What comes first – the problem that needs the technological solution or the technology that provides an innovative solution you couldn’t have imagined before it arrived?
Unlike medical research, where scientists are looking for a specific remedy for a relatively well defined condition, with clear protocols and clinical trial proceedures, new ideas for business often happen incrementally.
But in the last two years there has been a major paradigm shift in the way clients and customers interact with the organisations that supply them. Where once they were passive recipients of marketing messages, customer service and product development now they can comment, praise and condemn to an audience of millions should they choose to do so.
The difficulty for the organisations at the receiving (rather than the delivering) end is how to listen and react to this phenomenon and, more importantly, to harness it to grow and enhance their day-to-day business.
Fortunately, just as networking sites, wikis and user groups have created this phenomenon, new technologies in the form of virtual experience platforms, collaborative meeting software and independent broadcast media will enable companies to embrace the power of incoming marketing to create powerful networks of their own. Which will require a significant shift in strategic thinking since the inputs won’t necessarily match up to the forecast.
Organisations that are able to engage with their audiences, respond and react will be the winners in this new world of communication and marketing.