According to Gartner, in 2020 over 21 billion devices will be connected and communicate with each other. Another Research Institute, the International Data Corporation (IDC), estimates with 28 billion devices in 2020 even higher values. Both institutes see those devices to be responsible for ten percent of the worldwide data traffic at that time. With these numbers in mind, it becomes clear that the process of digital transformation will take place in giant steps. And its consequences will have such an impact, that our daily routine and professional life will be influenced in many ways.
While in the 18th century spinning and sewing factories have been the harbingers of the upcoming industrialization, todays data warehouses are indicating the digital era. Even today they are processing data volumes in petabyte scale. Slowly and steadily, the Digital is dominating our everyday life. Today companies are using the internet for their marketing activities, because of its easy-to-access-infrastructure and the possibility to directly communicate with customers and target groups. Here, the Digital transforms an enterprise’s communications department to a more or less digital media house. Indeed, these departments were used to produce newspapers and magazines for their employees and customers for a long time. But the way how content is presented to the reader has drastically changed over the years. Corporate communications do no longer have to rely on publishers to get in contact with their target groups. Today they reach their customers or readers by internet using their own channels. Apps, Social Media or PDF downloads are available at any time and publishers, who are inbetween the company and the customer, are no longer needed. That‘s an advantage and a challenge at the same time. As corporate communication was originally intended to inform about products and companies, the audience now expects more entertainment and service, perhaps even a more neutral communication. Many corporates try to approach this matter by designing communications in a way, that it is perceived more as journalistic product than an advertising campaign.
At the same time another change can be seen on the publisher’s side. More and more of them are trying to be perceived as a lifestyle or service brand. They try to use their reputation and knowledge about their target groups to generate new business off the beaten track. For example, the publisher Condé Nast opened a worldwide restaurant chain while addressing directly the Vogue readership according to its claim “An exciting combination of delicate contemporary cuisine, elegant decor and impeccable service did embody the spirit of Vogue.”
Companies behave like media, media more and more like brands. In the past, companies marketed their products with the help of publishers. Today, companies focus on their own channels to communicate with their customers.