Technologists have been striving hard to increase the intuition of consumers’ devices. Based on their behaviours, it is even possible to anticipate their needs. To inject a spirit of discovery, brands need to play by new rules to gain entry to this walled garden.
Imagine a world where needs can be anticipated by technology before they are even felt. Where technology can instinctively intuit our desires and actually learn about us, able to intelligently deduce the very thing we require, when we require it?
Mobile will drive us from text into display, video and voice. With an average of 150 uses a day, the big message is: dive into mobile.
This world is already here.
While the smartphone could easily be termed the single most important contribution to individuals’ convenience this century, already technologies and services are combining to make even interacting on this platform seem onerous. Doctors can already use bioscan transfers on patients’ skin to make diagnoses - bypassing manual data entry on even the most sophisticated device.
In the future we won’t expect to be connected - we will be combined.
But today’s consumers are already comfortable with the encroaching connectivity between their on and offline worlds. The quantified self trend sees individuals monitor, measure and share intimate information around exercise, nutrition and sleep with fitness apps, social networks and even insurance companies.
Increased convenience is weaving itself into everyday life as applications such as Google Now aggregate information to push useful and perhaps more importantly, highly relevant, information at us with barely a swipe.
But what are the implications for brands that want to communicate with customers? Why search if all the required information is automatically pushed to the user? Will hyper personalisation and niche targeting mean the watercooler ad moments of yesterday are gone forever?
Agency director Peter Cory reveals the conundrum: “As a planner for Coke in the 1990s, every year we would run the ‘Holidays are coming’ caravan ad. Every year it had the highest recall. I wonder if we would have the same opportunity now. If we engaged in putting out different versions for different audiences, would it have the same impact?”
However, he goes on to answer his own dilemma: “In the last World Cup, both Nike and Adidas claimed to have had the most watched ads. Yet Nike put out a four-minute YouTube ad which quickly became the most watched ad last year with 107 million views. Adidas, on the other hand, created 200 different ads to push out depending on what happened during the games.”
That both these extremes were deemed successful proves that strong personalisation need not prove to be a walled garden.
The answer lies in many of the common themes that surround digital marketing best practice as it already stands. Panels at Adweek Europe 2015 made a constant refrain of the need to provide contextual content, improve the value exchange, deliver an intuitive customer experience and behave authentically.
Consumers will continue to seek information, to consume content. The younger demographic, so often categorised as brand averse, are avid consumers of content on YouTube and are open to communications. “Vice uses YouTube as a global platform to engage with younger audiences and has 6m subscribers, 35 offices globally and is worth over $1bn,” Peter reveals.
And of the multiplicity of channels that could deliver this content, what will be the game changer? “The quickest and most we can learn is by going all in on mobile. It’s going to be mobile that drives us from text into display, video and voice. With an average of 150 uses a day, the big message is: dive into mobile,” Peter urges.