I remember when I was a child and my grandfather would come for a visit. He would drive up from southern Texas to our home in upstate New York (which for those of you who are not familiar with US geography is REALLY far) and spend a week with us once every few years. On each occasion, he would marvel at the types of toys my brother and I would play with — technology so far removed from his time — to a point that it made him seem utterly ancient in my eyes. He did not understand computers (much less possess the ability to use one), and the internet was an entire world of its own, completely foreign to him.
Recently, I have also felt the effect of my age when listening to my children speak about the latest toy trends. Yes, they have made me feel old as I often have no idea what they are talking about! I admit that technology today is changing so quickly that it’s hard to answer my Grandfather’s age-old question, “what will they think of next?” And I often wonder the same thing myself — how can the inventors of this ever-changing technology keep coming up with the next new new thing, the ideas that revolutionize the way we think, that make our lives more comfortable, more convenient, easier or just plain more fun?
I recently watched the movie Cars 3 with my kids, and marveled at the realism of the animated scenes. (This is a far cry from my favorite childhood movie, Puff the Magic Dragon, whose two-dimensional cartoons look grotesque in comparison). Times have certainly changed since my days as a kid, and animation is just one area that has improved tenfold in recent years. I mean, seriously, how could they make it any better?
From a marketing perspective, it’s important to keep inventing new tactics to keep up with the trends that are changing our society and customer behavior. Especially when you’re marketing for the IT/tech industry! It’s important to take risks, try new things, and continually reinvent best practices. Personally, I think that marketing strength lies in being to take the old and combine it with the new … So what innovation is coming soon that we haven’t thought of yet when it comes to marketing?
Here are some ideas that we think are on the technology horizon that will certainly influence marketing in the years to come:
What’s the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality, you say? Augmented reality (AR) is a computer-generated enhancement that sits on top of an existing reality, and enables the user to interact with it. It’s not as enveloping as the 360° world that can be created by VR, but it doesn’t require those funny glasses either. In a nutshell, AR is developed into apps to blend digital components (images, graphics and animation) to create a new layer of interaction and enhance the real-world experience. (Whereas VR creates a new reality that is completely computer-generated.) AR technology is already being used more and more frequently in mobile devices (the key example of course is the success of Pokemon Go). It changes our view on how digital images and graphics intersect and interact with the user in the real world.
According to the Huffington Post, investments in AR and VR technologies are exploding will total $1.1 billion this year alone. DigiCapital predicts that both technologies will generate $120 billion in revenue by 2020. These technologies will revolutionize user interaction with marketing content, making it more intuitive and collaborative than it is today. By using AR to promote marketing content, a whole new world can be created (literally) giving mobile apps, websites, videos and dimension never seen before by typical marketers.
Internet of Things
As I have already written a blog post about How IoT (Internet of Things) Will Affect Your Marketing Plan Sooner Rather than Later I won’t go on about this topic at length. What’s important to know here is that the implications of IoT are so wide-spread, I don’t think anyone can fathom the extent of their potential reach just yet. What’s sure is that with the invention of smart products will come smart marketing — the product’s technology themselves will become their own media platforms, and users will become brand champions as they use them.
When thinking about new technology and marketing, there’s only one question you need to ask yourself: The world is changing, will you keep up?