Technology is an amazing thing. What used to be “cutting edge” innovation that we thought would never become obsolete, we now look back and wonder how we ever got by with “that”. The coin operated pay phone used to be on almost every corner…what a great way to stay in touch, as long as you were in town and had the proper change. How about the 8” floppy storage disk? Wow! How did they get all that information on such a small disk? Now the 1.44 megabyte capacity pales in comparison to a flash drive that can hold more than 128 gigabits of data and can be carried around in your pocket. Or just imagine trying to get your work done on an old Corona typewriter. Thank goodness for Michael Nesmith’s mom inventing correction fluid. Who needs the backspace or delete key? Keeping up with technology keeps us connected to the world, make or lives and work easier (I didn’t say less complicated), and allows us to compete in ways we never imagined possible. Below are some examples of technology that is considered cutting edge today. You never know when it will be eclipsed by more advanced technology that will relegate it to 8-track tape status.
Beacon Technology– A familiar name is leading the way in Beacon Technology. Apple’s iBeacon uses Bluetooth technology to connect with people’s smart phones and tablets in order to engage with them while they are attending an event. Think of it as, and I may be dating myself somewhat here, the “Flashing Blue Light Specials” from K-Mart’s past, but not nearly as annoying. Beacon technology is becoming an essential component of the data collection and marketing strategy for sports teams and venues across the world. Fans/patrons are prompted to download a custom app which provides them with advanced interaction with the venue. The technology connects with fan’s smart phones and tablets, sending promotional alerts and information while tracking their activity at the venue through a series of transmitters. The interaction possibilities are endless, ranging from pushing coupons and promotions, alerts about drink, food, and merchandise special, to seat upgrades that can move fans from “nose bleed” to premium seating with a “click”. Major League Baseball partnered with Apple for their “At the Ballpark” app which displays welcome messages, provides exclusive content, coupons and maps based on the fans’ location within the stadium and the positioning of the beacons. Both the NFL and NBA have followed suit. The NBA’s Golden State Warriors experienced a 69% increase in revenue from app-based seat upgrades. And the possibilities continue when you look at the opportunity to engage with potential sponsors utilizing all that data you have collected showing where people are spending their time and money. “Mathematically Speaking”, Data Collection + Patron Engagement= REVENUE.
Mobile Technology- If you’ve been nodding off for the past year and have not yet positioned your organization to capitalize (am I still allowed to use that word?) on mobile technology, you are at a huge competitive disadvantage. For those of you who know me, you are probably wondering when I came out of the cave. Here are some statistics that helped bring me out of the “Dark Ages”, and into the age of “Mobile Enlightenment”:
- 61% of American adults currently own a smartphone. That equates to 143 million in America and 1.75 billion worldwide. (exactly what shamed me to “mobile enlightenment”)
- Over half of all mobile searches lead to purchases. (getting your attention yet?)
- Close to half of consumers say they will not return to a website that does not properly load on their mobile device. (click here for Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, really!)
- 50% of millennials use their smartphones to research a product or service while shopping and 41% have made purchases using their phones. (they were smart enough to ditch the term Generation “Y”)
- 100% of husbands across America can save time and gas by simply sending a pic of the shirt they plan to purchase to their wife’s smart device, prior to buying it. This will also avoid having to answer that questions “you aren’t planning to wear that shirt out, are you?”
As I have found out, smartphones do much more than make calls and save a return trip to Stein Mart to exchange that shirt you thought was “styling”. New technology allows you to scan the bar ticket code on your smartphone or smartwatch and gain entrance to events or board a plane. You can even “tap” your mobile device at checkouts equipped with near field communication technology (NFC) instead of having to pull out your credit card or cash. The benefits transcend Event Ticketing, and cover industries such as Healthcare, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Education and Banking. 97% of mobile subscribers will read a SMS (text) message within 15 minutes of it being received, 84% will respond within one hour. (That should get you attention simply by understanding the possibilities of such a quick response time by consumers, unless, of course, you choose to cling on to your old flip phone and wear that loud Tropical Print shirt from Stein Mart).
Responsive Web Design (RWD) – The popularity of mobile technology has helped drive the transition of websites to a responsive design. To be relevant and competitive in today’s marketplace, your website needs to adapt to the various size devices consumers utilize to navigate the web (if you don’t understand why, see #3 above). When someone begins browsing on their laptop then switches to an iPad, a responsive design website will automatically “respond” by accommodating for image size, resolution, and scripting abilities. It is, after all, about the user’s experience.
On April 21, 2015, Google changed it algorithm which prioritizes a website’s page ranking based on whether the site is “mobile-friendly” or not. A Responsive Web Design will help a potential customer locate your website and navigate the pages without having to perform device-based gymnastics such as the “pinch-that-view” or the “zoom in-zoom out”. Rather than perform these exhausting exercises, most consumers will opt to leave your site in favor of a more user-friendly one, providing them a more positive user experience. That is providing they find your site at all. (Again, see # 3 above).
Technology is developing at such a rapid pace. It encompasses how potential customers find us, how they select and pay for items, how we engage with them and market to them. Keeping up with the changing technology will keep your organization competitive and is imperative for your success. Not doing so will relegate your organization off the consumer’s radar and back to the “Dark Ages”. Please don’t find yourself there, but if you do, you have my permission to use my old flip phone and wear that “styling” tropical print shirt.
What are some of the technology challenges your organization faces? Check us out at LockData to see if we can help bring your website or Ticketing into the “Enlightened Age”.