robotics

Will robots take our jobs? That’s not even a question anymore, the answer is a resounding YES, the more pertinent question and one I think a lot of people have chosen to take an ostrich ‘head in the sand’ approach to (though I think the English language has given ostriches a bad rap, they don’t really do that…anyway I digress and I have just started)  is  – where does it leave us emotionally driven organic life forms?

Most global think tanks do seem to agree on this one – things ain’t looking that bright for the so-called superior beings on the planet, in an interesting case of biting the hand that feeds (creates) you, anywhere between 25 to 50 % of jobs will be lost for good to automation /robotics etc.

I keep thinking am I being a Luddite…as in the “Luddite fallacy” – people who believed that mechanisation would be death of employability – while they were proven wrong and somewhere I am hoping that I will be too, because isn’t the bright side of this story supposed to be that automating routine work would mean more creative work for me to focus on; but there seems to be a robotic spanner in the works…
There is a school of thought, one that I would currently subscribe to, that says the concept might not hold true anymore – as if jobs that disappear from one sector and aren’t adding to jobs in other sectors, I mean with technology only growing faster and more engrained in every aspect of our lives, it’s only obvious, even without AI (the fact that you reading this on a smart machine in the palm of your hand more powerful than the computer that launched the Apollo 11, is proof enough) and what if society isn’t able to evolve and adapt faster than technology then what happens?

What does this mean for a country and its people – we already have serious youth unemployment problems today.
What  happens when a large percentage of unemployed youths think they don’t have a future if you take away the element of hope and the silver lining that things will get better – the newspaper headlines of rioting as a result of civil instability seems to the first visuals that come to mind,

Here’s what happens if 45+% of a country is unemployed  – 1)  They are not paying taxes so where is the government going to have money to support 100% of the population and 2)  They are not consuming – if they aren’t consuming sooner or later the cycle of production would have to stop…the wheels come off…you get the picture.

There is an urgent need for massive amounts of retooling, forget re-tooling…I would go as far as to say reimagining (65% of children entering grade school this year will assume careers that don’t yet exist) .

While individuals and families need to think about this with a degree of urgency; Policy makers, economists and planners need to look at this with a state of PANIC (of course they need to get their heads out of the sand first)

Can we at least start a conversation somewhere…Here perhaps or at our local and state legislators, maybe we need to nudge more than a few people…

A life lived in “micro-moments”

 

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“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away” or “Life is the sum of the chances we take and the moments we seize”, whichever school of thought you subscribe to consciously or subconsciously as an individual, as a marketer you now have access to almost every moment of a consumer’s life, in fact, not just moment but what Google now refers to as “micro-moment”

BTW, just in case you don’t consider me or Google enough to define it for you, here is what the AMA (American Marketing Association) has to say “A micro-moment is a mobile moment that requires only a glance to identify and delivers quick information that you can either consume, or act on immediately”

For the first time in history you now have access to every micro-moment in a consumer’s life…the question is what will you to with it, or what can you do with it?

Today with analytics tools you know exactly when a potential customer has a craving for Chinese food / Adidas Incurza cricket bat / Star Wars Cast Signed Autographed 8 X 10 RP Photo #8 – Mint Condition / Tom Cruise’s latest blockbuster or just Tom Cruise in general, the possibilities are endless and so are the options to satisfy them.

Digressing, in my case today, it’s the new OnePlus 2 and trust me, OnePlus guys are just making it harder by not doing enough to capture my need, which is almost reached an obsession right now.

But, you as a marketer know exactly what someone wants before they  have made up their minds, not because of some magic 8-ball but because the consumers tell you outright – as they are searching for it on their mobiles. A recent Google/Ipsos study has the stats to prove it:

  • 67% of millennial agree that they can find a YouTube video on anything they want to learn
  • 91% of smartphone users turn to their smartphone for ideas while doing a given task

Add to that beacon technologies and wearables and imagine the depth of access you have (no no no that’s not what I meant…) will circumvent the intrusiveness debate here and stay focused on the marketing potential.

It’s pretty much the norm of how people “multitask” now. Our buying decision-making journeys are fractured into hundreds of real-time, almost sub-conscious intent-driven micro-moments.

Each one is a critical opportunity for brands to shape our decisions and preferences.

So will you be the one that answers next time your customer wakes up in the middle of the night and searches “…what color streaks in my beard will bring out the blue in my eyes?”

 

 

Attention is a gift!

information-overload

The title of a recent @briansolis blog caught my attention, well and for a surprisingly longer time than I would have liked, reading the blog and then the LinkedIn e-book associated with it “Attention is Currency”, made me realise how much of an anomaly that was, as Brian goes on dramatically elucidate that our attention spans are down to 8 secs…(there is a house-fly joke there somewhere, but I meander …and in the process validate the hypothesis…though I think it’s more of an established theory now…and there I go again)

Trying hard to come back to the topic, made me realize is that really what we have become? I mean one hears of phrases like ‘instant gratification’ generation thrown around almost all day, but what does that really mean. We know the most obvious references to dating or the lack of it when it comes to lifestyle preferences of the generation – but what does it mean to a marketer.
How do you be the ‘heartthrob’ for a generation that would have moved on to the next “flavor of the month, scratch that …of the second”? How does a marketer keep the customer’s attention for longer than the now scientifically proven 8 secs? While there are 4.6 Billion (yes with a B, pieces of content being created every day) to fight you for that 8 seconds of attention.

Well I can’t begin to fathom the genius of my 8th grade English teacher who saw this coming all those years ago and tried so hard to cement “Succinct, Succinct, Succinct” (it’s a funny word right! and said three times still makes me giggle, just the words, not if I hear them in her tone of voice) into our writing style. I apologize Mrs.M, I am still trying, I promise to cut a few runny sentences from this piece as well.

Not to mention that this validates, someone who definitely doesn’t need my validation, the master attention grabber himself, Steve Jobs, he had it nailed down pat, and I don’t mean with his bare minimum text on slides, which in itself is commendable, but in his messaging recall about the “Think Different” campaign way back in 1997. Simple black and white headshots and two words…he knew for sure what was coming. The true genius of the man though is not the succinct (someone listened to you Mrs. M) copy – two words on the page, but the clearly identifiable powerful story behind the visual.

That is a universal and time-tested truth that marketers can take solace in, no matter how much the medium changes (140 characters, 6 sec of video) the crux to grabbing attention will always be the same, a powerful story, a story one can relate to, identify with, how you tell it is now entirely up to you. (but yes…preferably in 8 seconds)