Thus far in this series, we’ve talked about connectivity research findings, as well as connectivity and DAM. In the final part of the series, we’ll examine the following question: Where will connectivity go into the future?
From the perspective of our research, the future of connectivity entails more data, more authenticity — and more community. Marketers will have to find the right common ground between digital and human experience.
Tech vs. touch
A central dilemma of our connected world is the conflict between tech and touch. Connecting is a physical human need, just like eating food or staying warm. To mix digital and physical interaction is to jeopardize a pillar of human wellness.
Nonetheless, many analysts agree that we’re moving towards a ubiquitous digital connectivity that goes beyond a network of laptops, tablets and smartphones. Inexpensive digital sensors and cloud computing will fuel the “Internet of Things” and extend digital connectivity to previously analog tasks, processes and service operations.
Our research, conducted by surveying 221 professionals (none of which are Widen customers) showed us:
- 68% of our interview participants see the future becoming more digital and more virtual
- However, they express a mixture of optimism and pessimism about this trajectory
You’ve probably heard the forecasts about AI (Artificial Intelligence), internal sensors, and the Internet of Things. That future may be here before you know it. According to an Ericsson Mobility Report, “By 2018, IoT is expected to surpass mobile as the largest category of connected devices.”
This includes things like connected cars, machines and consumer electronics. On the plus side, this quote comes from our friend Greg Yates, of RICG Neuro-Creative Agency, in New York:
“By 2025, most homes are going to have a robot. We’re moving to an era of complete technology where there might be: (1) a robot in the office or people working with robot advisors; (2) your phone might be connected directly to your robot at home that you interact with throughout the day; and (3) when you go home, you have a personal relationship with your robot because that’s where everything goes.”
On the apprehensive side, this quote comes from a marketing director at a large food and beverage company:
“I’m seeing more and more of this virtual world and virtual work environment and part of it worries me because, as marketers, all we deal with is human interaction and real-life human kinds of responses.”
In terms of marketing, connectivity has many contexts. It’s about engagement, data, personalization, technology, and the integrations of those technologies to make it easier and faster for us to work and connect with our audiences.
As we wrap up the final installment of our connectivity marketing series, we’d like to recap the three big takeaways we want you to remember.
Design experiences from the user/consumer perspective first
Do your homework and develop solutions, content and user interfaces with the end consumer in mind first. Then define how that experience will fit a device or integrate with other technologies.
The time you spend up front will be time saved later, which translates to money saved and potentially money earned (from a better experience).
Gain trust, respect, adoption and productivity through collaboration
Trust and productivity grow from true collaboration — with respect, and when ideas come from anywhere across many disciplines.
And collaboration is inclusive. From an adoption standpoint, interview participants say they’ll use new tools more often if they’re included in the decision-making process.
Disconnect from devices and take time to connect with yourself
Greater creativity and greater problem solving happens when the mind has time to wander. It actually saves time in the end. So, take a break and get comfortable being with yourself so you can contribute more to others.
And this is really the overarching message for the whole series …
Every marketing initiative, brand position or user experience reflects the challenges, goals and dreams of real people. This challenge of connecting and collaborating with each other for the greater good is fulfilling. It’s a challenge that’s core to the Widen experience, and we hope you see this if you’re already a part of it. Let’s embrace the inherent goodness and power of connectivity by keeping it human.
If you liked this article, feel free to download the entire Connectivity Marketing Report.