So what’s next? Working for a communications agency means you’re always itching for the next project, the next idea that’s going to challenge you to adapt and come up with something new and exciting to make your mark and perhaps go down a path that’s yet unexplored. But knowing what comes next is not always easy and assumptions don’t always lead to safe conclusions. Take into consideration how dramatically technology has changed our way of living, our viewing/consuming/driving, etc. habits and how often the technological advances throw us off track and bring something new into the mix. How can you stay on top of what’s coming up? And how do you manage it and tailor your offering as a business accordingly?
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"Steven was wondering why he couldn't get the Magic 8 Ball to work"
Maybe it is by coincidence that during the past few weeks a number of articles referencing the future caught our attention; be it the future of cars, the future of society, the future of media or the future of technology.
Trying to find some common threads in the above readings, one thing became clear:
There isn’t just one model for the future.
Matthew Ingram of paidContent seems to think so about the media landscape: “At least for the foreseeable future, the landscape of digital media is going to be a form of loosely organized chaos, with everyone trying whatever they can”. There are many predictions about the direction print media is going towards as well, the world of paywalls and monetization of content, online video streaming versus linear TV, the rise of mobile and so on. The main answer seems to be that there isn’t just one clear-cut path.
Sometimes predictions can be a tricky business. Take for example the Blackberry CEO who told Bloomberg this week, “In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore”. Apparently, there are plenty who think otherwise, including Gartner whose research sees tablets becoming the main computing device.
Can you afford to disregard any of the trends as they stand at the moment and completely write off a channel or a marketing strategy?
And what about the end consumer? What is he going to look like? What will he want? Designers Dunne and Raby have just unveiled a new exhibition at London’s Design Museum titled ‘United Micro Kingdoms: A Design Fiction’. The not-so-near societal future of England as they depict it is based on plenty of speculation but taking into consideration certain current lifestyle trends. The country is divided in 4 counties which hold a very different reality for their inhabitants: Digitarians’ life is technology-led, Bioliberals use technology as well but as an enabler of a clean and organic lifestyle. Anarcho-Evolutionists take advantage of science in order to adapt themselves to the needs of the planet instead of doing it the other way around. And finally the Communo-Nuclearists live in some sort of ‘Hunger Games’ existence, unwanted and closed off from the rest.
Dunne and Raby have also put thought into the mobility options of each group which will of course reflect their overall lifestyle – meaning that cars don’t just come in one shape or form. This notion fits in nicely with Economist’s actual predictions on the mixed character of future fleets. Cars are predicted to be increasingly automated, leaving all or some of the hard work to a computer. Depending on natural resources, some countries will favour CNG cars while others will build hydrogen refilling stations, so buying a car will be a choice for the best fit of powertrain to the need of the motorist.
In societies that become ever more fragmented, how do you adapt your marketing strategy to ensure you’re being smart and speaking to as many audiences as possible, without missing the nuances or leaving out the complexities of the individual choices that are resulting in very specific and tailored needs?
Consider these questions as food for thought. We are interested in hearing what you think. Being a unified marketing agency means that by default we focus on embracing change in an evolving environment to help you connect your brand with people in motion and build more meaningful, valuable relationships. There is a Malcolm X quote about the future belonging to those who prepare for it today; we are already on it.