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New ACMA research: unlike large companies SMEs failing to see value in digital

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A new report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority highlights that Australian SMEs’ lack of urgency to modernise and embrace the digital economy may be to their detriment.

The report found that while Australian SMEs are at home using more established digital communications tools such as websites and database software, there is far less engagement with newer technologies like mobile applications and cloud-based storage solutions.

It’s not that our SMEs are oblivious to the existence of these innovative technologies, in fact it’s quite the opposite.

According to another ACMA report from early this year, SMEs are using multiple devices to access the internet for business means, with small businesses using an average of two devices and medium-sized operations using three or more.

shutterstock_158179919Fifty per cent of Australian SMEs are tackling more than seven types of online business activities, and eighteen per cent already have a mobile-optimised website. In the marketing department, twenty six per cent of SMEs are already making the most out of social media platforms and an impressive forty seven per cent are using a digital cloud service.

But, according to the September report, the majority of SMEs simply fail to have confidence in new digital systems. While many choose to adopt new digital solutions after they have become more established, proven and, (in some cases, cheaper), there is still an overarching attitude amongst Australian SMEs that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

On the flip side, however, what many SMEs are failing to acknowledge is that if some digital communications technologies aren’t adopted now, business growth or simply future sustainability will most likely become problematic or near impossible.

As we’ve already outlined, the report indicates that Australian small and medium-sized businesses aren’t in the dark when it comes to knowing and understanding the benefits of new digital technologies. Generally agreed among the respondents were benefits such as: improved customer reach and experience, competitive advantage and cost savings. One snag for many, however, was that it was difficult to identify and decide upon what digital communications technologies would suit their business best.

There was a lot of discussion about the ‘noise’ in the marketplace; there being so many products and ‘business solutions’ available that deciding on the best choice for an SME often proved to be a headache, regardless of the understood benefits.

This kind of information overload is something that all businesses should be taking note of, especially when it comes to communicating the value of their own products to consumers. Just like operators of Australian SMEs, Australian consumers want information about products and services from trusted sources.

Punch through the noise with an effective communications strategy in 2014. Infodec Communications has a wide range of communications, public relations and marketing experience in the online and offline arenas. Contact our expert team today to discuss a creative communications strategy for your business.

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