If, like many other business owners, you’re planning your business strategy for 2017, there are some new and expected business trends that you’d be foolish to ignore. These trends bring with them fresh opportunities to grow your business and develop your brand beyond anything you’d imagined.
To save you scouring the internet for business trends in 2017, we’ve compiled a list and some resources for you to consider whilst planning a strategy to suit your business:
E-Commerce is Growing and Changing
We all know someone who is selling stuff online. For some, it’s a hobby to make a bit of extra cash. For others, it’s a living and makes up most of their business model. Traditionally, e-commerce involved platforms like eBay. Over the last year, e-commerce has evolved and surrounded us. Targeted ads on Facebook, YouTube and Google are part of our everyday lives. Much of what the ads are showing us is available on the giant that is Amazon. Not only does Amazon dominate the e-commerce world with a huge proportion of sales via its global site, (see Statistica), but it also offers businesses the freedom to concentrate on marketing, sales and its own brand with its FBA programme. Many of the statistics for Amazon are US-based, however, the UK is quickly waking up to the opportunities for businesses and the convenience for consumers, are you part of the e-commerce boom?
YouTube vs Traditional Advertising
The younger generation – typically those between the ages of 18-30, are increasingly preferring YouTube over traditional TV, this brings positives and negatives for businesses. YouTube videos are cheaper and easier to create and upload. Traditional TV advertising however is much more expensive but can reach a huge audience straight away. With YouTube, the content has to be interesting and current for this younger audience so it can be shared across social media platforms. For example, the Christmas 2016 race for best TV advert in the UK was hotter than ever. The adverts created by John Lewis, M&S, Waitrose & Aldi, the leaders in the race, made their adverts available on YouTube. Why? Because there it could be shared across social media and debated by its audience. No more panels for feedback.
Outsourcing and Freelancing
Over the last few years, there’s been a huge rise in businesses using outsourcing websites such as Upwork. Freelancers can be hired at a relatively low-cost for businesses to produce content (written and video), hire programmers, graphic designers, customer service support and much more. They offer a cheaper and quicker alternative to traditional employment routes. Outsourcing marketing, social media management and administration tasks have become particularly popular and have meant that business owners can free up time spent doing tasks that are not either within their skill range or distracts from their potential sales. The old saying springs to mind, “Time is Money” ~ Benjamin Franklin.
That Personal Connection
Some business models still involve keeping the customers at arms-length to a certain extent. The larger your business, the harder it may seem to create a personal connection with customers and potential customers. However, recent studies have shown that consumers and your customers, even B2B customers, no longer want or have time for the ‘hard sell.’ If your business can make a personal connection with your customers on social media, through good-quality content and through using targeted advertising and marketing methods, you’ll find that people have more time for you. LinkedIn is a great platform, particularly if you’re in B2B. Getting people to know you and your brand personally before making a choice. Sometimes, being a successful personal brand can boost your business brand. Customers like to know that business owners are accessible and willing to interact.
Accepting change is the first step for your business. 2017 will probably open up more unexpected doors for businesses, as well as close some in terms of marketing and revenue streams, however, it’s vital that trends are acknowledged, built into strategy and steps are taken to develop your business into the future.
If you’d like more information or want to discuss your business strategy and marketing, get in touch: