Barack Obama and John McCain differed on many things – social issues, economics, foreign policy and more. One of the things that also differentiated their campaigns was their use of technology. What can your business learn from how two politicians, in the most closely watched contest in most of our lifetimes, used technology?
Traditionally, Republicans have led Democrats in the use of technology to reach and organize local organizers to drive “get out the vote” campaigns. However, in this election, according to all “Monday morning pundits” one of the reasons the Obama campaign was able to rally an army of volunteers and voters was due to its superior use of technology.
What about your business? Are you investing in the right technology and strategically using it to maximize productivity in your business?
Here are some technologies you should be investing in and planning to maximize for 2009:
Most all of you have a decent handle on who your customers are and what they want, but this is something you have in your mind only. If you do not have your customers in at least a basic database, you will be limited in your ability to see new opportunities. For example, maybe you are getting more customers in a nearby state. With customer profiles you can easily see a trend that over time new customers are coming from new zip codes. With this information you could consider opening up a new sales office, or doing some local online marketing via zip code and etc.
The Mobile Office
One of the advantages of mobile technology is that you are not limited to “work” being defined as a place. Instead “work” as it should be is defined as what you do. Where you do it is irrelevant. Investing in the right hardware, software and wireless connectivity solutions means that information, such as a fax, is never only available to you, “when you get back to the office”. It is available wherever and whenever you are working.
I think that the popularity of blogs, Facebook, Twitter and other social media avenues have dimmed, just a bit, the importance of email marketing. With email marketing, you build loyalty with your existing customers, encourage new customers to continue to buy from you and make potential customers aware of the products and services you provide.
We’ve read quite a bit about Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media services. The constant news can make us at times want to ignore these new forms of communication – but don’t ignore them. Social Media, if used correctly, can be an important element in your marketing and outreach to existing and new customers. Social media lets you easily keep in touch with an audience and build a community of loyal customers around your product. When implementing social media, it’s not just about sending press releases via Twitter, but it’s about genuinely being a part of the conversation happening in these communities and creating new conversations.
Software as a service, cloud computing or hosted applications – they all mean one thing: accessing software over the Internet. Instead of installing software on a desktop computer or local server you access the software via a web browser. Your data and software are hosted on the computers of a third party.
Although there have been concerns of data security and “what do I do if I can’t access the Internet”, the hosted services space has matured and is just as stable, probably more, than traditional software. The benefits of a hosted application strategy are that you have less down time, due to software crashes and can more quickly connect remote workers to office corporate data. Software as a service enables you to focus more on building your business while someone else focuses on maintaining the software you need to operate.
Investing in Technology: Investing In Your Business