Screens, Screens, Screens

May 13, 2023

In the last few months, Virtual Reality (VR) headsets have flooded the market. We have already seen a preview of Augmented Reality (AR) wearables including Microsoft HoloLens and Google Glass.Through 3D cameras, VR games and Smart-homes people are finally getting a taste of the Internet of Things (IoT) promise. The IoT or non-conventional Internet enabled devices are now seeing consumer adoption at a large scale around the world.It is estimated that by the year 2020, IoT will cover around 50 billion objects. That is more than 6 objects or screens on average per person.The pace of change is such that although the world only recently transformed and has become more “mobile and “digital”, we are on the cusp of transforming the landscape again.VR and AR are only the beginning of what the IoT transformation will bring. Car screens, Fridge screens, interactive points of sale (PoS) screen, digital advertising screen, this screen, that screen – a lot of screens which are already around you.There are a number of good and bad things that will evolve from the aforementioned advancement. Some of the good things include more convenience, personalisation and better access while the bad things include security and privacy concerns, wastage/recycling, amongst others.The question, however is how does it affect brands and organisations today who are only just starting to get on top of their “digital” transformation. How does it affect their reach?Of course, all major technological advancements bring with them different cultural and societal changes. There are already more Internet connected devices and screens in the world than there are people. This is leading to more touch-points between consumers and brands.In such a landscape, I feel that the questions we need to ask are the ones that take us to the basics of a brand or an organisation. We need to go back to the fundamentals of why an organisation exists in the first place.To think about reaching customers properly one has to forget technology or channel-specific approaches. We need to offer the customer an experience they desire and build on top of that.The ‘how’ and ‘where’ are a matter of best reach for our audience and there will be thousands of specialists who can help with that. Going mobile-first or desktop-first is about solving for the most prevalent device and screen in use by the intended audience. Given the continuing trend in the marketing and digital world of niches, the how and where will continue to be resolved increasingly by specialists.More importantly however a multi-screen world or a multi-screen approach is about going back to the basics. We need to think about the ‘why’, ‘who’ and ‘what’.Why do we do, what we do and who we do it for.Fundamentally these questions will help answer how an organisation chooses to connect with it customers. They will help us put thought into understanding whom we need to reach. It will eventually lead to making sure what we do is what these customers want and aligned to our vision – the ‘why’ of our story. This is about going back to the basics.With innovation, organisations can reach customers across a number of conventional and non-conventional experiences. Leveraging the boundless opportunities offered by these technologies to add to the user experience requires a completely different mindset. It has to be laser focused on the right audience for what we are trying to achieve.This is the new reality of seamless customer experience across channels, platforms and screens. The greats in advertising and technology in the multi-screen world will evolve by focusing on why, who and what.Change is constant. The multi-screen world is already around you. It’s a matter of time whether you embrace it or you are forced to.