You cannot have failed to notice the proliferation of mobile devices being used in business and leisure. Social media, of course you know about and either love or hate. Perhaps working with your documents being available remotely in a cloud might have piqued your interest. Well this trio have been joined by sophisticated analytical software that is providing business owners with competitive advantage. Put them all together and you get the latest technical phenomenon – SMAC.
So what is SMAC?
Definitions first: Social Media, Mobile technology, Analyticals, Cloud computing.
This group of four new technologies combine to form a major disruptive technological change. People are now expecting, in both their business and leisure time, the ability to work or enjoy their leisure at anytime, anywhere from any device they own. These expectations are starting to have a major impact on how businesses interact with their customers and the customer is driving this change.
It is only in the last year or so, that this technology has become robust and cheap enough for business use. Even the smallest company now needs to ensure that end-user experiences are convenient and productive to both parties. SMAC enabled architectures will enable this to be undertaken in a cost effective and efficient way. Let us look at the parts that make up this technological platform.
Since Facebook first burst onto the scene just ten short years ago, other major social media sites such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest have become staples in peoples’ personal life. Gradually these sites have seen the chance to make millions of dollars by offering the opportunity to market goods and services through these pages. Now it is common for a small business to have a Facebook page, the director to network with a LinkedIn page and maybe a YouTube video. Other social sites are gradually becoming popular and small businesses even have accounts with them. Few businesses, however, market effectively on social media. This will need to change in the coming years, as marketing becomes more competitive, and potential customers look to social media to make buying decisions on a more frequent basis.
Mobile technology is everywhere. Most people own smart phones, even young children. Tablets are the top of most Christmas lists if not already owned. BYOD or bring your own device is becoming popular with employees wishing to use their own mobile tablets at work. Mobile technology is used for at least half of all transactions and even more searches. It would be a foolish company that did not optimise its web sites to enable enquiries and purchases via a mobile device.
If you have decided to market via social media and take into account mobile technology it is very important to measure your success. It is only in the last few years that sophisticated analysis software, suitable for measuring social media marketing campaigns and allocating sources has become available at a reasonable cost. There are even free resources on some websites. Now that they are here, you can ascertain where your potential customers come from, how successful a particular advert is and your return on your social media marketing investment.
Cloud computing is the practice of keeping documents and files on a remote set of servers, accessed via broadband. This enables a vast set of data to be saved securely and quickly accessed. Clouds are frequently used for secure, off site back ups. The use of cloud computing enables for smaller lighter laptops, working from tablets and smart phones and sharing of files across users and devices.
Microsoft has released a version of MsOffice that works from their cloud. Large IT companies frequently offer secure cloud technology, using their servers, so that you know your data is secure and well looked after.
Using SMAC to your advantage
Smaller companies can transform quickly, updating their websites and marketing campaigns to meet new challenges. Whilst they do not have the budgets of a large company, they can make changes within a few days whereas a large company may take months to achieve the same thing.
SMAC Business Models
SMAC will change business models as it puts the potential customer in charge. Your company will need to be more responsive. Available when your customer makes contact late at night, in front of them on social media web sites and fully responsive to changes in social trends.
Cloud computing will put all your files at your fingertips and gives you a full office to work with. The company will need to work faster and more immediately to requests. Staff will need to be retrained to find the potential customer in different places, at unusual times and then engage them as friends.
Business Marketing Message
Be sure to investigate your analyticals and fine-tune your marketing message. Discover who your real customers are and find out where you can find more of them. Investigate social media sites and ensure that you include a full range in your marketing. Use videos to show your marketing message, video messages are very popular and convey a marketing message better than mere words. In the same vein, include memorable graphics on your postings. Engage and respond to your customers. Show them what you can do for them, how you can make life better and solve problems.
SMAC Marketing Material
Brush up your marketing material and make sure that much of it is digital so that people can easily download your brochures and sales information. Set up a newsletter so that you can keep in regular contact and possibly upsell to your current customers.
Make sure that all your files are saved in your cloud so that they are always available to you. Cloud based systems allow for trade specific software to be accessed so you can run your business from your tablet or laptop.
Mobile technology allows you to get in front of your customers, cloud technology puts your office at your fingertips, social media spreads your marketing message and analyticals let your measure your success.
Surely a SMAC down in anyone’s books?