by Christina Hawkins, Globalspex
It’s a scary thought. We need to keep up with social trends and marketing changes or die. We, as business owners need to get in front of it.
MEANINGFUL, SIGNIFICANT, SHAREABLE.
Listening to Brian Solis, a self proclaimed philosopher and digital change maker. Brian was at the The Next Web (watch it here) conference last year.
He describes Digital Darwinism is the phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than an organization can adapt to it. You can’t complain about it and excuse yourself. You can’t blame it on society and accept it. Go further and embrace it and find out how you will own it.
We are the last generation of the Kodak moment and the Xerox machine.
Now we have Instagram.
Now we have, for 3 seconds, Snapchat.
Now we have scanners on our phone.
Now we have digital signatures and email.
Now we have ‘live photos.’
WHAT WILL BE NEXT TOMORROW?
THE SHIFT HAS HAPPENED.
Generation C = Connected.
They are the millennial generation but also the generation behind them.
Generation C are the connected consumers.
I am not talking about twenty year olds or teenagers. I am talking about the current population. These are the 40 year olds taking Uber. 50 year olds are sleeping in AirBnBs. 60 years olds are on Twitter. 70 year olds are texting their food orders.
SOCIAL SCIENCE WAS CROSSED WITH TECHNOLOGY.
The discussion needs to begin with how technology and society will evolve. How will we, as a society, change with it?
How will your business make an emotional connection to it?
As an example of this connected generation, Uber and AirBnB are part of the sharing and trusting environment. This is a social shift that came with the technology. Would these websites happen without the technology? Probably not.
Was the hotel industry or travel industry broken? No. Someone had a different idea on how to share empty rooms affordably and connect.
The technology was always there. As a web designer, I could have built another hotel website, but AirBnB didn’t build a website. The partners, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia, crossed an economy and social science with technology. It was a new direction that maybe a few had thought of but only they, with Nathan Blecharczyk (he was the technology), thought to do something about it. They started with Why (Start With Why book); rent was too high then moved to the how.
It disrupted the traditional sense of a hotel.
You can’t rely on technology to get you out of digital darwinism. You have to ask yourself, “How will I connect with it? How will I connect with them?”
What was working last year with your customers, may not work this year. It’s all too big to keep talking about the next big thing. By the time you’ve figured it out, it’s too old.
You have to think about how your customers will be living their lives and what part will you play in it?
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?
I realize we all can’t be Uber and AirBnB but digital darwinism favors those who try and keep trying.
Keep evolving from one idea to another.
Look for executing on innovation. Keep with it if you can. Try it. If it fails, try again.
Where can you streamline? How can you remove friction between you, sales, staff, and the customer?
Ask your customers what they need? What do they expect?
It’s tough, I know. I don’t have the answer. No one really does. Not even Brian Solis.
But keep researching your customers and what they need and want. It could be a simple answer that takes you to the next level.