The future of the industry is not only dependent on technology adoption but also heavily relies on economic changes including global-minded consumers, innovation, and communication.
The 21st century has been an era of increasing globalization and expansion. Advances in science, technology, transportation, and communication are the main driving forces behind globalization. These advancements have resulted in the rapid spread of business ideas, knowledge, and information amongst heterogeneous and scattered people located around the globe. New technologies have perhaps been the most powerful tools in creating linkage among people. Smartphones and devices, the internet, social networks, and other new media devices have contributed greatly to creating a seamless globalized society unencumbered by physical distance; significantly altering the concepts of space, time, and location. These devices have become so pervasive that people’s daily lives are becoming increasingly centered around them. The current age of globalization has also been characterized by a marked shift in operations as well as the expansion of businesses beyond traditional boundaries. The new generation of technologies has drastically sped up operations; as businesses have to be conducted at the speed of thought. Products also have become globally competitive with more companies entering the market with new products. Business operations have had to adapt by becoming more creative and flexible as new media opens up several alternative channels of reaching consumers. eBay, Amazon.com, and other emerging online sales channels are increasingly being used by companies and consumers even in developing countries as consumers become global citizens. The consumer and their needs have become more important in the 21st century than in previous decades. With myriad content and products available, customer loyalty has almost entirely disappeared. Consumers are no longer bound by rules to any particular brand. Utilizing internet search platforms, consumers are now in control of what they wish to see, hear, and buy; they are no longer inactive via the internet. Companies must be creative and active in terms of production to meet the modern demands of consumers from every corner of the globe. Competition is now experienced on a global scale. In today’s world, companies are faced with the challenge of capturing and maintaining ICT and globally-minded customers.
In the highly competitive contemporary world, consumers are faced with a vast array of products and choices. As the concept of brand loyalty diminishes, marketers need to devise creative and innovative methods and techniques to attract and retain customers. Survival in the business world entails steady patronage by consumers. It also entails the ability to increase one’s customer base. Due to the inundation of products with highly competitive prices, consumers are more willing than ever to move beyond the familiar and try something new. Companies must continuously derive new ways of surviving in the market, forcing the market to employ new creative and innovative ideas in communication.
Data-privacy and cybersecurity are also one of the driving factors in recent years, leading to increased fear and challenges for corporates. New regulations, such as the GDPR, make it much more difficult for the companies to follow their traditional practices. In essence, the new regulations will be an inevitable clean-up of the major industries which impact how they collect, record, store, retrieve, disclose, and erase the consumers/user’s data. Many companies already started to prioritize and plan cybersecurity to protect their customers and assets, and develop ongoing efforts to maintain that focus consistently. Indeed, it is no longer a question of “if” but a question of “when” and “how” which makes them serious about reinventing the entire industry sectors.
That being said, globalization, demand vs. supply, consumer behavior, attention economy, and regulations is an economic tidal wave that is sweeping over the world, pushing all corners of society to learn, digest, and adopt the changes in the fast-paced environment. Both the technology adoption and economic changes put us in a very unique position today which will drive the acceleration phase on the next generation of innovations in the next 10 years. It worth to mention that many top companies started during/after a recession or financial crisis including General Electric, IBM, General Motors, Disney, Burger King, Microsoft, CNN, Apple, FedEx, MTV Networks, Wikipedia, Trader Joe’s, HP, Uber, Pinterest, FB, Airbnb, Venmo, WhatsApp, Square, etc.