2017 was the year of disruption, and every industry was in some way affected by the advances in technology and communication. With 2018 just around the corner, there’s no better time to look at the fresh set of challenges the new year will bring, and work out what that means for your business.

The Marketing Challenge

If anything is going to be challenging for businesses in 2018, its marketing. This is partly because there are so many new channels through which to advertise. Thanks to the proliferation of smart phones and the internes, businesses need to be active within traditional marketing channels as well as multiple social media platforms, search engines and email marketing campaigns. The new marketing landscape can be a little overwhelming.

To remain competitive through 2018, businesses need to place a special focus on the user experience, mobile marketing and social media strategies.

Retaining Good Employees

Hiring new employees is an expensive investment that goes beyond the cost of a yearly wage. Disengaged employees end up costing companies even more money, both in loss of productivity and the eventual cost of replacing them. Recruitment and training also must be factored in, and in the current environment of rapid technological advancement, new skill-sets are becoming required, making the hiring process more complicated than ever. Companies who want to win the war for talent have to boost salaries, expand benefits programs, and offer additional training.

One solution is to partner with recruitment or labour hire organisations to reduce the costs involved. These companies maintain large databases of skilled workers looking for positions, many of whom will already have the expertise necessary to perform the role without additional training.

Technology Buzzwords Abound

We couldn’t stop talking about tech in 2017. Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and the internet of things (Iot) were the talking points in every industry. You can expect to see more conversations surrounding how these technologies will impact businesses through 2018.

Chatbots, big data, hyper local advertising. The changes that these technologies are bringing to businesses are shaking things up, and even small businesses who may never directly implement tech like AI or ML will find themselves using applications, software or services that do tap into this new tech.

Cyber Security

2017 saw some major data breaches shake some of the world’s largest companies. Equifax fell victim to a hack which stole the personal information of 145 million Americans, and it was recently discovered that Uber hid evidence of a hack that exposed confidential information of thousands of the company’s drivers.

The short story is, everyone should be worried about cyber security. Make sure your business has a plan in place, strong password systems and experienced network and IT administrators, because we’re going to see more security risks online in 2018.

Change is a natural process, and businesses are not immune. In today’s fast paced digital world, companies can’t afford to ignore changing trends. Pay attention to shifts, learn and observe, then decide what actions are best for your situation.

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