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We’re solidly into 2018 and this post will wrap up our 2018 trends series. While we’ve already touched on trends specific to online business, email marketing, content marketing, and social media, this post is about general technologies which will continue to gain traction this year.

Here are some trends to watch for in the coming year.

* 3D Printing Goes Mainstream – You’ve heard of 3D printers and you probably don’t even realize it, but newer computers starting with Windows 8.1 have native support for 3D printers. This means that home and business 3D printing is here already. How could you add a 3D printing to your business?

* Marketing in Alternate Reality Expands – Gaming has long been a place where marketers like to try to promote their offerings. As alternate reality becomes even more popular and technology becomes more powerful, it becomes even easier to find ways to promote your products and services where your audience is: playing games.

* More Acceptance of Working from Home – With the advent of better connections with the internet, more people can work from home or really any location they want to. For years, people who didn’t understand technology scoffed at the idea of working from home and thought all internet marketers were scammers. Today, internet marketing principles are taught in schools. This trend is going to continue, as businesses can source talent worldwide.

* More Software Moves to the Cloud – More and more software will be only available via the cloud instead of hard copies. The reason is that the technology is updating so quickly that this enables customers to get updates and patches immediately, instead of having to wait and pay for the upgraded software yearly. More cloud based software may mean that you can live a laptop lifestyle more easily too- you won’t need to lug a heavier and heavier machine around to get your work done.

* More Automation Available – As technology gets better, there will be more business automation available that will make all tasks for your business easier. From automated checkout to triggers to put people on the right email list, to keeping track of sales and other metrics, it’s all going to get easier for the end user as the technology improves. As a business-owner, think about how you can add relevant and helpful automation to your business processes.

* More Access to Big Data – The truth is that the businesses that are most successful use big data and make decisions based on the numbers. No matter what type of business you have, you can use data gathered to improve the results of your activities. Where can you improve your business’ use of data this year?

* Internet of Everything – Entire homes are wired to the internet so that you can turn your sprinklers on, lights on, and more using the internet. If you have a newer car, it’s already connected. Even your coffee pot can be wired to the net so that you can control it from anywhere. The Internet of Everything is already working and will only expand.

* Increased Mobility – More people buy mobile devices than buy PCs today. Everyone wants to be able to work from anyplace, and technology is improving to allow you to do it. As long as you have access to cloud-based software via the internet and a device that allows it, you can work from anyplace.

* Organizations Learn to Embrace Change – For so long people were really reluctant to change, and some people are still like that. But as time moves forward people are starting to accept that in business, change is the name of the game. Now organizations research potential killer technologies so they can stay ahead of the change and embrace it instead of fearing it.

* User Experience Takes the Lead – Businesses want to make their users enjoy using their products and services, and seek to ensure that they listen more to their customers and audience.

Watch these trends this year and you’ll see that staying ahead of the trends is a good thing for you and your business. You won’t be shocked by killer technologies that can make your business obsolete, and you won’t need to fear change. Embrace it, stay ahead of it, and your business will keep thriving.

Do you have some questions about marketing your business online but don’t know who to ask? Why not ask me? I can help you with both strategy and implementation to make your business more profitable and more popular. We can do this together in 75 minutes; though my whiteboard session. Learn more about it!