Consumers are entering the era of predictive information. A time when they don't seek out information. Instead, information they need seeks them out first. The tech companies know this. They're adapting and accelerating to be the leader when it comes to answering questions before their users even think to ask.
Google Now reminds you to leave the office soon, so you don't get stuck in traffic. Microsoft's Cortana personal assistant will remind users to reach out to their personal connections based on what is going on in their lives. Then there's Apple's Siri. Apple recently formed a business partnership with IBM, the makers of the Watson computer. Imagine what Siri could know and do for users with Watson on the backend.
It's not just personal assistants. LinkedIn recently launched Connected, an app that sends users personal recommendations and reminders to reach out to connections when they've changed jobs or are celebrating an anniversary. It also syncs with your calendar to give you an update on who you're about to meet prior to a meeting.
As information gets better, so do the devices that deliver it. The rise of wearable computers like the Moto 360 and Google Glass mean less pulling out phones and seeking out information and more information being delivered automatically to users.
The question is… where do brands fit into all of this?
Making Our Pitch
Consumers seeking out information is our opportunity to intersect (not interrupt), offer assistance and essentially make our pitch. We do this in search results, the News Feed, the inbox and more as users work to consume the content they were looking for in the first place. When information comes to them, the hunt is over and brand opportunities have been circumvented.
People Value… Value
It's not as dystopian as it may seem. Although, It's hard to see where this innovation will ultimately end up. Apple, Google, Microsoft and others are investing heavily to make sure it goes somewhere significant, however.
The advertisers who win in this future are the ones who are winning to day. They're creating content and experiences that are valuable to consumers. Experiences that improve lives or bring a bit of joy are and will continue to be sought out and shared by friends. Plus, algorithms will recognize this and make sure the best experiences make it to users.
This will require a mind shift for marketers that have gotten used to creating destinations and Internet outposts for consumers to come to. In the world of algorithms and anticipatory delivery of content, our experiences must travel to them.