The Communications industry is in an intriguing phase during the early years of this decade.
If we look back, it’s been an era of change. Just the last 12 years have seen Websites, E-mail, Blogs, Search engines, Newsrooms, Issue based TV debates, Agenda based TV shouting matches, Reality shows, Talent hunts, Messengers, Text-based social media, 3G, Mobile wallets, Memes, Visual social media, Video social media, 4G, Video OTT, Music OTT, Everything OTT, Gaming, Immersive gaming, Augmented reality, Micro influencers, Social media campaigns, Elections being fought, influenced and won on Social media and messengers, Climate change, Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies and more (Phew !).
It seems like everything has changed. And it feels like the Communications industry has seen centuries’ worth of change in a short span of time. If you have navigated through this change successfully, then please give yourself a pat on the back.
But before you take a breath, remember – what’s to come in the next few years, will make the change gone by, seem like a warmup! The change that we will see will simply upend what we consider as reality.
5G, Virtual reality, Extended reality, Climate emergency, Mass scale climate migration, Species extinctions, Deep Fakes, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Drones, Immersive learning, Immersive tourism, Metaverse, Omniverse, Space tourism, Bionics and a list that evolves each day!
We know that it will change how we work, play & shop. But it will also cause a cataclysm of social change. In most parts of the country, people are still living with social norms that are closer to the 1960’s, than today. Those people will be torn and brought screaming into the immersive space age of no barriers and no limits.
2023, on the face of it, will be a time to balance the ship amidst stormy waters, to peek into the future, learn and figure what it will mean for Communications and Brands in the coming decade.
In my personal opinion, the three pillars of focus that will serve the industry well in 2023, will be –
- Get going with it: I keep seeing company heads talking about the tough path to success, how they need employees to come back to offices full time, work 12 hour work days, not moonlight, how mental health focus is a farce, etc. To them I say, get with the times, otherwise you will be cast aside. Figure how you can balance your style and work ethics with the new reality.
- Make yourself Future proof: Stop being media relations focused no matter how comfortable you are doing that. Peek into the future, learn and experiment with new immersive technologies. Build focus areas that you can be experts in. Don’t follow the herd. Remember that you have to be confident enough to drag your clients into the new world.
- Focus on the new valuations: Older method of valuations will soon sound like Flat Earthers talking about falling off the edge of the world. Brand and Image management will be dynamic, raw, and chaotic. This will require new methods of measurement. How you evaluate success and measure it, may well be the most important thing you do for the industry.
Those who do manage to come out ahead of this, will win beyond one’s wildest imaginations. So let’s get with it. There is no time to lose. Let’s begin 2023, far sooner!
– Maneet Jolly,
Current Avatar: Founder of Imagined Reality Interactive Pvt. Ltd