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The Future is Multi-channel
You can no longer operate in a single channel - physical, digital and virtual are equally important
The days when your business could operate in a single channel are over. The divide between physical and digital is no longer relevant. Customers operate in a multi-channel universe and so should you.
We would be misplaced to imagine that our customers perceive certain brands as physical and certain brands as digital. Consumers exist equally in the physical world as they do in the digital world. But more than that, today's customers operate in physical, digital and virtual spaces. We have to be able to interact with them equally well in each of them.
Behind the scenes technology is being developed which allows progressive film makers to simultaneously make a film or documentary that is fit for purpose in the cinema, on TV, streaming services, 3D, virtual reality and gaming.
Soon, new generation cameras will take high quality, long zoom, multi-format photos as stills or caption film that can be instantly shared to any storage system or digital media platform. The camera will automate the entire process from click to poster, website, magazine, publisher, book or Instagram feed. One day the camera will instantly match a freelancer’s photo with a commissioning editor.
These kinds of developments will change the nature of advertising and business. Once adverts and marketing experiences can be cost effectively and simultaneously produced for any format, channel or application including virtual reality, multi-user gaming, print, digital, TV and more we will all need to make sure our brands operate effectively across any channel.
Communication has fundamentally changed and the distinction between the written word, audio, image, video, 2D and 3D is becoming immaterial. We have much to ponder about how we produce and disseminate content.
The devastation of Covid lockdowns and economic collapse will see predominantly single channel brick and mortar retailers largely wiped out. No retailer or hospitality business will survive without an effective physical, digital, social, delivery and take out/collect strategy. It will not matter whether you have a physical store or not. You will still need to have a well thought out physical strategy.
The common capability of most sports is the act of running. It used to be that the common capability of communication was the written word. Today it is also audio, video and CGI.
The devastation of the less progressive end of the retail and hospitality industry will act as a reminder to us all that the future is multi-channel. We need to be prepared.
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