“The emergence of the personal computer and cell phone in the 1990s and the smartphone in the 2000s are some of the drastic changes the business world has seen in recent decades. Technology has caused businesses to be run differently, established new prerequisites for success, and influenced the way consumers act. However, while it’s easy to sing the praises of technology, it is important to understand what innovation is significant and what will largely be uninfluential.
Forecasting future technological standards and their effect on consumers is difficult, but typically can be done with a degree of accuracy. This process starts with a “cone of uncertainty” or a graph that tracks the expansion of technological capabilities alongside critical milestones.
For instance, predicting the viability of driverless cars might include a list of important milestones, such as a certain amount of testing, government regulation, reaching a critical mass of consumers, and how much time each of these would take.
As we look to the future, these are the important technological innovations that are or will be influencing consumer habits.
Evolving ad networks
Google changed the world of advertising with the introduction of various digital ad networks, but Facebook quickly came along and introduced a comparably powerful ad network. Furthermore, the gradual growth of Snapchat Ads and Instagram Ads offer more options for consumers to engage with.
While this may seem harmless, the implications for consumers are interesting. First off, this change in ad networks indicates a change in consumer search habits from almost entirely Google to a split between Google and Facebook. Secondly, it illustrates a more important fact: businesses need to understand their ad media and align their ad media with their consumers’ preferences. A blue hyperlink on Google does not appeal as much as a sponsored picture on Instagram or a sponsored video on Snapchat.”