrows focus and helps companies not to waste time on pursuing bad opportunities. SMEs are used to open doors and entice interest. Progressive companies are even starting to develop subject matter expertise in their sales teams.
- Live Interactions Trump Social Media
With people on smartphones all the time you’d think that we prefer social media instead of interacting in person. The truth is that communities are getting back to embracing live encounters and top performing companies are realising that part of the building blocks of long-term brand loyalty is building great communities. Live video and community events are becoming increasingly popular and social media and technology are no longer considered as replacement for in-person interactions.
- Wellness at Work
We all strive for balance and simplicity, and the well being trend is booming. We are working smarter, not harder (or at least trying to!), and we are recognising the importance of options for flexible or remote working. The flip-side of this is that businesses should also know what’s going on and be able to hold employees accountable. But with the wellness trend in an upward trajectory, this too is becoming increasingly simpler to achieve.
- Live Video
The digital era is saturated with content and apps and it’s all instant. This makes people expect to have events and performances at their fingertips. Luckily live streaming is already gaining popularity and this is expected to keep increasing in 2018. Even more lucky for us, superfast fibre internet is hitting South Africa in a big way!
Driving Business With Warmth
Our main predictions based on these trends is that things are heating up! Engagement and community is important now – it’s about people instead of technology, the realism of Gen Z is going to shake things up and make business more personal, more warm. And that’s exactly the way we like it.