The Consumerization of Everything
First Hardware, Then Software, Now Marketing
People have long talked about the consumerization of information technology — that people want to bring their iPads and other consumer technologies to the workplace. This has pushed IT departments to support everything from iPhones to Dropbox, because people have come to expect the same user friendliness in their work technology that they get in their home technology.
This demand makes increasing sense as the lines between work and home continue to blur. If you’re laying on the couch on a Saturday with a tablet and want to respond to an email, you should be able to access the necessary documents and data without getting up.
Supporting the consumerization of business technology makes people more productive and happier. It’s so much easier to access a file via the cloud than to log into a file server via a VPN. If people chose to intermingle work and leisure time, as is my preference and that of many, then it seems fair to expect our technology to make that choice pleasant and easy.
Two nights a week (not counting the weekend), I like to make it home in time to give the kids a bath and do book time. After this special time and dinner with my wife, I want to do some more work. The switch between on, off, and on again needs to be easy. Technologies like Google Apps, Dropbox, Evernote, and Salesforce make this a seamless possibility for me and so many others.
Recently, I’ve begun to think and talk about the consumerization of B2B marketing. That is, the same people you want to reach for the marketing of business goods are people that can be reached in more consumer-oriented settings. People coming to BuzzFeed for technology and business content during their leisure time are the people who ten minutes later may be working on the purchase of industrial or corporate technology.
Content sharing is the best form of targeting. It allows real humans to send content of interest to other real human beings. It ensures that the content reaches its intended and most interested audience. In other words, a person who sees a compelling and interesting piece of content about aviation or IT security is likely to share it with others who might be interested. We’re fond of saying “the content finds its audience.”
I think there will always be a place for trade- and industry-focused sites. But increasingly, with social as being the driving force for how people get their media, marketing and content will be consumerized just as we’ve seen in the rest of technology.