The small and medium-sized business (SMB) market is undergoing a technological and generational shift. From the management of basic business operations (accounting, payments, marketing, etc.) to the way consumers make purchases decisions, digital media and technology has completely transformed commerce.
While online shopping is still only a small fraction of purchases (~10%), the influence of digital media on these purchases has been profound. Meanwhile, software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools and technology are increasingly being adopted, saving time and improving SMB efficiency. To some degree digital skill sets and proficiency correspond to demographics.
According to Pew Research, 10,000 Americans will turn 65, traditional retirement age, everyday from now until 2030. As the workforce is increasingly made up of digital natives — a person born or brought up during the age of digital technology — the conclusion is that digital tech usage and adoption will only accelerate.
Yesterday at the SIINDA Conference in Valencia, Spain, LSA President Neg Norton explored this shifting SMB market as it relates to the adoption of cloud-based technology. According to new LSA data, 63% of SMBs have adopted a cloud-based technology. These technologies help SMBs answer four questions:
- How do I manage my staff? (HR)
- Who owes me money and who do I owe? (Operations & Finance)
- How do I get new customers and retain the best customers? (Marketing & Advertising)
- Where are my supplies? (Supply Chain Management)
In many cases, these questions and the effort to answer them takes up more time and resources than running the actual business. Local business owners spend just 36% of their time practicing their craft. This increasingly motivates investment in technology that gives them back time.
As the chart above shows, the biggest reason for shifting to cloud-based solutions is that it saves time. However, when it comes to actually selecting the right technology, SMBs are forced to navigate an extremely complex and competitive landscape. Looking at the marketing technology space alone can be overwhelming (see Lumascape graphic).
After exploring a variety of SMB market trends, Neg concluded that media and marketing companies have a major opportunity to expand offerings in tech-driven markets. As SMBs become increasingly digitally inclined, marketers should diversify their offerings with SaaS and other cloud-based services.
These issues will be explored in detail at the 2017 SMB Cloud Adoption Summit in San Francisco 12.7.17. To learn more, click here.