From big brands embracing a “sustainable path” for their product range like Unilever to sustainable fashion brands like Timberland, Patagonia and H&M, it seems consumers have the upper hand on deciding what they want to buy with their wallet.
However, the trend is not only at a consumer level but also extends to the career level. People want to know their work can make a difference not just to the final consumer but also at a broader level.
Could technology address both issues? I think it is a callous question and the answer is probably not. Many believe that technology is a panacea for all problems and the intense use of technology to help with the current pandemic has strengthened that view. ‘Digital Transformation’ has resurfaced as a key objective for enterprises.
In reality, the current leading-edge technologies, like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Virtual and Augmented Reality, are considered “enabling” technologies. In simple terms, they are technologies that can help overcome certain obstacles. However, this is true only if there is a real need for it and the consumer is ready to accept the change.
Tim Brown, the CEO of the design insight company, IDEO, put it well when we said:
“Design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success."—TIM BROWN, EXECUTIVE CHAIR OF IDEO.
For marketers, and especially CMOs, we need to ensure that the right technology is used to achieve better results in a specific area. One example is ARKit, the Augmented Reality from Apple that enables several applications. For example, it allows consumers to virtually try new makeup or a new dress or to see how a piece of contemporary furniture will look inside a room.
In the end, marketers have a big role to play in influencing other stakeholders to make sure that technology adoption is not just a corporate objective but actually makes sense for consumers and the business.