We all see that technology evolves. Just look at the iPhone. That one piece of technology has gone through many different evolutions, and it’s changed the way we use phones. So, as technology evolves, your business must also evolve. This isn’t about making your business look cool (though, if we look at companies like Facebook, it certainly doesn’t hurt to look cool); the real goal of keeping up with technology is to make sure you are always keeping up and pushing the envelope.

Technology, at the same time, isn’t something to be feared. Even as a marketer, keeping up with the latest technology trends isn’t a necessity to your job title, but it certainly makes you much more efficient, as you’ll see in this article.

So if you’re not already on the tech bandwagon, it’s time to get on. It will make you more productive.

Point-of-sale systems

In order to stay successful as a business, and as a marketer, you need to stay on your toes. Opportunities usually present themselves just once, and in order to take full advantage of an opportunity, you’ve got to be ready for it. Point-of-sale systems allow small businesses to take their business to the people, which is a huge pickup for marketers of small businesses. It allows you to bring your brand to the people, make more sales, acquire more leads, and build trust with the community you are trying to reach.

Companies like Square and Intuit have mobile payment systems that allow you to accept credit cards wherever your customers have taken you. This is critical because we live in a plastic-driven age. In order to truly take advantage of the opportunity in front of you, you can’t turn away potential customers when the technology is right in front of you. Plus, the exposure for your brand outside the walls of your store gives your company a face and an identity – something customers really want in a company. From a marketing standpoint, you can also use this as fodder in your store. “Long lines? We’ve got mobile processors so you don’t have to wait to order and pay…”

Digital marketing software

Digital marketing can be a real pain. Analytics, SEM, SEO, SERPs, email marketing, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, sales leads… it’s all trackable and needs to be tracked on a daily basis in order to make sure you are getting the most out of your campaigns. Fortunately, and unfortunately, you’ve probably got someone different tracking all this from different places in the company, which means different reports and different viewpoints. Or, maybe you have to track all this by yourself.

But, save yourself the headache and build leads, grow sales, and manage all your campaigns in one spot. Companies like Optify and Kenshoo provide digital marketing software that can help you do all this and more. These programs work to consolidate all your vital analytics information into one easy-to-digest format, which means you save time on reports and get to spend time on the other important aspects of your business.

Laptop vs. tablet

The debate between which is more efficient rages on. Is it the tablet? Is it the laptop?

Well, I’ll make the case that it depends on the situation and what you are trying to do.

The most obvious difference between laptops and typical tablet PCs (the ThinkPad is probably the most functional business tablet) is that the tablets don’t have a physical keyboard. Obviously, this is a problem if you need to start a big project or have a lot of editing to do on the go. But, the lack of a keyboard doesn’t have to be the end-all. Programs like Dropbox allow busy professionals access to all their important files through the cloud, and for those small edits and emails, the keyboards on tablets are more than capable of handling your workload.

If you’re going to be out and about for a long time (meaning you won’t have access to an outlet to plug in a charger), the way to go would be a tablet. Tablets are designed for efficiency, while laptops are more about power.

Speaking of power, imagine that you are trying to run analytics programs, get a report out on time, and watch the latest industry news blurb at the same time, while you’re out at Starbucks. The obvious choice here is the laptop. I used to work in a marketing group that met solely at Starbucks, and I can’t imagine doing all the work we did on a tablet. While it is possible to get it all done on a tablet, chances are it’s going to take longer.

If it’s mobility you’re looking for, though, the tablet will help you keep up if you don’t have a place to put your laptop. Both the laptop and tablet PC will run marketing programs equally well, but it will depend on how mobile you are.

Technology is changing, but so is the business world. To take advantage of new technology for business is to create opportunities that weren’t there before. You’ll also find that the more technology you understand and use, the more efficient you’ll be, which means more time taking care of the things that really matter.

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Genevieve Coates is a freelance writer and graduate business student at University of Florida. She is a former staff writer for AndGeeks.com and Speedy-incorporation.com. She spends her free time tending to her massive “app garden” at home with her husband Dave.

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