In our technology-driven marketplace, consumers are constantly evolving. We are inundated with new products and platforms, and the constant change that comes with it. Because the needs and attention of consumers are always shifting with these changes, businesses must adapt through their own innovations.
When we think about how innovation happens, we may find a few ingredients to help a business that wants to adjust their strategy. There is no set formula for effecting necessary changes, but leading experts tell us that one of the most important parts involved in changing business tactics is also one of the things initiating these movements in the marketplace: technology.
Technology’s role in marketplace changes
To explore how technology spurs these marketplace changes that are requiring businesses to innovate, we can look at the example of print media.
For generations, print media – for example, newspapers and magazines – were the source of our news. These were our main way of staying informed. For local communities, it was how changes within a community were progressing. And then came the internet.
We all saw as print media began to suffer. The new-kid-on-the-block was stealing the focus and the physical products were becoming obsolete. In the last two decades, many people have transitioned from getting the daily newspaper or having a magazine subscription to simply catching the stories they want to read online. They look to social media platforms and digital print.
So, print media adapted. They used technology to adjust their model and innovated their product to become enticing to the consumer. Now, major publications have online subscriptions; they still use ads to bring in revenue, though these are now online; and they use social media to increase their readership.
How technology fits with innovation
As we see with the example of print media, the same technology that could be the reason to consider a change could also be the way you make that change.
In fact, innovation in business could be boiled down to meaning a new way to drive efficiency. One of the hallmarks of technology is its ability to help us become more efficient.
Anyone who has worked in the marketplace has the memory of a time before computer systems were so widely used, when paper was king and stacks and stacks of files were everywhere, even requiring their own room in the workplace.
As technology advances, it finds ways to make our businesses more efficient. A survey by PwC showed that “70% of CEOs invest in IT to reduce costs and become more efficient, and 54% allocate funds to emerging technologies to help drive growth.”
Why is technology so important for innovation?
Technology is improving business in many ways. One that we can’t ignore is how much it improves the human element. More and more technology is being developed to identify and resolve human errors. It also allows us to test out products, our marketing campaigns, our message in a low-cost and at speeds that were once considered a fairytale.
Technology is also helping to create new markets. An example is AI technology. It is becoming a more readily available and widely used tool in business thanks to its increasing efficiency and effectiveness.
According to a Harvard Business Review survey, “25% of the 250 business executives in their survey think AI will help them pursue new markets.” With this we see that technology is helping to forge a path for businesses to explore new avenues.
Finally, technology is innovating the way we reach customers. Social media platforms in the last decade have allowed for lower advertising costs and the concept of “going viral” is the goal of many new companies.
On the opposite side of the coin, customers are using the new advancements in technology to find small businesses they may not have had access to before. Ultimately, technology is innovating our business’s relationship with the consumer.
Technology is here to stay, but not here to stay the same. It will constantly evolve and we can and should evolve with it. It will help us become even more efficient through new methods of reaching customers and new ways for customers to find us.
In the recipe for business success, technological innovation is key