That about sums up the role of marketing today.
Last week Google held their Google I/O developers conference. There were many interesting (some might say fascinating) things that came out of that conference. What got my attention was the unified multitasking for your apps and Chrome tabs. In short: the new Android operating system will have something that looks like a carousel of little cards displaying your recently used apps and tabs (unified across all of your Google-enabled devices). Google is looking for a way to get multitasking on mobile to be that much more easy. Switching between apps on Apple is easy, but it's not real multitasking yet. All of these brands know that getting people whatever they need with hyperlink-ease is paramount.
Why is this a big deal?
Funnily, I haven't been thinking that much about Google, Facebook or Apple as much as I have been wondering about the potential outcome for Amazon's Fire phone. Bob Lefsetz feels like the Amazon Fire Phone is dead on arrival. He may be right (he often is), but there's something about what an Amazon device offers that can't be ignored: the world is a hyperlink.
The world is a hyperlink.
Take a picture of this. Take a picture of that. Point the phone at this. Let the phone listen to that. The technology exists to capture anything and turn it into more. More information. A transaction. A conversation. Did you know that there are people - all over the world - who use Instagram to sell their wares instead of bothering with an e-commerce site, and the need to drive traffic to it (check out: Say Cheese! Instagram Allows Entrepreneurs To Start A Business In A Snap (Literally))? A hyperlink is no longer a need to offer more information. If you think about one click shopping (another Amazon foundation) and then couple that to mobile device technology (scanning and photo capabilities), you can begin to think a lot deeper about how these connected devices - and the software on them - are going to drive commerce and acquisition models like never before.
Speed and access.
No doubt that speed and access to information is a bedrock of what the Internet was promising to the world when we first got introduced to it. Some see Google's dominance driven by the ad revenue. I believe that Google's revenue is driven by their ability to help people get to the information that they want/need with one click (and very quickly). It's their ability to organize these text-based hyperlinks that gives them so much insight into what these mobile platforms (hello, Android) can offer. Amazon is playing a similar game. Say it. Take a photo of it. Type it. Scan it. Whatever. Now, it's not just websites that give hyperlinks. Everything in the physical world is now a hyperlink too.
Drinking the Kool-Aid.
The Amazon Fire has Firefly technology. Firefly can identify printed text in the physical world and turn it into a contact, a new email or link you over to a website. It can recognize music, movies, TV episodes, books, video games and more. Yes, anything you see in the physical world is a hyperlink. And, if that doesn't work, they have Mayday, which is customer service on your phone (free, live, on-device tech service). They're promising a response time of 15 seconds or less. No waiting in line. No appointment. A human being is just a hyperlink away.
OK, this is not about Amazon.
What we really have here is a brand that is doing everything that it can to reduce friction. To remove the pain points. To make anything and everything one hyperlink away for the consumer. That's profound, and it's going to cause all of the other major players to take action. To figure out how to integrate this kind of quick speed access to everything that they do. I often hear marketing professionals say that the world of technology is moving so fast, that they are struggling to keep up with it. Google certainly accelerated things when it came to finding information. Apple certainly accelerated things when it came to technology. Facebook certainly accelerated things when it came to connecting with people. Amazon certainly accelerated things when it came to buying. Now, they're extending the buying component into the overall experience as well. And, when they do this, they start traipsing into many other (and very interesting) arenas that marketers should be paying close attention to.
Because, as we all know, the experience is usually everything.