With everything – from technology to lifestyle – moving at such a rapid pace, trends are naturally bound to crop up. And in terms of business, it’s always wise to think about the years ahead so you can plan your strategies and goals and therefore, beat your competitors to the finishing line. In a nutshell, it can improve your business in more ways than one and it can definitely give you a leg up. The last thing you need is to lag behind in the fierce rat race of the corporate world.
In 2018, it’s all about the bold and innovative moves that leading companies in the world are looking to implement. As of now, some of these trends are mere observations while others have already taken root. In this article, we take a look at the top business trends to watch out for in 2018.
Artificial Intelligence will drive customer experience
When we think of AI (Artificial Intelligence), we usually think of dehumanizing interactions when in fact, this is far from reality. AI experts point out that there are three levels of machine learning which is where machines do the tasks humans would usually do, machine learning in which machines learn on their own and deep learning where machine learning chains together to richer learning.
Leading companies in the world are already embracing the concept of AI and how it can process large amounts of data, perform repeated tasks and so on with minimum hassle. In fact, AI is becoming a norm for practical consumer experiences. All in all, AI is not a futuristic concept but it’s something that can certainly help a business by making a range of tools and technologies available and accessible.
Live interactions on Social Media
Since we are so glued on to our smartphones, we tend to think that social media interaction is a lot better than in-person interactions but top companies in the world have realized that building good communities translates to long-term brand loyalty. Nothing can create a stronger community than live or in-person interactions. This is why live videos are more engaging than a recorded video and we can understand its popularity through Facebook Live and Instagram Live Stories.
A truly smart business will be quick to realize that technology and social media does not have to replace in-person interactions; it only makes the interactions more valuable. Since most of your consumers are already connected in the virtual world, having in-person interactions can be fairly easy.
More remote team will be available
Remote work has expanded greatly in popularity and a lot of people are now choosing to telecommute or work online and it’s easy to see why since they can set up their own schedule and work at their own pace. In America alone, 43% of employed Americans spend some time working remotely and in almost all industries, the percentage of people who work from home have increased dramatically and companies are leveraging on the power of remote work. In fact, having virtual workers has become a huge trend now.
One reason for this is that companies can now hire skilled workers from across the world and it also makes employees more productive, loyal and happy. Start-up businesses, in particular, are hiring a good number of remote workers since it creates a better environment for people to work in, which in turns makes the business perform better. The reason for this is that today’s workplace can be very distracting and working from home eliminates this issue. Besides, start-up businesses don’t need to have a physical location so they don’t have to worry about having to pay any rent thereby significantly reducing business costs.
Wages and more will be on the rise
According to the Society for Human Resource Management, HR managers should expect a 3% increase in wages in all sectors and high demand jobs that include physical therapy, healthcare, virtual reality, drone technology and engineering can also expect an increased wage.
Since talented workers would naturally seek benefits, a good salary, flexibility and autonomy, companies should realize that they should increase wages of employees if they want their star performers to remain in their workforce.
Social learning will become more popular than remote learning
With more professionals now working remotely, companies have worked out creative ways to keep them connected and help them develop their talents outside the office. One such way among corporate training programs is social learning.
Social learning is the process of learning through peer social interaction which takes place in informal one-to-one encounters between teams in the course of real-time problem solving, communities, social softwares and so on by sharing their experiences, asking questions and engaging with each other. 50% of companies are already using social learning in some way and two thirds plan to use it in the future. Since social learning promotes autonomy and self-direction, it can increase learner engagement.
Marketing will become more interactive
Marketing is interactive as it already is but in 2018, it’s only going to be get more so. The bottom line in marketing is to get people’s attention and the only way you can do that is by earning it. Getting the attention of your customers is not easy given the fact that you’re bombarded with as many as thousands of advertisements every day. And standing out from the crowd is definitely challenging.
One way in which marketers can combat this competition is by using more interactive methods of marketing. As opposed to TV commercials where viewers cannot interact with the ad, other marketing venues such as Twitter marketing allows customers to interact with the company, paving way for two-way conversation.
Consumers have great control today so the only way you can please them is by interacting with them well. Manipulating or tricking them to buying your products just won’t work and if you want you brand to be recognized, you have to earn it. Only then can you earn your customers’ trust.
Don’t just serve your buyers – serve your community
Customers are very savvy and sophisticated now and before they actually buy something from you, they will do all the research they can by reading online reviews and asking for recommendations online. This is why companies should start thinking in terms of their community and reach out to audience who are not their customers as yet.
Smart companies will understand that the best thing they can do is serve their community, regardless of whether or not they are in the buying cycle. When you deliver consistent value, you are already a trusted resource for your audience.
If your business is not up to date with the latest trends in entrepreneurship, the time is now. While you should be aware of your business, keep an eye open for the latest trends too and it’s always a good idea to conduct competitor research so you can look at your competition and see what you can do to stay ahead of the game. Don’t stay in the dark about what’s new in the world of business. Rather, take some time out to look into the trends so you business can implement them for greater success.