One of the biggest challenges in looking forward two, five, or more years into the future is that everything changes at the same time, not just the elements on which you are presently focused. Social media experts think social media will change everything. App developers think apps will change everything. But in reality, everything is changing at once.
Here’s the safest prediction we can make: Everything will get smarter.
How you react depends on your industry and your company. If you wish to compete on price and sell low-quality commodity products, then you can safely ignore much of what we have written in Smart Customers, Stupid Companies. If you wish to maintain your margins and be a market leader, you will need to act smart, to leverage sensors, to support the emerging Physical Web, and to develop a strategy for interacting with customers while they simultaneously interact with everyone else.
You will need to replace your dumb touchpoints with smart ones. You will need to become obsessed with saving your customers time, money, and effort. You will need to provide customized services. You will need to do all these things, most likely in a radically different way.
Most importantly, you will need to focus with laser-like intensity on the intersection of initiatives that benefit your customers and benefit your firm.