Are “as-a-service” digital business models here to stay? Customer values are projected to shift in the post-COVID era, and a direct-to-consumer world may require an online presence for both products and experiences.
It’s hard to think ahead when we are up to our necks in the misery and fear of a pandemic, but every CEO should be focused not just on how to survive, but how to thrive in the COVID-era. I say era because this is not a passing phase, but a new reality.
COVID is accelerating many societal and technology shifts and reversing others. The COVID-era is a technology-driven era with widespread and often forced adoption of trends like work-from-home, online retail, pickup/delivery services, entertainment-as-a-service, telemedicine (well, tele-you-name-it), and machine-learning. Embodied in this change are deep behavioral shifts that, even given a decade, might never have reached these proportions. Enabling nearly all of these shifts is an “… as-a-service (XaaS)” capability be it data, infrastructure, platform, software, or experience. XaaS was already on it’s way to becoming a juggernaut, with a market value of $93.8 billion in 2018 and projected to triple to $344.3 billion by 2024, but it’s now on a whole new COVID-triggered upswing.
These XaaS enabled remote service paradigms are here to stay, maybe not at today’s artificially enforced levels, but to a significant degree all the same. Everyone now knows the perils of work-from-home, but they know the benefits too. As the COVID-era continues to require social distancing for some time, we can’t all go back to the cramped office. And why should we? I hate to see the airline industry in turmoil, but I can’t say that I’ve missed air travel. Now everyone knows just how easy it is to get your groceries or your food delivered, and contactless at that. I miss the big screen, but I’ll settle for great content, 65” TV, and homemade popcorn if I can share the experience with all my friends wherever they are.
But the current change is not just a digital transformation to cloud and consumerized applications, it’s also a behavioral transformation. Forward thinking businesses are seizing this unprecedented opportunity to pause the growth/execution treadmill and imagine a new value/ideation opportunity. Whole teams have been liberated from soul-destroying wash-rinse-repeat cycles and are free to think through new ideas. For better or worse, companies are also leaner and more agile, having been forced to transform their business in order to thrive.
Adapt both your product and your experience
So, what do CEOs need to re-imagine in their business going forward as we enter a new XaaS powered world? First and foremost the COVID-era is a direct-to-consumer world where you may be literally bringing your offering right into the consumer’s home. For B2B, that means an acceleration of the consumerization of the enterprise and often means a self-serve experience with a consultative sales model. Your offering needs to be consumable over the internet. Not only do your products need to be available as-a-service, but so does your experience. Some call it experience-as-a-service. Paid or free, it’s about helping customers understand how to leverage your offering to meet their own transition. Self-serve models are the most scalable but rely heavily on great product experiences.
Thank you so much for reaching out to assist those people in the Reno-Sparks area during this time of need. You have been included in this group email because of the interest that you expressed through Naomi Duerr’s Facebook page in being a part of the effort. We are calling this group Reno COVID Volunteers
This effort is being coordinated with our local organizations in the area, so details may continue to change, and we appreciate your flexibility as new developments come to light.
Here’s how you can help:
1. Please send us your full contact information (do not reply all)
Our hope is to mobilize the volunteers as early as Wednesday, March 18! We will be meeting at Silverada Manor Apartments, located at 1400 Silverada Blvd., Reno, NV 89512.
We greatly appreciate your generosity to help us make sure that no one is left behind during this time. In times of uncertainty, the one thing we always have enough of is kindness. Thank you for sharing yours.
When some folks hear the words “digital marketing”, their minds immediately think about flashy web sites and cool apps. Well, while those are tools that digital marketing agencies (or DMAs) leverage, there’s much more to the industry. And in a bustling and growing city like Reno, NV (2018 census data: ranked 86 out of 700 on a population basis[i]), DMAs are helping give local businesses and entrepreneurs a global presence.
Why Reno needs digital marketing
For decades, the Biggest Little City in the world had an established reputation as an entertainment hub. And Reno thrived and prospered through those years. But with the digital revolution now in overdrive, many local Reno businesses are eager to compete with their peers across the country and, yes- even globally! And how will they do that?
But first, to understand why digital marketing matters, lets stop and think about what happened in a single internet minute in 2019[ii]:
To compete on a national and global stage, Reno businesses can’t rely on community newsletters or local newspaper advertisements anymore. The days of just building a website and (hoping) “they will come” are long gone too. Indeed, in order to survive and thrive, local business need a cohesive digital marketing strategy – one that’ll leverage their local presence to give them national (and global) reach.
Reno’s businesses need a strategy to ensure they are part of those 3.8 million Google searches, or that they are communicating with a global prospective client base as part of the 41.6 million Facebook and WhatsApp messages. Without such a strategy, Reno businesses will:
Remain largely confined to doing business locally
Find it challenging to compete with outsiders who aggressively try to grab market share from local businesses
Become increasingly isolated from the “real” world where digital marketing innovations are bringing competitiveness to millions of small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
In today’s fiercely competitive market, unless local business raise their profiles nationally and globally, each passing day (literally!) will see them fall further behind the competition. And Reno-based DMAs can help prevent that from happening!
To the uninitiated, digital marketing (because it has the word “digital” in it) may seem like purely an “IT thing” – it is not. Everyday, Reno’s DMAs apply a mix of art and science to make local businesses visible to millions of potential new customers beyond Reno’s physical borders.
Yes, there’s technology involved too, but other components in a typical digital marketing agencies day include:
Market research, including competitor research
Branding and imaging
Analyzing, building and advising on social media profiles
Content creation and marketing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and SEO Auditing
Online advertising – including Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategizing
A comprehensive digital marketing strategy is more than just about creating a nifty website with all the bells and whistles. It involves actively searching for, and then surgically targeting, large pools of prospective clients beyond Reno’s borders. And Reno-based DMAs are helping local businesses and community organizations do just that.
Is your digital marketing strategy working?
Tech entrepreneur Sandy Rowley, Reno Web Designer’s Webby Award-winning founder, has a passion for providing creative, innovative digital marketing solutions to local Reno businesses and communities. Whether it’s online marketing advice you need, or help with a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad campaign – you’ll get it here. Sandy and her team will even do a FREE SEO audit to give you an idea of how your digital presence stacks up.
You can call or text Sandy Rowley @ 775-870-0488 to learn how your business or community organization can reap the benefits of digital marketing services, provided right here in Reno.
If you want to learn more about the different sizes and how common they are, you will find the 15 most important formats in a handy chart below – together with how common they are, to make it easier for you to plan your campaign.