By Baha Hamadi, Vice President Communications, Deep Knowledge Group
Augmented reality, virtual influencers, the metaverse, web3, NFTs, you name it. These are some of the hottest topics today. While they all have merits, they have accelerated the shift from human-to-human interaction to human-machine interaction. As a result, people today are longing for personal connections as opposed to software, devices or CGI-based characters, especially in the wake of the pandemic that has kept us apart for years. However, the pros surrounding the latest tech still outweigh the cons. Let’s take a look at the upside of tech in relation to communications and our daily lives.
In image above: Baha Hamadi, VP, Communications, Deep Knowledge Group
We’ve become virtual
Justin Bieber has been promoting NFTs on his Instagram. Without his fame and reach, these NFTs will probably never see the light of day. Creating demand through promotion is the whole idea behind NFTs. Many brands have already started NFT projects, and they’re selling. Many influencers this year, even on a smaller scale compared to Bieber, are leveraging their influence to be part of the NFT craze.
There is also a new type of emerging tech company called NFT service providers. They provide end-to-end NFT services including social media promotions, specifically through platforms like Twitter and Discord. Without popularity and publicity, NFTs are basically dead art—assuming they’re artistic in the first place judging from Justin Bieber’s NFTs! This is one-way technology is propelling influencers forward, allowing them to heavily capitalize on their following to promote and sell NFTs.
We’ve become faster
We’ve become faster at both life and work. Technology has enabled us to become faster at interacting with each other, working remotely, banking remotely, etc. Complex personal or work-related tasks can now be completed at a much faster pace.
We all lead busy lifestyles and we all know that time is money. The help technology provided in terms of time management is critical. Think of AI applications for automated investing or social trading. These apps don’t only save time but also promote inclusion for all, allowing everybody to actively participate more effectively in the global economy.
We’ve become conscious spenders
Technology-enabled us to save money in our interactions. It’s more cost-effective now to organize virtual sessions as opposed to physical events. Zoom, Teams, Skype, virtual event management platforms, and the list goes on. That’s all great and efficient but since it’s almost free and easy, people tend to take it lightly. You would probably prepare more for a presentation you plan to deliver in a physical event as opposed to a webinar. Regardless of medium and cost, we should maintain the credibility of our communications by treating all interactions, whether physical or virtual, equally.
We’ve become cravers of convenience
At the end of the day, we are creatures of comfort. Take the virtual travel booking agent or live translation when traveling for example, or self-driving cars. Think of drones and flying taxis. For those of us on the go, booking hotels and flights has never been easier. Studying marketing in college 20 years ago, I remember my marketing lecturer George Ghaleb saying: “Consumers are never fully aware of all alternatives when making a purchase decision”. Well today, Mr Ghaleb, with technology and a plethora of real-time apps such as Skyscanner and booking.com, we have instant access to virtually all alternatives.
We’ve become more opportune
Technology has made it easier for us to identify opportunities and bring our ideas to life. Digitization has unlocked massive potential for SMEs, which represent 96% of registered companies in the MENA region. SMEs are the backbone of the regional economy, and since they are mostly powered by tech today, tech becomes the lifeline of the regional business community.
With the rise of technology and with influencer marketing gaining more traction—from PR and social media agencies, social media professionals, content creators and brand strategists—we will potentially start seeing new market entrants on all fronts, and tougher competition. Perhaps we will soon see new tech-powered marketing agencies and solutions, or new AI-driven social media platforms that would go mainstream in the coming few years.
We’ve become accurate campaigners
We’ve become more accurate at reach and targeting in our campaigns. AdTech companies offering targeting algorithms or programmatic ads—provided their targeting parameters are properly derived—can enhance campaign reach, engagement and conversion by serving ads more accurately based on user data. Although not as accurate as we think—and hopefully we will achieve more precise targeting as tech and algorithms are refined—but this is still a great leap forward from mass advertising, or the “spray and pray” model which simply doesn’t work.