Five years ago, the technology of today seemed like science fiction. In the late 90s and early 2000s, when I was young and attempting to sell websites to businesses, I received a barrage of negativity that the web was “just a phase”. As recent as 2008, an executive told me, “I don’t understand people who spend 10-15 hours a week on the Internet, but then again, I don’t understand pedophiles.” What the WHAT?!? Did this man just discount the web and call me a pedo in one breath?!? I should tell you he went on to be one of my biggest fans and wrote one of the most compelling, sweetest reference letters of my career. He just needed patience and empirical data to shift his perspective. I was happy to provide.
Let me now spill the tea. What you think you know about the next 5 or 10 years in communication and advertising is completely wrong. Dead wrong. Even futurists are conservative in their prognostications, in my opinion.
Smartphones have reached the masses, this means the trends are about to shift. Already, the desktop is an accessory to the smartphone. The iOT (Internet of Things) is rarely understood, but already plaguing our daily lives. I interviewed 37 destinations and businesses over the summer of 2016, and NOT ONE had plans to use iOT as a marketing channel.
Augmented Reality (AR) seems a kitchy buzzword to many, reserved for the “geeks” who play Pokemon Go. BIG MISTAKE. HUGE.
Before you can steer your marketing spend in the next direction, consumers will already have adopted AR in a natural habitat. The world, with a lens of information.
The future is deviceless. And, it’s not 20 years away.
You meet someone for the first time and AR delivers their social profiles and cv to explore. You stand outside a restaurant and can view a layer of customer reviews, menu and daily specials.
The next (near term) phase of technology and communications will come on so naturally, smartphones will be viewed like the 80s brick cells. And, you won’t be ready because you are still catching up on digital marketing that you began too slow.
I’m not even going to get into the “robots” and AI (artificial intelligence/machine learning) that has already become so standard, you might not even recognize it’s all around you.
Here’s some brutal truth you need to hear: Your search strategy is shit. Your social media marketing is mediocre, at best. And, you are going to miss the boat of another tectonic shift in communication because of fear.
Imagine if Destination Marketing Organizations had understood and heavily invested in websites/Internet in the 1990s. There would be no OTAs, DMOs would enjoy, not only market capitalization, but booking fees to fund their smart city. Instead, DMOs are behind the market, fighting for bed tax not collected by the OTA d’jour.
I implore you, to look at shifting strategy NOW before technology out paces your media plan.
As always, I’m available for counsel with my fellow rebels with a cause.
Yours in tech solidarity,