“Our intuition about the future is linear. But the reality of information technology is exponential, and that makes a profound difference. If I take 30 steps linearly, I get to 30. If I take 30 steps exponentially, I get to a billion.” Ray Kurzweil
No one can predict the future.
But one thing is sure. If your company is designed for success in the 20th century, it is doomed for failure in the 21st century. If you want to stay in business you have to be the designer of disruption. You have to re-invent your product, find new market, stay hyper-relevant, create brand value, leverage better technology and create brand eco-systems.
In short, reset the game of your business and become a living brand.
In this article, we explore the 10 growth trends set by Gartner and elaborate the opportunities that lie ahead in the rapid pace of technology innovation and the clear challenge for brand and business leaders. Keep in mind though, it is up to us, as individuals and collectives to shape the future.
1. Voice Search Will Increase Digital Commerce Revenue by at least 30%
With the rise of personal assistant devices, combined with the improved accuracy of voice recognition technology, voice search adoption is being embraced in the digital commerce. To prepare for the impact of voice search on B2B SEO, marketers should take steps now to begin optimizing for voice queries.
3 tips from Search Engine Land to optimize your site content for voice search
1. Mobile Managed
Voice searches are most likely to be conducted on mobile devices, so mobile optimization is more important than ever. But optimizing for mobile goes beyond simple responsive design — you’ll need to improve page load speeds, remove intrusive interstitials, abandon drop-down navigation menus and format videos to display in full-screen when held vertically to improve the mobile user experience.
2. Target long-tail keywords
Voice search queries are more likely to be longer than their text counterparts, and use more conversational language. Find relevant long-tail keywords, and target them in site content to cater to natural language queries.
3. Target featured snippets
When a featured snippet is populated for a query, voice search devices read the snippet and source aloud. This is a huge boost for brand recognition and authority, as Google essentially declares one company the expert. As far as voice search is concerned, “position zero” is the new page one.
25 Voice Recognition Innovations
The next generation of visual search turns a smartphone camera into a visual discovery tool. It uses image as a search query, which allows consumers to search for styles and objects that they would otherwise struggle to define. Popular visual search technologies are Google Lens and Pinterest Lens, but Amazon, Bing and a growing list of major retailers are all investing heavily in this area. Visual search is also a building block for augmented reality and virtual reality interactions.
Read the other 10 tips here.
2. Technology Leaders will Self-Disrupt Themselves to Create Next Leadership Opportunity
Brands are grappling with disruptive business models, disruptive channels, and disruptive technologies.
Examples of market leaders that failed to keep up with innovation include, Borders (failed to anticipate the the e-book revolution), Blackberry (missed out on the touch-screen smartphone market), Blockbuster (busted by Netflix and online movies), and Kodak (which didn’t foresee the huge popularity of digital cameras), are just a few. In hindsight it is easy to see why these companies lost their market lead to more disruptive competitors. But anticipating a future market disruption is much harder.
On the other hand, “when Apple released the iPhone, it disrupted the MP3 industry, in which its iPod made it a leading competitor. While the phone created competition for Apple’s own product, it also opened avenues to other industries when it began to replace navigation systems, digital cameras and other previously discrete technology.”
Now, Apple is making mega strides in DIY HealthTech.
It just so happens, over the next two years, residents of Singapore will be able to collect up to S$380 (£212) in rewards and vouchers while using an Apple Watch app known as LumiHealth to complete fitness challenges.
With the onslought of COVID-19, and purchases moving online, brands are gushing towards digitization at breath-taking speed.
3. The Banking Industry is set to Derive 1BN of Business Value from the Use of Block-Chain based Cryptocurrencies
Adopting blockchain technology does not need radical transformation in the banking and the finance sector.
Australian Securities Exchange is planning to use a new blockchain-based system to manage the Australian financial market at the end of 2020.
A recent PWC report states, 77 percent of financial institutions are expected to adopt blockchain technology as part of an in-production system or process by 2020.
Delve into Commerce of Fintech
Blockchain Disruptors in the 21st Century Trade and Commerce
4. By 2022 Majority of the Individuals in Developed Economies will Consume More Fake Information than True Information
Yes, it is happening now as we speak.
Liam Porr, a computer science student in Berkley used GPT-3, an AI content generating tool, to produce an entirely a fake blog under a fake name.
It was meant as a fun experiment. But then one of his posts found its way to the number-one spot on Hacker News. Few people noticed that his blog was completely AI-generated. Some even hit “Subscribe.”
“While many have speculated about how GPT-3, the most powerful language-generating AI tool to date, could affect content production, this is one of the only known cases to illustrate the potential. What stood out most about the experience, says Porr, who studies computer science at the University of California, Berkeley: “It was super easy, actually, which was the scary part.””
Fed with billions of words, this algorithm creates convincing articles and shows how AI could be used to fool people on a mass scale.
5. Through out 2022 Content Created by AI to Devise “Counterfeit Reality” will Outpace AI’s Ability to Detect it.
Digital Distrust is our Immediate Destiny Until Face to Face Starts Gaining Traction
“While fake news is currently in the public consciousness, it is important to realize the extent of digitally created content that is not a factual or authentic representation of information goes well beyond the news aspect.”
Brands need to monitor what is being said about them both in context and content. In the era of fakeness, face to face interactivity becomes paramount. Because, “AI can create counterfeit reality or manipulated media faster than it can detect it.”
6. By 2021 more than 50% of the Enterprises Will Spend More on Bots and Chat Bots Creation
The Emergence of “Post-App” era — traditional apps will not go away.
80% of sales and marketing leaders say they already use chatbot software in their customer experience or plan to do so by 2020 (source).
They will be one of the many options available to customers. “Chatbots will become the face of AL and bots will transform how apps are built.”
7. By 2021, 40% of the Information Technologists will be Dealing with Business Related Job Functions than Dealing with Technology
A New Concept — Versatalist: The Multi-Faceted Role of Tech Worker
IT staff who once only focused on closed stand alone systems and data centers now focus on systems in the public cloud as well.
“Over the past several years, industrial organizations have started to incorporate cloud into their operations to glean insights from large volumes of data that are helping achieve key business outcomes including reduced unplanned downtime, higher production efficiency, lower energy consumption and so on.
The cloud still plays a critical role in enabling new levels of performance through the Industrial IoT, where significant computing power is required to effectively manage vast data volumes from machines.
But as more compute, store, and analytic capability is bundled into smaller devices that sit closer to the source of data — namely, industrial machines — “edge computing will be instrumental in enabling edge processing to deliver on the promise of the Industrial IoT.”
— Hence, the need for versatality in the IT profession.
What Small Business Owners Should Know About Cloud Commerce
8. By 2020 AI Becomes a Positive Net Job Motivator; Creating 2.3 M Jobs, while Eliminating 1.8M Jobs
PwC predicts up to 38% of U.S. jobs could be at high risk of automation by the early 2030s, higher than Germany (35%), the UK (30%) and Japan (21%) (source).
Forrester predicts cognitive technologies such as robots, AI, machine learning, and automation will replace 16% of U.S. jobs by 2025. Of those jobs, office and administrative support staff will be the most rapidly disrupted (source).
The impact of AI technologies on business will boost labor productivity by up to 40%, according to Accenture (source).
“The big game changer is AI, and how much value potential is up for grabs. AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, more than the current output of China and India combined. Of this, $6.6 trillion is likely to come from increased productivity and $9.1 trillion is likely to come from consumption-side effects.”
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write,
but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”
9. By 2020 IoT will be Embedded in 95% of the New Electronic Product Designs
Traditional Businesses will Develop New Business Models Out of IoT
A number of small, rural utilities have begun to sell broadband services by leveraging their investments for smart meters in a new way. Large utilities and manufacturers study plans to commercialize their in-house IoT applications for predictive maintenance. Equipment makers are attaching value-added services to devices they sell. Companies initially invest in IoT to save money, but over time they will look to the same systems to generate revenue as well.
Questions for you to explore: Why real-time data will rule and how industrial applications could drive market growth, and why the need for edge computing will become more urgent.
10. Through 2022, Half of all Security Budgets for IoT will go to Fault Remediation, Recalls and Safety Failure, rather than Protection
The Internet of Things fuses products with communications technology to make daily life more effortless. Think Amazon’s Alexa, which not only answers questions and plays music but allows you to control your home’s lights and thermostat. Or the current generation of implanted pacemakers, which can both receive commands and send information to doctors over the internet. IoT security has been a predominant topic of discussion, both for IoT businesses and their end users, for the last decade. Several widely publicized incidents demonstrated how easy it was for unsecured IoT devices to be manipulated for malicious intent.
Get the IoT Checklist
“The future is filled with technology-based innovation and disruption. Yet, the pending disruptions are taking on new forms and increasing in speed. Most organizations are struggling to keep pace with the latest technological advances. Before one innovation is implemented, two others arrive. To cope and compete, CIOs in end-user organizations must learn to develop an appropriate pace for digital change.”
Listen to the archived webinar here
The Greek historian, Plutarch had it right; way back in 45 AD, when he said that ‘the mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled’. The spark of that fire can only be relished once you are forced to step out of your comfort zone and thrown into the unknown as in a crisis that we are now.
Crisis can fill your mind with doubt, confusion and inaction or it can fuel your mind with the fire of creativity, rewarded by some growth in intuitive knowledge, strengthening of character, or initiation into a higher consciousness.
A crisis, like the one we are emerging from, triggers new needs and habits.
For instance, the 2002-2003 SARS pandemic in China was a huge factor for the rise of e-commerce giants like Alibaba. Duncan Clark, author of Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, writes, “[SARS] came to represent the turning point when the Internet emerged as a truly mass medium in China…. Crucially for Alibaba, SARS convinced millions of people, afraid to go outside, to try shopping online instead.”
Having said that, in this article, we draw inspiration from 5 books that can help change the pattern of your brand, land your victory and get you situated for the long haul.
Wrapping up with a Question
How will you use this moment in time and pivot your brand to serve the bigger context?
Amazon didn’t change the face of global retail market by replicating a physical store online. It created something new, using technology as the launchpad to change the industry entirely while putting consumers’ interests first.
Jack Bogle did not create another mutual fund. He introduced Vanguard’s at-cost quasi-nonprofit structure. Vanguard index fund gives all cost savings back to shareholders.
Started with Vanguard and spurred on by Robinhood and Wealthfront, these financial companies have taken what “was an expensive, elitist, analog and slow process and made it the opposite: accessible, affordable, digital, and instantaneous.”
And it does not end here. Science and technology is carving up new frontiers.
Rainmaker that harvests fresh water from humidity in the atmosphere is directing their business towards becoming a major global water utility company. It’s model: water as a service.
Now, that is a contextual and purposeful business model, given the fact that by 2030, 47% of the world will fall into severe water stress. (source: OECD Environmental Outlook, 2008)
Thoughts and ideas are welcome.
Until next time!
Right now, if you are feeling inner disquiet and debilitating disharmony, you are not alone.
You have lost your routines, friends, activities, sports, independence, time in nature, travel, and necessary novel stimulation. The best technology can offer is simulation of physical events and or webinars. Like zombies, you are doing your part in attending without much participation and even less expectation. In fact, brands are at a loss on how to maintain it's prominence and be at the center of their clients' decision making process.
The controversy of COVID19 compiled with the uncertainty, the pandemic is proving to be a challenge in providing visibility into fluid plans. According to Newscred, 42% indicated that their marketing team lacked the bandwidth to quickly create new content as the result of shifting priorities with another, 40%+ indicating that managing realignment of budget & people resources is problematic.
For so long we were so focused on tangible goals, that now we are at a total loss on how to go after our goals, garner leads, construct conversation and finally package our conversion. I believe, the clue lies in going beyond the surface and take a dive into the mental construct of your audience.
Building Your Butterfly
COVID-19 gives you a reason to examine your ecosystem, dismemeber the parts that is not working and design a brand configuration that is strong enough to survive and thrive.
“Caterpillars chew their way through ecosystems leaving a path of destruction as they get fatter and fatter. When they finally fall asleep and a chrysalis forms around them, tiny new imaginal cells, as biologists call them, begin to take form within their bodies. The caterpillar’s immune system fights these new cells as though they were foreign intruders, and only when they crop up in greater numbers and link themselves together are they strong enough to survive. Then the caterpillar’s immune system fails and its body dissolves into a nutritive soup which the new cells recycle into their developing butterfly.”
The caterpillar is a necessary stage for brands to become relevant and sustainable. It is the precursor in defining the new developing reality. The task is to focus on building the butterfly — the success of which depends on powerful positive and creative efforts in all aspects of brand deliberation and brand engagement.
Finding Opportunities During Challenging Times
The COVID-19 crisis is daunting and disorienting. There is no doubt that this health crisis has turned our personal world and the business world on its head. Health crisis has changed our lives in fundamental ways and turned the business world on its head. For example, brand that were planning to attend or host trade shows, conferences or other events have to quickly pivot to virtual events.
According to Newscred research, there is a significant increase increase in investment in the following channels:
This means that marketers are either having to venture more deeply into areas they’ve only dabbled in, like video creation for example, or, more likely they are needing additional resources to help them create the content they need to survive in the coronavirus chaos.
So, brands have a chance to expand their reach through the use of new channels and agencies and freelancers have an exciting opportunity to serve new clients with new and creative services.
Keep your spirits high. Stay Positive!
Seth Godin rightfully puts it, "The cost of inventing, prototyping, manufacturing and especially advertising a new thing, concept, service or organization is a tiny fraction of what it used to be. In some industries, you can do it for 1% of what it used to cost."
So Where Does that Leave You?
All of a sudden you have 50 more competitors, all selling the same stuff, all competing for the limited attention and delivering at best, an okay product with too many features that perhaps results in mediocre benefits for your end-user. So what are you to do?
We all acknowledge that we are living in a fast changing environment. Technology has permeated the everyday life of the marketer. And, we have all come to the grasp that, marketing is no longer about "creating a myth and selling; now it's about finding a truth and sharing it.” Because, you cannot be selling a myth in a transparent, technological age where everyone is watching your every move. At the end of the day, people expect truth, transparency and real-time engagement. This puts a huge burden on marketing. But, it also helps your organization to be more open "to ways to deliver on the purpose outside the specific products you sell while at the same time being very clear about what is part of the purpose and what is outside the purpose." Above all, find a way to be relevant to your end users all the time. Google and Apple have achieved high brand capital because we engage with them all the time. It is seamless, it is sub-conscious and it has become a part of our social psyche and our social behavior. These brands do not have to fight for our attention. They have embedded themselves in our daily doings.
What is the Worst Thing That Can Happen To You?
John Hagel, management consultant from Deloitte & Touche states that the business of creating wealth is no longer about funding or innovation or about the supply chain management. The new battle ground is the battle for human attention.
Failing miserably in getting people to pay you attention.
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. Franz Kafka