How It Is – Rapid Technological Change (Part one of three)
Restating the obvious, there is much more news and information to process due to rapid technological change. It is more important than ever to stay up to date with technological change because it drives markets and business. Technology offers opportunities. New or improving technology in one area interacts with technology in other areas. Technological cross feeding provides synergy so that 1+1 = 5. How rapid is change today? Some examples:
Global Share of Social Media Generated E-Commerce Revenue
…………………..4th Quarter year-to-year
……………………..2013 2014 Index
Facebook…………..30% 68% 267
Twitter………………27% 11% 41
Pinterest……………19% 8% 42
E-Mail……………….16% 8% 50
Google +……………..6% 3% 50
All Others……………2% 2% 100
Source: Bi Intelligence
Over a recent 12 month period Facebook more than doubled its share of e-commerce revenue, from 30% to 68%, while the shares among the other popular platforms were shrinking rapidly. Such large and rapid change among key digital services greatly impacts their relative marketing importance and opportunities. The pace of change is so great that the common 12 month annual business planning and budgeting cycle does not work well. Facebook recently has increased its dominance for generating E-Commerce revenue. E-Mail Marketing has dropped by 50% according to this source.
65% of US adults use social media 2015, up from just 7% in 2005
Source: Pew Research
The rapid rate of change among business services involving technology is dizzying.
Given such volatility should businesses create 12 month marketing plans and budgets a year in advance? New tactics are needed to take advantage of the opportunities created by such rapid technological change. Today plans must be designed to change quickly and to be revised continuously.
Due to rapid technological change many find their strategic plans are obsolete before the ink dried.
Rapid change offers opportunities to those that act faster. For instance this year (2015) some businesses decided to use Twitter for the very first time. But note that a larger number of past users of Twitter either stopped using Twitter or have cut way back. Facebook has become even more important this year (2015) largely because of its rapid growth among adults and especially among older retired adults and well as delivering entirely new services which are important to marketers.
Three necessary solutions:
1.Increasing Market Awareness “We did not see it coming.” Is no excuse!
Today managers facing rapid change must insure they have increased awareness about what is happening with technology and its impact on their markets and business opportunities. They must collect and process more technological information to understand what is happening.
As in nature, it is survival of the fittest. Animals evolve very powerful senses, increasing awareness necessary for survival in a competitive world. Increasing market awareness is a necessary business strategy. “We didn’t see it coming.” Is no excuse!
Solutions for Increasing Market Awareness
1.Gather and process technological information and business intelligence efficiently.
2.Foster the importance of Technological Awareness throughout the company.
3.Minimize friction in communication by keeping everyone in the awareness loop.
Gathering technological information efficiently –
Due to the need to process more information, valuable resources have evolved specifically to help managers to keep up and increase their awareness of today’s rapid technological change. These excellent resources collect and distill information and separate wheat from the chaff. These resources do most of the work to deliver timely information. They report, review, and analyze what is happening with technology today and the impact of technology on marketing.
It is impossible to keep up with technological change without using such resources.
Below is a list of ten excellent resources which collect and distill technological marketing information:
Each resource approaches reporting and reviewing technology differently, having different focus, perspectives and a range of sophistication. Look for yourself at these ten to find resources which satisfy your needs to increase your awareness of technological and marketing change.
Some deserve special mention:
Ars Technica is a well-organized Technology reporting service organized by topic. Ars Technica offers an open forum covering a broad list of subjects. Reporting is thorough supporting power users and experts. The user base is large and Ars Technica’s registered members are encouraged to join expert forums and post comments and questions about the reported topics. Comments and ideas offered by its large expert user base add significantly to its value. It has been active many years and contains a wealth of information.
TechCrunch is highly popular and has broad awareness among the technology community. Due to hosting and participating in many important Technology industry events having high attendance and participation TechCrunch is constantly in the news. TechCrunch has been delivering free weekly live video podcasts for many years. TechCrunch reviews and reports are frequently referenced by other sources. TechCrunch is a favorite among many bloggers and Tweeters that post links and quote TechCrunch content and stories. Experts employed by TechCrunch as writers and bloggers have hundreds of thousands of followers to their blogs and reports. A number of these reporters are founders and owners of major technology companies and services. They have made themselves available to share ideas and answer questions and industry insider information.
Techmeme aggregates technological information from a multiplicity of sources including the major media (such as the New York Times and Fortune Magazine) whenever they do important technology reporting. It offers broad reporting of the highest quality sources by summarizing these reports and linking to the content. Techmeme has a more sophisticated user base. (Their slogan is Not for Dummies) Techmeme is considered the daily first stop for technology news.
I am not going to take time to review all ten of these in detail. All of these are useful. Go ahead and look these up and decide which best fit your needs.
Businesses people must use expert services because mainstream media and network and local TV news unfortunately do a poor job reporting about technology. Their technology reporting often delivers misinformation. They get the story wrong by missing what is important. Because mainstream media is driven by ratings, reporting is alarmist and exaggerates dangers about technology, the Internet, computers and smart phones, reporting more alarming stories about exploding phones rather than the positive information about useful business technology.
Weekly Pod casts and Webinars:
Some prefer watching experts discussing technology “live.” There are many pod casts and webinars found online. For instance each week Steve Gillmor from TechCrunch hosts an hour long live pod cast titled The Gillmor Gang. He is the technology editor, commentator and producer of this long running program for TechCrunch. The subtitle is; “A lively Discussion on What’s Hot in Technology.” The “gang” on the pod casts are experts. Collectively they have hundreds of thousands of followers in social media and reading their daily blogs and reports. If you are busy and cannot view the weekly pod casts or attend the webinars don’t worry. These are recorded and archived to view later.
Watching pod casts and attending webinars are not for all due to the time commitment. But many find them extremely valuable due to the opportunity to post comments and questions directly to experts. They react to the on-line community during live pod casts or webinars. They may debate and share opposing views too. These offer great learning experiences.
Due to rapid technological change the annual business planning cycle does not work today. Business owners or managers must improve their ability to collect business intelligence using resources and information from quality sources. This information must be communicated freely with less friction internally in order adapt their teams and revise marketing plans quickly.
Next – Part Two of Three Solutions