Much thanks to the forward-looking nature of CES, the start of 2018 is buzzing with new tech trends and futuristic consumer products inching their way to the global availability. As a result, marketers and consumers alike are bracing for the inevitable impact these new technologies will have on daily life.
While both consumers and marketers can expect significant changes to their day-to-day activities, these changes present different demands and expectations for each respective group.
The average person is becoming increasingly connected and efficient. We’re seeing everything from health monitoring devices to AI-equipped refrigerators, which is making life simpler and more complicated at the same time. The simplicity is often conceptual whereas the complication is often logistical.
Having a refrigerator that can recognize when milk is running low and make a purchase without human interaction can be a stress reliever for a working professional with a family. That is so long as the user is tech-savvy enough to properly program and connect the needed devices or efficiently navigate the user interface.
For some, technology has been a significant part of life since birth. These individuals are likely more comfortable adapting to new items, programs or features. For others, technology has been slowly adopted over a period of years. The learning curve is much greater, and often the basic idea of automating a certain task is unwelcomed.
Regardless of where any particular consumer lands on the tech-savvy scale, life is moving quickly toward automation and connectivity so they have to find ways to adjust. For example, face-to-face interaction may be the preferred method of communication for some but that’s simply not how things are done in our modern world. Those interpersonal skills are becoming less and less relevant, especially if you can’t figure out how to log-in to a Web Ex video conference.
Business professionals looking to connect with and engage modern consumers are presented with an ever-increasing list of communication channels. Send a message to someone’s car, or call them on their watch; the possibilities are endless. The wide-reaching opportunity for consumer contact is a welcomed challenge, but a challenge never the less. With so many options, which communication channel is the right one?
Just because a brand can communicate with consumers at any time throughout the day doesn’t mean they should. There still needs to be a strategy in place, and there needs to be consistency across all media platforms to ensure the intended brand image or messaging is being presented. With this in mind, marketers are tasked with understanding the nuances of each of the different communication channels. Whether it is social media or connected personal devices, brand messaging has to fit the lifestyle of the consumer otherwise it risks being overlooked.
This highlights an interesting, and important, concept for marketers to remember; delivery vehicles may change but many of the core marketing concepts remain the same.
Recently there was a great article written about the lessons marketers can learn from Aristotle, whose persuasion tactics that are still relevant today. His concepts of emotional appeal, logic and credibility as they relate to persuasion were introduced roughly 2,300 years ago but still ring true in our modern consumer marketplace.
Many brands make the mistake of believing technology can replace strategy; that by implementing an automated messaging system there’s less need to focus on the message itself. These misguided conclusions lead some discredit the value of marketing technology because it “didn’t work” for them. The reality is that the technology functioned exactly as designed; the problem is it wasn’t used in an effective manner.
The modern consumer is being pushed forward and has little use for looking backward at yesterday’s life approach. The nostalgia of a “simpler time” may offer a warm feeling inside, but thinking about when sodas were free on a flight to Chicago isn’t helping anyone book their tickets and check-in online. The future is forward, so all eyes ahead.
On the other hand, marketers do have value in reflecting on the past. They shouldn’t get too focused on the future of marketing technology that they forget the value of content, messaging and overall strategy. Modern consumers are still human, and at the core level certain motivators will never change. There still is, and will continue to be a need for concepts like Aristotle’s persuasion tactics to remain at the center of a brand’s marketing approach; especially as the world around it changes rapidly.
For more reading on the connection between Aristotle and marketing, click here.
If your brand is interested in developing a marketing strategy that’s both forward-thinking AND strategically timeless, we will show you the way.