The Online, Digital World Is Changing | How Will  This Change Your Online Marketing?

The world is committed to a growth driven economy where we must keep inflating, supply a limitless consumption to feed the demands on ever increasing populations. Mass communication began with the invention of the printing press around 1440, over several decades this technology introduced the era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society. This history of Mass communication has been well documented and studied, this history and the arise and establishment of today’s printed press and forms of mass media communication and marketing has spanned more than 6 centuries. Just think about this a moment, 6 Centuries. In what is a comparatively monumental explosion the computer revolution and the evolution of the internet and mobile computing technologies has happened in less than 40 years.  That’s if we take the purchase of the first home computers at around 1977 and the launch of the internet in 1990. It is hardly surprising that advertisers that want to reach new and mass audiences through online marketing can barely keep up with these new audiences and technologies and are struggling to keep up.

Advances in mobile technology and the rapid growth of social media and online marketing means we are quite possibly at the start of a new era of mass communication.  Take Dan Abelow and his theory of an ‘Expandiverse” for example predicts a truly ‘you-centred digital world, a world where we are not restricted to a certain app or switching from one screen, perhaps your computer, or another, your phone perhaps but a world where future devices are continuous, and your control over these devices and the continuous digital world expands exponentially. The things in front of you, people, services, places, products, your “digital life will always be on, always open, always yours. You’ll live in your “shared Planetary Life spaces”

Technology is already able to map who you are, target marketing on social media pushes online marketing and information through its algorithms to feed your tastes, your wishes and world view. In this new world you will become used to your bespoke digital reality being fed to you and you can read and process it without effort. Multiple sources feeding audio, music feeds, video simply appearing and feeding from you and to you in the new virtual world

Ubiquitous Computing

We are on the cusp of ‘ubiquitous computing’ coined at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Centre in the late 1980s by scientist Mark Weiser.  Weiser described a world in which computers would become ‘calm technologies’, ” Unseen, silent servants, available everywhere and anywhere. Pervasive computing suddenly becomes a reality when  a combination of technologies emerge to make it possible: internet capabilities, voice recogintion, computer networking, artificial intelligence and wireless computing, and the truth is we are very nearly there.

We have seen for a long time the emergence of devices that are ‘invisible’ because a users primary interface with them is not through looking at or typing onto a screen but through speech, location, movement or habit. The rise of Smart building from shops, museums, cars and offices that interface with smartphones without us noticing, offering enhancements ranging from streamlining payments or to knowing our light, temperature and room preferences. Technology that can give answers to match not only your profile and preferences but where you are ,what you are doing,  who you are with.

The Death Of The Smart Phone:

According to Matt Weinberger (Business Insider UK 2017) Weinberger (The Smartphone is Eventually going to die) the smartphone will all but vanish the way fax machines did. According to Weinberber the groundwork for the eventual demise of the smartphone is being laid by Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon. the Iphone and smartphone are revolutionary devices, small enough to carry everywhere and handle a huge amount of daily tasks and are packed full of the right mix of cameras, GPS sensors to make apps like Snapchat and Uber possible. But Weinberger suggests looking at the smartphone from a different perspective, the desktop PC and laptop made up of combination of mouse, keyboard and motor, got shrunk and made the input virtual and touch-based. But look at the new Samsung Galaxy S8 recently unveiled, this ships with Bixby an new virtual assistant that Samsung promises will one day let you control every single feature and app with your voice and it also ships with a new verson of the Gear VR reality headset, developed in conjunction with Facebooks Oculus. Again the next Iphone, is meant to be shipping with upgrades to Siri along with features aimed at bringing augmented reality into the mainstream.

Weinbeger explains that all these various experimental and first-stage technologies will start to congeal into something we are going to find hard to grasp. Microsoft, Facebook, Google and the Google-backed Magic Leap are all working to build standalone augmented reality headsets, which project 3D images straight into your eyes.. are you freaked out yet? Even Apple is rumoured to be working on this. Augmented reality could in fact replace the smartphone, the TV and anything with a screen. “There is not much use for a separate device sitting in your pocket or on your entertainment centre if all your calls, chats, movies and games are beamed into your eyes and overlaid on the world around you”.

Gagetry like the Amazon Echo, Apple’s AirPods could become more and more important in this world as artificial intelligence systeme like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Samsung’s Bixby, Microsofts Cortana get smarter, there will be a rise not just in talking to your computers but having them all talk back.

Moving away form the terrifying Orwellian implications that lay in a  world when your sight, hearing and real world is blended seamlessly with technology so your views, wants and wishes are seamlessly fed and fulfilled, lets consider the implications on how marketing will change in this new world and how it already has changed.

Visual Multi-Media Online Marketing

So this is is quite possibly our future and it is not so far away, visual marketing will and already is evolving. Printed newspapers are already in significant decline, printed medium reaching small local distribution already begins to feel a little dated. So consider this emerging world where your ‘real world’ is blended seamlessly with an online-digital world, our social networks online constantly feeding us information and being updated as we walk around in our ‘real worlds’. Consider the role marketing will play in this world, considering how marketing on social networks is already becoming so cleverly targeted all you have to do is is say ‘I Do’ and you will slowly see an increase in wedding marketing pop up on your news feed and this is at the very basic level. Rumour would have it that elections are being won by subtle persuasion techniques, gently pushing populations towards making decisions that they are largely unaware of. For information to get notice and acted upon, business and marketing content will need to be streamed, it needs to be constantly new and increasingly more engaging to connect to an audience who are constantly bombarded by visual information. It will need to be video centric, it will also need to appeal on a very different level than the printed flyer or the advert in your local paper.

New World Marketing:

What We Market:

The way audiences consume has changed, people are much wiser to marketing strategies, although consumers are ‘fed’ information, the methods for searching credibility have become easier, consumers are now very savvy to a ‘rip-off’ or a ‘good-deal’, personal recommendations are searched on social media, it is not enough now to find a product or service and simply buy into it. Marketing needs to appeal to consumers on many more levels than just selling, marketing that works is that which pervades and is constantly being reinforced. Being noticed on social streams, also by personal recommendation, ratings, qualification. By ‘knowing’ that supplier, that person or that company. Marketeers are not just going to need to produce one advert to sell a product but a constant stream of media that needs to consistently reach and engage but also needs credibility and trust behind it.

How We Market:

The future in marketing must be to embrace the audio visual. Just looking at the growth of YouTube over the last decade, children today are becoming dab-hand at Vlogging before they reach their 10th birthday. The visibility of ‘self’ has changed dramatically over the last 10 years with the rapid growth of the ‘selfie’ made possible by the forward facing camera. The future marketing directors are already Vlogging to the world and learning how to do pretty much anything by watching YouTube videos. To photograph a product once for marketing, or video your demonstration once and walk away is not going to give future marketeers enough material. Marketing needs to be multi-media, a constant stream and mix of live chat, video updates, photography and graphics, consistently streamed to build a visual ‘story’ with enough engaging content to connect to the consumer on a personal level, regularly and consistently. Consumers will ‘tune-in’ (whether they realise it or not) to content that they find desirable and through complex algorithms will influence us as we make purchase and lifestyle choices in our new digital world.  If you can keep this level of engagement up, your information will keep being fed into  your consumers online world, scarily, to a certain extent this is already happening.


Firetree Visual Media.