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Scale Your Startup With These Essential Smart Tech Strategies

New business startups in Colorado have many challenges in the modern marketplace. But they have one advantage that older startups don’t have: a plethora of innovative technology that can help build their businesses.

There are thousands of cutting-edge tools available, which means the biggest difficulty might be choosing the right ones to move ahead of the competition. Leaders need to assess and manage the risks and opportunities of the ones they implement. With the right tech, a startup can scale to great heights.

READ: These 5 CEOs Are Launching Colorado’s Startup Sector to New Heights

Business benefits of smart technology 

According to a recent survey from Wallethub, Colorado is one of the top 10 states to start a business. With that kind of competition, startups need to stay ahead.

Today’s technology gives new businesses that advantage. For example, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning apps can improve business processes and analyze customer data. Tools like virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) help businesses gamify rewards and personalize shopping experiences.

Modern technology also plays a role in the workplace. You can use it to improve employee satisfaction and efficiency by offering perks such as installing wireless charging stations. Smart chairs and desks can also be adapted to staff’s physical needs and keep them comfortable throughout the day. 

But the real game-changers are today’s virtual collaboration tools. These allow employers the ability to offer flexible work arrangements so that they can attract the best talent to their company, no matter where their ideal candidate may live.

Whether behind the scenes or client-facing, these tools support the growth of a successful business.

READ: Unveiling the Role of Technology in Modern Workplaces

Tech tools to level up a startup

Startup leaders must select the right technology and choose apps that scale their businesses. Deploying tech that improves customer experience and boosts workplace productivity is key. Here are some useful applications that accomplish this:

  • Apps like Hubspot and Mailchimp simplify and personalize customer communication and marketing efforts.
  • Integrating sign language apps for clients demonstrates that a business values diversity and inclusion for all.
  • Tools like Asana or FreshBooks streamline project management and financial systems.
  • AI apps such as Zendesk provide robust customer support and offer in-depth insights.

Technology is only beneficial if it provides a competitive edge for the company. Startups can beat the competition by continually assessing efficiency, also known as process improvement. This activity allows businesses to evaluate processes to refine and automate systems. This helps save time and money while improving employee and customer satisfaction.

Tech apps can help managers map out process improvement activities, so their teams can communicate and contribute to system improvement. Staff members then have a stake in growing the company, which can improve employee retention.

However, employees may struggle to implement new systems. It is just one of the challenges business leaders need to deal with.

Managing risks and opportunities

In addition to getting clients and staff to buy in, there are other issues posed by adopting new technology. Startups need to understand the importance of risk mitigation. Once risks are discovered, a mitigation plan should be developed and put in place as soon as possible. Risks should then be monitored, reported and reviewed accordingly as changes arise. 

Some risks from using technology include: 

  • Outdated systems that hinder productivity and efficiency.
  • Security vulnerabilities, especially if systems are out of date. 
  • Vendors contracts that exceed existing needs and budget.
  • Systems or tools (like social media) that do not have user policies in place.

Of these issues, the biggest risk with any new technology is ensuring security in the digital world. Security incidents are rising, causing problems such as identity theft, financial loss and legal troubles. A security breach can damage the reputation of a startup. 

READ: How to Protect Your Business Against a Data Breach in 2024

There also could be risks specific to one’s industry that need to be addressed. For example, e-commerce companies that use technology incorrectly could cause problems with fulfillment, which in turn can negatively impact sales and customer retention. Risk mitigation strategies should address these issues with solid solutions, such as software that can flag these concerns. Having a plan in place beforehand helps make it simpler to deal with unexpected crises that occur.

Risk mitigation strategies must include security plans and proper cybersecurity support. It’s important to have strong data control systems across all resources and, if a breach does occur, it should be dealt with and reported to the entire staff. 

Startups in Colorado need to do their best to level a crowded field. Strategic implementation of technology benefits new businesses, especially if they develop risk mitigation strategies for their systems. Taking these foundational steps will scale a company far ahead of its competition.

 

Indiana Lee Bio PictureIndiana Lee is a writer, reader, and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest. An expert on business operations, leadership, marketing, and lifestyle, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Maximizing Efficiency, Minimizing Errors: Harnessing AI and Automation in Your Marketing Strategies

If used correctly, AI and automation has the potential to upgrade your marketing strategy. The general perception is that most workers are scared of integrating automation into the workplace. However, public opinion on automation actually indicates the opposite — most employees feel more positively than negatively about the topic. This is an advantageous outlook, as you can harness the inevitable powers of automation for the greater marketing good.

In marketing, in particular, automating certain tasks can reduce human error and up your efficiency. Learn how to master marketing automation and how doing so can drive campaign success with the following tips and examples.

READ: AI-Enabled Real Estate — How Automation is Impacting the Housing Market

How to implement marketing automation for optimal results

As with everything in marketing, it pays to be strategic. Your plans for using marketing automation should include a combination of the right techniques, technology and tracking. 

Automate menial tasks first

When deciding which tasks to automate first, think about which ones feel the most demanding. Automating marketing chores frees up time for you to focus on more impactful tasks. That’s not to say that the more administrative tasks are unimportant, but they can become repetitive and arduous after a while. Automation tools can help facilitate tasks such as:

  • Customer identity resolution: collecting user data from various sources to create a complete picture of that user’s identity.
  • Lead scoring and qualification: identifying the most qualified leads based on algorithms and placing leads in categories.
  • Predictive analytics: estimating how something will pan out in the future, including customer behavior and market trends.
  • Campaign targeting: tailoring marketing campaigns like ads and emails to certain target audiences based on criteria, even segmenting audiences and creating automatic response triggers.
  • Social media management: scheduling, posting, and even creating social media posts, tracking analytics like engagement rate across platforms.

READ: Don’t Get Left Behind — Top 8 Social Media Trends for 2023 

These tasks can even be enhanced with the use of machine learning and AI to gather data or predict trends that you may not have been able to before. Rather than having to go in and manually email each lead, for example, automation tools can do the grunt work for you. Standardizing processes like this also leads to reduced human error and more successful marketing.

Personalize customer interactions

While these tools open up more time to focus on genuine customer interaction, there are still certain aspects of personalization that can be automated without sacrificing quality. For instance, you can set up personalized emails with the name of the recipient based on user data. You can also use the user information collected for customer identity management to provide relevant content in their inboxes, ads, chatbot messages, recommended sections of your site and more. As long as you have the proper permissions to use this data, this is a great way to use mass personalization to your advantage.

Chatbots are popular for their ability to answer frequently asked questions promptly and without the need to speak to a live agent. Automating this type of customer interaction can save time if their questions or issues are easy to resolve. However, you don’t want to miss any communications. It’s best to also use an automation tool that synthesizes omnichannel messages in one place. This way, you can get a clear picture of customer communication, and customers are less likely to be frustrated with having to repeat themselves.

READ: AI for Customer Service — 5 Easy Ways to Help Your Customers

Colorado-based integration platform, Boomi, is a prime example of intelligent marketing automation. It allows the connection of multiple channels to bring together one clear view of your audience and relevant data. This increases customer satisfaction and brand loyalty due to the ease with which customers can communicate with your brand. 

Brandzooka, another Colorado-based software, allows you to run targeted ads across platforms, meeting potential customers where they are. Platforms like this allow you to amalgamate the campaign data all in one place, enhancing your ability to see a holistic view of your marketing efforts.

Prepare for more automation moving forward

AI and automation in the workplace are poised to keep growing and changing over the years. Keeping abreast of the automation trends and facts is tantamount to picking the right techniques for your marketing campaigns now and in the future. Make sure to filter out the automation and AI buzzwords and fluffy trends to get to the tools that allow you to enhance your marketing. 

Above all, remember that there are parts of marketing that should never be automated. People expect some level of human interaction when engaging with a brand. This human connection can be unobtrusive, but it should also be an option at all times for those who want it. When implementing automation tools, track your marketing campaign results. Figure out what enhances your marketing and what parts should be run by you instead of software. A mix of automation and a human touch will go a long way. 

 

Indiana Lee Bio PictureIndiana Lee is a writer, reader, and jigsaw puzzle enthusiast from the Pacific Northwest. An expert on business operations, leadership, marketing, and lifestyle, you can connect with her on LinkedIn.