Lots of clients come to us wondering if they need the latest technology to make their business a success. The reality is that most of the time, even the biggest brands haven’t figured out how to use the “latest” tech to make money or convert leads to clients. Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know what’s coming. Plus, there’s tech you may think is only for big brands that you could be using right now to take your business to the next level. We did a little digging (because that’s how much we like you) to highlight a little of each.
The Future Is Nowish
Let’s start our tech journey by looking at the big picture. None of the things mentioned in this article are going to end up in your marketing plan this year, but it’s still fun (we think) to see all the cool things technology can do. Businesses are starting to play around with Augmented Reality, giving customers a chance to experience their brands before they get to the store. And since iOS and Android are integrating AR support into their devices, you’ve already got the means to check out what it can do in your hand right now (probably). If you want to check out AR and the other tech trends that are gaining steam (Artificial Intelligence, voice capabilities, blockchain), click here.
Keeping Up With the Jetsons
Consider our minds blown. It’s crazy enough to think that we have already reached a point in technology where helicopters can fly themselves, but the company responsible for that is also claiming that the system is essentially ready to power a flying car. Imagine getting into your car, punching some commands into a tablet and once you hit execute, you’re Chitty Chitty Bang Banging your way to work like you’re in the closing scene of Grease (we may have a slightly delusional view of what the reality of flying cars will be). Obviously, we’re still years away for being ready for taking off, but considering that about ten minutes ago we thought we were still decades away, this is some heady stuff.
We’re still a few years away from the Technology Singularity (when artificial intelligence can upgrade itself beyond human capacity) but make no mistake. The robots are coming. Sooner than you think. East coast grocery chain Giant Food Stores will start utilizing a googly-eyed robot named Marty to monitor the aisles and report on trash, spills and other hazards. We don’t know about you, but we love the idea of robots roaming around Ralphs and Vons. Let’s hope they teach them how to reach the stuff on the top shelf for us soon. Seriously though, with actual robots just around the corner, think about all the technology available to help your business right now. For instance …
FaceBots (not to be confused with FemBots)
Email marketing is still an important part of your marketing strategy. But what if you could take your email message and start a conversation with each of your customers or potential clients? Sign us up! Using Facebook Messenger and chatbots together can do just that. First of all, with Messenger, you can send targeted messages to individual users so it’s more personal and conversational than your typical email message. When you add a chatbot to it, it adds a layer of interactivity that email just can’t match. Chatbots are messaging programs that simulate conversation, so your customers can get answers to their questions and you can keep running your business. Check out all the ways Messenger and chatbots can help you out here.
Here’s some great news for anyone who uses Instagram to sell goods and services. Or if you purchase things on the app. The Facebook-owned mobile app is adding a Checkout feature. You’ll now be able to store payment information and complete purchase inside the app. This is part of Instagram’s big push into the shopping industry, which is to include a standalone shopping app in the not-too-distant future. More than 20 brands — including Nike, Prada and MAC Cosmetics — will be using the feature to start. Look for the big blue “Checkout on Instagram” button below all items eligible for in-app purchase. We feel our “buying thumb” getting itchy already.
An App Sampler
No, not mozzarella sticks, buffalo wings, and potato skins, but now we know what we want for lunch. This is some tech you can use right now to make your business life easier. Five apps YFS Magazine thinks you’ll regret not trying. While we can’t vouch for all five, we’re big fans here of Tidio. Tidio uses some of the techs we’ve already referenced in this email – it combines live chat, chatbots, and automation – to let you engage more quickly and more efficiently with visitors to your website. If you aren’t using Tidio yet, you should definitely get in touch with us (via the Tidio chatbot on our website if you want) and find out how it can help you convert leads to customers. Also, click here to check out the other nifty apps you can put to good use while you wait for the robot revolution.