Technological innovation is making its way into our lives to enable us to do more tasks quickly. No wonder it sometimes feels like we are moving at the speed of light as we experience more events and impressions than ever before.
I tend to pay attention to technological advancements that make a difference around sustainable innovation that measurably improves human lives. I was recently interviewed by Bret Waters, a lecturer at Stanford, for his 2019 Innovation Trends Report. The report outlines the impacts that technology will have on various industries in the coming year. Our conversation inspired me to identify a “so what” factor in terms of technological impact on consumers’ daily lives in the area of wellness — an industry many of our clients represent — and how marketing professionals can foster the adoption of new technologies that alter positive lifestyle choices.
5G And IoT Technology
The new generation of broadband will address current technological limitations of 4G by operating on multiple spectrum bands. It will deliver data to consumers much more quickly and reliably. And as the internet of things (IoT) continues to expand, an entire generation is growing up expecting continuous connectivity. They can connect with Alexa portals, through smartphones, via Fitbits, tablets, watches, fitness equipment and more.
These innovations can help people to be in better physical, mental and emotional shape by integrating a wellness system that works consistently. With new technologies, wearable devices are reaching a new level of sophistication that can deliver data accuracy, appropriate real-time feedback, seamless user experience and unification of data. The data can be scaled to create wellness recommendations and routines that people find relevant and timely.
I believe people will be able to better track their physical activity, plan fitness routines with others, personalize meal services, communicate in real time with health and wellness providers, and get discounts on insurance premiums all due to data being available via wearable devices.
This year will also see more businesses and individuals using augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) tools. AR enhances reality to aid human endeavors, and VR provides a simulated digital experience.
AR and VR are making a difference in health care. Both allow for more realistic medical training through the use of holograms and simulations of operating rooms, organ diagrams and patient interactions. For example, one company is engaging doctors with medical games to advance training of surgical procedures. And visionary Deepak Chopra, who brought meditation to millions of people globally, is now working to bring VR meditation to the masses.
When it comes to marketing, I believe AR and VR will play a transformational role in how agencies can create virtual engagement. This can bring customers closer to brands by giving people more entertainment, information and education.
The next step is a personal assistant who takes you through the shopping process that feels and looks like you are in the same space. The borders separating people in space will become more and more invisible due to technology, creating a realistic representation of offline experience online.
Access to health care has limitations around the world, with many individuals finding it hard to afford or visit a doctor. Telehealth consultants help provide long-distance and lower-cost assistance to these patients using advanced software that can deliver needed health information to the doctor and services to the patient. This system cuts costs by keeping vulnerable patients out of waiting rooms that are notorious for spreading viruses and providing faster, more convenient assistance.
I believe there will be more successful cases across service industries employing distant consultations. The marketing community has already been at the forefront of virtual teams. Our agency supports clients nationally and internationally, collaborating via video conferencing.
I believe we are going to see the expansion of new service businesses entering new markets with no physical presence while solely relying on virtual tools to get closer to new opportunities and customers. Many online retailers are reaping the benefits of virtual assistants/online chats already.
Marketing professionals can play an instrumental role in supporting brands that are scaling new technologies to improve human conditions. After years of spending my creative talents marketing products that make a positive difference, I have met many like-minded marketing professionals who are hungry to touch brands that can do more good.
With that being said, marketing professionals should focus on practical results, and provide tactics that help brands deliver on customer intent by focusing on purpose and results. It comes down to the basics. Start with pain points and offer a solution while being clear on how a product/service could change/improve lives. The critical step is creating a customer experience by crystallizing the following:
• Who are our target segments? Which segment represents the best opportunity? How can we capture each segment to deliver on customer experience? How do we execute?
• What does our customer look like in real life? Develop user personas of your ideal customer audiences to generate personalized conversations based on interests and behaviors.
• Identify each stage of the customer experience. Determine what customers are feeling, thinking and doing. Identify touch points to reach and engage customers, identify pain points experienced by customers and find a solution by analyzing insights and optimizing the experience.
At the end of the day, if a technology is not improving lives, then it lacks substance. I am passionate to support purpose-driven brands that deliver a better consumer experience and make our lives better.