Manav was born with an iPhone in his hand. He announced his arrival with a “Have arrived dude, lets party” with a hashtag #worldamazingplace, paid off all hospital bills using a wallet on his phone, and Ubered his way home. On the way he checked out some offers that flashed up on his phone as the cab went past the Toys’R’Us store and placed an order for the fancy looking whatevertoyitwas and opted for it to be picked up by his dad at the store near his home at a later date. He was carried into his home which had been well stocked and was in a new baby arrival readiness state. His parents had been busy on their iphones responding and selecting offers over the last few months for baby stuff that they knew they would need once the baby came. And things were all set up so that baby consumables and necessities would be delivered to their home on schedule in the coming months.
If I had written this sometime during the last few years of the last century and you had read it back then, you probably would have had your tongue hanging out in disbelief and said hey that’s science fiction and futuristic. But today, since it is neither so much fiction nor futuristic, you may not have your tongue hanging out in as much disbelief as you would have had sometime in the last few years of the 1900s. OK, so babies are still not born with iPhones in their hands, and they still do not Uber their way out of hospitals on their own, but it is definitely a future that is believable, and can be possible. And Manav soon is going to be old enough to have a bicycle that will allow him to ride into that possible!
Manav is part of a generation that is known as the Digital Natives, or as I would like to call them, the smartass-know-it-all-born-with-silver-iSpoons-in-their-mouth generation. They are smart, they know a hell of a lot more than we did at that age (and possibly now too), and they will not rest. They will ride into that possible, and if they do not have a bicycle to do so, they sure as hell will invent one!
They are the ones that should be your focus and your world. The early internet pioneers went to great lengths to define target groups using socio-economic-age-gender-location-etc-etc grouping and designed elaborate campaigns for them. Today, forget all that. Your target group is just one. And they are informed, mobile, connected and want everything when they want it, where they want it, and how they want it. Welcome to the age of Contextual Mobility. And make that precocious zillennial out there your friend and base all your strategies and design all your experiences around him. For today, he is king and he will determine your tomorrow.
And that is the single most important reason that every organization on this planet is scrambling to go digital. Transforming digitally is no longer an option. And if you do not recognize this fact and do not start planning out your digital strategies embracing Social, Mobile, Analytics and the Cloud soon, then you can start outfitting your grave, like they did the bunkers in the war days, for long extended stays till the war got over and it was safe to come out. Well this time there will be no coming out. This is a war that is not going to end and so, if you do not transform and go digital, be prepared for a long, long, very long stay in there. And the the only entertainment you are going to have to keep you company will be the sound of the digital natives dancing on your grave.
Transform. Go Digital, Old Man!