“Emerging tech” is a phrase that represents consumer optimism, some resentment, and even fear.
Emerging technologies always represent the future: they are a preview into what we can expect in our future lives, however, also represent change, which often causes people to dislike or even fear them. People enjoy the status quo, and new technologies are designed to disrupt that.
However, if you break down the term “emerging tech,” it becomes much more tangible and engaging.
Emerging tech, broadly, describes the following technologies and industries:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Virtual Reality (VR)
- Internet of Things (IoT)
Consumers encounter emerging technologies on a daily basis. In fact, most of us own and use technologies and products that would be categorized as emerging technologies.
This presents an incredible opportunity for businesses. Emerging technologies are defined by their interconnectedness: they bring seemingly disparate things together in singular, accessible ways.
The problem is that consumers don’t always realize this reality. As a result, they hesitate to engage with these technologies to their fullest capacities, and as a result.
This article breaks down the obstacles businesses and consumers face in emerging tech spaces and suggests that businesses market these technologies using an interconnected framework to drive customer interest.
If businesses can do this, they can gain a deeper understanding of their customers, while customers can benefit from the connected potential these technologies can bring to their lives.
Where Emerging Tech is Found and How We Use It
Emerging tech is present everywhere we go: our homes, our offices, and public spaces.
If you think about it hard enough, you’ll recognize how often you encounter and engage with emerging technologies.
For example, if you have completed a transaction using a cryptocurrency, you have used blockchain technology.
If you own a smartwatch that you have synced to your smartphone or computer, you are a part of the Internet of Things.
Have you played Pokemon Go? That’s augmented reality.
And, automated digital assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Cortana? Artificial Intelligence.
How Your Businesses Can Benefit From Emerging Tech
Emerging technologies provide an opportunity for your business to establish a deep connection with and understanding of your customers.
The first thing that is important for your businesses to do is break down the broad categorization of “emerging tech,” and consider which individual technologies make sense for you to research or invest in.
For example, if you run an athletic clothing line, wearable technology (a form of IoT) is an incredibly appealing investment.
Through wearable technology integrated into clothing, your customers can monitor their athletic performance (heart rate, speed splits, body temperature, etc) while they are wearing it.
The benefit of this technology is mutual: if you own the technology, your business can also access to the data users generate from using your clothing.
You can use this data to develop your products and marketing to match your customer customers’ needs.
So, if the customer data you collect indicates consistently high body temperatures when people wear your apparel, that represents an opportunity for you to develop a cool-dry apparel line that tempers body temperature. This both provides a new opportunity for sales and provides a better experience for your customers.
Of course, this is hypothetical situation has a number of caveats and obstacles.
The Obstacles: Privacy and Cost
While both businesses and consumers certainly benefit from emerging tech such as IoT products that allow them to easily track and control various aspects of their life, they are hesitant to fully engage with it.
One significant reason why is the cost of emerging technologies for both businesses and consumers.
The Cost to Develop and Purchase Emerging Tech Applications and Products
Developing emerging technology for commercial use is an incredibly expensive process.
For example, the cost to build a simple chatbot, one of the simpler artificial intelligence development projects, can be well over $10,000. To hire an artificial intelligence company or develop fully functional and comprehensive artificial intelligence, wearable, or augmented reality applications, the price is much higher.
The same way businesses have to grapple with the expense of developing their own form of emerging tech, consumers face a price barrier with products that use emerging technologies.
This makes sense: taken in isolation, individual technologies that are categorized as “emerging tech” are expensive.
The expense of purchasing this sort of technology, however, is partially a result of the way customers currently interact with emerging tech.
How Businesses Can Market Emerging Technologies to Convince Consumers to Invest
If consumers understood the benefits of using the connectedness of emerging technologies, they may be willing to look past the initial sticker price and invest in products that use these technologies.
So, instead of thinking of purchasing a smartwatch simply as an expensive watch, consumers would think of it as investing in a platform from which they can access and control various aspects of their lives: from their social networks to their home thermometers and heart rate.
To create this shift in thinking, businesses need to communicate the functionalities that consumers can unlock from using emerging technologies to convince them to do this.
If customers are comfortable purchasing products and services equipped with this sort of technology, businesses in turn could more confidently invest in an IoT company or blockchain development project would result in a solid return on investment.