Original insights in international business and marketing

9 Huge Tech Waves to Ride Now

Tech Trends to Surf Now

Surf’s Up!

The incredible rise of new technologies and the wired universe unfolding around us are creating endless possibilities for companies to radically shift business models, accelerate innovation or simply outperform the competition.  But is this just another empty promise or perhaps a phenomenon limited to high tech firms?  Can any of these advancements be applied to other, less tech heavy industries?

Business leaders in ‘sleepier’, less tech driven markets should take note of several profound technology driven or technology-enabled trends.  Together they hold the promise of radically changing the competitive landscape within even the most sedate and low tech industries.

1. Wearable Tech
The world is on the cusp of a revolution in wearable technology.  Google is at the forefront today with Glass but others aren’t far behind.  Samsung just launched their smart watch and Apple is rumored to be doing the same.  Take a moment to imagine how and where such wearable tech devices could influence your particular business.  Would they make your products safer, smarter or better integrated?  Could a physician, for example, provide better diagnostics, improve patient care, or record more data from each patient interaction?
2. 3D Printing
With 3D printers available for 2,000 dollars or less, isn’t it time for your firm to start experimenting with and exploring the possibilities that this technology offers?  From rapid prototyping to customized production, 3D printing could offer your business a novel way to accelerate development, conduct research or capture the attention of your customers.
3. Predictive Data
If your business, products or customers generate data in any quantity, you owe it to yourself to start exploring this new Eldorado.  New business empires will rise from the recording, analysis and interpretation of massive quantities of seemingly trivial data.  Don’t get caught without a Big Data strategy and leverage it to your advantage by being one of the early birds in your industry to use it.  But data in whatever amount is meaningless if it doesn’t translate into actionable insights.  So heed these words carefully:  Capture it, Analyze it and Predict from it.
4. Green Tech
In a world of finite resources and increasing climate sensitivity, every business needs to think of ways to reduce their environmental footprint.  The likelihood that firms can succeed without a green strategy is getting smaller each year.  Don’t be the last in your industry to take up the green banner.  Early adopters will turn this to their advantage and laggards will eventually have to comply but without the positive PR buzz.
5. The End of Ownership
A new generation of consumers are coming on-line who do not necessarily play by the same rules that previous generations did.  They are less motivated by the acquisition of wealth and assets.  They seek alternative ways of achieving their goals without resorting to the classical buy-use-dispose model our economies are heavily dependent upon.  Sharing, bartering and recycling are not just sociological trends, they represent potential business models.  Savvy leaders will recognize this movement and adapt their business models  accordingly.  Think of leasing, renting, trading, sharing, swapping as new means of conducting business.  Do your customers really need to physically own your solution to use it?
6. Mobile Everything
As smart phones become ever more omnipotent and omnipresent, they have become or soon will become the primary point and source of all our modern day communications.  Businesses therefore need to adapt their communication strategies (ads, videos, website, etc…) to this new reality.  Whatever your industry, you need to map out a mobile marketing strategy to ensure you are still accessible and therefore relevant to your mobile audience.
7. Digital Marketing
The days of traditional broadcast advertising are fading.  Consumers are tuning out all the background noise of advertisers and building walls to shield themselves from the overwhelming barrage of commercial messages.  They decide what businesses and brands to interact with based on their own agendas, beliefs and needs.  Companies need to respond by creating quality digital content and trustworthy channels that customers will actively seek out.  If your business has traditionally relied on classic, broadcast, outbound marketing (think: brochures, advertisements, direct mail, etc…), consider this your wake-up call.
8. Customer Engagement
The digital revolution holds the promise of greater and deeper connections between brands and customers.  These relationships, however, need to be built and nurtured.  Customers looking for fewer but more meaningful relationships in their lives will favor companies that can connect with them on a more personal and sustainable basis.  Common causes or shared values will become the cement that binds customers to some businesses more than others.  Digital and mobile platforms will become the means through which companies will engage with their customer base.
9. Connected Everything
Thought the internet was just for iPhones and computers?  Think again.  Before you know it, the objects and appliances in our lives will partake in the connected world too.  Behold the era of remote access/lighting/surveillance/etc where the simplest lightbulb, fridge or thermostat will be managed and controlled via the web.  Think of how your products can become smart(er), tracked, and/or connected.  Imagine the day when you always know where everything is, when products warn you before events happen, and when you can remotely monitor everything in the home or workplace.  That day is here.
It is important to ocasionally remind ourselves that every industry, every company, every brand is vulnerable to change.  But this is not a fear-mongering blog.  This is just a gentle reminder that what some can dismiss as simply not applicable to their particular situation, can in fact be opportunities and competitive advantages waiting to be unleashed – in the right hands.  Yours perhaps?

photo credit: Éole via photopin cc

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October 2013

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Andrew Hyncik

Andrew Hyncik

Parifornia is the creation of Andrew Hyncik, an experienced International Marketing executive who's lived and worked for over 20 years in both Europe and North America.

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