Technology and the Speed of Change

Like many of the older generation, my dear parents (particularly my dad) seem to have a constant barrier up against new technologies.

Dad still carries a Nokia 3310 on which he refuses to do anything outside of making or receiving phone calls, and simply won’t even consider looking at a tablet, or even a laptop computer. He’s a complete technophobe, and I guess at the age of 69, the old dog’s not going to learn new tricks (it’s fine…he’ll never read this…it’s on the internet)!

However, it was recently put to me (by a much more famous digital strategist than I) that we don’t generally have problems with technology, we have problems with the people using it. Overall, technology is an enabler, and when embraced, technology is more often than not beneficial to our lives.  I am yet to even see an Apple watch, and I have no intention of owning one for at least 18 months, but I believe that pretty much the last thing I’ll use it for will be telling the time! I love the thought of my general state of health, precise levels of exercise, and vitals being monitored 24/7/365. If I suddenly take ill or need to analyse my general health, the quantitative data is there, waiting to serve my GP, and I would trust the data it reports without a single question.  Is that not fairly amazing…this is supposed to be a watch!

We are currently creating 4 Quintillion bytes of data every day…the equivalent of one new Google every 4 days! Also, 90% of the world’s data didn’t even exist 2 years ago! These facts and figures are nothing short of staggering, and the speed of digital evolution is quite scary if you really think about it. As a marketer with i3 Digital, my job is to know what to do with all the data available to me, and our clients. The other scary fact is that my job will never be easier than it is right now, today! Gulp!

I’m happy to report, however, that the challenge exists for all of us. 72% of CEO’s state that their number one priority is better understanding their individual customer needs. Making money…that hardly features now, and is at best a very distant second. It’s also proof of the old adage that making money and being profitable is a by-product of doing what we do, as long as we do it well!

Knowing your customers to a point that makes them totally uninterested in deferring to your competition…that is now what is needed, and organisations are catching on through technology and the speed that technology is delivering information!

As already stated, this really isn’t a battle with technology…it’s with speed of change, and our capability to adapt and align with the pace of technological advancement. Technology can still of course be our best of friends, or worst of enemies. Companies nowadays aren’t really battling with their industry competitors. The real battle today is against speed, and the ever increasing demands of the technologically advanced consumer.  The average attention span of the online public is now only 5 seconds. That pretty much means online marketers have to grab consumer attention within the speed of a smartphone swipe!

So, as you can see, technology isn’t something to be scared of (as I’ve been telling my dad for the past decade). If we can learn to embrace the power that it provides and the speed it delivers data to us and our customers, we can move way ahead of our traditional competitors…in the speed of a swipe!

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