Vendor Newsletters | September 2014
New Data on Small Business Growth Strategies
Content marketing is all the rage. The National Small Business Association has released its mid-year economic report for 2014. The report presents overall improved (but tempered) optimism among small business owners, and strong hiring and employee compensation trends. Among other findings, the study details overall growth strategies for the next 12 months. Here are the top five:
Cloud Adoption is Up As Well
In the graphic above, we can't help but notice the 80/20 rule coming into play, with 20 percent of small businesses having no growth strategy over the next 12 months. Interestingly, the 80/20 rule also plays out in a new forecast for small business cloud adoption. By the end of the decade, eight in 10 (technically, 78% but let’s not split hairs) small businesses will have successfully adapted their operations to the cloud.
The study also identified four distinct types of small business cloud adopters:
The Plug-in Player: Uses the cloud for basic business services — accounting, marketing, HR, file storage, etc.
The Hive: Uses advanced cloud services to string together remote workforces to create virtual businesses or business teams.
Head-to-Headers: These are the entrepreneurs and companies that leverage advanced technologies to go head-to-head with entrenched corporations.
Portfoliosts: In a word, these are freelancers. They can use cloud services to find and manage work, and to deliver a broader range of services without having to have traditional staff or facilities to manage them.
To date, educational institutions have primarily purchased Chromebooks, which are dependent upon Internet access, to function. But according to a new study by Gartner, that's about to change as Chromebook sales triple between now and 2017 on adoption for certain business uses in industries like banking, hospitality and financial services.
Interestingly, Apple is rumored to be making a larger iPad, also as a replacement to the traditional PC, and also based in no small part on an increasingly cloud-dominated IT landscape.
If You Haven't Added Instagram to Your
If you've got teenagers, it will come as no surprise when you learn that Instagram has 200 million monthly users. The photo-sharing social media platform is crossing into broader active adoption among other key demographics, and businesses targeting active demographics are beginning to run hashtag-driven contests and other viral marketing methods to drive business and buzz. Instagram integrates with Facebook (which owns it) and Twitter as well, creating opportunities for cross-channel branding and subscription drives and for expanding the demographic reach of marketing messages and campaigns. More importantly, Instagram campaigns are more effective than the other networks—its users interact with brands 58 times more than they do on Facebook and 120 times more than they do on Twitter.
And now may be the time to adopt Instagram. It just released a very cool time-lapse video simulation feature called Hyperlapse that’s garnering lots of great press, which means lots of new users.
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