In this guest post, Jaime Nelson (main picture), managing director of Hotwire Australia, argues that tech brands and products won’t ever reach their full potential without a good old fashioned dose of communications, too…
Technology. What kind of emotional reaction do you have when you see or hear the word? It can provoke a variety of emotions – excitement, fear, and anticipation being only a few.
For too long, communications and tech products have been seen as mutually exclusive. But as someone who has worked in branding, marketing, and communications for various technology brands over the past 20 years, this is not, and should never be, the case.
Tech brands and products simply can’t reach their full benefit to humanity without good communications. And by communications, I don’t just mean marketing and PR, but also communications to boards, investors, and employees.
Technology, and all its various iterations, is evolving faster than we are. When you think about it, the last 20 years has seen more technological revolution than all the previous years of human history combined.
The world has produced 90 per cent of its Big Data in the past two years. The number of smart devices collecting, analysing, and sharing data will hit 50 billion by 2030, and Forbes reports humans generate 2.5 quintillion bytes of data daily.
The amazing thing is, the vast majority of these innovations are being developed for humanity’s benefit. At the same time, this revolution is causing so much rapid change it generates fear and distrust in the very people it is designed to help.
This is where communications come in. There is absolutely no point in developing humanity-benefitting technology innovations if you don’t communicate the benefits in a way that overcomes fear and instils trust.
These are just a few examples of technological innovations designed to change our lives, and yet which also suffer from a bit of a comms problem:
The internet of behaviour (IoB)
The Internet of Things is commonly understood now, but what about the Internet of Behaviour? The IoB is the data collected by the IoT which provides valuable information into customer behaviour, interests, and preferences. The IoB attempts to bring all the data from smart devices, wearables, social media behaviour, etc., and relate it to human psychology.
Of course, data usage and collection is increasingly sensitive, and consumers are rightfully wary of their privacy. It’s also fair to say data production and collection has far outpaced privacy regulations.
However, studies repeatedly show consumers are prepared to make the trade-off of some privacy to facilitate personalisation and convenience.
The IoB has been developed not to collect data for data’s sake, but to better understand behaviours to improve customer and user experience. It will help businesses and governments make more informed decisions and improve service quality and offerings not only across marketing, but also for healthcare and other essential services.
Artificial general intelligence
There’s a generation of us who only think of ‘Skynet’ when we hear AI. However, AI has many human benefits, particularly when we narrow focus to artificial general intelligence (AGI). AGI is AI with human-like capabilities – so AI having the same sensory perceptions, ability to think, and problem-solving capabilities as us. Not better, just the same.
Forbes reports there is a 25 per cent chance of achieving human-like AI by 2030. ZdNet says AGI has a 50 per cent chance of rising to 90 per cent by 2075, and in most work environments in 2075, nine out of 10 companies will use AGI technology to make human lives better.
The next evolution of the cloud is the distributed cloud. This is where cloud services are distributed across several different physical locations but remain the responsibility of the single cloud provider.
Interestingly, the cloud still has a bit of a PR problem attached to security. The cloud is arguably more secure than your home PC, and yet it still viewed with distrust.
Distributed cloud solves latency issues, because businesses can have services located physically closer to their base of operations. It also helps compliance with regional privacy laws.
Trust is key
The red thread throughout these amazing technological innovations is trust; and this is where communications comes into its own. We call it making the technical, irresistible. What it really comes down to is we always need to seek out, and build technology branding, marketing, and comms on the true human benefits of the tech products we’re working with.
We’ve found it doesn’t matter how revolutionary or complex a tech product is – once we can show how it will improve human lives, we can create ongoing, meaningful relationships with people – all people.
We’re Hotwire Australia. A bunch of bright sparks, bound by an irrepressible spirit of mateship. Each business brand we drive is testament to the tech fanaticism that makes us irreplaceable. We hunt for human truths at the heart of tech complexity, and craft them into irregular tales of tech that leave investors, prospects and talent irretrievably drawn to act. From Scaleups to Stalwarts, we make the technical, irresistible. Find out more.
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