If you think your customers are a challenge now, wait until 2010, said futurist and ET keynoter Jim Carroll at Wednesday’s opening session.
Tomorrow’s customers will be “far more demanding, will expect more from you, will be constantly pushing you, and will have far less loyalty to you as a brand,” Carroll predicted.
That’s because the customers of 2010 are today’s youth – many of whom don’t remember film cameras, and who view “television” as video that comes to them in the car, on the laptop, or on the back of the airplane seat.
“By 2020, we’ll be witnessing the retirement of the change-averse,” Carroll said, referring to baby-boomer and older generations. “What will emerge into purchasing power, and into your customer base, is this generation that thinks differently, is wired differently.”
As for products and services, Carroll frequently referenced last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas as an example of “furiously rapid rates of change.” Product lifecycles, such as those traditionally taught in marketing courses,” are fundamentally disappearing,” he said.
To compete, cable needs to focus on being agile. “Re-skilling the folks who are instrumental in your architecture is just critical,” he said.