1. Consumers demand data control: Yes, data is king, but increasing pressure to protect the gold mine of information and government regulations is changing the landscape. Don’t purchase data with the consumer’s consent and a note of caution: a Deloitte report shows 71% of purchased data is … inaccurate. Your best bet on collecting data? Go right to the source—your customers. Develop innovative ideas to get what you need the old-fashioned way: people and organizations voluntarily providing it.
2. Alternative lending will surge: It makes sense that non-bank lending will continue to grow, not only was 2018 a big year for the industry but, more importantly, 80% of small business loans are rejected. Consequently, nontraditional financing is a must. There are scores of options available, but a growing trend is peer-to-peer lending.
3. All about personalization: Want to make your customers happy? Offer them a personalized experience. Custom offers, “channel of choice” communication strategies and recommendations based on past purchases are just three of the many options. Bottom line, according to a 2018 Epsilon study: You work for your clients and customers so tailor the relationship to their needs and desires.
4. Surging subscriptions: Yes, subscription growth is slowing, but it’s an industry still growing across the country by 1% per month, with food, beauty, apparel and lifestyle subscriptions box being the most popular. If you’re a retailer with a digital presence—or an innovative business person who develops a custom subscription model—here’s why it’s important: Subscribers place three times more orders than non-subscribing customers.
5. Social responsibility: Granted, Baton Rouge is behind the curve on this one, but make no mistake: Companies are being forced by a demanding public to make social responsibility a factor in how they do business. Rather than focus on areas where our community isn’t as progressive, pay attention to where this region is exemplary: encouraging volunteerism and corporate philanthropy. In other words, this doesn’t have to be a foray into the culture war.