The Digital Age has now dawned in every corner of our shrinking planet…
and the golden years of the Industrial Age are gone forever.
Conglomerates and manufacturing giants are becoming more modular and distributed. What was a ‘mass market’ a few years ago has now become niche. The smart ones are adapting and the stubborn ones are being left behind.
So who is making the billions today?
It’s both David and Goliath – the disruptive start-ups and the switched-on corporations.
The internet is inherently disruptive
It’s changing the way we go about our lives, the way we communicate, the way we buy stuff.
We’re witnessing ‘disintermediation’, or the ‘getting rid’ of the middle-man.
The citizens of this revolution are either digital natives (born into the Digital Age) or digital immigrants (transitioned from the Industrial Age).
We’re all still first generation natives or immigrants, and this illustrates how brand-new the revolution is. Natives don’t know any different than to look forward.
First-generation immigrants have one foot in the past and one in the present, and many are innovating the present to become the future.
How will it be when the natives take the reins?
Expect more disruptive change as the generations roll around – new habits, languages, educational systems, social cultures, tools and gadgets, work and home life, and money – to name a few.
The internet has enabled a level playing field. Thinking small can be just as successful as thinking big. Ideas now come from anywhere. We live in an ‘always-on’ world.
The most successful businesses now operate from a distributed, not centralised, platform.
Development is agile, or able to quickly adapt to feedback, as in design/build/ship/test/learn
And publishing in the revolution? Everyone is now a publisher with their content being consumed immediately, in 5 or 6 places at once.
Ride the revolution
Great opportunities ride alongside great challenges, and we must flow with the digital environment in order to benefit from the changes now happening.
Today, the commercial advantage is given when we connect with our customers where they are.
We engage them with our brand’s story, which creates an interest and develops a relationship. If we don’t make this effort we simply disappear with a click.
In the digital marketplace we must always be thinking of ways to improve our customers’ lives. Trying things out. If they don’t work, iterate – try another version, come at it from a different angle, get feedback and listen to it.
This is the time to embrace the revolution. It’s young and malleable, and open to our ideas. Customers are still fresh and excited, not jaded and fed-up.
Those who ride the digital revolution cannot be bored because there’s so much happening, so much to explore and discover.
About the Author: Robin Kirkley helps business owners and companies create remarkable content for their brands so they enjoy a profitable return on their marketing spend.