More money with less investment: that’s the dream, right? Counterintuitive as it may seem, flash-in-the-pan tech fads may just be the way to achieve that. With the right tools, you can associate your SMB with popular new technologies.
Here are five tips on how to cash in on the latest tech fads. Some trends are as silly and childish as Pokémon GO, others are as technical as the Internet of Things.
Get in early
One of the biggest success indicators in monetizing a new trend is how early you get in. Fads, especially in the tech world, come and go in no time. Be careful investing in resources with a long-term commitment like new logos or graphics. Focus instead on low-cost workarounds. These include special promotions and social media campaigns that put you at the forefront immediately.
Once the popular kids have moved onto a fresh fixation, you’ll be ready to move forward without skipping a beat.
Use existing tools
How can you get up to speed quickly without investing too much in permanent resources? The trick is to hijack existing opportunities and strategies for your own message.
For example, John Deere has been selling farming equipment for over 150 years, with no signs of slowing down. But with a creative combination of existing GPS technology and mobile devices, they quickly jumped to the forefront of the IoT craze by connecting their vehicles to crop planning practices.
Participate in the narrative
So you’ve identified a trend you want to capitalize on and commandeered existing tools to help sell your product. How else can you gain momentum? Social media is everywhere and doesn’t seem like a dying trend. However, it’s no panacea; simply posting “We’ve got a promotion on all seasonal products #inserttechfadhere” won’t bring obsessed customers to your doorstep.
Take a minute to understand the mechanics of what pulls everyone away from work, friends, and family, and show participants you’re one of them. Is it competitive? Polarizing? Take a stand or pick a team and invite customers who are “on your side” to get a discount.
Merge the fad with your business model
With a little creative brainstorming, most business models can actually integrate their product or service with a passing trend. Chatbots have been shoring up the “deep learning” revolution, and clothing retailers have come up with a really creative way of employing them to drive sales. By simply providing their chatbots with a fashion tree, the bots can ask basic questions that whittle down clothing recommendations to those that align with customers’ tastes.
Address difficulties presented by the fad
What if you can’t find a way for your products or services to directly interact with the blazing new trend? The next best thing is to provide solutions to the problems presented by it. Does interacting with the popular app or activity eat up a lot of mobile device battery? Remind passersby your outlets are available for customers, or that you sell mobile battery packs. Does it require driving all over town? Remind customers of your latest car rental promotion. Sometimes just associating yourself with the trend is enough.
As a small-to-medium-sized business owner, getting the most value out of your technology investments is crucial to getting your foot in the door and working your way toward bigger profits.