Once the stable of the geek, the last decade has seen technology go mainstream. With affordable kit, falling prices and wide availability, anyone can now buy a little bit of tech magic on the high street.
At the start of the millennium, an internet with no wires, touchscreen pocket computers and always-on access to whatever you want, wherever you are, were the stuff of science fiction. Quickly, they became fundamental human rights for the Western world.
And we’ve only just begun. We are at the start of a new industrial revolution – an industrial revolution fuelled, like its predecessor, by new, awe-inspiring technology. This time, it’s digital technology that is its fuel.
But while consumers have grasped the revolution with both hands, businesses have been slow to leap on to the opportunity. In fact, in many cases, they have been inept.
Too many businesses are not prioritising mobility. They are turning a blind eye to a world that is changing fast. Unfortunately for them, their competitors are not.
Investing in technology and understanding the 'techspectations' of your customers are critical
Essentially, we’re heading back to the boom-and-bust years of days gone by. Businesses that embrace technology will survive and thrive. Those that don’t will not. Because being mobile, investing in technology and understanding the "techspectations" of your customers are a critical part of driving business success.
Mobility is the key driver and opportunity of the revolution, and the advertising industry has yet to even scrape the surface of what is possible.
Pretty much everyone walking the streets is doing so with a little black box in their pocket – a little black box that is able to harness more power than the average computer of ten years ago. The word "smartphone" doesn’t do it justice. It needs a rebrand.
Mix super-fast mobile networks with video and the information you are sending the operator, brands and sites you have signed up to, and there’s a heady cocktail of opportunity for smart advertisers.
The ad industry is being turned on its head by mobile. With the first generation of mobile-only consumers coming to the fore, the opportunities for a new wave of personalised marketing are huge. This generation has grown up knowing nothing other than a connected, instantly accessible world. Their boundaries regarding privacy are more accepting. They do not fear data. They want you to use it to make the brands they love interact with them in a more relevant way.
That little black box is a super-powered adaptable screen – a mobile billboard with immense reach and the power to personalise. And with a generation of mobile-only consumers demanding more relevance and engagement with the brands they love, a new era for advertising is on its way.
Mike Anderson is the chief executive and founder at Chelsea Apps Factory