The computer forever changed the future of information sharing with the GUI and its easily accessible digital porthole called the Internet. One click and you’re barreling down a rabbit hole into an imaginary world of blue links and constantly streaming stories.
Though it is no longer a new technological discovery, the Internet continues to develop and transform the way we see the world and each other. As it evolves, three emergent trends are changing the way we learn, process information and form relationships. These trends are moving us toward hyperconnected communication, heightened user control and increased mobile access.
Let’s break it down now:
Hyperconnectivity is the constant human-computer connection we experience through devices such as email, phones and Web 2.0 technologies. You may deny it, but chances are you are texting, messaging, emailing or browsing as you read this.
These incessant connections force us to seek streaming information from 24-hour news cycles where content must be updated by the second on our hip, in our purse or right into our hands.
Hyperconnectivity is drastically changing our information gathering and sharing. Post it. share it. Link it. These are all common phrases that are relatively new to our vocabularies. To keep up, organizations have to use more tools like social networks to engage loyal listeners who were once satisfied with having just a daily update of yesterday’s news.
Heightened User Control
User-centered information, according to director of branding and marketing strategy for Lenovo Mark McNeilley, starts with knowing your target customer. “It’s about knowing what is relevant to them,” McNeilley said. “Depending on what category you are in. Though for any person or company, you have to be more authentic now and have a dialogue. The new formula is to spend a lot on creative and just let the reach happen. It’s about better and better creative.”
As consumers become more resourceful through each other and the Internet, marketers and corporations will face the facts that users are in the driver’s seat for good. Marketing will no longer be about the quick sale. It is about developing relationships and providing unparalleled customer service that positions brands more as caring, sensible humans. To be user-centered, marketing must offer control, valuable information, community and a rich user-centered experience, complete with the opportunity to dialogue through user-generated content. When the public can see that a company has relinquished the reins of control, it can establish a sense of trust and loyalty for the brand and its products.
If messages were coffee, they will be coming in a Venti-sized to-go cup. Instead of sticking to the communal office coffee pot, messages will follow consumers wherever they go, much like the omnipresent Starbucks’ empire found on every street corner. To create relationships with people, marketers and their messages have to be found where consumers are.
There is no electronic device more personal and omnipresent than the cell phone. The number of cell phones worldwide is larger than the number of households with Internet connections or even TVs. This ubiquitous lifeline stays in most people’s pockets or purses because it is the most convenient method for sending and receiving information at the drop of a hat.
Now and in the future, a cell phone is no longer just a way to call home. It is a GPS system, a music library, an Internet browser, a digital camera, a movie screen and a file cabinet for any and every application. Due to the localized, personal and constant opportunity provided by the mobile market, mobile marketing and communication will become an integral part of our landscape.
Now, obviously, this list is not comprehensive. I’m working on a much bigger list, but thought I’d give you a sneak peek of what’s to come.