Where do you think the future of technology is headed?
Whether it be speaking or here on the Blog, I am frequently asked about the future: where is social media going to go, what are the technologies we need to be looking out for on the horizon? And, without fail, my answer is always the same:
No one knows where we're going. In fact, every year eMarketer does this amazing survey where they ask Marketers for their honest feedback on some of the emerging trends that happened within the year. The output of this survey is to gauge how many Marketers either, "saw it coming" or if it took them "by surprise." Well, it shouldn't surprise you to know that the bigger trends took everyone by surprise and the platforms that had the smallest overall impact were the ones that we were better at identifying.
Wouldn't it be amazing to have crystal balls?
The idea is that "flying cars" could well be something we see somewhere down the long road (or sky) depending on how quickly we can get reality to cross-over into Star Wars, but until then, looking into the future should not be on your radar unless we're talking about the near-future. Yes, we can indentify trends (more media fragmentation, more snackable content, the great untethering, privacy versus public personality, the rise of the personal brand, etc...), but beyond that there are few and fewer businesses really digging down deep and capitalizing on the huge opportunities that are right in front of them right now. From basic search engine optimization to search engine marketing. From understanding how to engage, communicate and connect in the many social channels to developing a well thought-out affiliate program. Most companies still grapple with basic data collection and are not using any form of personalization when it comes to their digital communications. Some are still grappling to have a website that looks like it came from this decade.
Have a strategy and build from there.
Instead of worrying about which channels are emerging, the smart companies are developing a strong business and brand strategy around the digital channel. Once the goals and key performance indicators are established, figuring out the tactics is pretty easy. So, in the interest of growing your business and being ready for the day and age when we finally do get flying cars, why not take the time now to take a serious look at what you've done in these channels and where they are going to take you in the coming months?
Thinking about the future and how technology is going to change your business is a worthwhile experience (it's also a lot of fun). It's even more effective when you're doing everything you can to capitalize on everything that is available to you in this day and age.