How To Use AI And Why Is It Important to Your Website

Artificial intelligence. If you hear this word, you will probably be reminded of intelligent robots and you are already thinking about a science fiction movie. However, nowadays, you no longer have to look at futuristic image sequences to encounter artificial intelligence, as these devices surround us in our everyday lives, especially in the online world.

Chatbots, automated ads, programmed data visualization, or even a virtual dispatcher. You have probably come across at least one of the ones listed above, but why are these AI tools important in the life of webstores? You can read about this in the following.

Chatbots

The cornerstone of the 21st century is to be able to squeeze as much as possible into 24 hours. The need is huge for lightning-fast administration, quick handling of problems, and the ability to address a potential consumer’s questions and concerns immediately.

Believe me, your consumers are no different, so you have to keep up if you want to run your webstore successfully. A perfect solution to handle these issues and problems is to use chatbots as one of the most popular AI tools.

Human capacity is finite, we need to rest, sleep, or eat, but a robot has no such needs. Let us see what benefits a robotic correspondent system can have:

  1. Immediate reaction. The chat robot does not need thinking time. It answers the question immediately, so your potential customer does not have to wait.
  1. 0-24 operation. An AI device does not need rest, right? By using them, you can deal with problems at any time, even at night.
  1. Customizability. If you know your customer audience then you know how to reach them, what style they like, and use in communication. The chatbot can do this too.

Automated chat programs can make a huge difference in the quality of your website, they can improve the user experience, and they can increase your conversions too. According to statistics, chatbots increased the total revenue of the entire e-commerce market by a total of 34% in 2020. This is a shocking number, right?

I hope you have been convinced that setting up such a tool on your website is definitely a good investment, but how do you do that? 

As mentioned, this tool facilitates communication and that is why it is used primarily on social media interfaces. The reason for this is that nowadays these are the platforms where people communicate online and this habit also has an impact on the lives of businesses.

The easiest way to create a chatbot is to use Chatfuel, which does not require programming knowledge, you do not have to learn specific codes, and it is completely free. Here are some instructions to get you started:

  1. Register on the site.
  1. In the settings interface, first set the greeting message that suits your target audience. This is a key step.
  1. Create buttons. In this step, you bring your robot to life, here you specify what answer will be sent to a given question. It is a good idea to think a little with the brain of your target group because with this the conversation will be more enjoyable.

However, never forget that this kind of conversation will never replace real communication. AI methods only help and speed up processes, but in no way should we neglect personal contact with your customers.

Personalized advertisements

Is my phone tapping? How does Facebook know I want to buy such a product? You have certainly encountered such questions before and you may even have similar thoughts.

Do not worry, it is not eavesdropping or espionage behind the thing, it is the use of artificial intelligence for marketing purposes. Let us see why it is worth it for companies to invest in these kinds of advertisements?

Ask yourself, what do you need for a successful advertising campaign? Primarily you need a platform, an ad format, creative content that conveys your message, and a very important element, money. However, to choose these well, you will need to use data collection.

This is where AI comes into play, as applying it can almost completely spare you the analytical steps. This is a huge help as this step consumes most of the time and energy.

An automated ad is completely personalized, it will only appear to people who have searched for a similar or the same product in their browser as the product you want to advertise, it will appear only to an age group that is relevant to you and to the gender you have set. In short, you can perfectly deliver your ad to your target audience with the help of artificial intelligence. 

A perfectly targeted ad can only mean one thing: outstanding purchases and visitor numbers. Do not be afraid to cut into using AI, believe it can go a long way in achieving your success.

Why AI is key?

Demand surveys, customer habit observations, advertising effectiveness measurements, and thousands more scary words. But who has all the time for these? Well, no one.

This is why businesses are increasingly trying to move towards automation and AI. You simply do not have free time, money, and human resources to take all the necessary steps in today’s world to make a campaign a success.

A pandemic situation only gives you even more reason to take advantage of these tools, as in such a situation, people try to minimize the number of contacts. So, if you are currently only handling complaints in person, it is a good idea to set up a chatbot in your web store so that your customers can say their opinion from home.

Automation is now a common practice to speed up your business processes and to save money. Just think how much time you can save by having your emails or even your entire direct marketing is done by a robot.

We recommend that you make sure to use artificial intelligence in the life of your website, believe me, you won’t regret it. However, note that, for example, human communication can never be replaced by programmed software. These are useful tools for your business but always move within certain limits.

Conclusion

Nowadays, the use of various software is completely common in the life of businesses. This is since different analytical procedures consume a lot of time and expanding opportunities are rolling more and more barriers in front of online stores.

After hearing the previous few words, the use of artificial intelligence and different algorithms is unquestionable. But remember, the importance of live communication and live work is still playing a prominent role.

Although a robot does not make mistakes, it can only think in one way. Humans will always be creative, problem-solving, and empathetic, that is why you do not neglect the personal presence.

How to Optimize Your Website for a Better Candidate Experience

Image source

On one hand, it makes perfect sense that brands are doing everything they can to target customers and attract buyers with their digital outlets.

As a business, you need to make the most of your website when it comes to customer acquisition and retention, so you naturally post customer-focused content, reviews, and create pages that appeal to your target audience.

What about the potential employees? Where can they find useful information about a potential position with your business? 

A Careers page shouldn’t be the one and only candidate-centric page on your entire website. You need to optimize your site in such a way that it serves a double purpose: attracting customers, but also appealing to potential employees. To do that, you should focus on improving the overall candidate experience linked to your website! 

As much as you invest in creating dedicated social media pages for your potential employees and posting on recruiting sites to push your brand’s job ads to the forefront, your site should be employee-centric, too. Here are a few candidate experience ideas you can introduce into your strategy to make every step of the candidate journey, from a job through to an offer letter, easier for you and the applicants from day one! 

Live chat support for applicants

Your site likely offers chat support for customers and users, right? Whether you have chatbots or actual people handling these conversations, more often than not, such interactions will determine whether or not a person will buy from you. 

The same applies to your potential employees. Chatbots can enhance the candidate experience immensely because they’ll feel much more comfortable knowing they can turn to chat for help if they come across an issue during the application process. This is also another opportunity for your business to collect invaluable data from employees and to make smarter recruiting decisions in the future. 

A personalized website 

Whether you work as a recruiter or you’re an entrepreneur building a personal brand and in need of employees – personalization can truly save the day. Your website doesn’t have to be yet another generic .com domain that will hardly inspire action or tell a story about your business. For people who have a personal brand and depend on it to attract valid customers, you can do the same to attract valid employees.

For starters, you can choose a personal domain name that pairs with a .me extension for added value and relevance for your potential employees. You can pair a keyword from your expertise with your own first/last name or nickname to immediately show what your business is about. As soon as a potential candidate spots your domain name, they’ll know what your brand has to offer.

Personalization helps build trust as well as brand recognition, which in turn helps you with the entire recruiting process. Make sure your website is technically sound, loads quickly, and offers a great user experience as well as having an attractive design.

Employee-generated content

Every single business in existence uses customer or user-generated content as well as influencer marketing to make an impactful statement about the business itself. Have you been doing the same for your applicants and wannabe-candidates? Future employees want to see what it’s like to work with your organization. Your own job ads won’t suffice. 

  • Encourage employees to write blogs for your website and promote that content on social media, too. 
  • Entice employees to write their own reviews and experiences on your website. 
  • Publish “behind the scenes” videos at the office to show your candidate pool what it means to work with your brand. 

When your candidates get to see your employees’ perspectives and experiences, they’ll be much more likely to apply, evaluate if you’re a good match, and reach out if they have any questions. Not to mention the SEO value of such content for your website when someone is searching for the specific position that you’re offering!

Integrate social media with your site

Be where your candidates are. Just like your customers, your future employees are spending time on Facebook and Instagram. As much as you’d like to limit yourself to LinkedIn, you should understand that many successful and in-demand workers don’t really spend that much time on this professional network. 

They prefer the casual and relaxed environment on Facebook, so that’s where you need to be, too. In fact, this is one of the best recruitment tactics modern businesses should use, but that doesn’t mean that it exists separately from the rest of your recruiting methods, like your site.

  • Add clickable buttons to take your website visitors to your social media pages that are employee-focused. 
  • Make sure that you share blogs, articles, employer branding videos, and other content on social media that is relevant for your candidates, not just customers. 
  • Show screenshots of your finest social media moments (employee-centric ones) on your website, too. 
  • Add original hashtags that will be part of your recruiting campaigns, and link them throughout your website back to your social media pages.
  • Invest in Social Media Advertising on Instagram and Facebook.

Just like you actively try to simplify your customers’ lives and minimize their efforts, you should strive to do the same for potential employees. If they have managed to come across your website, it’s up to you to improve the site in its entirety to match their needs, exceed their expectations, and deliver the right content that matches their purpose. 

Wrapping up

It takes time to refine your website, and you’ll always need to revisit your content, add more relevant information, and get creative, but you already do the same for customers. Continuous growth is what your website should be all about.

Make sure that your site reflects your candidate’s values and that you can use your site to portray your brand in the best possible light whenever you’re about to search for that ideal person to join your team!

5 Core Benefits of Using CRM Software for Your Business

Technology is evolving at a mind-boggling pace, pushing companies to embrace innovative solutions and tools at every turn. Supposedly, these innovations are all meant to be useful and not merely transient tech fads that will go out of style only to be replaced by yet another trendy add-on. Some, however, have stood the test of time, even though companies aren’t always prepared to embrace them from day one. CRM, or customer relationship management software is the perfect example.

This solution is a universally acknowledged digital toolbox of useful features that every customer-facing business needs. It comprises so many necessary functionalities, that you’d likely need at least a dozen other tools to work in unison if you were to replace it and retain your levels of productivity. Now, if you’re looking to achieve more than retaining productivity, but taking it to the next level together with your business, then CRM has some major benefits you shouldn’t ignore.

Access to customer and performance data

Wherever you look, companies talk about utilizing data and analytics to their advantage, but few actually know how to filter the swarms of information they collect, let alone create sensible reports without bias. The same CRM tools you use to track customer interactions and employee communications allow you access to piles of useful data as well as meaningful reports that help you understand what you could be doing better. 

  • CRM helps you compile crucial customer information to create ideal customer profiles and track customer engagement across the board.
  • You can create actionable reports based on the data your CRM extracts to make smarter decisions in the future.
  • You can leverage CRM forecasting thanks to the collated information on your customers and employees. 

On its own, data can do very little for your business. When it’s paired with a robust CRM platform and all its add-ons and features, that same data has transformative power to take your business forward.

Seamless communication and collaboration

Thanks to its flexible nature, CRM software is designed to work well with other tools you use across your organization. One of the most common communication platforms most businesses use includes the Google Workspace, and of course Gmail. Whether you use Gmail exclusively to communicate internally and externally, or you combine a separate CRM with Gmail, you can improve your communications with the right extensions.

All it takes is choosing the best Gmail CRM extension that will help you integrate and share all of your contacts, so that all team members can access them easily and track all interactions seamlessly. A tool such as Shared Contacts for Gmail working together with your CRM makes it easy for your business to avoid communication delays and mishaps internally as well as externally. Everyone can use the same address book through your CRM extension, and you can manage editing permissions for added control over your processes.

Automation of menial work 

Another great perk of good CRM software is that your teams no longer have to waste their precious time on repetitive, menial tasks that can often be disruptive, energy-consuming, and time-consuming to boot. With the right CRM automation protocols, your employees can focus on mission-critical assignments while your software takes over the rest.

You can automate everything from labor-intensive tasks such as data entry, all the way to creating reports and sales performance assessments that can elevate your business productivity. With the right integrations for social media and the like, you can monitor all automated tasks without any hassle, and even set up automatic alerts to get notified of any relevant changes. 

Better customer experience

The name says it all, so it’s natural to expect that your CRM software should benefit your business in terms of customer acquisition, retention, and overall satisfaction. With all the listed perks, it’s easy to understand how your customers, and thus your business, benefit:

  • Utilizing customer data and accurate profiles helps you improve all customer-facing communications, content creation included.
  • CRM platforms enable simplified personalization so that you can make your customers feel special at all times.
  • With all the right tools and features, your CRM will help your teams avoid communicating with the same people on multiple channels without planning to, and similar mishaps that often occur without a unified communication platform.
  • With all the correct contact information available, your employees can follow up with customers in time, check in on them when necessary, make personalized offers, and build those relationships for the long haul.

Scalability and cost-effectiveness in one

When it’s time to grow and scale your business, you need the technology that has the capacity to not just grow with you, but also to empower that growth from within. CRM tools are typically designed to leverage cloud technology in order to remain flexible and scalable without wreaking havoc on your business performance mid-growth.

If anything, CRM tools enable growth by helping you manage your resources efficiently, recognize performance gaps in time to prevent issues, and use actionable insights specific to each department to fuel growth. 

Few tools can match the multipurpose nature of your CRM software, especially when you consider how many integrations and features you can put to use with it. Although primarily customer-centric, the software is intended to improve your overall business performance on every level, helping you leverage all your assets (people, time, and budget) in smarter and more efficient ways. 

Your company will inevitably try out new tools and some of them will be impressive and highly functional. However, chances are that you’re underusing your current CRM toolbox and that you could be boosting your performance simply by rethinking how you can maximize your CRM’s potential. Keep these perks in mind, and you’ll surely be inspired to find new and creative ways to leverage it for your company.

Top Tips for HR to Use Digital Signage for Better Employee Management

The role of HR has changed drastically over the years, and nowadays it’s safe to say that HR plays a much more critical role in business than before. Experienced business leaders know that HR experts have the skills and the know-how to take a company forward through better employee management and engagement, motivation, company culture, and many other important skills and processes that keep the brand on the right track. 

Yes, HR plays a vital role in the long-term success of your business, but by also using the right tech like VoIP or various collaboration tools, your HR specialists can truly make a difference in your organization. Technology plays a big part here, and one big piece of tech that is making an impact on businesses across the world is digital signage.

Let’s take a look at how your HR department can use digital signage in your business to achieve various employee-centric objectives, and help create a more productive workplace for all. 

Motivate the staff to do better work

As a leader, you’re constantly looking for new ways to make your employees more productive and to achieve better results. The key here is to maximize their time at work, and while this is something that will ultimately come down to your level of organization, delegation, and workflow management, it will also depend on how motivated and driven your staff members are. 

Of course, you can’t simply demand that people do more or achieve more – you have to inspire and empower them instead. To do this, you need to rely on your HR staff, because these specialists know how to use positive encouragement to its full potential. One of the ways they can do that is with digital signage.

Your HR experts can use digital signs in the workplace to display motivational messages, but they can also use this tech to create a healthy dose of competition in the workplace. For example, a business leader managing a collision shop can inspire technicians to do better work by displaying key performance metrics on digital signs, inspiring them to achieve more than the day before – people will always try to beat their own high score.

Using digital signage for employee retention

Employee retention is more important now than it ever was, because the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many uncertainties to the business environment. Many companies are seeing a loss of talent like never before, and your HR staff need to focus on keeping your employees engaged, happy, and motivated at work.

There are many ways you can use your leadership skills to boost retention, of course, but you could also use digital signage. By placing digital signage in strategic places throughout the office space, you can advertise all the new employee-centric programs you’re cooking up, deliver powerful and motivational messaging, show your employees how much you appreciate them, and more. You can even use digital kiosks to facilitate employee feedback that you can use to make better managerial decisions to boost their happiness in the workplace. 

Deliver important information to in-store staff

When it comes to managing non-desk employees, things can get a little more complicated without the use of the right tech solution on site. People who are working in the store need the same kind of attention, guidance, and support that your office employees are getting, and you can use commercial digital signage in this case to get the right information to them quickly, but also keep them motivated. 

In-store employees are constantly busy, helping customers feel welcome and guiding them towards a positive outcome, so they need a reliable information system to keep them in the loop wherever they are in the store. A digital sign can get those crucial messages to them quickly and in real time, and it can serve as a remote management tool that your HR staff can use to elevate their satisfaction and experience at work.

Use digital displays to nurture your company culture

Company culture is the glue that keeps great teams together, inspires people to stay with you through thick and thin, and motivates people to achieve better results. Again, this is not something that you can just wish into existence – you have to build a positive and healthy company culture over time. 

You can build your corporate culture in an efficient and effective way if you use digital signage to communicate your values to your employees. Your HR experts can craft truly inspirational messaging that carries these values and display it on your digital signs to inspire collaboration, communication, transparency, equality, and honesty in the workplace. 

Help employees achieve a better work-life balance

Modern employees are struggling to achieve a healthy work-life balance. People are stressed and worried about their job security, and there is no telling what they might be going through in their personal realms during the COVID-19 crisis.

Your HR experts have a difficult task on their hands, and that is to inspire people to take better care of themselves. By using digital signage to remind them to take a break, check in with their loved ones, or eat something healthy and do some exercise, you will be doing your employees a big service. You can also use the digital signs to advertise any health-oriented company programs like gym memberships or healthy team-building activities.

Over to you

Your HR experts play a vital role in many mission-critical processes, and it’s important to empower them with the right tech and tools so that they can achieve better results. When it comes to employee engagement and management, consider using digital signage to inspire your employees to love what they do, take care of themselves, and take your company forward as a whole.

Best Practices for Outsourcing Data Services

A lot of businesses today use cloud-computing in one way or another. Cloud-based services became widely popular over the years and companies of all sizes make use of them. Allowing a third-party vendor or a service provider to handle your business needs turned out to be cost-effective, beneficial for business scaling and, of course, convenient.

One of the most popular cloud-based services is data services, commonly known as DaaS (Data as a Service). But what does that mean? Simply put, data services are also web services designed to handle programming and logic for data virtualization in a cloud infrastructure. 

In other words, data can be delivered anywhere from a centralized spot or various locations, thus allowing companies to leverage data to its fullest potential in any situation. However, outsourcing these activities is the tricky part. Finding a reliable outsourcing partner is the first priority and sorting out any concerns is vital. With that in mind, here are a few best practices for outsourcing data services. 

Determine your needs

For some time now, many companies believed that only large enterprises could afford to outsource data services and other business operations. However, over the years, outsourcing became much more accessible and affordable. 

Therefore, the question isn’t about whether you can or can’t outsource but about why you should outsource. That said, you must determine your needs and the reasons for outsourcing before you actually commit to it. 

When outsourcing data services, take into consideration the fact that data is stored in the cloud and made available to anyone within the company on-demand. 

Data can be provided to users as information that goes through various tools, applications and analytics. Therefore, if your business need is to scale properly and grow, your main reason to outsource data services would be more informed and data-driven decisions this type of service can provide.  

Choosing the right outsourcing partner

There are many cloud-based data service providers nowadays. You have to find an outsourcing partner that will meet your business needs. That doesn’t have to be difficult if you commit time and effort to conduct some research, beforehand. For example, here are a few things you should focus on when choosing an outsourcing partner:

  • Look for a partner with experience and expertise to match your needs.
  • Check for any online reviews regarding their services.
  • Check if they use the latest technologies and solutions.
  • Make sure they follow the best practices.
  • Ensure that they’re transparent.
  • Check how they communicate with clients.
  • Determine how they secure data and if they’re compliant with regulatory requirements.

Consider the benefits and advantages

Not all providers are the same, even if it seems that they all offer similar services. Looking for unique advantages and benefits is vital when choosing an outsourcing partner. Everyone has a unique sell and it’s up to you to determine which of those unique offers will provide your business with the right advantage. 

For example, an enterprise cloud computing solution allows you to migrate vital business applications to the cloud while allowing you to leverage improved cloud architecture with enhanced security protection. 

This type of service provides more benefits than simple data services. Moreover, considering other advantages that will benefit your business in some way is also important. Here are a few things you should keep an eye out for: 

  • Support for remote work – Delivering information via data services means data access on any device regardless of the geographical location.
  • Data backups – Ensuring there’s no data loss in case of a server failure, disaster or other issues.
  • Ability to boost organizational transformation – Supports companies in the process of digital transformation.

Addressing concerns

Your outsourcing partner should be able to address any concerns you might have regarding outsourcing data services. Every company is concerned about something, especially when it comes to allowing a third-party to access, store and manage your data. 

Therefore, talk to a potential outsourcing partner about those concerns before you decide to partner up with them. How they approach those issues should tell you a lot about their capabilities. Here are a few common concerns companies have when outsourcing data services:

  • The security of data and usability of services
  • Hardware resources and server environment
  • Control of data and data retention in case of a disaster
  • Server downtimes
  • Reusability of data for future development
  • Hidden costs and additional fees

Every cloud-based service provider should have policies and practices that will address such concerns. After all, outsourcing relationships should be based on trust. If your potential outsourcing partner cannot ensure that they can meet your expectations, you should look elsewhere. 

Choosing an outsourcing partner isn’t difficult but it’s a time-consuming task. If you don’t conduct the necessary research, you may make a mistake. Therefore, an outsourcing partner for data services isn’t just a service provider but, indeed, a partner that will help your business grow, develop further and make the best possible use of data.

How To Recover From A Sudden Fall In Traffic

We are living in the digital age so it is quite understandable that traffic on your website has a direct relation to your company’s success. The data you can collect and analyze via Google Analytics is used as a tool for the best marketing strategies for several years now. It is the direct feedback on your visitors and the conversion rate, so you can keep track of what is working for you, and what you need to improve. Leading a business is a game of strategy, so if you notice that your website has a significant decline in traffic, the first thing to remember is not to panic. There are various reasons why this can happen, so you ought to find out the answers before any further steps.

Make sure the data is correct

This may seem quite obvious, but mistakes can happen, and it is a real possibility that the correct results were simply not fully uploaded. Nowadays, we rely on the Internet, perhaps even too much, but there are so many factors in the connection and servers which can lead to faulty data. This is why your first step of action after you’ve calmed down, is to visit your analytics and log into your admin account. You’ll have an option to check the tracking code, under the tracking info section. This option will allow you to see if all the data has been reported for the previous two days.

The most common reason for any missing data is some update on the website which has altered the code. Now visit your website and open the code to inspect, then type “analytics” in the search box. To open the search box, press the command/control plus f, and at this point, you’ll gain valuable input on your code. Hopefully, you will find the missing piece and an inappropriately installed code, which would mean you don’t have a problem, and you’ll have the easy fix. If your code is working perfectly fine, the search continues.

Thorough inspection

Understanding exactly what happened is the key to the appropriate solution. You should compare the results with several previous weeks and find the discrepancies. Check out the difference between the decline in both the organic and non-organic traffic, in order to draw any conclusions. Ranking on Google and SEO listings, in general, is a highly competitive field, so bear in mind that this may be a consequence of your competitors having a more aggressive approach to it. Optimization is the leading trend in digital marketing for years, and companies all over the world are investing more and more on a daily basis.

Investigate and pinpoint the exact problems in terms of keywords and pages when it comes to the decline. This can help you understand the reason behind it, and find several solutions. If you have a list of certain keywords that turned out to be problematic, you can simply alter them, or completely change. A lot of things can influence the context within the keywords, so regular inspection and modification is highly recommended. However, if you can’t find any specific problem, it may be time to check for issued penalties.

Google penalties

If the fall was very sudden, you may have been issued a Google penalty. There are several reasons for this to happen, and you need to check for manual penalties first. If this kind of a penalty has been issued, you were supposed to receive a message from Google. Go on the “security and manual actions” option, and choose “manual actions” field. You will either receive the message that no issues were detected, or the details about the issue, as well as a way to resolve it. Google reserves the right to do this, and it can happen due to some broken links or duplicate content.

Conduct a meticulous inspection of your on-site and technical optimization. Check the speed and any reported algorithm changes, along with the optimization for various devices. Maybe it’s time to update your website. Any loss of internal links, broken images or links, failed implementations of redirect can be a cause of your problems.

Damaging content

If there are no penalties and you can’t find any other issues we’ve mentioned, it is a possibility that someone has been posting damaging reviews. This kind of publicity can heavily damage the reputation of a company, reduce the loyalty of consumers, and negatively affect your brand awareness. In order to fight it, you’ll need to develop a campaign to help you get back on the right track. You should invest in the help of marketing experts in doing so, as it can be a challenging task. When you’ve found the source, you’ve found the reason. We suggest investments in paid ads, better optimization and the most engaging form – videos.

Over the past several years video has become the most attractive form of reaching people and engaging them, which results in higher loyalty and conversion rates. If you’re dealing with the misleading and damaging content, you should book a consultation and have them guide you to the best solution. There are many quality companies dealing with video production in Sydney, as we believe is the case with all the major cities. Ask for recommendations, or find a campaign which you’ve liked to find out who was working on it. This is the best way to do damage control. Additionally, reach to people who wrote said reviews and ask for feedback on your service. You can offer to correct the mistake, and they might change or remove their reviews, which would significantly help for future reference.

Conclusion

Whatever the reason behind the decline in traffic is, the only thing that matters is that you work on fixing it as soon as it happens. For this, and many other reasons, it is essential to constantly monitor, analyze and adapt your website, as well as your approaches in digital marketing. Optimization is a major part of it, especially now in 2020, and the future of it. Furthermore, it provides you with long-term results, unlike paid ads for example. Just remember, go one step at a time! And that there is always room for improvement. True leaders should always search for a way to make their business better, and turn it into a legacy.

The Future of Work: What Will Jobs Look Like in the Coming Decade?

Once upon a time a farmer grew up in the fields, owned a family farm, and bequeathed it to his offspring upon his death — offspring that were raised with the singular purpose to carry on the family tradition of farming.

While being “born into an occupation” is a concept as old as time itself, though, it has never been more outdated than the present. The modern work world is awash with change. Everything from workspaces and tools to employers and the employed themselves are all in a state of flux. The 21st-century has already witnessed shocking developments that have rewritten the employment script, and the situation only looks primed to heat up heading into the 2020s.

A Look at the 2010s

While it’s interesting to consider where the future of work will take us at this point, the speculation is made especially poignant when it is juxtaposed against the backdrop of the previous decade or two.

There’s no doubt that the 2010s (and to some degree the decade that preceded it) were times of incredible change for the average business. The steady creation and proliferation of new technological marvels — things like social media, smartphones, and cloud computing — served up a steady hum of digital disruption that turned the average workplace on its head.

Many of these shifts focused heavily on communication. Video and text-based electronic communications, the internet, and the instant transmission of news around the world forced companies to adapt to a more global business mindset. Even the marketplace as a whole shifted as consumers began to rely heavily on mobile phone usage. They shopped online and adjusted to free two-day shipping expectations. By the end of the decade, even traditional, non-digital advertising spending had been surpassed by its online counterpart.

To further complicate matters, the incoming millennial generation prompted a dramatic shift in workplace culture and expectations. Topics like work-life balance and addressing a toxic workplace environment began to take the front seat.

Corporate social responsibility percolated up the ranks to upper management, and businesses began looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint through things like eliminating waste or shifting to solar power. Even small items addressing work-life balance that had previously been brushed under the rug, such as bringing your dog to work, were brought up and addressed.

From one end to the other, the first decade or two of the 21st-century was riddled with transformation, experimentation, and in many ways, a complete overhaul of the traditional workplace.

A Look at the 2020s

With so much change in the rearview mirror, a question that must be asked is if the trend shows signs of slowing in the future — and the short answer is: not likely. The 2020s promise to be at least as transitional if not more than the previous two decades combined.

For instance, the millennial generation served, in many ways, as the guinea pigs of a technological world. They were born into a world with corded phones and boomboxes, only to have things like social media, self-driving cars, big data, and widespread internet use thrown in their face.

In contrast, the 2020s will be Generation Z’s chance to shine. As the first generation to completely grow up in a technologically steeped world, Gen Zers won’t have to face the need to learn to adapt. They’re already used to it.

Rather than shift the job landscape out of a necessity to adapt to change, Generation Zers are likely to take the workplace by the bit and bridle and turn it to their own will. They expect job stability, diversity, social responsibility, and flexible schedules, and they’re not afraid to question the benefits of technology.

Many Gen Zers have also eschewed a traditional degree, focusing, instead, on more entrepreneurial opportunities. When commenting on the termination of Doritos’ popular “Crash the Super Bowl” crowdsourced commercial contest, chief marketing officer Ram Krishnan pointed out that, “If you look at when we started the program, millennial consumers were the target…[Now] Our Doritos target is Gen Z consumers and they’re already content creators.” This recognition of their creative abilities speaks volumes to their potential as entrepreneurs in the 2020s job market.

Apart from the generation change, there are several other major factors that will likely shape the next decade of jobs, starting with the gig economy. In the waning years of the 2010s, the gig economy exploded. Remote work had become both easy and expected — by 2018 70% of the global workforce worked remotely at least once a week — and the rise of the freelancer began to erode the remnant of the traditional work office environment at an accelerated pace.

While controversial laws have recently been enacted looking to bring gig economy workers under the umbrella of common workers’ rights, it’s unlikely that they’ll fully bring a stop to the freelance movement.

How will this movement look over the next decade? While only time will tell, there are several likely adjustments coming down the pike including a proliferation of entirely remote offices and a further elimination of the need to commute to work. And then there’s the topic of automation. While automation already wrested numerous low-skilled jobs from workers throughout the early 21st-century, the trend only looks likely to accelerate going forward.

Balancing out the effects of automation and the gig economy is a natural rise in the demand for more skilled professionals. As employees prioritize work-life balance and flexibility, more skilled professional positions are becoming available in fields like technology, data science, and skilled trades.

Also adding fuel to the first is an increased pressure for businesses to shift their operations to more sustainable methods. Solar power and other alternative forms of energy are being pursued more aggressively than ever as part of larger business objectives. Waste is also being systematically eliminated, as has been clearly demonstrated by the coffee chain Starbuck’s continual efforts to increase the sustainability of its operations.

All Hail the Ever-Changing Changing Business Landscape?

With so much change continually swirling, a natural question that arises is whether or not things will ever slow down again. The 2020 election is already setting the tone for the future, with employment remaining a hot topic and some candidates pushing fairly radical agendas, such as Andrew Yang’s plan for universal basic income.

While many of these changes are easy to predict in general, though, time will only tell how the specific changes in the workplaces will play out as the 2020s unfold.

Image Source: Pexels

What Are the Best Team Collaboration Tools?

Everyone has heard of Slack and Zoom. You probably use them both every day.
But what are the other, lesser known — but as equally effective — team collaboration tools?

And, more importantly, how do they help?

Notion

We’re big fans of Notion at Cronofy. It allows us to collaborate on all kinds of documents in real time.

We can create Kanban boards, tables, to-do lists…you name it, Notion can do it. You can set pages to public, company-wide, team-wide, or keep them private.

Having a centralized tool like Notion means that all information is stored in one place and we can collaborate easily on things like copy, or see what each other is working on. It’s also been invaluable for me in the learning phase of my onboarding.  — Laura, Product Marketer

It’s completely flexible, which makes it super useful. We’ve been using it for a few months now, and we have no idea how we coped without it.
As our CTO Garry puts it:

If you’re not in the same office you have to be able to look at the same thing, even with a basic tool you’d be able to share documents, source code, etc.

It also has a desktop version, which means you can even use it offline.

Calendars

We’re all about calendars and connectivity here at Cronofy.

We can all see each others’ calendars, which makes it easier for us to know who’s in the office and who isn’t.

It reinforces our culture of transparency while also making it easier to schedule meetings with each other.

Calendars can be taken to the next level when they connect to the software we use every day:

It’s useful when our calendars connect with the software we use such as Slack and Zoom. We can schedule meetings with each other without flitting between multiple programs. — Kristina, Content Marketer

The time spent flitting between programs when scheduling meetings is time that gets wasted. Syncing calendars with software we use every day saves us hours every week.

GIT

As our Senior Developer Tom puts it:

Solid version control is a key part of any code-based workflow, but we literally could not be as effective team without being able to branch and merge our code. It allows us to work independently and safely combine all our efforts. As a bonus, the ability to review works-in-progress and collaborate on the same code at the same time makes all our work better.

Laptop

This one seems obvious, but you don’t realize just how important it is until yours breaks. This happened to one of our team members a couple of weeks ago.

Luckily we had a spare that she could use while hers was being repaired, but what if we hadn’t? It would’ve made it difficult for her to get her work done. We’re so reliant on the hardware that we use that we often forget how important it is to our day-to-day activities.

You should also ensure that the laptop you use is fit for the job. A salesperson will need something portable, for example, while a developer needs something with more processing power.

The right laptop means that you can connect with your coworkers easily, wherever you are in the world.

Of course, a good laptop is nothing without an internet connection when you’re talking to your colleagues, so make sure you have a speed that can handle video conferencing, too.

Conclusion

Giving your team the right tools to collaborate with is vital to their success in their role. It also plays a major role in the success of your company.

The easier it is for employees to connect and collaborate, the more likely they are to do so. This improves communication between teams, which can be reflected in communication with customers, and therefore their experience and opinion of your brand.

Better communication also leads to happier employees and a more productive working environment.

Find out more about our favorite team collaboration tools over on the Cronofy blog.

What Technologies Might Replace Human Resource Professionals?

One recurring concern surrounding technology in the workplace is the potential replacement of living workers. In fact, this concern has been with us since the industrial revolution, with the introduction of factory machinery even prompting the formation of Luddite groups in opposition. Today we’re unlikely to respond in quite the same violent manner, but we are nonetheless wary of how machinery might make us obsolete.

Over the past few decades, we have witnessed a steep uptick in technological advancement and its introduction into the workplace, from robotics in manufacturing to artificial intelligence (AI) in diagnostic medicine. However, while some traditional tasks have been replaced by technological methods, machines are more likely to be used to support human talent rather than replace it. New technology has also shown potential for creating roles in entirely new industries.

The ebb and flow of labor due to change is well understood by those who specialize in human resource departments. But how could greater reliance upon tech impact the careers of HR professionals, themselves? Is there any cause for concern, and what opportunities might be presented?

Remote Teams

Remote work has proven something of a double-edged sword for some businesses. On one hand, technology has advanced to the point where we can employ a worldwide talent pool, yet we can’t always replicate the benefits evident in physical teams. While the trends lean toward remote workers primarily being used for project teams, 52% of companies that use virtual teams use this method in employing upper management, too. This tech advancement presents challenges for HR.

In this example, there is not a huge concern that remote technology might replace HR professionals. Rather, it is more likely to result in shifts in what is required and expected of those who take on these roles. There will be a need for HR professionals to understand how technology can enhance the hiring process — from utilizing artificial intelligence to narrow down potential candidates, to how best to use video conferencing during the interview process. What’s more, there may be an increased reliance on cloud services to track data and forms for all the remote employees, leading to a higher likelihood of data loss if members of HR are not up-to-date on their tech training.

It could also become necessary for HR professionals to gain a deeper understanding of company projects in order to best understand how to support individual teams and team members, especially when it comes to the nuances of hiring remote employees. In essence, this is an issue of leadership.

Nursing in the healthcare industry provides a useful illustration on this subject. Specifically, there is an emphasis on the need for transformational leaders who understand the technology being utilized and how it affects the holistic operation within work environments. Similarly, HR professionals need to grasp how remote employees best operate in order to provide services which have a beneficial impact on the entire company.

Training and Development

It is perhaps more helpful to look at the implementation of HR technology as a way to lighten the load of day-to-day duties, rather than a threat to the sector. One of the ways in which we are already starting to see digital platforms becoming useful is in learning and development. This is particularly important in businesses where L&D and HR roles are combined.

Educational technology (EdTech) has been useful in reducing the need for a dedicated staff member to be present during every aspect of training, for example. While HR and L&D professionals may need to become savvier in the initial building and ongoing maintenance of training programs to be delivered via EdTech platforms, once designed, there is relatively little need for supervision, and the in-person aspects of the course can be scheduled for convenience.

Thankfully, this is already in line with how most employees prefer to work. Millennial HR professionals will likely already be comfortable utilizing technology in various aspects of their work, and studies show that employees, in general, are keen to improve their digital skills. This bodes well for advanced technology that HR workers may need to introduce into training scenarios, including the rising popularity of virtual reality (VR) in corporate learning spaces.

Closer Human and Technology Relationship

One of the ways in which it’s important to look at technology’s role in any industry is through the lens of collaboration. Rather than simple replacement, elements of technology could prove to boost HR professionals in their daily responsibilities — enhancements that allow them to work smarter, faster, and more efficiently.

Combining technology with our bodies might seem like a drastic step straight out of a sci-fi novel, but it may also hold the key to more efficient working practices. Biohacking is, in essence, a method through which we can use scientific knowledge and equipment to better understand and utilize our bodily processes, including augmentation to optimize our bodies and brains in order to achieve our full potential. The success of any business often relies upon the productivity of its staff members, after all — so is it beyond the realm of possibility that HR professionals could develop expertise in this area which could help make themselves and staff more effective in their roles?

We’re not quite at the stage where chips are being implanted into brains, but biohacking isn’t just about hardware. Technology could be implemented to keep HR professionals and staff in routines that are beneficial to their health and productivity, too. Sensors connected through the internet of things could monitor life signs and activities, and recommendations could be made for supplements, or Nootropics, which could enhance cognitive performance. This combination of analysis, scientific knowledge, and augmentation may become part of the HR landscape as part of a generalized employee wellness plan, ensuring not only day-to-day productivity, but also minimizing areas of inefficiency such as sick days.

Conclusion

It may be time to ask fewer questions about whether machines will replace workers, and spend more time discovering how technology can evolve the roles already being performed. For HR professionals, there are exciting opportunities being presented by our rising digital landscape. By understanding how they can best form a collaborative relationship with technology, human resources departments can help give their companies a competitive edge in a constantly changing labor environment.

Image Source: Pexels

5 Ways to Leverage Your Tech Skills to Kick-Start a Wealthy Career

To work in tech means to exploit and capitalize on one of the biggest and most lucrative industries in the world. Technology is an inextricable part of our everyday life, it shapes whole industries, and needless to say, every company needs tech-savvy employees to drive all of their processes from app development to website maintenance, from HR to sales, and all across the board. Needless to say, if you have some tech skills, you should have no problem monetizing them in this tech-driven day and age. 

That said, it’s also important to note that long-term success is not guaranteed, especially when you consider the fact that technology is constantly evolving, and so the need for growth-oriented employees and professionals continues to rise as a result. Provided that you’re willing to learn and evolve your skills with the prevailing trends, let’s take a look at the five best ways you can leverage your expertise to kick-start a wealthy career.

Image editing and video production

Digital content is what drives the modern business world forward, which means that every company needs to keep dishing out amazing content on a regular basis in order to execute their marketing strategies, appeal to and engage the modern online audience, and of course, get on Google’s good side. Now, while it is true that written content (blogs and the like) is king in the digital world, this doesn’t mean that you need to be a writer to make some amazing content. This is because visual content is equally important, and not just for marketing purposes.

If you consider yourself to be somewhat of a Photoshop whizz or if you’re versed in the art and science of video editing, you could be taking on various interesting projects for businesses of all sizes, national and well as international given the flexible nature of the job. From marketing materials, to internal documents, images, and explainer videos, there is no shortage of opportunities in this field.

Creating brands and their visual identities

Speaking of visual content, one of the most important elements of long-term success in the modern business world is, of course, branding. Experienced business leaders (as well as novices who do their research) understand the importance of proper brand-building in this competitive day and age, because having a strong brand identity is just about the only thing that can really make a business stand out from the rest. Without a brand, a business is just another player in a sea of competitors.

This is where you come in as the branding professional everyone needs, and are willing to pay a hefty sum for your talents. Now, branding is a bit different than image or video editing, as it not only involves strategic thinking and brainstorming, but also creative content creation – from scratch. When you’re working with a business leader on creating a brand, you will be tasked to create a brand’s identity from scratch in order to build a unique image that will resonate with the hearts and minds of the target demographic. Needless to say, this is a lucrative calling that requires tech skills as well as creative thinking.

Proprietary software development

Speaking of lucrative callings, one of the most lucrative industries in the world is, naturally, the financial sector. Concretely, tech-savvy professionals with adequate coding experience can find numerous lucrative opportunities in the Forex market, and build proprietary software for leading brands such as Ever Forex as well as making sure that all platforms are functioning properly on a 24/7 basis to ensure stellar customer experience. 

The key driver of this demand is sheer necessity, as broker firms in the financial sector cannot afford a single minute of downtime, which means that they will gladly pay for a professional who can keep the platform up and running without a hitch. While it might take you some time to familiarize yourself with the specifics of the industry and the unique idiosyncrasies of a given platform, the time you spend educating yourself will be well worth the investment in the long run.

Website development and upkeep

Another lucrative field that could never lose its popularity is web development and upkeep. Again, website-building and maintenance is something that every business needs nowadays, but it’s also a career path that will continue to yield significant financial returns for years to come. That said, keep in mind that web development is a pretty competitive field, so it’s important to really nail your skillset and diversify your portfolio if you want to land some lucrative contracts.

Digital marketing

On a final note, always remember that digital marketing offers a wealth of opportunities for those of you with a knack for online marketing, and a skillset necessary to create captivating ads and online content. Given the fact that digital marketing encompasses numerous effective tactics, you can pick and choose your niche or even become an all-around digital marketer to boost your chances of landing a high-paying job in a company that needs everything from SEO to SEM, from social media management and email marketing, to landing page and app development. 

Wrapping up

There is no shortage of lucrative opportunities in this tech-driven day and age, so don’t think that only programmers get to make an honest living in the tech sector. Rather, you can explore these fields further to find your true calling and kick-start a wealthy career.