One of the most common questions in business circles and among entrepreneurs is: “Which business to start? Which industries are worth investing in, where can they be invested, and is success guaranteed? ” Although it is impossible to give a simple answer, every new job should contain the prefix “digital” and then the activities of a specific industry.
A few years earlier, Google made a decision about the “mobile first” environment, ie. to favor the mobile phone as the dominant device in searches. And now in business we are talking about “digital-first”, models based on new technologies.
A modern blend of applications, media and services
To clarify, every new business should be thought of in a way that uses new technologies in shaping the offer, business model and working with customers. Also, to again use modern technologies and social networks to find each individual customer and build a relationship with customers in a very direct and personal way.
A place where production, sales, marketing, PR, but also everything else come together. There is a very logical reason for this. The number of mobile phone users is on the rise, especially after the pandemic. People’s focus has shifted from many “offline” activities to various types of screens. We are not going into whether it is good for humanity to turn in that direction, but from a business point of view, many opportunities lie in that fact.
Of course, we are talking about developed countries, and not about areas on Earth that still solve existential issues, or the basic needs of living. However, even with them, technology can greatly improve the quality of life. So the question we asked at the beginning can have an answer – any job, but that part of its business is based on the use of mobile phones, drones, IT technologies. Applications for ordering and delivering food are flourishing, agricultural companies hire drones to record and analyze the land, state-of-the-art robots for the husband do the work of a farmer, immediately work through analytics about each cow, husband, milk quality and send data to a computer.
A modern farmer is not in a barn or in a field, but in a room with a computer, he analyzes the data he received from a robot for automatic milking, from an automated grain processing vehicle or a drone that records the terrain. From agriculture to sophisticated goods, there is automation and robotization of all processes, while people have a place at the computer or in applications.
An explosion of online work
Furthermore, many jobs have changed their work model so that they can be done “remotely”. The explosion is of online business, dropshipping models, Shopify sites, companies based on blockchain technologies, new stock exchange platforms… But if you think these are just innovations, look at how many traditional companies are changing.
The banking sector, which is traditionally rigid, accepts cryptocurrencies, audit firms are bought by IT companies due to the development of software for analyzing large amounts of data and the development of models for computer prediction of further business opportunities. The car industry realizes what a revolution Elon Musk has made with “Tesla”, which was initially built by an IT company – a car factory.
List any industry, and then look for new companies that apply technologies to completely change the current way of doing business. Construction – 3D printing of buildings, virtual tours of apartments for sale and virtual interior design, Medicine – talking to a doctor through applications, Fitness – online training, Education – video courses and Zoom classes, Finance – virtual wallets and payment by mobile phone or watch, Home appliances – networked “smart house” where you control everything through applications… And so on.
The Silicon Valley mentality
So, that Silicon Valley mentality has taken over the whole world. Times have changed, digital has turned everything upside down. From the way business is viewed in general and the prices of business opportunities, to running the day-to-day business itself. Customers are directly available to you and are on your phone, ie. on social media. In order to have complete control of our company in our hands, we need to depend minimally on intermediaries: distributors, retailers, commercialists…
All this can be solved through new technologies. But this has nothing to do only with large companies. Now, a small manufacturer can, with an online store and digital media, complete the complete supply and demand chain, “exhibit”, advertise, reach customers and sell any product or service. Also, the relationship with customers can be instant and direct, through the website, messages on social networks, bots, etc.
Not to mention big data, we analyze customer needs and quickly meet their needs individually. Knowledge of IT technology and digital marketing guarantees that a new company will almost immediately know how to dominate the world market, because it is already happening. Just look at which industries and which startups attract the most capital from investors and experience growth.
Omni-channels and micro-content
Every company must also be a media company because it must publish content that concerns its employees, users, neighbors, community… It is completely irrelevant whether the company produces fittings, yogurt, plush toys or bandages, it is necessary to know as best as possible . new channels of media promotion.
We used to talk about integrated communications, now they are omni-channels on various platforms. It used to be enough to invite journalists to a conference and show the product, or to play an ad on the radio or TV, but now it’s all complicated. Now the best advertisement is a video of a satisfied user who looked at it in his profile. That is why the appearance of the “influencer industry” is not surprising.
The media world is now multi-platform, multi-channel, with a range of micro-media, micro-influencers and micro-formats that the company needs to prepare daily. Dozens of types of content, for various types of media channels: photo, text, video, graphics, animation, infographics, blog, podcast, audio Facebook for Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Reddit, Pinterest, Linkedin, company blog.
IT and the media are changing many aspects of the organization. Changing the way new employees are recruited, even “remote” work means that employees do not have to be on the same continent. Through social networks, they are changing the way customers are reached, changing the approach to sales and promotion drastically compared to the pre-internet era. They change the direction of market research, they even change the way a new product is developed. Now it all happens at the same time.
It is enough to have a prototype, to start promoting on social networks or through sales campaigns, and to directly test and adjust each phase of the product in accordance with the needs of customers. So, the way of production is changing. The IT infrastructure is changing, the business structure of each company is changing, the skills that managers and other employees should have, the way progress is measured. While the importance of savings can be made in the field of research and development (Research and Development) because the first phases of the prototype are immediately offered to the market, much larger funds must be continuously invested in digital media, to be always present, current and to customers ” on the eye ”.
(This text was published as a column in the Serbian business magazine Biznis.rs)