I’ve just read this article on the BBC site about the history of the iPhone and it makes for great reading, so much so that it got me thinking about the last twelve years and what has happened. Have a read on the BBC site.
Having read the piece and started thinking about the bigger picture of communications and how we have evolved over the past twelve years. It is either frightening or amazing, depending on what side you sit.
For me it is fascinating, the evolution of the smart phone, driven by Apple has changed the way we interact not just with each other but with everything and this, I think, is only the beginning.
What has changed is the talking, before the smartphone, we had emails, mobile phones and face to face interaction. Since the smart phone, we have changed the way we communicate with people and the internet. No longer do we have to rely on video conferencing suites to see peoples’ faces when we call them, no longer do we have to sit at a desk to search the internet and no longer do we have to go to a PC, or Mac, to send information to each other. And we don’t talk nearly as much as we used to.
But what has this achieved? From a marketing and communications perspective it has made our job easier and more scientific. We can target individuals as opposed to large groups. We can understand peoples’ behaviours better, meaning we only send relevant information and we can do all this quickly and far more cost effectively. The downside is we can never escape the big eye, we are always being monitored and are now open to millions of companies across the globe targeting us and it can be very tiring. The result is we become less responsive to marketing and response rates are and will continue to decrease.
There are numerous lessons to be learnt, not least that all content must be relevant, up to date and new, don’t keep repeating the same thing. However the main lesson from my perspective is never underestimate technology and its impact on us. If you look at the millennials, their whole world revolves around technology and to a large part smart phones. The next generation will be even more reliant on them and we have to evolve to engage with these groups or risk losing them completely. Those organisations that do, both internally and externally will be the ones that thrive.
So what do we do? I think it is simple, talk more and in particular to the younger generation, listen to what they have to say and watch what they do and then adapt.
And finally back to Apple and the iPhone, whilst there are times when I look at smart phones and hate them, mainly when I’m up a mountain skiing and still getting emails, overall they are the technical development that has changed the world and I believe for the better. We just have to learn how to use them properly.