Author: Arch
• Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Parent-teacher conferences not only offer some powerful insights into your child, but also into how fast our world is moving. I don’t mean, “oh my goodness, I can’t believe my boy is going into kindergarten.” I mean the skills a three-year old is expected to have.

“You should work on his computer skills at home,” my son’s teacher told us.

“Really? He uses his mom’s iPad at home, and probably can work it as well as I would expect of him,” I said. At home, my son has been using a touchscreen since he got his hands on his dad’s first iPhone. But, at his school, students need to use a mouse. There was the rub.

Parental insight: We must cover off on the basics and use a mouse on the computer at home with the boy.

Non-parental insight: Digital technology is disrupting the marketplace like never before. Today’s mainstream consumer technologies and behaviors will be yesterday’s news sooner than we can imagine.

What does this mean for us? Marketers can’t afford NOT to keep up with consumers’ seemingly voracious appetite for technology and the new behaviors that come with them.

New technology = New expectations

Despite the rapid change we have seen in consumer behaviors and technology adoption, we are really just scratching the surface.

Think about it:

You might say, “So what? What does this all mean to me today, as I sit looking at 2012 planning proposals?”

It means time is short for waiting and watching from the sidelines. Consumers’ expectations of brands and services grow as they interact with other brands and services within new channels. It wasn’t long ago that efforts such as mobile apps and live chat support were “nice to haves.” But that really isn’t the case anymore.

Innovation in marketing has never been more important.

Staying on the sidelines can put brands in a bad light in our ever more connected, fast-paced society and opens the door to competitors – some of whom might not even be an obvious threat in your category right now.

What can you do? Understanding what is on the horizon, taking some smart risks, and a little trial and error to find out what works best in a particular technology or media channel will create competitive advantages in the marketplace for marketers willing to take some chances.

Your audience is expecting you to be where they are.  Sit and wait at your own risk.

Argelio “Arch” Dumenigo, is a Senior Strategy Manager at Razorfish Health with more than 10 years of experience in digital media and technology. As a Senior Strategist, Arch applies knowledge and research of consumer, market, technological and social trends to help develop ideas that change lives

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