20 Service-Based Business Trends to Adapt in 2016

  1. Mobile Location-Based Marketing Becomes More Important

“For small businesses who have brick-and-mortar locations, location marketing is going to be a game changer through beacons for 2016.In 2016, location-based beacon marketing for small business, will be a game changer. Click To Tweet Facebook is already rolling out their Bluetooth beacons to businesses to shoot out promotional messages and alerts to fans when they’re within range, serving a dual-purpose of next-level customer service and real-time mobile marketing. While the hurdle is that the user would have to have location services and Bluetooth connectivity switched on within their mobile devices, the possibilities are endless when it comes to marketing through beacons.” — Christine Rochelle, Director of Digital Marketing and Operations, lotus823

  1. On-Demand Delivery of Products and Services Will Expand to Small Businesses

“In 2016, small businesses will start to take advantage of new on-demand delivery and logistics services. While many large companies have processes in place for package delivery and food ordering, easy-to-use services [like Uber] are great for small businesses, and more of them will start to take notice in the coming year.” — Craig Bloem, founder and CEO, LogoMix

Service businesses can take advantage of this trend by offering on-site services (mobile massage, pet services, beauty treatments etc.) and home delivery of upkeep products to maintain customer loyalty.

  1. Despite Increasing Internet Connections, Human Connection Remains the Most Important

“The convergence of companies turning to technology to cut costs, and consumers having access to multiple options will create a chasm where brand loyalty does not exist. The key to highly sought-after repeat business will be to establish and maintain the human connection. It is essential for any company to show their customers that each specific visit/business mattered and they continue to be important beyond the sale.” ­– Richard Shapiro, founder and president, The Center for Client Retention

Service businesses who continue to maintain high-levels of personal service and authentic interactions will thrive especially if they maintain an authentic and personable social media connection with their clients.

  1. Mobile-Friendly Websites and SEO Will Be The Most Important Marketing Tools

“In 2016, small businesses will have to dedicate more time and resources to build mobile into their marketing and branding. Google has new Mobile Optimization Guidelines, which means not having a website with a responsive [mobile] design can seriously hurt your ranking on SEO, even making it so you don’t get listed when someone is searching from a mobile device.” — Craig Bloem, founder and CEO, LogoMix

  1. Millennials Driving a Mobile Mentality for Small Businesses in 2016

“The increasing influence of the millennial generation — a group that prefers quick, immediate interactions via mobile devices — is expected to significantly impact the way small businesses approach customer engagement in 2016. Service businesses in particular must be able to effectively cater to this mobile customer or risk losing the important repeat business they need to keep their organization afloat.” — Jon Zimmerman, CEO and co-founder, Front Desk

  1. Small Businesses Will Take the Next Big Step with Mobile Technology in 2016

“Studies have shown that at least 60 percent of small businesses consider mobile solutions essential. However, many have failed to fully utilize the benefits the technology offers. By utilizing mobile solutions with easy-to-use CRM, client engagement and back-end business management capabilities, today’s busy small business personnel will be able to manage all key aspects of their business via their mobile device, whether at the office, in the field or after hours.” — Ran Oelgiesser, CMO, vCita

  1. Mobile Is an Increasingly Important Touch Point

“Going into 2016, we see there being a growing importance for brands to focus on the mobile experience for their customers. More and more buying decisions are happening via mobile devices, particularly in the B2B space, and companies across all industries need to adapt, or they will get left behind.” — Bill Burnett, founder and CEO, PointDrive

  1. Don’t Just Be Mobile-Friendly — Embrace Accelerated Mobile

“A big trend for business owners in 2015 was to make your website mobile-friendly, as Google was requiring it to rank in their mobile searches back in April. The new trend for 2016 will be … having even faster page-load times, which Google is calling the project Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP HTML.” — Michael Juba, content marketing strategist, EZSolution

  1. Ease of Access Through the Latest Technology Will Be a Priority

“[Companies] that use newer online payment options such as Square, stripe, Apple/Google payment options, etc. have a major edge over competitors. When you’re a young company that was built to begin with on a fluid, ever-changing, Web-based economy, it’s easy to adapt. On the other hand, larger companies, even when they are willing to step out of their comfort zones, have to overhaul larger, more-entrenched payment-processing systems that have existed for years or decades.” — Joel MacDonald, founder, EnergyRates.ca

  1. New Payment Technology Will Slowly Change the Way Transactions Are Performed

“Last year, one of the biggest payments lessons learned by retailers was that any changes at the point of sale (POS) will entail a long adoption period. This coming year, we’ll see EMV chips, mobile payments, omni-commerce, security and the growth of global ecommerce impact small businesses.” — Kevin Gallagher, SVP of global business development, 2Checkout

  1. Security Concerns Will Lead to More Usage of “Software as a Service” Solutions

“The continued slow migration away from on-premises servers to SaaS-based solutions should increase. This includes retiring legacy small business servers in favor of cloud-based solutions such as SAML-based single-sign-on solutions, as well as tools such as Office 365 and Google Apps to replace Exchange. Any savings are likely to be put into security solutions, such as Bushel, and more business- and app-focused tools that drive productivity and innovation.” — Charles Edge, product manager, Bushel

  1. Vendors and Small Businesses Will Become More Tight-Knit Than Ever Before

“As we look to 2016, I think you will see small businesses engaging the firms they do business with to become more of a consultant than ever before. In our transparent world, we’ve moved beyond transactions, and the lines are more blurred than ever, with the most competitive vendors out there viewing themselves as a virtual extension of the firms they work with, going above and beyond every day to continue to make the cut.” — Karen Cimorelli-Moor, SVP of sales, PrimePay

  1. Digital Marketing “Clutter” Means the Value of Personal Relationships Will Increase

“The challenge facing everyone is how to market and promote a small business amidst all the clutter and white noise. Paradoxically, I believe that the businesses that will ultimately succeed going forward are the ones that go back to traditional methods, like building face-to-face relationships and word-of-mouth marketing.” — David Mercer, founder, SME Pals

  1. More Consolidation Means Emphasizing Online Marketing

“Everything from local mechanics to bakeries to florists and carpet cleaners will need to have not only a website, but one that is made for mobile searches, thoroughly connected to social media, directories, review aggregators, coupon generators and proximity pricing calculators, too. The trends are absolutely moving in this direction, and any company that chooses to opt out of these marketing channels will likely face a self-imposed extermination for that industry.” — Alexander Ruggie, PR director, 911 Restoration

  1. Digital Marketing “Clutter” Means the Value of Personal Relationships Will Increase

“The challenge facing everyone is how to market and promote a small business amidst all the clutter and white noise. Paradoxically, I believe that the businesses that will ultimately succeed going forward are the ones that go back to traditional methods, like building face-to-face relationships and word-of-mouth marketing.” — David Mercer, founder, SME Pals

  1. More Consolidation Means Emphasizing Online Marketing

“Everything from local mechanics to bakeries to florists and carpet cleaners will need to have not only a website, but one that is made for mobile searches, thoroughly connected to social media, directories, review aggregators, coupon generators and proximity pricing calculators, too. The trends are absolutely moving in this direction, and any company that chooses to opt out of these marketing channels will likely face a self-imposed extermination for that industry.” — Alexander Ruggie, PR director, 911 Restoration

  1. Small Businesses Will Continue to Realize Their Marketing Advantage

Public relations and social media tactics will continue to grow more progressive. Small businesses understand they’re nimble versus their goliath counterparts and will look to modern tools like Kickstarter, YouTube, content marketing and social promotion to develop authentic audience engagement and advocacy.” — Katherine O’Hara, founder and president, The O’Hara Project — See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8637-50-small-business-trends-and-predictions-for-2016.html#sthash.xkYYOwX4.dpuf

  1. Local Marketing, Interactive Content, Expanded Searches and Re-Marketing Will All Play a Role

“Small businesses will begin to see the viability and increase in use of interactive content. Specifically, I think Periscope will emerge as the de-facto platform for small business and micro business to conduct real-time conversation, over-the-shoulder how-tos and more. While this platform is free (meaning everyone and anyone can do it), the truly successful businesses creating sales and revenue with it will be able to craft well-presented conversations, while not selling their service — only their knowledge.” — James Blews, owner, James Blews Consulting — See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8637-50-small-business-trends-and-predictions-for-2016.html#sthash.xkYYOwX4.dpuf

  1. Re-Marketing, Integration of Pay-Per-Click Marketing and Targeted Ads are Key for Small Business

Re-marketing works, and here’s why: Contrary to popular belief, conversion rates actually increase the more users see an ad within re-marketing campaigns. That’s because these are people who have already been exposed to and engaged with your brand. It’s true that click-through rates decline over time, but those people who do click on your ad, after having seen it a few times already, become twice as likely to convert. Period. Not to mention that re-marketing is incredibly powerful for brand building.” — Larry Kim, founder and CTO, WordStream

  1. Growth in Video Adds Nuance to Small Business Marketing

“For small to medium-sized businesses, video offers a competitive advantage without breaking the bank. Nowadays, even a smartphone can be used to create quality videos that can provide a window into a company’s culture or organizational structure, explaining why a candidate should apply. Further, video can outline what a specific role will entail in a much more engaging format than a bulleted list on a career site.” — Alys Scott, CMO and senior vice President of marketing communications, PeopleFluent

Sources: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/8637-50-small-business-trends-and-predictions-for-2016.html#sthash.xkYYOwX4.dpufhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/ianaltman/2015/12/01/top-10-business-trends-that-will-drive-success-in-2016/http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/254370


Originally published at business.yocale.com on January 8, 2016.

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