Life, February 1, 1989.
Did it come your way?
Featured is a 30-page preview of the year 2000 showcasing laser holographic TVs, Dick Tracy-type wristwatches, the news that we’ll be living to 101 and more gee-whiz predictions.
The future is scripted in bright, technological achievements. It’s science class on steroids.
But in this 1989 Life issue there’s nothing about the Internet and nothing to predict the new economy and the explosion of business online.
How could they have missed the Internet? Are we developing that fast?
You know things are speeding ahead each time you use your mobile.
Everyone is head-down evaluating everything from 1000 thread-count sheets to little-known Australian Cabernets (try Vasse Felix) and responding to games and events designed to engage you at specific locations and time periods with an offer.
Google ‘the future’ and you’ll see this progress is set to accelerate wildly.
We’re in for synthetic meat, new propulsion systems for space travel (Jupiter in just four months, instead of 13), invisible suits for the military and the end of aging by around 2065.
You don’t need me to tell you current technology has left more than a few marketers wondering.
Many are unsure of what’s working in the digital age and what’s a dud.
Instead of technological certainty there’s ‘room for interpretation’. (Those last three words came from a so-called social media guru trying to explain to his client where $83,000 went.)
Ironically, isn’t this a bit like the bad old days of traditional advertising? Wasn’t that the perennial complaint, not knowing what’s working?
But take heart, some things haven’t changed.
Like the ability to test your communications. Those adept at Direct Response are past masters of this and know the power it affords you.
Google analytics are here to help. They’re a bit like a blood pressure cuff for the state of your efforts, as you benefit with solid numbers.
Equally, people haven’t changed. They’re still human, they buy on emotion from those they’ve learned to trust and they can’t be bored into parting with their cash to purchase your product.
More to unchanging things, what persists is the need to have an idea to stop people and change their behavior. Nothing beats an idea.
Thinking like ‘Here’s To The Crazy Ones’ and ‘When Banks Compete, You Win’ proves it.
Without a strong original, engaging idea, technology is a bit like raw filet mignon, promising but incomplete.
As you are no doubt aware, the best ideas come from knowing your customers and listening intently when they speak.
So tune in further. Find out about their worries, needs and desires. Better yet, find out what lapsed customers think.
One of those invisible military suits could help.
It’ll put you unobtrusively at the center of things to hear revealing things about your brand.
Have customers revealed things you previously didn’t know? If so, share your story with us.