How does autonomy affect marketing

I make many predictions, some work out to be accurate and a few don’t make the grade. My predictions back at the start of this year on the recent Apple release seem to have been pretty accurate but it’s really the future tech space that I find most interesting.

One important area is autonomy. We are entering what I would call the late technology age now. The technology age started several decades ago and we are moving beyond human focuses technology to automated and autonomous technology. This is a significant shift not just in the tech itself but also in our behaviours and interactions with that tech.

Autonomy gets a lot of press, primarily in the auto space, so what does this mean for digital marketeers. As always I’ll break down my thinking into a few key points and, as always, your thoughts are very welcome in the comments below.

1. Using technology

By 2020 – in just over 3 years time – we can predict that at least 40-50 billion devices will be internet connected. This already includes speakers, heating fridges. It will go on to include Windows, doors, air con, gates, pet tech and much more. It will also be spread across more of the world as Facebook and Google’s projects to connect the world continue at pace (despite the recent satellite explosion setback for Facebook courtesy of SpaceX. We will find that we start to interact with tech more but we feel it less. Interaction will move away from clicks and towards voice and gesture. Effective tech will not feel like tech at all – that will define how UX evolves.

2. Free time

Autonomy will create more free time for humans. Those of us that commute into an office in a vehicle that we need to focus on piloting will suddenly be able to browse and shop during our commutes as our focus is less in demand. This will free up hundreds of millions of consumers during rush hours and will therefore affect shopping patterns and engagement. We need to be prepared for these kind of shifts.

3. Security

Those of us that have spent the last 20 years trying to remember hundreds of passwords will have this weight removed. One less thing to worry about! Security has already begun to move in this direction with mainstream finger print recognition. Facial recognition is gaining pace and voice will also play a part. This will increase security whilst reducing interaction. We do need to be aware of the new hacking techniques this will bring. We need to consider how we build these techniques in our businesses.

There are many more considerations but these are my thoughts for a Friday morning. You can read more about changing technology and what this means for your digital strategy in my book, Digital Marketing Strategy.

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