The top digital trends expected to influence the next generation

Bronwyn van der Merwe

AdNews: Consider this: the pace of change will never again be as slow as it is now. This quote from Matthew Bishop, an editor for The Economist, at the 2015 Innovation Forum, is a startling clarion call.

Amidst the rapid pace of innovation, changing consumer expectations, and the plummeting cost of advanced technology, there is immense opportunity – for organisations, governments and society.

Digital is having a profound effect on business, disrupting traditional business models, ousting incumbents and changing consumer and citizen behaviours.

Here’s a closer look at 10 digital trends expected to influence the next generation of experiences in the year ahead, and how organisations can use them to stay competitive.

1. Watch. It listens.

In today’s society, something is always watching or listening. Watches encourage us to run further, fridges notify us when we’re out of milk, and televisions alert us when our favourite show is about to begin. The latest crop of Wi-Fi devices and listening technologies, such as Amazon’s Echo platform, have created a wealth of data, allowing devices to respond in real-time through intent-driven, increasingly effortless, ‘micro moments.’ These ‘moments’ fulfil immediate needs and have changed the way we consume.

This personalised approach to consumer purchase behaviour has resulted in a reduction in the time spent per visit when purchasing products and services online. As shorter interactions increase competition between brands, organisations need to learn to better aggregate listening data. Organisations can deliver on ‘micro moments’ by considering who to partner with to distribute a product or service, reassuring consumers they are being heard and considering concerns around privacy and data protection.

2. Service with manners.

With great power comes great responsibility. As smart technology evolves and big data exponentially grows, an organisations’ ability to leverage vast data sets in an ethical manner is more important than ever. In a data economy, the most successful organisations appreciate that digital trust must be earned.

‘Privacy by design’ is being embraced at companies like Microsoft, embedding privacy standards and a human-centric approach into technology and product design from day one. Organisations should ensure the intent of a data exchange is upfront, friendly and clear, and act out interactions as if they were a ‘conversation on stage’. Imagine a stranger on the street is being asked for private information. How would you go about it in a way that would make the individual comfortable?
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Bronwyn van der Merwe

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