By: Shariq Toor, TGO Consulting
The business environment is as dynamic today as it ever has been and, most likely, the least dynamic it ever will be. Companies find themselves at a turning point, competing on an international scale that forces them to not only pay attention to global customer developments but also global competition. The dynamic nature of today’s business world forces companies to take action to help them stay relevant and thriving into the future.
The following points outline just a few of the ways companies can keep up with global demand and distribution to hold or improve upon their current market positions.
Stay on top of trends
One of the major trends to keep in mind is the continuous exploitation of the Internet in new and innovative ways. Businesses are morphing and adapting themselves to keep up with the changing global environment. Companies do not necessarily focus in just one or a few sectors, industries or markets. The lines are being blurred and the emergence of completely online businesses poses as a threat to those with a storefront, boasting lower overhead and operating costs. Multichannel and mobile commerce are two major developing trends that can have a major effect on any company.
Trends such as this one are important to keep in mind as a company tries to position itself to meet global demand. Without knowing changing customer preferences, demographics and industry movements, it will be difficult for any company to keep up. It is important to remember, however, that trends are projections into the future. While experts are usually precise in these predictions, there is a chance that the future will not play out accordingly. For this reason, it is important to diversify your company’s sources of income, presence across different markets and the sectors in which it operates. Diversification allows your business to adapt to the latest trends while still protecting its long-term financial health.
Be aware of competitors
Fueled in part by the changing business models and movement towards online and mobile commerce, the barriers for new competitors to enter the market are continuously decreasing. Entrepreneurs around the world have the opportunity to start an online business or expand their company to an international market without requiring massive amounts of capital.
With an increased number of competitors, it is important to determine how your company looks to differentiate itself. This can either be done by highlighting what makes your product or service unique or by competing in price. If your company chooses to highlight a unique quality, then it is important to invest in targeted, personalized marketing campaigns. Today’s consumers expect this treatment and will continue to drive its importance into the future. In contrast, if your company chooses to compete in costs, it is more worthwhile to invest in areas that can streamline production processes and increase efficiency.
Invest in new technologies
One of the best ways to increase efficiency in a company’s operations network is to invest in new technologies. Technologies are constantly being updated and improved, meaning that an outdated operating system, for example, can be detrimental to the long-term success of a company. Not only will it make the company run less efficiently, but will frustrate consumers who have an increasing number of competitors to chose to buy from instead.
In addition to the emerging business models discussed earlier, another major trend to keep in mind is the usage of data and analytics in large and small companies alike. Businesses of today have a constant stream of information that allows them to design targeted marketing campaigns, effective pricing techniques and to more precisely understand what the customer is looking for. With this data, companies can use advanced analytics to make data-driven decisions.
Implementing smart technologies is a great way to reduce the amount of time upper level management spends crunching numbers and leaves more time for them to make strategy-defining decisions. Another software tool that enables executives to spend their time more wisely is a budgeting and forecasting solution for enterprises. It decreases the amount of time managers spend on tedious tasks like budgeting and utilizes the large amounts of data the company has collected to make even more detailed and accurate reports.
Innovate distribution methods
Due to the major technological advances, the distribution and logistics component of a business has been revolutionized. Delivery times are continuously being cut, shifting consumers’ expectations towards delivery timetables. Today, customers expect their products to be shipped to them in two days or less and, many companies are investing in drone technologies to guarantee same-day delivery.
The biggest piece of information to keep in mind for distribution is that customers expect free and easy return processes or exchange options. A company without a strong return or exchange policy is putting itself at a disadvantage in the competitive landscape. For those who have their policies in order, it is important to maximize technologies to create simple and seamless processes for not only receiving the products a customer purchased, but also for returning the ones they don’t want.
Each of the points discussed in the article point to the customer-centric focus of successful businesses. With increased competition, e-commerce and technological advancements, consumers are in the drivers seat and hold the key to success for any company’s future. By meeting the dynamic needs of your consumers, your company can position itself for success in the global marketplace.
Bio: Shariq Toor is a SEO & Outreach Specialist at The Marketing Zen Group & TGO Consulting, who loves to work on new ideas for technology and search engine marketing. During his off time, he loves to practice photography and keeps up with his favorite sports – especially cricket. Follow him @shariqtoor to discuss the latest in SEO, photography and of course, cricket.