#BigPic16: Futurist @MikeWalsh Looks Down The Road

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

“Young people will expect everything in the physical world should work like magic,” Mike Walsh, futurist and author, told attendees at the TAB/OAAA Conference and Expo this week in Boca Raton.

Children are being exposed at a very early age to smart phones, tablets and computer screens, with the result that their views of the world are changed, he said. Their experiences will be changed by data.

“They’ll think that it’s normal to talk to an inanimate object that understands them and will talk back,” said Walsh. “They’ll be exposed to the Internet of Things to the extent that they’ll expect applications should be smart enough to ‘know where I am and what I’m doing’. And everything will be in real-time.

“They’ll expect that buying anything should be as easy as talking to a friend.

“The question is: how will it change marketing, not what will media be. Marketing isn’t just about new media. It’s about new ways of thinking about media. There’ll be no difference between OOH and DOOH.“

Walsh said that we’re already seeing such mixed creative and technology examples as, in Poland, during flu season, there’s OOH that can check your temperature to see if you have a fever.

“The real challenge will be to buy or scale up the data-driven OOH future.

“And how much smarter do humans need to be to survive smart machines? The challenge of any leader in the 21st century will be re-inventing themselves to manage in an environment of AI, automation and real-time data. Everyone is going to be racing to leverage data to bring scale and efficiency in targeted advertising.

Walsh challenged the audience to get their teams to look at what will be needed to ‘pitch’ in five years time – and then, as a debrief, to create a digital action plan.

“The use of machines’ intelligence means that people must find the data that matters; learn to tell stories with the data; and kill your sacred cows with data,” he said.

“Explore how you might use real time data and visualization tools to bring your next strategy meeting to life, and see how new sources of data change the discussion and decision-making process. Think in an entirely new way.

“Think big! Think new! Think Quick! Because the future is Now!”

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