Over the last decade, five companies have emerged with the potential to aggressively reshape the landscape of multiple industries – and to change life as we know it. They are the "Tech Titans:" Amazon, Apple, eBay , Facebook and Google.
Collectively, these five companies are worth more than a trillion dollars. Their growth, their cash and their vision make them formidable competitors in any industry and complex partners for any company. All marketers should keep an eye on the "Tech Titans" for two big reasons:
- The rules of the game may change for your entire industry.
Not just the marketing rules, but the business rules at a strategic level. The changes may be driven by technology, and the catalyst will likely be one or all of the five Tech Titans because they all have the vision to make it possible and the resources to make it happen.
- Pay attention and you will learn along the way.
And the converse is true - ignore the Tech Titans and you risk putting yourself in catch-up mode (or never catching up). Marketers should stay attuned to the way these changes come about because they will learn as they adjust to the shifts in basic working assumptions that today are taken as given. Just as today's best practices may become obsolete overnight, tomorrow's best practices may emerge before our very eyes - and quickly.
Consider how everyday life has changed to understand the marketing implications of changes brought about by the Tech Titans:
- When was the last time you cracked open the "yellow pages" to find something? 1998? What kind of consumer might you reach with a yellow pages ad today? Are they your target?
- Do you check the street map in your glove compartment when you're lost? You probably check your GPS device or phone. So are your never-lost customers "checking in" at one of your locations? What are you doing about the data stream they are handing you as a present when they check in?
- Do you go to the record store to buy a music band's new CD or album because you like their new single on the radio? Doubtful. Or when you learn that the followers of a musical group or type of music matches your target market, do you think about how you engage them on their terms? Is your idea of engagement a flyer in a coupon mailer that goes to their house? Or do you interact with the band on Twitter and Facebook and then add your ads to the band's YouTube channel?
This focus on the "Tech Titans" has been put forth by SAS Executive Advisor Lori Schafer, and captured succinctly by my colleague and friend Anne-Lindsay Beall on the SAS Customer Intelligence Knowledge Exchange in this article:
Anne-Lindsay's article includes links to another published article about these thoughts, as well as an on-demand webinar you can tune into. Lori will be sharing some of her perspectives as she moderates a panel discussion at the NCDM Conference on December 3 - 5, 2012 in Orlando, FL.
There are many ways marketers can stay sharp and on the leading edge, and keeping an eye on the Tech Titans is one important way. I certainly plan to stay tuned - how about you?