Changes in Tech Use by Consumers Impact Small Business Marketing for 2013

Posted By Mike Gingerich On November 12, 2012 @ 3:24 PM In Social Media | No Comments

Businesses Must Not Ignore Changes in Tech Use in 2013 Marketing Plans

In the Internet world, things change quickly.

What worked three years ago is now old and may no longer be relevant in today's business climate.  Savvy businesses wanting to gain market-share and position themselves well for the future should take time now to look ahead to 2013 and be aware of current trends and patterns that will impact their business moving forward.

Below are three key trends that businesses should evaluate their business on that have gained tremendous momentum in 2012 and are positioned to grow even larger in 2013.

1. Mobile and Tablet use continues to rise dramatically

[1]Consumers and customers are opting for smaller, portable digital devices that can handle the vast majority of their daily online needs.  PC sales continue to decrease as on-the-go consumers want to carry their digital access with them.  Tablets from the iPad 4 to the new iPad Mini and Google's Nexus 7 are becoming more and more commonplace .  This means businesses need to be aware of how their business is represented on these smaller devices.   Traditional websites were built for desktop and notebook users, and many sites built merely a few years ago do not work well, or at all, when accessed on a mobile or tablet.  A key consideration for businesses entering 2013 is how their presence online needs to change and adapt to accommodate this growing mobile Internet user.

2. E-Commerce Spending Continues to Grow

U.S. online spending continues to grow significantly.  According to a recent comScore report, this marks the 12th consecutive quarter of positive growth.  With the growth of e-commerce spending, businesses should consider how they can offer the purchase of their products and services online.  Whether starting very small via a PayPal button on the company website, or adding a more robust e-commerce area  to their website, buying online is something more and more consumers want and expect, and businesses need to be providing.  Related to item number one, ensuring your e-commerce capabilities work for users on a desktop, tablet, and mobile is an important consideration as well.  If you could grow your sales by 10-15% by offering a e-commerce option, how many months would it take for that investment to pay for itself?

3. Social Media Use Expands

From 2010 to 2012 the percentage of Americans following a brand on a social network increased 106%.  As well, the fastest growing segment in social media use is not teenagers, but adults ages 45-54. Social Media is where a significant amount of consumers are spending time, so it is a critical place for businesses to be represented.  Not limited to businesses that sell direct to consumers, more and more adult Facebook users are following business-to-business companies on Facebook as a way to stay in touch with the company, see the latest news, and learn more about their products and services.  As well, in a June 2012 report by comScore, it was noted that the average Facebook user is spending over 6.5 hours on the platform each month while in comparison the average for Google per user is only 3 hours 20 minutes.  Social Media is where people are spending time.  Will they find your business there?

An additional consideration for social media is the use of social media on mobile devices.  Mobile use of Facebook continues to skyrocket.  At the same time, Facebook mobile apps and mobile site do not display promotional Facebook Page App tabs by default.  This means third-party tools such as must be utilized that enable mobile viewing of social media tabs on mobile devices.  It is imperative to build and utilize tools that empower consumers to interact with your brand where they are spending time.

Together, these three digital tech trends are critical for businesses to be aware of as 2013 nears.  How a business is able to be found on and used via social media and mobile/tablet devices is a significant consideration.  If your business is not represented well where Americans are spending their time, opportunities for building brand awareness, increasing loyalty, and growing sales are being missed.  Now is the time to evaluate how your business is doing in these three areas and to set a plan of action for what it is needed to strengthen your business presence so that you maximize your opportunities in these three critical areas that are the highways and vehicles that consumers are navigating daily on.

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