With a new year around the corner, it is worth considering the common strategies and tactics that the world’s best companies have adopted to maintain their positions at the top of the pile. Whether Apple, Google or Wal-Mart, or Air New Zealand, Fonterra or Trade Me, these organisations have several similarities in their approaches to success. Check them out – and ask yourself if your business is doing the same.
- Embracing automation
It’s now time to become serious about automation, a word that we all constantly repeat but not necessarily make a reality for our businesses.
Repetitive tasks that generate minimal results should just go, this is a reality for the top dogs as well as SMB’s. Platforms promoting this methodology such as Zapier Segment and Microsoft Flows have become more intuitive and affordable. Why? Because there should be no reason your business is stuck on old technologies.
The result? More time to focus on enhancing the experience of those who buy from you.
- A constant focus on customer experience
While this should be embedded in every company’s DNA, with the explosion of information the challenge is to stay focused and don’t forget what matters the most: your customer!
Understanding how to identify your customers, reach, engage, make them choose your brand, stay loyal and recommend your business goes back to the basics: listening to those who already buy from you and having a culture centred around this principle.
- Data-fuelled creativity and innovation
Top businesses around the world recognise the value of data and they are putting in to use to innovate, drive customer satisfaction and create new value propositions.
By looking at consumer insights companies are now able to design experiences that become unique for their consumers. An example of this approach? Take a look at Nike and Adidas.
Going one step further, data is the raw material for advanced techniques like artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning.
Software as a service (SaaS) solutions means these techniques can be harnessed by your business, too, whether in online chatbots, recommendation engines, or predictive analysis.
- Analytics everywhere
Did we just mention data? That’s the raw material – it is the analytics which turns data into useable insights and top companies are pushing out analytics to more people in their organisations than ever before. SaaS tools makes analytics accessible and realistic for more job types and more employees, helping get work done faster, better and with greater ease.
- Implementing Internet of things (IoT) solutions
Imagine being able to track and trace any assets, any time, all the time. That’s a reality today as the IoT is maturing, powered by the cloud, giving top companies the ability to know more about everything thanks to inexpensive sensors and an emerging ecosystem of solution providers. Maturity means cost is coming down, and fast. Has your company considered where and how IoT deployments could have an impact?
- Boosting content marketing
Reaching your existing and potential customers with content that educates, improves and adds value is a proven means for growing your business. Digital marketing is being used by top companies to maintain their status – and you should be doing it, too, with video, blogs and mobile forming an integral part of your strategy.
- Ditching the restrictions of the office
What is this, the 1990s? Cult movie Office Space sums up all that’s wrong with limiting work to, well, the office. Going ‘borderless’ recognises that people work from home or while on the go; taking this approach, as top companies do, means attracting better people and hanging on to them. You’ll need to be sure they are equipped with the right tools for mobile working, of course.
- Staying secure
This is an obvious one. Any sort of information security breach is likely to interrupt the flow of things, whether you are one of the world’s top companies or not. Information security is an ongoing discipline which demands attention – because business depends on it. The top guys know this – and so do you.