Things have changed a bit since Ian Betteridge, Editor of Alphr.com, started his first job in journalism at Mac User in 1995. His first issue did though correctly predict that “the internet will change the way we work, teach and make money.” We now live in a world where traditional boundaries between business and consumer technology are blurred or non-existent. The phone and computer you use for work will in all likelihood be very similar to those you use at home, as opposed to the working man’s chunky laptop and Blackberry combo of circa 2008.
Betteridge pointed out that in our lifetime there have been two main waves of technological change, the first with the personal computer and the second with the smartphone. The third wave is now upon us with the world of voice controlled machines which know everything about our lives with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home.
These devices have the scope to take the decision-making process away from us as individuals. Why bother researching what new TV to buy when Amazon already knows how much money you have, how big your current TV is, what your friends own and what is the best-reviewed product in the category. It probably also knows when you will be at home so it can schedule the delivery at a convenient time. Similarly, where we now have to curate Google’s search results ourselves and then do some research to answer the question we have, AI will soon just return us the correct answer and no more, taking all the leg work out of the process for consumers.
This though presents challenges for advertisers. With the process above it is possible to not see an advert from start to finish in the process, with AI making all the key decisions for in-market buyers. The importance of brand therefore, becomes even more vital. If your product becomes synonymous with a category it has far more chance of being searched for. Asking Amazon to send you a new TV might be what you end up asking, but what Sony want you to ask will be “Amazon can you send me a new Sony TV?”.