The future is already here. Many of us already use robots in our home (to do the vacuuming), or work alongside ‘ro-workers’ on a packing or production line. Ongoing developments in AI, the open-source availability of algorithms, and the cloud are helping to create the ideal conditions for a robot revolution. And it’s closer than you think.
Forward-thinking organisations are already investing heavily in robotic technologies, which have the potential to revolutionise entire industries. Due to globalisation and an increasingly affordable cost of entry, robotic solutions are becoming more accessible for smaller businesses as the cost barrier slowly breaks down. So what does the robotic future hold?
Key Trends And Markets
Last year, the industrial robot market was estimated at USD 50 billion, seeing nearly 400,000 shipments across multiple markets globally. In 2020, tens of thousands of new industrial robots were installed around the world, with the electronics and automotive industries leading the way. And with 86,000 units installed in ‘unspecified industries,’ there is a clear indication that, like its AI counterpart, robotics has business potential across a broad range of markets.
Healthcare is one sector where robotics is already in real-world use. Pioneering regions such as the UAE have been integrating this life-changing technology for some time. As far back as 2014, the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced the launch of the first robots to perform catheterisation and cardiac surgeries at Al Qasimi Hospital. Rather than replacing healthcare professionals, robotic instruments are being used to enable greater precision and enable the undertaking of complex surgery which is minimally invasive.
A 99.1% clinical success rate has led to further applications in gynecology and obstetrics. The applications of robotics in healthcare are as broad as the field itself. From less intrusive surgeries to robotic lifting machines for immobile patients, healthcare practices seem to benefit from advances in robotics technology.
Like healthcare, warehousing and logistics have a long-established relationship with robotics. Once the preserve of large-scale market leaders, the automated warehouse is fast becoming a tangible possibility for smaller and medium-sized enterprises, enabling them to gain a stronger foothold in a competitive market.
With technology ranging from robot pickers to self-guided carts, robotics informed by big data and AI present ongoing opportunities to disrupt ways of working in warehouses and logistics. Alongside this development comes improvement in safety on the factory floor. Unlike humans, robots are always able to perform at their best. This means there’s massive potential in using AI and machine learning to assess risk actively and then take preventative actions.
On the theme of health and logistics, in 2017, the UAE’s Ministry Of Health And Prevention launched a robotic pharmacy to dispense and deliver medicines in the clinics of the Al Fujairah Hospital. The robot can dispense up to 12 prescriptions in less than 60 seconds through barcodes. This remarkable time-saving technology also ensures the correct medicines are dispensed from a store of up to 35,000.
Robots in the form of unmanned drones have been on the radar for some time now. In the military, they can be flown over areas of conflict or deployed for surveillance. They’re also used in disaster scenarios, providing more precise and accurate data to response teams.
The British Army is currently trialing the use of autonomous robots to deliver things like food and fuel in areas of conflict. In 2017, the Dubai Police unveiled their first robot officer, which enabled people to report crimes, pay fines, and more, under an ambitious plan to create a 25% robotic police force by 2030.
Accelerated, in part, by the global pandemic, the fourth industrial revolution is very much underway. As a result, many manufacturers seek to capitalise on the benefits of big data, AI, and the Internet of Things (IoT) in industrial technologies.
Greater connectivity facilitates more streamlined manufacturing processes, real-time data insights, and improved safety and operational efficiency through the selective deployment of robots.
Broadly speaking, when robots automate repetitive tasks, errors are reduced, and humans can focus on work that can add greater value. Additionally, automation through robots enables high-volume manufacturing processes to be carried out accurately and at speed.
For instance, the UAE uses robots to produce car license plates in Dubai. No human action is required between the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) receiving an order and plates being created. It can handle up to 33,000 license plates per day.
You know that science fiction has become a science reality with the dawn of autonomous vehicles. Combining a multitude of smart tech, from Lidar to cameras, we’re on the precipice of evolution in transport, with every major car manufacturer in hot pursuit of viable self-driving technologies.
Whilst media attention is usually drawn to domestic vehicles and taxis; it’s anticipated that heavy-goods vehicles are a likely early-stage market, enabling long-distance drivers to flip between autopilot and manual control. And the potential for self-driving vehicles on the warehouse and factory floor is another scenario worth considering. In a smaller, more tightly structured environment, they could provide additional safety and efficiency in material handling.
The Rise Of The Robots
The disruptive potential of robots across a range of industries is undeniable. But, aside from that, advances in AI and machine learning are bringing smarter solutions to the world’s problems that are quicker and more efficient than ever.
From our homes to the factory floor, robotics informed by AI, machine learning, and IoT offers the potential for game-changing solutions which are closer than we think.
As the cost of components gets cheaper, access to open-source coding increases, and a subscription-based model of ‘robots as a service gains traction, a revolution in robotics is on the horizon.
Forward-thinking businesses would do well to seek out and invest in future partners who can enable them to leverage the true potential of robotic technology and its business-transforming capabilities.
Like the Dubai skyline, the digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving. Whether you’re running a startup or a global business based in the MENA region, staying up to date with current trends in digital marketing can help define your marketing strategy.
The CMO Survey reports that marketing budgets are returning to pre-pandemic levels. As compared with last year, marketing professionals report an 11.8% increase in budgets. Since the turn of the century, annual marketing-related spending has averaged over 10% and is expected to continue growing.
So how are marketers using their budgets? What might the future hold for digital marketing in 2023? How can you leverage those trends to get the best results for your business? Let’s look at how marketing dollars will be allocated in 2023 and beyond.
This blog will share the top 5 digital marketing trends to get ahead of in 2023. Take advantage of these trends to reach new and potential customers.
1. The Metaverse Hype
Metaverse describes a combination of virtual reality and mixed reality worlds accessed through a browser or headset, allowing people to have real-time interactions and experiences across distances.
With this technology, people can participate in social activities, and entertainment like never before as Metaverse is built upon the concepts of presence, immersion, and interactivity.
People often compare the new-age virtual world to online games. However, there are significant differences:
Key Metaverse Statistics 2022
- The Metaverse was valued at $47.69 billion in 2020
- The Metaverse will be worth more than $800 billion by 2028
- JP Morgan predicts the metaverse market size will be more than $1 trillion
- Goldman Sachs predicts the metaverse market size to be up to $12 trillion
- AI economy will reach $15 trillion in GDP growth by 2030
- 10,000 jobs were created by Facebook for Metaverse
- Epic Games raised $1 Billion for metaverse plans
- Facebook is investing $10 billion in Metaverse
- 10.7 million users participated in Fortnite concerts online
- $200 million investment from Sony
- Microsoft got a $22 billion contract for Mixed Reality technology
- 50,000 individual creators have downloaded Nvidia Omniverse beta version
- Supersocial raised $5.2 million to make Games on the Roblox platform
2. An Omnichannel Approach to Marketing
Omnichannel marketing offers the most potent benefits among all the digital marketing strategies available today. Every year, marketers are better able to fulfill the original promise of marketing: having the right message at the right time to the right person. With omnichannel marketing, marketers can provide customers with a personalised experience across all channels.
Not only do these efforts make the user experience smoother, but they also increase customer loyalty, sales, and brand recognition. With time, omnichannel marketing efforts have become more prevalent to boost customer retention and revenue.
3. Implementing Artificial Intelligence
The science of artificial intelligence (AI) aims to build machines that think the same as humans, thereby revolutionizing digital marketing. The use of artificial intelligence can help make the right decisions quickly in the following areas of business:
- Product Management
In 2023, AI will become more critical for businesses to improve customer experiences, not just for meeting their immediate needs. With the help of artificial intelligence, machines can now perform tasks that previously required human intelligence. These activities include:
- Speech Recognition
- Visual Perception
- Language Translation
- Machine Learning (ML)
With the aid of artificial intelligence, marketers can predict trends and spot them early. They can decide how to spend their money and whom to target based on these facts. Brands can devote their time and money to more valuable activities instead of useless digital advertising. By using AI, businesses can also make smarter and more targeted ads.
4. Social Media Marketing
Modern digital marketing relies heavily on social media. To rule your target market in 2023, you should aggressively market and advertise on social media. Keep yourself up to date with social media marketing trends in 2023, so you can choose the best strategies for your business.
As of 2022, there are approximately 4.59 billion social media users worldwide. This is an increase from the 2.5 billion users in 2017. There is a growing trend toward using social media even more in the future. However, Experts predict that the most popular platforms will lose many users to new ones.
Here are the top 5 social media trends to watch in 2023.
- Leveraging Video Content
Video content can significantly impact your digital marketing strategy, no matter what kind of business one runs, what products or services one sell, or whom one wants to reach. According to WYZOwl, 94% of marketers believe video content helps users understand products and services better.
Videos are an excellent way to help potential buyers learn about products or services. The Internet is already obsessed with video content, and as this mania grows, so will video content creation.
- im for User-Generated Content (UGC)
With more consumers turning to social networks and web content instead of traditional advertising methods, authentic UGC is growing in power.
A user-generated content strategy can help businesses connect with their target audience and give them a sense of identity that is genuine and human. By building trust and credibility with potential clients, they can stand out from the crowd with their mass-marketing campaigns.
- Micro-Influencer Marketing
There has been more than a double-digit increase in the size of the global influencer marketing market since 2019. In 2022, the market was valued at 16 billion dollars; by 2027, it is expected to reach 337 million.
While this type of social media marketing is not new in 2023, companies can build stronger relationships with their target audiences by partnering with long-term “brand ambassadors.” In turn, brands can establish long-term relationships with their influencer partners from these mutually beneficial collaborations, while influencers may maintain trust with their audiences by promoting the same brand over time.
Vital for business growth and transformation, a good COO has vision, experience, knowledge, and an uncanny understanding of how people work. They are strategic, data-driven, and adaptable.
Simply put, they would be the ideal person to advise you on how to grow your startup. With that in mind, here’s some key advice a good COO will likely give a fledging business looking to move forward.
Optimise your Workflow
No matter your business model’s strength, you won’t get very far unless you can optimise your operational workflow. Workflow is essential; it’s how you get things done – the series of processes you must complete to achieve a repeatable business goal.
What Would a COO Advise?
First off, look at your existing workflow and identify paint points that are slowing down your processes. Automating some mundane, repetitive tasks, such as invoicing, is possible. Investing in accountancy software can help to streamline the invoicing process while automatically keeping your bookkeeping up to date.
Are your employees working to their best abilities? Which parts of the processes are slowing them down? It could be a lack of the information they need or waiting for approvals that aren’t necessary. Again, automation of some tasks or cutting them out means your skilled workers have more time to focus on what they’re good at.
Lack of communication can be a significant bugbear in an operational workflow. A solid communications system is vital whether in-house collaboration between teams or keeping in contact with remote workers. There’s a massive choice of business collaboration tools like Slack and Zoom to help teams communicate more effectively.
Delegate Downwards, Support Upwards
If you want to move onwards and upwards, you’ll have to trust your workers – in other words, learn to delegate.
The ability to delegate effectively is a skill in itself. It can be hard to let go, especially in the early days of a new business when you want to do it all yourself.
Benefits of effective delegation:
- Increasing employees’ responsibilities can motivate them to do a better job rather than micro-managing their every move.
- It gives you a better understanding of your workers’ strengths and weaknesses, so you can assign tasks that are better suited to them.
- Delegating minor tasks to low-skilled team members means higher-skilled members can focus on ‘essential’ tasks more suited to their talents.
- Delegation not only helps you empower team members but will also ensure the load is shared, giving the management the time to focus on growing the company.
How to Get the Best Out of Talented Workers
A good COO knows how to get the best out of talented workers by presenting them with opportunities to demonstrate and develop their skills.
- Start by delegating small tasks, then reward a job well done with more responsibility – if you want your team to grow successfully, they need to feel they’re trusted.
- Be transparent – give them the information and details they need to carry out the task autonomously.
- Don’t micro-manage – leave them to complete a task on their terms but let them know you’re there if they need support. · Use feedback both ways – congratulate a job well done and offer constructive criticism where needed. Ask your workers for their thoughts on the tasks you’ve given them.
- Encourage them to learn new skills – delegation can be a way of teaching new skills while giving your workers hands-on experience.
Trust the Data
A good COO uses data to guide their decision-making. It’s easy to make the wrong move based on your gut instinct or poor advice from your fellow management.
Analyzing data to gain insights into your customers, competitors and industry mean you have the valuable information you need to identify new business opportunities that can give you a competitive edge. Useful data analysis can also help identify problems holding you back and improve your processes.
You can use big data to:
- Personalise your customer journey based on their browsing and buying behaviour.
- Respond to consumer likes and dislikes by analysing their requests, queries, and feedback.
- Test out your marketing campaigns with different variations of the same promotion to see which ones have more success.
- Identify and address customer pain points so you can make improvements and offer solutions.
- Predict future trends through data analytics and respond to changes in the market more quickly.
How to Achieve Growth in Business
If a business wants to grow, it needs to have a data-driven culture – from the top management down. So, what can you do to achieve that?
- Make sure everyone is onboard and comfortable with data. It’s not there to quell or dismiss originality, creativity, and ideas but to facilitate decision-making by offering solid and measurable results.
- Introduce data training so all levels can develop their skills.
- Use a centralised data referral point to ensure transparency and accuracy across the board.
- Be prepared for change – introduce new technologies to replace older systems and streamline your data processing.
- Listen to the data – you’ll need to be flexible and ready to adapt your processes and strategies based on the information the data gives you.
Know When to Grow
While it’s exciting to take your startup to the next level, the advice of a good COO would be “don’t run until you can walk.” Before you rush in by looking for a more suitable location, more staff, and more funding, ask yourself if your company is ready to expand.
Look to your customers for guidance:
- Have you built a regular client base – repeat orders and a continuing demand for your product or services?
- Are satisfied customers asking for more products and services? – look at their buying trends and patterns – if they’re asking for something you don’t yet have, it may be time to start investing.
- Are you taking on more business than you can handle? – if a growing customer base is exhausting your resources, it may be time to hire more workers and move to a larger facility.
A final word of advice…
Know the difference between a goal and a commitment. A goal has an end line you work towards in the hope of achieving it. A commitment is something you should work on constantly. Your commitment to your customers should be never-ending. Understanding them and committing 100% to their needs is one of the best ways to grow your business naturally and sustainably.
Meydan Free Zone is an economic-rich free zone in Dubai. Set in a strategic location near Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City, with proximity to the Dubai Logistics Corridor, the free zone offers an end-to-end digital platform.
The customers can benefit from incorporating licenses with 3,500 mixed-use business activities with an instant digital IBAN, visa applications, and other ancillary services, allowing companies to become a part of a thriving, strategically positioned economic hub.
Meydan Free Zone is a fully integrated community where customers are offered a safe place to live and call home, a world-class infrastructure from where they can work, and a community that can rejuvenate at play.