We all want to be successful in whichever business we are in. No matter whether you are a digital agency director, social media consultant, computer programmer, restaurant owner or even a stay at home mom: the old stereotypic view of business is changing. People are staying at jobs fewer and fewer years, and the days of the career business person staying at the same business for twenty plus years is becoming extinct. Technology is changing more rapidly than it ever has before. It is changing so fast that if you are reading a book on the latest in social media, you might as well put it down because more than likely that book is already out dated. So how do we stay up to date in the latest in technology and more importantly how do we adapt our business and our lifestyle to change with it?

One of my biggest mantras has always been if you stop innovating your business will die. Look at what has happened in the last year with Borders, Kodak and even the decline of the Washington Post and RIM. Borders was very late to the market of e-readers, which Amazon and Barnes and Noble took full advantage of. Kodak was not producing any new technology that was keeping up with new digital imaging and social sharing capabilities of other products. The Washington Post slowly started converting to online print sources, but it seems as if they may have missed the boat as well. What this should teach us is that our business and our lives should be open to all the technology that is emerging. The key is picking which channel or which type of technology our target audience is immersed in. Our target audience is not necessarily a particular age demographic. It can be a set of particular sports fans, it can be a regional group of various ages and genders; our target audience can even be our family. How we choose to engage our target audience is, however, the key to innovating our business and our lives.

With new releases of technology, new social media sites being set up seemingly every hour, one can’t be involved in every channel unless you can scrum up enough money to pay a dozen social media professionals and three times as many technology innovators. What you can do is make the most of the channels that your target audience operates in. If you’re target audience is college aged guys who love talking sports and girls on twitter, then by all means delve into the twitter sphere. If your target audience is mothers with children still at home who love talking and listening to other moms about raising children and caring for a household then by all means appeal to the “mommy blogs”.

What technology is teaching us (even though it is changing so rapidly) is that one has to be open minded. The question of how can we best use technology to involve our target audience is simple. Be creative. Think outside the box. We live in a world where people want the most convenient and easiest technology to use. Involve technology that not only makes it easier for your target audience to operate but that also makes their lives more fun and exciting. Our job as innovators, artists, marketers, parents, etc. is not to make things more complicated with technology, but rather it is to make things simpler!

Don’t stop changing. Don’t stop innovating.

The trick with marketing is to convey your message to a potential buyer (aka your target audience). Marketing is about telling a story and making a products and ideas accessible to people. In our social and mobile world where technology is changing every hour, how is this possible? There are seemingly infinite channels in which retailers can pitch their products, but which channels are the most effective? There are three channels in particular that every retailer and company needs to be updating regularly in order to engage their target audience.

Twitter. Twitter land is full of potential buyers who are able to follow people, companies and ideas that mean the most of them. In this sense, users are able to get the information they want from the people they want. Retailers and professionals are able to engage twitter users in different ways by either tweeting about new products, giving helpful insights into their particular industry, engaging users through special deals or customer service needs. Any combination of these strategies are viable; however, which strategies a retailer or individual chooses must fit with their overall goal. Is it more important to push conversion of a product through deals and coupons? Is it more important to be helpful to followers by tweeting inspirational quotes and being available to consumer customer service needs? Or is it most important to tweet on new and changing technology? Whichever path one decides to go down can be successful, but it must line up with the overall goal!

Blogs. Blogs unlike tweets, provide more in depth content for a reader. It is important as a marketer using a blog to first define what topic the blog is going to revolve around. This could be marketing, retail, coupons, women’s fashion, fantasy football, etc. The more specialized the blog, the more likely you will be able to engage a target audience. The goal for any blogger is to make your blog so important to readers that it is one of the first things they do when they log on to their computer. Most people when they log on to their computer check their email, social sites and usually something that adds value to their career or personal life. Often times the former choice could be sports scores from the hockey game the night before or a tech blog going over new technology emerging on the scene. Whatever subject matter your blog is, however, make sure it is targeted to engage a specific audience, which will not only increase your viability in your particular field of blogging but also in your reader loyalty/engagement.

Mobile App. It seems that there is an app for everything for iProducts and Android products. There is an app to check sports scores, there is an app like Retail Pocket to allow consumers to find and compare deals and prices on the go and there are even apps to allow users to play games and keep up with their favorite music artist. Individuals want information that is important to them whenever they want and wherever they are. It is imperative to set yourself apart from other apps. Don’t create another app that is like any other on the market now; however, it is important to tailor the app so that it is very user friendly and that is interesting to your target market. For example if your target market is women ages 18-25 be aware of what they are interested in and incorporate that into your app. If these women are engrossed in fashion and music, then create an app where fashions are based on popular music artists. The key is to target your app so that you can engage a particular group (at least to start with until you begin expanding).

Incorporating these 3 channels allows wide visibility across social, search and mobile markets. Being able to identify target groups and then providing them with the tools they need to be happy and successful is essential. By using Twitter, blogs and mobile apps, retailers and professionals alike can successful reach their target consumers and interest groups.

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The Apple iPhone Surge

July 29, 2011

In a recent report by Strategy Analytics, the Apple iPhone is now the number one smart phone vendor in the world. Apple is up on its nearest competitor Samsung by over one million units! Since Q2 of 2010, Apple has also increased its shipments of iPhones by over 75%. We all know that the Apple [...]

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