I saw this on my feed the other day and it really made me think, ‘Wow – the world is changing very very fast’. Each of these companies is leading the charge to change the world through the understanding that with today’s technology we can connect everyone and everything and create an economy based on abundance & the interconnectedness of things, writes Marino Sigalas.
Think of Uber, they own no vehicles, a year or two ago you probably hadn’t heard of them, but now they have revolutionised how the world catches taxis. They have done this by unlocking the abundance of vehicles and drivers in the market and using interconnectedness and technology to unlock its potential.
Because of this abundance they make it cheaper and easier for the consumer to use their service and simultaneously make it profitable for the drivers by connecting them to an abundance of customers they potentially would never have been connected to (Airbnb did the same for accommodation and flight aggregators e.g. Kayak and Travelstart did it for the travel industry). They have also through all of this actually managed to grow the taxi industry, in some places many fold.
Money4Jam is another company using abundance and tech. “M4JAM takes big jobs from reputable companies and breaks them into smaller jobs, allowing Jobbers to complete simple tasks using their phones in exchange for cash, while going about their daily lives.” – M4JAM website.
Basically, they offer their army of ‘jobbers’ as they call them, small, uncomplicated jobs to fulfil via their smartphone for quick cash. Jobs on offer could include:
– Taking of photo of a billboard/building/street
– Delivering a package from A to B
– Filling out a research questionnaire
They have managed to create a business with workers all around the country and yet they don’t actually employ any one of those jobbers out in the field and have most likely never even met them. They just realised that with tech and an abundance of human resources they could do a myriad of work, quickly and cheaply.
And M4JAM are not the only ones using interlinked human capital. Companies like Spring Leap, which started out as a T-shirt company running monthly design contests for creatives, have managed to take the relationships they forged with those designers and accumulate a network of 180 000 creatives, designers and strategists. With an abundance of skills like that, they can out muscle any agency to fulfil highly technical design jobs, critic creative, give high level feedback to brands and offer comprehensive and insightful trend analysis all via what is basically crowd sourcing. Not bad for a T-shirt company.
But can the media industry also make use of technology and abundance? Well it is already happening.
Ad networks and trading desks in the digital space are a prime example. Networks such as Google’s Display Network (GDN) tap into the vast abundance of ad space inventory on the web and sell it on at a fraction of the price of what it would cost if you dealt with the sites directly. What you lose as an advertiser in being able to cherry pick your site, you gain through targeting interests, keywords and verticals at a much cheaper rate.
It also works for the publishers who are able to sell on inventory they would otherwise have sat with. And finally it even works for the consumer because the likelihood of the ads actually being of interest to the consumer are much higher because they use your search and browsing history to determine what you are shown. A win-win for everyone.
DStv’s ‘on target’ packages are effectively TV’s version of an ad network. With more than 70 commercial channels DStv has an abundance of ad inventory but some channels are oversubscribed by advertisers while others that still receive good ratings have space available. So, DStv sells their on-target package at a predetermined price against an agreed target demographic across a bouquet of channels that fit with that chosen demographic, they then guarantee a minimum number of views of your commercial over a two-week period. They even measure it in 1000s not ARs just like digital ad networks. Using DStv-i they monitor the performance of the campaign daily, up weight it when they need to and effectively manage their airtime inventory along the way. This model even helps with pesky load shedding, people don’t watch, you don’t pay… Again a win win through the use of technology and abundance.
With DTT coming soon (we hope) there will be a multitude of new stations on the market and TV audiences will be fragmented even more than they are now. I therefore foresee similar guaranteed rating styled packages gaining in popularity. You simply won’t be able to rely on just buying 7de Laan or Generations, not when your audience might be watching 1 of a 100 other stations at that time.
With the abundance of out of home in the market, I am surprised we haven’t seen ad networks played out on billboards across the country yet. This is mainly a production issue at present, however, with digital screens becoming more and more popular on out of home and true measurement of audiences via technology like wi-fi pings counting the number of cellphones driving past being around the corner, it is only a matter of time before we start buying audience in thousands from OOH companies.
This will allow OOH companies to sell audiences rather than individual sites, they will also be able to give real time reports and hit a whole new segment of advertisers who are looking for short tactical campaigns. This is revolutionary for a medium that was characterised by slow turn around and lack of measurability.
Now imagine if we took all of these technologies, the tech of tomorrow, the interconnectedness of things and squeezed them all together. What if you Googled a new watch in the morning only to find an ad for that watch come up on your Facebook feed, maybe on your way to work via Uber cab the internet radio station you listen to plays a customised advert just for you (it picked up your cell phone and knows exactly who you are), the billboard you passed told you the watch store was 2km on the left as did the GPS on your phone. You get to work and cave in, hitting ‘buy’ on your phone, an hour later a ‘Money 4 Jammer’ delivers your watch right to you (or maybe he has been replaced by a drone by now?).
This is where the world is going and it’s not the future, it’s here, it just needs to be tweaked a little for maximum efficiency. And the more we connect everything the less scarcity we will have, the more abundance we will enjoy and be able to tap into.
I can’t wait for tomorrow to see what’s next.
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