I would propose a correction to one of Benjamin Franklin’s famous quotes.
“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”
I think he missed a third certainty: technology advances. Since early inventions such as the cross bow or sword to the digital society of today, social patterns have changed as new weapons, inventions or technology advances are introduced into a culture or society. Early warring nomads with a weapon advantage expanded their geographical reach to take precious resources, land and women … and as a result, these actions then changed cultures.
Today’s technology advances can be attributed in part to the proliferation of digital data that is increasingly universally available – viewable to an audience of one, or to a much larger group. The way we interact, communicate and entertain as part of our social lifestyle has changed, and will continue to do so, as a direct response to this technology advance. As marketers, we must also change.
For example, the changing technology advance of the digital video recorder (DVR) has triggered a new social behavior of fast forwarding through commercials. Commercial communications effectiveness as a branding or lead generation tool has declined, reducing the return on investment of an advertising spot.
These types of changes necessitate a questioning of prior lead generation and business development techniques. By examining emerging social patterns, new opportunities for marketing communications can be revealed, often better than the approaches they replaced. The objective of a marketer hasn’t changed. What has changed is the medium and method of attempting to influence a purchase decision to be in favor of their product or service.
The key is to reach out to where people are socially interacting, to then be part of that community, which will then assist with your marketing objectives. This is why social networking communities are so hot right now, and why every marketer is under pressure to understand this medium and figure out how to monetize a revenue model tied to this activity.
Look at the Internet, as a form of lead generation, and an example of how good can come with the digital revolution. Google is a very profitable company because their ad revenue model is highly effective. Never before have marketers been able to pin point prospective customers by filtering search activity by selective words and phrases, with very calculated return on investment to better fine tune spend rates and ad performance metrics.
One of the toughest challenges to deal with in times of technology advances is when your own business or industry becomes a victim in the steadily advancing society. No one wants to be the next buggy whip manufacturer, yet in order for change to occur, there must be a thinning of the herd to make room for a new wave of advancement and enlightenment.
Gordon Benzie is a marketing adviser and business plan writer that specializes in preparing and executing upon business plans and marketing strategies. Gordon can be found on Google+.