During a recent trip with my family to California, the comfort of having my cell phone with me was reassuring (it is my most important business tool). From Phoenix to Los Angeles and then San Francisco, I remained connected to the phone network and the internet. Practically speaking, this was not possible 10 years ago. However, when we entered Yosemite National Park, we took a step backward in time. As the mountain passes enveloped our car, the cell phone signal weakened and then died.
I did not know at the time that we would be out of range of any cell phone tower for most of the day.
Yosemite is known by most people because of Yosemite Valley, whose images of natural features such as El Capitan and Half Dome are well known, and grace the display of most Apple iMacs for example. But Yosemite National Park is much larger. At 1100 square miles, it’s almost the size of Rhode Island. Virtually uninhabited, there is no cell phone service, and no stores or gas stations. Our AM radio was unable to tune in a single station.
As we left the park and drove south through the Sierra Nevada and on to the Nevada desert toward Las Vegas, we found some AM radio stations but no cell phone service. Without our cell phones, we didn’t know where we were or how to get to where we were going. I can’t remember the last time I bought a road map, another once commonplace item that is mostly obsolete. It was an eerie feeling.
I realized that I’ve come to rely on technology to such an extent that its absence becomes a liability and conversely, how it enriches our lives.
For businesses, investment in technology increases productivity. Virtually no business can survive without it. And those who invest purposefully can use technology to separate themselves from their competition. But it’s important to remember that it must be reliable and secure or the business will suffer. Competent IT firms such as BCS are trusted by their clients to ensure this reality. Our failure to meet this obligation results in hardship.
This is always foremost in my mind.
Content Shift to the Internet Accelerates
The recent acquisition of Yahoo by Verizon was a surprise to many. Verizon, the country’s largest cell phone provider (by far) has seen its revenues flatten in recent years. With this in mind, its decision to acquire Yahoo starts to make sense. Yahoo, although a shadow of the company it once was, still claims to have 800 million active users. These users can potentially be a valuable source of revenue through advertising and services in the near future. There is no question that content is moving from cable and television channels to the internet, and Yahoo could be the vehicle that will allow it expand its offerings beyond just bandwidth.
Consider Apple’s acquisition of the Beats (music and audio), the largest purchase in its history. Apple’s core business of computers, tablets and smart phones has stagnated or declined with the first decline in sales in 13 years announced earlier this year. At the same time, its services business is growing at around 20% per annum.
I find it interesting that technology companies are attempting to grow their companies by leveraging a complimentary product. It make sense. And it’s a corollary to the efforts by most other companies to extend their core business through technology.
A natural and readily available use of technology by almost any company to grow is through internet marketing. Google AdWords, Facebook, LinkedIn are tools that can be easily and quickly used to promote a company to potential new customers.
vRapid and consistent use of these tools can reliably fill sales pipelines with prospects than can be selected with precision unknown just a few years ago.
And yet the underlying principles of sales and marketing have not changed: that is to offer a product that people need and can afford. Only the effort required and the reduction of time required has really changed.