“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” - Isaac Asimov
Seemingly nothing in life changes as much as technology. Technology is constantly upgraded and updated around us. This sets an expectation, not only that the next version will be better, but that there will always be a next version. Nothing is ever complete. Everything can be improved. Made faster. Made simpler.
Does this lead us to an expectation that we must constantly search for new, next, and better?
How long can we make incremental improvements in everything?As connected individuals, we are creating our own technology ecosystems around us. We create our own technology stack. We seek out ways to connect our technology together. We want it all to work in harmony. Technology companies work hard a creating seamless connections. They try to get us to commit to their ecosystems because that commits us to their tech. We are learning to use API's without even knowing what they are or how they work - we just know that Zapier or IFTTT can connect A to B. New technology entrants cannot become part of our world if they cannot join our ecosystem, no matter how good they are.
We also see this technology induced speed of change in the life cycle of memes (that was only funny last week - we have moved on) or mobile games (who is playing Angry Birds, Candy Crush Saga or even Pokémon Go now?)
So can a Marketer plan for technology needs for the year ahead, let alone for a five-year plan know what is going to be the key technology to use to connect and engage with their target audience?
The answer is they can, but committing to plans based on technology alone is a mistake. Instead marketers should plan programs and campaigns around meeting the needs of connected individuals and working out the best way to combine of four human dimensions: physical, digital, sensorial and emotional to create a total brand experience.
This is evolution. We must constantly adapt to the changing circumstances around us.
This post was inspired by reading The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly which should be on every marketer’s reading list.