10 Ways Innovation can Help Grow Your Business

As customers become more demanding and tech-savvy, innovation has become a necessary tool for a business to stay competitive and be future-ready. Every business out there wants to get an edge and stand out among competitors. Innovation in business strategy helps businesses get that edge – boosting productivity, increasing profits, and growing brand popularity. Innovation is not always about the big world-changing breakthrough, but sometimes solving simple problems or issues, small improvements in business processes or workflow in any area of an organization. This blog will discuss some benefits of innovation & how it helps a business grow.

Better customer relationship & increased sales

Innovation can help in improving the business-customer relationship. Some small dedicated efforts like regularly surveying customers will help a business identify potential room for improvement in their products and services, identifying areas where innovation teams put efforts.

A business that fails to improve or update their product and services run into the risk of losing their business to its competitors. Thus, it becomes important for a business to invest time and money in innovation. Customers appreciate even small efforts put by the company that add extra value to what they are buying. This in turn means more sales opportunities for business.

Cost-effective and environment friendly

Organizations are using innovations to improve their operational efficiency by streamlining their processes, eliminating bottlenecks, reducing machinery and employee idle time. Innovations focused on long-term goals such as environment-friendly and cost-effective are getting more appreciation as businesses see them as an investment for a better future. An innovative solution that reduces product cost and environment-friendly is the need of the current market.

Boost brand’s popularity

The most significant advantage of innovation is that it allows businesses to anticipate market shifts and grab opportunities quickly. This gives a business an edge over its competitors and stays ready for the future. Businesses are actively using innovations to analyze market trends, improving customer, supplier, and advisor interactions, and examining competitors’ moves to look for new opportunities and grab on to them. With innovation, a business can find fresh ideas by examining what leading companies abroad in their industry are doing.

Enhance employee-employer relations

Improvement in an organization’s products and services develop a feeling of pride in their company. This results in boosting workplace productivity and efficiency as employees feel pride in what they are building. An employer should involve and take suggestions or feedback from them to get new innovative ideas to improve its internal processes. Make sure you listen to them as they are an essential source of ideas for an organization. Employees will appreciate this gesture as they feel more involved and can provide invaluable suggestions to innovate.

Pinpoint your Unique Value Proposition (UVP). 

A product or service’s unique value proposition adds value to something and what differentiates it from its competitors. Creativity and innovation are perfect tools to stand apart from other products or services. Nowadays, it is often more about the uniqueness of the product or service for a customer than being valuable. A business needs to skip the better, faster, or stronger; but focus on being creative, on becoming the best, fastest or most vital to be competitive and future-ready. UVP helps a business create a unique brand story and build a quirky business image in the customers’ eyes. Once an image is created its time for a business to focus on its unique brand image and market it as such.

Getting ahead of competitors

A business that continually innovates its process and strategies will always have the edge over its competitors. Adding little creativity will help a business find better ways of connecting with customers, designing products, packaging, advertising, and market business. While creating something innovative, make sure you won’t end up copying competitors’ ideas and mess up your strategy. The best things are to go by the old rule of collecting important customer feedback, employee suggestions, competitor analysis, and other important data before making an innovative business strategy.

The unique solution to impossible problems

Innovations are done to solve existing problems or issues better or give unique solutions to an impossible situation. Organizations often ask their innovation team to focus efforts on issues that continually arise, which means the earlier solution was not that effective. The innovative team gathers all the information to find out a solution that is out of the box. This solution needs to be unique that helps the organization to improve its products or services, add value to a product, and increase customer satisfaction.

Improving Workplace Productivity

Innovation simplifies the work processes for your employees and streamlines the work to increase workplace productivity. Many businesses are getting benefits from innovation by adequately managing their employees’ workload, saving valuable time, increasing efficiency and productivity. Adding innovation to business processes will benefit the business if they are correctly implemented. This is one of the biggest reasons businesses are implementing innovation for streamlined processes, analyzing what’s working and whatnot, and planning to outsource processes to ease the workflow and increase productivity.

Organizations are tracking their work progress with homegrown project tracking systems. These tracking systems are used to assign tasks, monitor work progress, and prioritize the task given to employees. All these innovations help the organization track work and make sure employees meet the organization’s specific needs and update accordingly to remain productive. An organization should test these innovations and analyze what works best for them.

Reach your target audience and building word-of-mouth

Innovations are helping organizations to target their marketing efforts geographically, demographically, and precisely. Social media platforms are helping brands to reach their target audiences, interact precisely, and create brand awareness. This targeted marketing approach helps businesses to create word of mouth and spread awareness about their brand. Brands can add some incentives or promotional offers for their users, acting as brand ambassadors. Innovation helps brands be unique and improve their products and services, giving them an edge over competitors. This added value to their products or service cultivates the vibe that pushes people to promote and create word or mouth for the brand.

Final words

I hope this blog gave you some insight into how innovation can help your business grow. Since you have read so far just sharing an additional tip with you. An organization can also add innovation as a part of their hiring process. Asking new employees about their previous innovations – creative ideas they come up with in their last organization and how it helped their organization. Ask for their reviews on your products or services, and you don’t know this small effort from your side will help get a creative spark that can help improve the overall business as an organization doesn’t be scared of trying new things and learn from that experience.

Just a great quote I read today – There is no innovation & creativity without failure.

Top Data and Analytics Trends to Watch out for 2021

The year 2020 has been challenging for many companies, but one area that has seen consistent growth even in the uncertain market condition has been data analytics. Businesses now realized the importance of data and analytics; without the right data and proper analysis, it is difficult for a business to make the best decisions. The change in consumer behavior is one of the major factors pushing businesses worldwide to update their business strategies to stay relevant and future-ready consistently. Pandemic has given opportunities for businesses to change their business strategy and prepare them for unexpected market scenarios. This blog will discuss top data and analytics trends that flourish in 2021.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the science that aims to execute tasks performed by the human with the help of machines. With AI development, businesses have changed their way of analyzing data and analytics to make crucial decisions and strategic changes to stay relevant and competitive. It is predicted that businesses will shift from piloting to operationalizing AI by the end of 2024. In this post-covid market scenario, all the historical user and business data will no longer be valid due to changed market conditions. The AI-based algorithm will help businesses in 2021 detect anomalies by learning from historical data and will notify the users immediately in case of an unexpected event.

Cloud 

Cloud will be the future of data storage, and the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a faster shifting of the businesses towards the cloud. The businesses that failed to adapt to this sudden shift have paid a high cost in 2020. The adoption of hybrid and cloud systems has given the organization the power to involve everyone in their organization in decision-making processes rather than seniors taking all decisions. Cloud services are enabling organizations to work at a fast rate and doing quick and efficient work analysis. 

These enhanced self-service analytics and data literacy applications will play a significant role in making it a reality. This means that the year 2021 will see a shift across the sectors to data freedom and organizational behaviors. There is no doubt that this is going to be future of the storage and will become a new stack

Real-time Data & Analytics

The post-pandemic market scenario resulted in a shift in consumer behavior, and all the older data became irrelevant for the organization. The need for real-time data and analysis became extremely important for an organization to adapt according to the current changing marketing and developing strategies for staying future-ready. In 2021, real-time data and analytics will become a new normal for businesses and everyday people. Accessing critical information quickly and adapting to new challenges that the next year will bring along with it will be the biggest challenge for businesses. There is no doubt that the business analytics industry will be more in action in 2021, and real-time data analysis will be their main driver.

Data security

Data security is one of the most discussed topics that remained on everyone’s lips in 2020 and will continue even in 2021. The implementation of privacy regulations in the USA, EU, and other countries have heated the discussions of protection of users’ personal information and data security. In the year 2021, most businesses will shift their focus to data security. Businesses that have set these three things – privacy, safety, and security as their primary goal will have the edge over the competitor in the upcoming year. In the pre and post-pandemic, the incidents of data breaches have increased all over the world. It is understandable why users are concerned and why businesses are investing in security products and services.

Mobile Business Intelligence

The next trend that will continue in 2021, mobile business intelligence, has a lot to offer, but the devices’ impracticality has held them back. One of these devices’ significant drawbacks is that the data is large, and mobile screens are smaller than a computer. It makes it difficult for a user to analyze the information thoroughly. In 2021, professionals plan to recreate the analytical capabilities for mobiles or tablets to enhance the user experience. The market is still growing slowly, but more vendors and BI solutions with the option within their software like mobile dashboard will see a boom looking at the current market conditions.

Companies will soon be switching towards these ultimate solutions looking at the benefits of accessing information, more straightforward data representation, etc., from anywhere and anytime. With mobile BI, organizations can access data in real-time, which means faster response to any business occurrences and more freedom to access the information for anyone who isn’t in the office but need to access it.

Software as a service BI

One of the best business intelligence solutions that have progressed in the last year and will continue to prosper even in 2021 is SaaS. COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new norm of working remotely for companies, even for those who rely on humans to perform daily tasks. Following the current market trend, the businesses that have opted for SaaS BI gained more flexibility and easy access to the data on the cloud from anywhere with any device. These technologies enable an organization data movement, and easy access from anywhere will become one of the most critical trends in 2021. SaaS BI is the future of business analytics and provides the possibility to perform its analysis for a business. This analysis is available to anyone from any location and can adapt according to the current and future market conditions.

Conclusion

These are the top data and analytics trends that have already dominated the year 2020 and will continue to do so even in 2021. Adapting to these new future trends and planning accordingly will undoubtedly give a business edge over its competitors in the upcoming year. Following a data-driven approach has become a necessity for the business, and all these trends will guide and help businesses to stay relevant and future-ready in 2021.

Digital Transformation, Benefits, and Possible Trends in 2021

Digital transformation means different things for each organization, and that’s why some organizations are in the planning phase, some in the middle of implementation and some are struggling with the very concept. This digital change is not limited to large organizations but small businesses and start-ups are also welcoming and adapting to the current changing market conditions to stay competitive. Technology has changed the way we interact, talk, meet, and change the way we work and this blog will discuss digital transformation, benefits of digital transformation, and some transformation trends to watch out for in 2021.

Digital transformation

The digital transformation for a business improves business processes, business culture, and customer experience by adopting new AI technology to meet changing business and market requirements. This change of business with new AI technology in the current scenario is known as digital transformation. A business needs to integrate areas within the organization – from tools to apps or Softwares, workflow, customer engagement, employee skills, etc., changing how companies operate in the modern world and delivering the best to its customers and stakeholders. 

There is no single technology or software for a business to move forward with digital transformation. Digital transformation is all about continuous improvement of the businesses processes, experimenting new ways of doing business, and adapting fast to stay relevant in this current digital world. In simple words, changing the overall business ecosystem to improve performance and efficiency of the organization is called digital transformation. 

Benefits of digital transformation

Digital Transformation

 Increased efficiency

One of the main reasons businesses are opting for digital transformation is that it provides increased efficiency by getting rid of commute time, time spent on administrative tasks, and searching for information that can be achieved quickly with technology. This saved time can be used to complete other studies, which will result in increased customer service, better product quality, improved workflow, and information management. 

Increased customer satisfaction

The most significant advantage of using artificial intelligence and cloud computing has improved customer satisfaction as businesses have customer-specific information that can be analyzed to improve the products and services to serve better. One such example of digital transformation is on-day delivery, which is possible by analyzing consumer behavior and enhancing business to match the requirements.

Getting an edge over others

The businesses that have opted for digital transformation have already improved profits, and digitizing workflow has helped their business get an edge over those businesses that still follow traditional methods of doing work.

Some of the benefits of digital transformation for a business:

  • Saving valuable time by providing easy and quick access to information.
  • Protecting the environment by switching from paper to digital documents.
  • Easy access to information even from a remote location wherever and whenever.
  • Improved internal as well as external communication and increased collaboration at all levels in the organization.

Possible digital transformation trends to watch in 2021 

Digital Transformation Trends

In this digital age, businesses have started shifting their focus from the physical to creating a digital presence to remain future-ready and in front of their competitors. Some organizations are in the planning phase, and some started their digital transformation service. The pandemic has also helped the organization to realize the importance of digital transformation, and a wave of new working methods is introduced that have become new normal for businesses. Here are some digital transformation trends to watch in 2021:

5G technology

The pandemic has shifted the work culture across the globe. The need for faster connectivity has grown with work from home, video conference, and digital collaboration became an essential part of our lives. COVID-19 has increased our dependence on smartphones, tablets, and intensified the demand as workers left their offices in well-connected areas to suburbs and beyond, which are not well connected. 5G has become a crucial piece of organizations and they can’t bear to be disengaged looking at its futuristic advantages. The value of 5G connectivity increased as the whole world sees its direct implication on work, schools, and our homes.

Application Programming interfaces (APIs)

Cloud is one of the most popular digital transformation trends that companies have adopted to make consistent business improvements. Application programming interfaces (APIs) are becoming a crucial part of this transformation trend. APIs are actively assisting organizations that are opting to change old storage infrastructure to micro-services. These APIs are reducing the data storage needs and help in giving a collaborative experience. Opting for these advanced technologies will help them analyze one big digital piece of information stored in one place, helping them take critical business-decisions and increase their ROI.

Automation in workspace

The post-pandemic has increased the importance of automation, robotics and artificial intelligence, providing an increasingly cost-effective solution for both in-house and outsourced business activities. Automation is the only thing that will ensure an organization’s smooth working when the employees are unable to be present physically in the office. It gives the advantages of cost reduction, increased efficiency, more precision, higher customer experience, and process flexibility to a business, which is one of the crucial reasons why companies will most likely invest in this in 2021. This digital trend has gained momentum as businesses increasingly look for affordable solutions for both small and large organizations.  

Work from Home

Organizations like Google and Facebook have extended their work from home till mid-June, and many organizations, both big and small, are adapting to this new flexible work approach. Economies are gradually resuming, and employees are returning to their organizations; many organizations choose to permit remote work options for employees as a flexible work approach. WFH provides opportunities to save office space, equipment, supplies, and utilities as the employees work from a remote location. The other advantage of why this trend can continue even in 2021 is that it helps increase workers’ morale and productivity as they have their schedule to manage the work that can be monitored by using workforce management tools.

Final thoughts

The pandemic has given businesses time to think and analyze the possible future if the same trends will continue even in 2021. Organizations are searching for better ways and technologies that provide them an edge over their competitors and make their business future-ready. Post-pandemic time is going to be crucial for organizations as most of them will be in the transformation or adaptation phase under the new market conditions.

Best B2B Marketing Strategies Essential for Business in 2021

B2B marketing has changed in the past 5-10 years. Marketers are switching their focus from sales and cold calling to digital marketing and SEO to engage new clients and build brand presence. Digital is the new driving force that will dominate the business marketing strategy in 2021 as well. Creating a buyer persona and then targeting audiences with a well-analyzed marketing strategy will do wonders for any business. This blog will address some of the best B2B marketing strategies to help a business be competitive and move ahead of its competitors in the next year. 

A well researched niche-driven strategy

Creating the best B2B marketing strategy is all about doing thorough research for making well-informed decisions. Research from marketplace to brand, detailed scientific studies about the business will help set up marketing objectives and provide a baseline for measuring a marketing strategy’s success. While creating a marketing strategy in 2021, a business should opt for a niche B2B marketing strategy as the marketing strategy base. A well thought and specifically targeted marketing strategy will give fast results and help a business move ahead in 2021.

Feedback will help you know your client better and build a marketing strategy to help a business serve them even better. Surveys and market research will help get insights about processes, business performance, and finding areas worth putting efforts into.

Website – Digital identity

In 2021, a business demands a website where they can share their story, connect directly with people, and make the best first impression. A website has become an important digital asset for building an online presence. Most clients search online, and a website allows a business to win their business. This digital identity enables a business to exhibit its expertise and become well-known throughout the marketplace, just like a billboard or brochure.

A website that is easy to navigate and offers a better user experience can engage more audience and numerous business opportunities. A well-designed website helps influence the audience’s perception, swiftly and intuitively differentiating and creating a digital identity for a business in the client’s mind.

AI Chat Bots

After creating a digital identity over the internet, chatbots are becoming an essential part of a website, and the same trend will continue in 2021 as well. Most clients use AI chat support system to give their feedback and fix issues as they offer quick replies to queries and 24*7 service support. All these become a difficult task to manage without the help of these AI chatbots that are programmed to perform tasks to match human behavior and offer the same support. 

Many industries use chatbots to answer clients’ queries and guide them in the best way possible. These chatbots offer a better online experience and provide better results due to which most businesses prefer to have them on their website. An increase in overall client satisfaction, engagement, business connections, and better customer service are some of the benefits that make these AI chatbots an important part of business-to-business marketing strategy even in 2021. 

Voice search

If you thought that voice search was just a trend and planning to add this to your marketing strategy but later in the future. Think again! The number of voice searches is expected to reach close to 5 billion in the year 2021 and boom in the next year. It’s high time that businesses adapt fast to these changes and plan their marketing strategies accordingly to stay competitive. In earlier stages, voice devices were used for taking important notes and making grocery store lists. Nowadays, things have changed, and people are using voice searches for playing songs, getting directions, searching over the internet, and getting directions.

Speech recognition gadgets like Alexa and Google Home have resulted in a huge increase in voice searches over the internet. Marketers see the huge potential that this futuristic technology offers and are creating content specifically for these gadgets. In 2021, a business needs to add this in their marketing strategy to stay future-ready and stay ahead with other businesses.

Search Engine Optimization & Search Engine Marketing 

With the growing importance of a business website, marketing professionals are investing heavily in SEO and SEM. Organic and paid search is not a new B2B marketing strategy but definitely a well-proven and effective marketing strategy worth putting effort and money into 2021. SEO experts are working on both on-page and off-page optimization techniques to improve the website’s ranking in SERP.

  • On-site SEO involves optimization of website pages to rank higher in SERP and get more organic traffic. All optimization activities are performed on the website, thus On-site SEO.
  • Off-site SEO involves optimization techniques that are carried outside your website to improve websites ranking higher on SERP.

Similar to SEO for getting organic traffic, SEM helps in getting paid traffic to the website.

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) is an internet marketing tool that helps businesses to show their products, content, and brand to their targeted audiences via search engines like Bing and Google. 
  • Email marketing is a tried and tested B2B marketing method for reaching customers and business clients relevant in 2021. This marketing strategy gained popularity in the early 2010s and still provides better ROI, thus making it a must-have marketing strategy in the next year.
  • Remarketing is also known as retargeting, is a marketing method that helps businesses keep track and approach the bounced traffic on their website. It provides a great opportunity for businesses to bring back abandoned visitors and drive repeat purchases.

Social Media

Last but not least is Social media, the modern B2B marketing technique that can help a business to grow exponentially. Making a profile on social media is not going to be sufficient in 2021. A brand or business is expected to be present on all major social media platforms and actively promote connections with potential customers. The referrals culture on social media has changed the social media, and many businesses are actively using this marketing strategy to get more business. Social media is a great medium for a business to build reputation, expertise, and make valuable contacts and connect with influencers to market your brand.

Final words

A business needs to approach the upcoming year with a competitive and flexible marketing strategy keeping in mind the post-pandemic effect. For a business to have the edge over its competitor, it is important to constantly assess its B2B marketing strategies. The marketing world is evolving – the firms that are analyzing their marketing methods and making changes based on the performance of the strategies will be on the winning side by the end of the year 2021.

TISSOT T12 24H

The Tale Of Vintage Watch Gift And Leadership Principles

There are moments in our lives that define or redefine our leadership principles and our lives. One such incident just happened and brought me back to my core values. One of my previous direct reports came to meet me and gifted something very special. He appreciated me for my leadership style of transparency, empathy, trust and getting the best out of people. It was a humbling and life redefining moment for me! As it was was a redefining moment hence thought of sharing here.

TISSOT NAVIGATOR SEASTAR T12, AUTOMATIC 24H
Vintage watch gifted by my team member

The Gift

This is a priceless gift for me as he invested thoughts, money and then loads of time. This is a 1970 vintage watch that he bought online for approx. $500-$1000. He spent lot of time cleaning the inside mechanism, restoring the outside/bezel and installing a brand new leather band. He loves to restore vintage watches and this one was very special for him. As per him he went through all this labor because he appreciates my friendship, leadership and the value I have added. I may never be able to repay him for this gift and I doubt if I ever added that much value into his life.

At this time you must be thinking, how is this vintage watch related to my leadership principles? Please trsut me and stay with me for another minute.

Leadership Principles

Since early childhood, I have lead teams at school, college, community and now in the professional world. All these years I have built my list of leadership principles that I lead with on a daily basis. These are leadership principles that I either discovered (not invented) in the process or learned from other leaders by following or reading books on leadership. Here are my top 10 leadership principles:

  1. Be the example of the culture you want to build in your team and remembered for
  2. Respect your team members in every situation
  3. Lead with empathy and transparency as it builds TRUST in short and long term
  4. Operate with accountability
  5. Enable performance by promoting the culture of short term wins and celebrating them as a team
  6. Focus on the strengths of your team members. Only coach them in areas of weakness if it is hurting or will hurt them
  7. Feedback is a gift. Be vulnerable as a leader and allow your team members their feedback on you
  8. Follow the principles of situational leadership
  9. Be humble, invest in continuous learning
  10. Have fun with your team. Culture is not built while you are working on the projects but when you are not. Find opportunities to have fun time, learn about them, their families, journeys, aspirations etc.

The connection

So here comes the link between the two that I promised you earlier......

We all live in real-world where we often swim with sharks. I have been going through some rough patches in my life and questioning my leadership principles. I have been questioning their validity in the corporate world where there is a cut-throat competition. What matters in those environments is goals/numbers in each quarter, your perception among your seniors and peers and much more. Questions that have been bothering me for months are: Do I need to change to survive and be successful in the corporate world? Do I need to change my leadership principles and be one of the “sharks”? Do I need to stop being that “Nice Guy”, “servant leader”, “Strength finder”?

...Here is the connection back to the wonderful gift. I am glad you waited and continued the journey to see how this all connects...

This thoughtful gift and the humbling incident brought me back on-track. It answered my questions that I must continue to be who I am. I am defined by the principles, beliefs and values that I have lived with. Yes, I evolve those to become better as per the North Star of my life but I cannot change them completely or in the opposite direction. These are the leadership principles that align with my True North.

This team member appreciated me and gave me such a thoughtful gift because he likes to be led with these leadership principles. These leadership principles have enabled him during those years when was part of my team and believed in him, trusted him and enabled him. We have always been a family that works hard, extra hard in times of need, backs-up each other, and then have fun together.

When I retire from my professional career, I will like to be remembered for the value I created in the life of my fellow co-workers and the organizations. I will like to be known for the value I gave back to the community that I helped me become better every day. I will like to be known for the smiles I brought, careers I enabled and dreams I helped to come to life for my family, friends and colleagues.

Closing thoughts

Only existing or new leadership principles can help me reach my True North and not some shallow principles that may help me be temporarily successful. This gift empowered me to continue believing in my leadership principles. It forced me to think again about my end game and not just this small destination which is part of my long journey. Once-again I believe in the power of my decades-old leadership principles!

I hope my story inspires you to question yourself and identify your leadership principles. What will you like to be remembered for? What are the memories you want to retire with? How many lives do you want to touch & add value? I hope you will share your story one day and inspire me!