Complete digital convergence is no longer a vaguely tangible concept to be pondered over in the blogs of ‘futurists’, technology experts, and industry visionaries. Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the middle of nowhere for the past half a century (and even then you’d probably put two and two together from all the bits of satellite falling out of the sky); it is increasingly apparent that ‘Moores Law’ wasn’t the ramblings of a madman and that time is now upon us.
We live in an age where you can (finally) buy those Nikes from ‘Back to the Future’, we can now measure the speed of ‘neutrinos’ – which are apparently whizzing around faster than the speed of light (I’m not referring to the offspring of ‘Neutrino’ from ‘Oxide and Neutrino‘ fame) – and there’s an app for your phone which makes it look like you’re drinking a pint.
We’ve seen a fundamental shift from the ‘open web’ to, well, Facebook; and even your grandma probably now has an opinion on the privacy issues surrounding this. The use of social ‘tools’ and platforms has become ubiquitous, and advances in technology have facilitated a cultural shift in the way we communicate, forge, maintain and manage relationships – whether that be with other people, or indeed brands.
For brands to succeed in this new era of consumerism, creating a seamless ‘social’ brand experience is key. The consumer is now in control of the conversation, and it is those brands which recognise this and successfully facilitate and deliver ‘collaborative experiences‘ (for want of a better term) that the customer values, who will fair best.
As noted in a recent IBM report ‘social media is ultimately about interacting with others with an expectation of getting something in return. Even if that “something” is intangible, such as a feeling of connectedness or affection, participants are actively, purposefully seeking value. For businesses, the challenge is unlocking what their customers care about and creating social media experiences that deliver that value.’