The most forward-thinking executive leaders have an eye trained on the digital disruption trends that are becoming more pronounced with each passing year. Maintaining this awareness is in the best interest of any business leader, not only from a standpoint of profit and growth, but also because surveys show that the majority of the workforce aged 22 to 60 would prefer to work with a digitally-capable organization.
In order to determine the best way to lead a company on a strong path through digital disruption, it’s important to understand the trends that are making waves across practically every industry. Listed below are four major digitally disruptive trends that are going strong in 2016.
1. Smart marketing via mobile platforms
While the number of smartphone and tablet owners continues to rise with each passing year, PC ownership is beginning to level out. Additionally, in 2015, the average number of hours Americans spend each day accessing digital media was 9 percent higher on mobile devices than it was on desktop or laptop computers. Today, 45 percent of American adults own a tablet device, and together mobile and tablet use for accessing the Internet represents 44 percent of all personal computer use.
The shift toward mobile is a digitally disruptive trend that continues to have a major impact on the way customers interact with companies. From easy-pay applications that make for smooth, in-store transactions to mobile platforms that enhance the user experience of a product, it’s clear that mobile is critical. Consumers’ increased reliance on mobile means that companies must continue to develop effective, intuitive ways for customers to interact with them on smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, developing apps for the iPhone and Android platforms can provide a way for brands to further engage with their customers and offer tangible benefits, such as discounts or faster checkouts in physical stores. Other brands are leading the way by using apps as a delivery method for their core products and services.
2. Big Data analytics
Because the digital revolution is still in its early phases, many companies have yet to acknowledge the true impact that technology will have on their success. Big Data is one of the most powerful tools to develop as a result of the digital revolution, and in 2016, it is more important than ever for business leaders to learn how to capture and take full advantage of the insights that Big Data can yield.
Experts believe that Big Data will be the next major market, with technological development and the expansion of Big Data services expected to grow at a rate of over 20 percent to reach almost $50 billion in the next three years. The companies that will benefit the most are those that are able to accurately capture and analyze diverse data streams, in order to obtain valuable knowledge about operational inefficiencies, customer relationships, sales, new opportunities for growth, and a wealth of other insights. At the same time, businesses that ignore the opportunities created by Big Data may begin to fall behind their more digitally-savvy competitors.
3. Location-based marketing
As mentioned above, the number of consumers relying on smartphones and tablets for computing is on the rise, and the Internet of Things is also growing at an exponential pace. More than 5 million devices will come online every day in 2016, and experts estimate that more than 20 billion devices will be connected by 2020.
The increased connectivity between a wide spectrum of devices and an even greater reliance on smartphones for Internet use make 2016 a good year for businesses to bolster their location-based marketing techniques. At least 75 percent of smartphone owners use their phones while shopping in a physical store. Additionally, 25 percent of that demographic makes a mobile purchase from their smartphones while in the store.
Using beacon technology to optimize mobile apps and send useful advertisements to nearby customers is one technique that is rapidly becoming more and more popular. In addition, in order to alleviate customer concerns about personal security, businesses will have to be transparent about how beacon technology works and how companies identify potential customers.
4. Speed and business velocity
Overall, speed will continue to be the most important trend that a business can focus on in 2016. The consumer expects near-instant results when performing a search online, and wants to make purchases as quickly and easily as possible. After all, speed is the new currency of business. The companies that are capable of implementing agile processes, reacting promptly to sudden market changes, and identifying and fulfilling customers’ shifting needs will stand out from their competitors this year.