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Business Trends Worth Knowing About

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Today’s business markets and strategies are significantly different from those of a decade ago. The need to outsmart your competitors has never been more crucial, and it takes drastic and bold ideas to be able to make your mark in the business world. I have recently been browsing through articles on Mashable, TechCrunch, and Social Media Explorer, and I have been noticing some articles that are either disturbing or just seem far-fetched but are actually true. I explored everything from apps to education, and there were 3 articles (1 from each site listed above, in that order of website) that I found to be very relevant to how many businesses currently operate. These articles will describe new trends and studies found in all kinds of demographics, which also makes these trends the key to profit or bankruptcy.

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Technology Creating a Generation of Distracted Students

(by Neha Prakash): It is the new norm for teenagers to have a cell phone and other electronic devices at their disposal, but have you ever noticed that most teenagers and young adults are constantly on their cell phones or the computer? I know a variety of people from ages 10-18, and I have no problem in saying that some of the people I know have absolute obsessions with technology, and are always using a phone, even during class time. So how is that affecting the way young adults learn?

The article in Mashable describes the new study that has been recently conducted at the Pew Research Center on how digital technology is distracting students from their work and studies. 87% of teachers say that technology is causing students to have shorter attentions spans, and limits how students process material and use reliable sources, and decreases time management skills. Also, these results are all similar in all different age ranges in correspondence to all different kinds of subjects.

How can this information help businesses though?

First of all, the amount of teenagers and students using cell phones and the Internet is enormous, especially when it relates to school work. Students use cell phones in class or at home to access information and use apps that can be used for school or for pleasure. A business can use this as an advantage by targeting the needs for student success, or for apps that the student may use as a distraction instead (although I’m not condoning that idea!). In the future, businesses are definitely going to be impacted by the advancement in the education system.

Second,  teachers are adapting to using cell phones and technology in the class room for educational purposes, which could open up a whole new market for online sites and apps that can be used for instructional purposes. Some curriculum are now being updated with the advancement with today’s technology, and digital literacy is being incorporated into students’ learning styles.

As a student, I know how hard it is to concentrate when trying to do work and stay social at the same time. Being a part of one of the newer generations, technology has always been at my disposal and research has always seemed easier because of it. Businesses can target a whole new demographic this way (my demographic, actually) by developing new software etc. for education, and accessibility on the Internet with what types of sources and websites that the younger generations use. New apps and social media will also appeal to younger peoples, since phones are considered lifelines for many students. And I’ll admit it, I’m one of those people, and surprisingly I’m not ashamed.

Why Does There Always Have to be an App For That?

(by Sarah Perez): Good question. This ties in somewhat to my previous mention of developing a new app market, except the theme here is…why?

Why does there need to be an algorithm infused app that makes life easier, just because it’s digital? Why are there apps that are created for the most futile needs, just to make money? Why must I adopt the new app craze?

One reason… Convenience, my friends.

Otherwise, humans wouldn’t need apps that help us make dinner reservations, or book hotel rooms, or tell the valet to bring my car to the front (yes, that does exist, I would know). The fact that I no longer have to go through the sometimes strenuous process of getting information online or on the phone (see “The Reality of the Impatient Customer” below) is convenient, but is it worthwhile?

This article offers different insights on how apps are being used in relation to needs and interests developing over the new “technology age”. Apple Inc. was the first company to promote the fact that there should be an app for everything, and was one of the first largest businesses that argued the  infinite uses of apps. However, the need for an app for everything has turned out to be a huge trend. And I believe that that is all it is… a trend. This is a trend that needs to be considered when developing an app for business, or risk wasting time and money to fulfill none of the goals you projected to reach by making this app. These days, consumers are annoyed and baffled by how useless apps are becoming, especially older generations that wonder why we need all of these tools in the first place.

Many people start making apps as a way to make money, and sometimes it becomes a business. Sometimes its the opposite, where a business is present in the marketplace and then designs an app based on their services. However, the newest concern about creating an app is whether or not it is pointless or not. Consumers are not looking to waste money or time downloading apps that are not going to help them realistically with their lives, which is why we all download them. Creating an app will no doubt help a business prosper, but planning and designing the app for a specific purpose will guarantee success, since customers will not be happy about a pointless app that claims to help them and doesn’t.

As a side-note, when you step back and think about how many seemingly useless apps there are in the market, it is mind-blowing at how the human race is relying on digitizing our lives just because we can. Making an app to tell the valet when to bring you your car now becomes their job to answer that app instead of communicating face-to-face. Replacing human communication for service is more likely to annoy consumers, so this is definitely a trend for businesses to watch if they are looking to expand their company by creating an app for mobile access.

Point is, if you don’t have a point or clear use for your app, or by creating this app you are actually decreasing social standards for the human race, then don’t bother creating it. I promise it will save you time and money.

The Reality of the Impatient Customer

(by Jason Falls): With the evolution of technology and consumerism, the customer is always right. Everybody has been left on hold when having to use the customer service hotline for a product, and are almost always left waiting longer than you should. Eventually you give up, file a complaint, and take your business elsewhere. For that reason, it would be worthwhile for companies to improve their customer service!

The article is centered around the amount of time that customers would wait when put on hold for a customer service rep. Velaro conducted a survey, and every 6 people of 10 said that they would wait one minute or less. Talk about impatient! The maximum time that customers would wait is 30 minutes. I personally would keep it max. 15 minutes, because I do like to enjoy life away from phone support.

Companies are desperately trying to update their customer service via phone, and some are even starting to use live chat for online purposes, or FaceTime for cell phone users. Businesses hope to keep customers using their services by making customer service more accessible.

However, the problem still stands… how long will it be before consumer demand overpowers a business’s ability to provide service as quick as the customer wants it?

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It’s a lot to take in, but realizing how these marketing and growth trends will impact present and future business is critical if you want to have any success in the world. The problem is trying to depict how long these trends will last until a new phase of quality and service is needed to get that extra edge on competitors. I embrace future development, but question is… what are you going to do about it?

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