Mary Meeker, the American venture capitalist and former Wall Street securities analyst who primarily works on the Internet and new technologies went on a stage and delivered a report on the trends for 2017. Some of it was good, some of it a bit obvious, and some as you’d expect, made you think, “Why do we need that in our lives?”
One thing’s for sure, the world is changing. Things are in flux.
But is that even new? Is that any different to the decades that have gone before?
Therefore, should we — the marketeers, communicators, brand owners, advertising evangelists and businesses — need to say that?
Change is the only constant in this world.
In every client brief we are told to innovate and disrupt, but are consumers and your customers ready for the latest tech? I might be, I love tech. I love the fact that I can start my new car from my iPhone; I can turn the lights on and off in the house when I’m hundreds of miles away; I love that fact that I can pay for things with my Apple watch by just waving it across a payment point. But am I the norm, absolutely not. My wife just gets annoyed with tech, anything more than her iPhone and she just thinks it’s pointless. Why do you need to start your car with your phone when you have a key? So the list goes on. Even my teenage daughter looks at me in disbelief at times.
So, what does this bring me round to?
Change will always happen, we just need to manage our customers’ experience through it. As I often say we need to walk in our customers shoes. Yes there are the innovators, the tech lovers but there are also those who just adopt tech and different experiences when they have to.
Talking last week to my mum about TV brought it home to me. We talked about how she could now watch English TV from her house in France. No longer are we bound by the physical connection of an aerial. We can access TV on the move, we can pick up watching a programme that we started at home on the morning commute. But the important part of this conversation was it was jargon free. I didn’t include a million and one acronyms, my mum is normal she buys stuff online, she buys stuff in store, she reads emails, but is she ready to be innovated or disrupted or jump into AR? Definitely not.
Will my mum move forward? Absolutely. Should we try and push people like her along? Definitely. However, it’s about managing the experience for customers, understanding the lives they lead and how we can engage with them effectively through brilliant experiences – that are relevant.
If we take time to understand that our customers are different; they can be the same age, the same social profile but behave completely differently, then we can effectively engage with them, enhancing our communications and campaign with the intelligent use of data.
We live constantly in a state of work in progress and that’s what makes working in this sector challenging and exciting in equal measure.
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