Are you ready for the future?
The year is 2045. Meat is scarce; we’re rethinking our consumption and main meals are plant-based with a side of crickets. It’s a cashless society and your robot friend, Destiny, literally needs to unplug and recharge at the end of the day. Art imitated life at Sensory Underground – an immersive dining experience featuring Tokyo Tina, in Federation Square’s underground labyrinth. This reality could be admired as utopian, or as dystopian, depending on which side of the coin you’re looking at. But it was genuinely an experience to delight all senses, and made the mind wander to a not-too-distant future. Recently I’ve been re-watching episodes of Dawson’s Creek and reflecting on the how ‘old’ the 21-year-old show feels. With my pending 30th birthday approaching, it’s forced me to reflect on ‘how times have changed since I was young’.
I used to have a Pocket Locker for diary entries before blogging and self-awareness were a thing
I used to wait hours to download songs from Napster praying they were ‘legit’ versions before Spotifying became a word for music streaming
I used to park without buying a ticket because I hated carrying coins on me, before PayStay meant I really didn’t have an excuse to not buy a ticket
How far forward will our society be 26 years from now? If we can imagine it and create an evening out of it, then surely the rate of change will take us on the journey incrementally and we won’t really notice the drastic differences until we reflect on it 21 years later. So then comes the call of duty for marketers. We are the custodians – often holding a time capsule with important data – piecing together who our customers are to make informed decisions later. But who will they be? Can we anticipate the future buyer – their wants and needs – and craft the ultimate experience with every interaction they have with our brand? It’s not just about future-proofing and keeping up with change, it’s about re-writing it and championing the way forward. Marketers – it’s time to be visionaries and forge the path ahead with 3 simple steps:
Keep learning and read often. Judi is always encouraging our team to dedicate time to read books and blogs, and listen to podcasts, but also reminds us that we’re responsible for our own lifelong learning habits. Google is such an invaluable resource to lean on here and doesn’t require a large chunk of your day, but is a practice that can be adopted in lieu of scrolling through your social feeds.
Step out of your comfort zone. Actively putting yourself into challenging situations forces you to rethink scenarios and can really help you put down your tactical cap and wear your strategic-thinking hat. I’m currently doing a secondment position with a client and the time-commitment and processes are challenging, but it’s also got me thinking about new ways of doing things and opportunities for the Property Republic brand and our clients.
Anticipate and encourage change. There’s nothing worse than naysayers complaining about change and how things aren’t being done in a way that they used to. Observe what’s happening around you, be prepared for new situations, and lead new opportunities. The business-to-customer dynamic is constantly changing – be aware of your landscape and grow with it.